We spent three months travelling in Asia and time flew by. The crowning glory of our trip to Asia was Thailand, more precisely Chiang Mai! A few years ago we were already in Chiang Mai and were very happy to return.
I think the great thing about Chiang Mai is that you can experience and do so much. Culture, action, peace, sport, very good food, beautiful hotels, workshops… So if you never get bored somewhere, here it is! Second plus point: In Chiang Mai you can do very well for little money, which probably also explains the large number of digital nomads in Chiang Mai.
You’ve already seen two posts and videos from Chiang Mai about the Elephant Farm and the Sunday Night Market. Today I present my 10 best travel tips for Chiang Mai! And I’ll tell you what I can’t recommend.
1. CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: COOKING LIKE THE THAIS – THAI COOKING COURSE
Thailand is known for its excellent cuisine (my favourite besides Italian) and so it is obvious to learn more about it on the spot. And where is the best place to do that? Of course in a cooking course!
We have attended several cooking courses. The first two courses we did outside of Chiang Mai in the Khum Lanna Lodge. Here we stayed for one night and prepared lunch and dinner ourselves under the guidance of a great, super sympathetic cook.
We had the second cooking workshop in Chiang Mai at the Baan Hongnual Cookery School. I especially liked the fact that the first thing we did together was to go to a Mark to buy the ingredients for the cooking workshop. Then everyone cooks their own food. If it doesn’t taste good, it’s almost your own fault.
2. CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: SPEND A DAY WITH ELEPHANTS
One of the most beautiful days not only in Chiang Mai but all our trip was our day at the Patara Elephant Farm where we were Elephant owner for a Day. It was incredible.
3. CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: PURE RELAXATION WITH A THAI MASSAGE
In Thailand it is almost impossible to avoid being massaged! At every corner you will find a massage salon, often with fabulously cheap offers. We have had in Thailand many very good, cheap massages, but also the one or other which was not quite so the hit. Sometimes it’s a matter of luck, but you can’t really complain about the price.
And then there are the luxury spas, from which many spas in our latitudes can cut off a slice. The best and at the same time most expensive massage I ever had in Asia we had at the Oasis Spa in Chiang Mai. From the first to the last moment everything was perfect. For a traditional Thai massage you pay a little less than 30 francs (instead of about 5 francs in a small spa).
4TH CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: NIGHT MARKET & SUNDAY NIGHT MARKET WALKING STREET
I love Night Markets! Especially in Asia. Chiang Mai is known for its daily Night Market, where you can find everything. It’s best to go there hungry and try your hand right through the culinary offerings.
But I especially liked the Sunday market, also called Sunday Nigt Market Walking Street. Here, many locally produced products are offered at unbelievably low prices. If you want to see more, have a look at our video!
5. CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: TREKKING IN THE JUNGLE
Since Chiang Mai is surrounded by hills and jungle, you can go hiking here perfectly. Various tours are offered throughout the city. From 2-3 hours over day tours or 3 day hikes incl. overnight stays everything is possible.
We have made the “lazy” but not less beautiful variant of a 2 hour hike from our lodge in Phrao. Since it was incredibly hot in June (up to almost 40 degrees in the rainy season), this was enough.
6. CHIANG MAY TRAVEL TIP: OUT TO THE COUNTRY
Whether for a hike or just to relax: If you have enough time, you should definitely get out of the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai and into the country.
There are various lodges which are located a little outside in the middle of nature and are perfect for relaxing. We spent one night in the Lisu Lodge (on the photo below) and one night in the Khum Lanna Lodge. Both about 1.5h by car from Chiang Mai. Ideal also as starting point for hikes or bicycle tours.