Top 10 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
There are so many things you can do when you visit Chiang Mai. Here are our must-see list for visitors to this city. We're pretty sure that you're well aware of these major activities and attractions: elephants caring, cooking classes, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Trekkings, Wat Phra Singh, Coffee shops, Tha Phae Gate, Wat Pan Tao, and Local Museums. We're here to show you the pictures of these things and places we've been. Of course our list is what Thai people always keep recommending people to do. When you visit us (Chiang Mai), just get out there and enjoy it.
The elephants are not only huge and adorable but they are also very intelligent. Sadly, many elephants have faced terrible abuse and beaten with hooks. A lot of elephant camps in Chiang Mai truly take care of their elephants. One policy that almost every camp has is "elephants should be treated well with the respect and love that they deserve". Most programs allow us to feed, bathe, touch, photograph, and interact with the elephants which make us learn about their behaviors and lifestyle. Thus, it is very enjoyable to play with our huge friends in those camps.
2. Cooking Classes
Cooking Thai food is also an interesting activity. You will learn the art of Thai cooking with friendly knowledgeable Thai cooking experts. You can also prepare ingredients by yourself and cook step by step. Certainly, your food can be spicy or non-spicy!! hahaha. Here are some pictures we shot during visiting Thai cooking courses with Smart Cook, and Thai Cottage Home Cookery Schools.
3. Wat Chedi Luang
There is a very big chedi (pagoda) in this temple which is 98 meters tall and 54 meters in diameter. The lonelyplanet says "This was possibly the largest structure in ancient Chiang Mai but the top of the chedi was destroyed by either a 16th-century earthquake or by cannon fire during the recapture of Chiang Mai from the Burmese in 1775 (nobody knows for sure)." Nowadays, foreign visitors have to pay 40 baht to get in this temple but still free for Thai. ^_^
4. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
This temple is very famous among either Thai and foreigners since it is said to be one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples. This temple is on the mountain so we are able to see impressive views of Chiang Mai city from there.
This activity is very popular for foreign visitors. (We, KT Bondoi, love to do this too.) There are so many paths together with different local trekking companies and tour guides we can choose to go with. Some of them take us to see the hidden waterfall too. It is marvelous to touch the beauty of nature during taking this program.
(We didn't bring our good phones and cameras with us for this trekking.It was unexpected and immediate event)
6. Wat Phra Singh
In the middle of the old city by the end of Sunday night walking street, you will see this temple, Phra Singh Temple. The chedi in the temple was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu to enshrine the ashes of his father. The vihara (viharn or Buddha image hall) is decorated in typical Lanna gold and ochre colors. For Thai, we always say that this is one of the temples we must visit when we travel to the Chiang Mai old city.
7. Coffee shops
There are so many coffee shops where you can relax your days such as the followings:
(Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden)
(Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden)
(Kaffe 151 by Three Kings Monument: the second floor where we usually sit.)
(Cafe' De Museum: All the staff there are very cute and helpful with superb service.)
8. Tha Phae Gate
This gate is sometimes called "The Big Gate" as it is pretty big compared with other four gates. The gate is the east entrance to the old city. It is a high recommended spot that you must take a picture. A lot of TV series and soap operas take this place in their scenes too.
9. Wat Pan Tao
This temple is close to the well known temple of Wat Chedi Luang. It was built in the late fourteenth century around the same time as Wat Chedi Luang. It is said that the mail hall was originally a Ho Kham (king's palace), a throne hall for one of Chiang Mai's Kings built in 1846. We really love the wooden structure of this temple.
10. Local Museums
There are three museums inside the old city we would like to recommend. The first one is Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center which is in the middle of three museums by Three Kings Monument. This museum portrays about the arts and the way of life of Chiang Mai people, and it also won ASEANTA Excellence Awards 2007.The second museum is Chiang Mai Historical Center where shows the deep historical information of Chiang Mai. The last museum is Lanna Folk Life Museum which is in front of the middle museum. It illustrates the way of life of Lanna people, tradition, carved woods, musical instruments, worship offerings, Lanna weapons, etc.
For the admission fee for three museums, it is different between Thai and foreigners. For Thai adult, we can buy the ticket in the price of 20 baht for one ticket and Thai children are 10 baht. Furthermore, students, government employees, and monks are also only 10 baht for one ticket. However, foreigner adults pay 90 baht, and foreigner children get 60 baht. Anyway, it's worth to visit these three museums.
(Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center)
(Chiangmai Historical Center)
(Lanna Folk Life Museum)
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