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Top 5 recommended things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

While most people choose the south of Thailand as their holiday destination and end up spending weeks in Phuket or Krabi. We would definitely say North is as worthy of your visit as the south. Yes, it doesn’t have beautiful sandy beaches and boat trips but it has mountains, unforgettable temples, and great food! So, these are our 5 best things to do in Chiang Mai.

This is why being such big lovers of the North part we’ve decided to write a short to see list for Chiang Mai! We’ve been in Chiang Mai for almost 2 weeks working remotely, and here are 5 things we loved the most:

1. White Temple

We took a full day trip with Get Your guide visiting Golden Triangle and White temple... but damn it was really cool! The white temple was created by Chalermchai Kositpipat. With the help of funds and knowledge of people around him, he built this one-of-a-kind temple.

The exterior is fully white and is repainted every few years, but the biggest magic comes from the mirrors he put all over the temple that mirrors the light of the sun and created this blinking look of the building. However, the magic is not only on the outside but on the inside as well, since it is full of Pokemons, superheroes, and all the other popular culture aspects. When you see it the first time it shocks you since this is really not what you expect in the temple but the younger generation really likes this!

BTW, now is the best time to visit White Temple, since after the pandemic it was quite empty compared to the crowds of people you would have found before.

2. Elephant Sanctuary

Chiang Mai is full of nature including both flora and fauna. Even though the city itself is quite developed all around Chiang Mai you can find the beauty of nature without searching too much. Therefore, one of the popular activities here is visiting Elephant Sanctuaries.

We decided to go to Elephant Friends sanctuary and damn it was really worth the money. We stayed in room 22 – mark here that the view from the terrace was breathtaking – and took a full day tour with Elephants. It was definitely once in a lifetime experience, feeding, walking together, playing, and having fun in the river with an Elephant and one Elephant baby. These extremely clever animals are treated as kings in this sanctuary, so they were walking and playing freely and you can really see how they love their human friends.

However, it doesn’t matter which sanctuary you choose, if it treats animals decently you will have an amazing experience there!

3. Old – town of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the cities with the biggest number of temples in it, so what you can do – have a walk around the old town of Chiang Mai and wonder through tons of them – old, new, golden, wooden, big, small, whatever you like.

Here are a few we liked the most:

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Phantao

P.s. do not miss the chance to walk through one of the gates like Tha Phae Gate since it is one of the very rare really old times experiences in Thailand.

4. Visit Wat Phrathat Doi Kham

This place is so easy to visit! Just jump into the taxi or tuk-tuk and they will drive you directly to the place. No climbing is needed if you do not want to.

However, the best time is to wake up before sunrise and welcome the sun being on the mountain already since the sunrise looks amazing from out there! We were too lazy to do that so we’ve chosen a bit later morning hours and the bright sun made it hard to see a full panorama.

P.s. Do not miss beautiful paintings on the wall when you go from the Phrathat Doi Kham [it is near the parking]

5. See one of the waterfalls!

As we mentioned before there are lots of nature around Chiang Mai and waterfalls are not an exception! We had the chance to see a few of them – Mae Wang Waterfall, Wachirathan Waterfall, and one we could not even find on Google maps.

BUT haven’t had the chance to see one of the most popular ones – Mae Sa Waterfall or Huay Kaew Waterfall. So, it is your choice which one to visit but is not too much exploited by the tourists these wonders of nature really takes the breath away and helps the mind to relax.

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