Back with the second post in my travel series. This time, I will be sharing what we got up to in Chiang Mai. After everywhere we have been, to it remains our favourite place. When we arrived in Bangkok people told us that we planned to stay too long in Chiang Mai ( One week). However, I am so glad we did because we loved it.
Where we stayed:
A Good Place Hostel- This was the nicest hostel we stayed in throughout our trip, which obviously helped with how much we loved the place. At $4 a night, you couldn’t go wrong. The hostel was super clean and the owner really cared about the place. He always made sure that people had something to do. If certain people were going somewhere he would ask around to see if he could get more people to join. That way it would bring down the price of the red truck (how you get around Chiang Mai) and you would get to meet people. On our first day, we had walked down and he was just like “You wanna go to the sticky waterfall?” We had no plans so we said we may as well. He then called the driver to wait (as they had just left) and then brought us to the end of the lane on his scooter. Which was hilarious. With all the speed bumps I’m sure we would have been quicker walking! Throughout our stay here he was just super helpful with everything. I have recommended this hostel to everyone we had met along the way.
Things we did:
There are absolutely no shortages of amazing things to do in Chiang Mai. From temples to hipster cafes the city center has something to interest everyone. When we were in Chiang Mai it had reached up to 43 degrees celsius. So, as you can imagine we didn’t get to explore the city as much as we would have liked. If we had we risked turning into puddles of water.
The Sticky Waterfall– This waterfall is about an hours drive outside the city. If there is a group of you willing to go then it is extremely cheap to get a red truck. Plus they wait for you there. The waterfall is nothing spectacular to look at, but you can climb up, all the way to the top. The rocks are non-slippery hence the name ‘sticky waterfall’. It is a fun way to spend the day and escape the heat.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep– Is a temple up the mountain about a 30-minute drive from the city. Again Red trucks will take you there and wait for you. The temple is lovely to walk around and has an amazing view of the city from down below. There is also 316 steps to climb in order to get up to the temple. Definitely worth the climb. But of course like every temple you do need to dress appropriately. Which means shoulders and knees covered. However, it is a lot cooler up in the mountain than down in the city so it isn’t so bad.
The Grand Canyon– Chiang Mai’s version of the Grand Canyon. You can rent a donut and float about and you can jump off the edge into the canyon below. Most people sit on the floating bamboo rafts and watch people jump in. The fun is watching people chicken out at the top. It is definitely a fun way to spend the day.
Elephants– Of course this is probably the biggest thing people do in Chiang Mai. However, you should do your research on the company that you are going with. I do not want to shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat but elephant riding should be avoided at all cost. Riding the elephants especially in those massive benches is completely inhuman. As you can imagine it is very painful for the elephant. Every traveller we had met were completely against riding elephants, which was a positive sign. With that in mind, we asked around for a sanctuary where we could just hang out and help take care of the elephants for the day. We were recommended The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Where we got to feed the elephants, give them a mud bath and get into the water with them. They treat the elephants with great respect and most of the fully grown elephants were rescued from elephant riding camps. You could see some of the scars left on them from the seats. There was also little baby elephants. It was defiantly the most amazing day we got to spend. I would highly recommend this place if you want to hang out with elephants that are treated well.
Cooking Class– Something I would highly recommend doing is a cooking class. Thai food is amazing and learning to cook some signature dishes is a great way to spend an evening. We went to a school called Basil. I cannot recommend them enough. It was such a fun evening and you got to cook seven courses. They also can do everything veggie as well which was a plus.
The Sunday Night Walking Market– Oh my god, this was the mother of all markets. I cannot explain how amazing this market was. We literally kept comparing every market we had been to, to this one. The market is huge first off and you will need a few hours to walk around all of it. Not to mention it gets pretty crowded. The only regret we had with this market was that it wasn’t the last stop on our journey. If you are planning a trip to Chiang Mai try and make it so as you are there on a Sunday. You really do not want to miss this market.
Saturday Night Market– This has nothing on the Sunday night market and is basically comprised of food stalls. There are so many food stalls and pretty good smoothy stands as well. Would defiantly recommend checking out this market for dinner on Saturday’s. Pad Thai at 20 baht you just can’t go wrong!
Food & Drink:
I do not have much to say on this subject as we basically had street food for dinner every night. The street food is pretty amazing in Chiang Mai though.
Into the woods– A very cutely designed cafe, modeled after different fairytales. The breakfast is pretty good and is definitely worth checking out.
Cafféine– Really cute hipster cafe. Great french toast.
Blue Dimond– A very good Brunch spot. Word of advice the pancake is huge, so do not think you need more than that. We made that mistake and couldn’t finish it.
Lemon Tree– Not far from the hostel. They do very good Thai food at a very cheap price. We ate there more than once and was never disappointed.
That is it for my guide on Chiang Mai. I hope you found it helpful in planning your trip. This city is amazing and it has defiantly become one of my all time favorite places that I have traveled to. You really get a sense of the Thai culture here, that you do not get in the South of Thailand. Make sure if you have time to check out Pai and Chiang Rai while you are up there. We didn’t, but hey it is an excuse to go back.
Till next time,