Chiang Mai: Why this city should not be missed on your next visit to Thailand
With its rich culture, spectacular scenery, and friendly locals, it's no wonder that Chiang Mai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. Situated in the northern part of the country, Chiang Mai is blessed with a cooler climate than the rest of Thailand, which makes it a great place to escape the heat during the summer months.
Whether you're looking to relax in nature, explore historic temples, or sample delicious local cuisine, Chiang Mai has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should add this city to your travel itinerary when enjoying a Thailand holiday.
History and Culture
Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai, and it served as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until 1558. The city has a long and rich history, and there are many temples and historical sites to explore. The Old City is especially worth a visit, as it's full of beautiful temples and traditional architecture. If you're interested in learning more about the history and culture of Chiang Mai, there are several excellent museums in the city, including the National Museum of Lychee Science and Technology and the Tribal Textiles Museum.
The Temples of Chiang Mai
No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without a visit to at least one of the city's many temples. The most popular temple is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which is located on a mountaintop overlooking the city. This temple is especially beautiful at sunset, when the golden pagodas are illuminated by the setting sun. Other notable temples include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Umong, and Wat Phra Singh.
The Local Cuisine
Chiang Mai is known for its delicious local cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes include khao soi (a coconut curry noodle soup), gaeng hung lay (a pork and tamarind curry), and larb ped (a minced duck salad). For something sweet, be sure to try kanom TOK—a dish made of steamed coconut custard served inside a young coconut. And of course, no meal in Chiang Mai would be complete without a cup of Thai iced tea.
The Allure of Nature
If you love being surrounded by nature, then you'll feel right at home in Chiang Mai. The city is teeming with greenery, from the lush green mountains that surround it to the quaint gardens and tree-lined streets within its walls. When you need a break from all the sightseeing, take a stroll through one of Chiang Mai's many parks or spend an afternoon exploring one of the many hiking trails in the area. There are also several elephant sanctuaries located just outside the city where you can learn about these majestic creatures.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
There are plenty of great places to stay in Chiang Mai, from luxury hotels and cosy guesthouses, to backpacker hostels. There are plenty of options in the Old City, as well as in other parts of Chiang Mai. For those looking for a bit more luxury, there are several 5-star resorts located just outside the city center.
As you can see, there are many reasons why Chiang Mai should not be missed on your next visit to Thailand. The city has a lot to offer in terms of history, culture, food, drink, and accommodation. So, what are you waiting for? Browse our Thailand holiday packages now and start planning your trip to Chiang Mai.