My second time in Thailand and I really wanted to adventure to the North instead of the South. I had heard from friends that I had met on travels that Chiang Mai was an absolute must do and it didn’t disappoint.
I boarded a flight with Nok air from Bangkok for about $75 CAD. It definitely beat the 10 hour bus or train ride. The flights leave from Don Muang airport. There are plenty of shuttle services around bangkok/Khao san road area that will take you right to the door for the bargain of 100-150BAHT. If time and patience is on your side you can take the public bus from Mo Chit for around 10BAHT.
When you arrive in Chiang Mai, you can take a pre paid taxi into the city or go out to the main road and hail a famous red mini bus called a Songthaew (the red trucks with bench seats) for less than half the cost.
- Chiang Mai is the land of temples, you can spend days going from temple to temple by feet, the city is easily walkable. I highly recommend going to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, you can easily take a mini bus from University to get up there. Keep in mind the bus doesn’t get moving until it has at least 10 passengers, so it can be a long wait in the sun.
- Monk Chat at Wat Chedi Luang. This was an unbelievable experience. We got to talk to a monk for nearly 3 hours and he answered every question we had to ask. I highly recommend it if you would like to learn more about buddhism.
- Get a massage at on the street or one of the temples. Apparently the cheapest in all of Thailand, think 150baht (6 CAD) for 1 hour.
- Visit the 3d art museum and get some amazing pictures. I didn’t get to do this but I saw some pictures from friends and really regretted not making it there.
- I highly recommend Deejai’s hostel for a fun party atmosphere filled with activities, they also serve amazin food although you pay more for the convenience. Make sure not to pronounce it DJ like I did, the locals don’t understand what that means.
- Go to the night bazaar, shop and eat till you drop in the very busy Mueang Chiang Mai District.
- Go to a lady boy show, it’s inside the night bazaar and it’s an unforgettable experience. It costs 200baht and you get a free drink included with your cover. I have to say this is the best drag show I have ever seen, they are so talented.
- Eat Khao Soi it’s noodles topped with fried noodles in coconut milk curry.
- Do activities in the surrounding areas such as visiting an elephant sanctuary, Tiger kingdom (Some people are opposed to this but do your research), Doi Inthaon, the Golden triangle (Border of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos) and white temple in Chiang Rai.
- Take a cooking class at some of the many locations in Chiang Mai so you can impress your friends when you get home with your new skills!