Thailand is one of my favorite travel destinations. The country has it all; Beautiful beaches, diverse rainforest and buzzing big city life. In the upcoming time, I will share some of my favorite destinations in Thailand, this time Chiang Mai. Find previous stories here.

Chiang Mai: The cozy city in the north

Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Today the city is the biggest in Northern Thailand and has endless opportunities when it comes to experiencing all the good stuff Thailand has to offer such as amazing food, elephants, temples and jungle treks.

Treks from Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai after a wonderful trek in the Umphang jungle – I’ll get back to that in another post!

Chiang Mai is fun! From the city, you can go on treks into the jungle. The longer the trek, the deeper into the jungle you get. If you google, you can find anything from day trips to 7-day treks. I would definitely recommend spending a night in the jungle in Thailand. The sound of the many animals in the otherwise dark and silent jungle is pretty awesome, as well as starring up at a thousand stars away from the lights of the city. The sky is completely different and much clearer when you look at it far away from the lights of the cities.

driving scooters in Chiang Mai
Mr Bosman and I getting ready for scooting around Chiang Mai

How we got around in Chiang Mai

We rented a scooter, as we arrived. Which we found to be the easiest way to get around, as we lived at an airbnb a bit outside the city. It felt pretty dangerous though since traffic in Thailand and traffic back home in Denmark are two very different things. At times I felt really scared, but other times it was really just fun! Anyway, we managed to survive and it was a fun thing to try (proably wouldn’t do it again though!)

Another way to get around is by catching a ride with a Songthaew, which is a pick-up truck kind of vehicle, made into a shared taxi/bus. Our Airbnb host recommended us not to do this, as he said a lot of tourist were very confused with these and ended up getting lost around the city.

The night market in Chiang Mai

The first day we were in Chiang Mai, there was a market which went through almost the entire city center. The market was full of amazing food and artists selling their things. It was easily one of the best markets I have ever been to since there was almost no tourist-crap, but plenty of interesting things. We walked through the market for HOURS and found some of the most amazing stuff. For example we bought some drawings from an artist at this market, which is now hanging on the walls of our apartment. On markets in Thailand you should never accept the first price they give you, as they know that they can easily charge tourist extra, so try to bargain a bit and dare to walk away, if the price is not reasonable.

Night market in Chiang Mai
Night market in Chiang Mai

Coffee in Chiang Mai

We visited one of the coolest cafés I have ever been to, café Ristr8to, while we were in Chiang Mai. Our Airbnb host recommended this place to us and it was perfect, even more so for a coffee-nerd like myself. They have multiple coffee beans and the baristas are amazingly talented. Every cup is a tiny piece of art. How do they even make latte art in an espresso cup? It is so tiny, I am amazed!

Visiting the Royal Winter Residence

Later we visited the royal winter residence, which was a bit up in the mountains that surround Chiang Mai. The residence had the most wonderful garden with thousands of beautiful flowers. It was so nice to walk around in the garden and enjoy the different smells and colors from the flowers. When visiting the royal winter residence you should remember the dress code: No bare-shoulders and long pants/skirts. Just like when you visit the many temples in the country.

Isn’t he the cutest gartener ever?

Eating in Chiang Mai

I don’t want to recommend any specific restaurant. One thing I learned from traveling Thailand is that the street vendors usually have the best food at the cheapest price, in any case, you’ll get to try some authentic Thai-food. Go where the locals go and I promise you’ll find the best Thai-food. If you haven’t been to Thailand, I would say the food alone is more than enough reason to visit. It is so good!

Volunteering at Elephant Nature park

I have not volunteered in an elephant park myself, but I would love to since elephants are my favorite animal. Also this is a great way to experience the wonderful giants, without them getting hurt or harmed in any way. It is a much better alternative to riding elephants for instance which requires the trainers to be very brutal to the elephants to be able to tame them.

My friend Taylor who blogs at The things my eyes have seen has though and has written a great post about her experience with elephant volunteering. Go check it out!

 

Have you ever been to Chiang Mai?

Share your thought on the city in the comments below.

 

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Chiang Mai

 

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60 Comments

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Not only is the streetfood worth to die for, but the atmosphere of Chiang Mai is simply too hard to explain with words. You have to experience it with your own eyes. They say that Denmark is all about “hygge”, but to me Chiang Mai is equally as “hyggeligt” 😉

      Mrs Bosman
    1. Hahaha, I really enjoyed the Chiang Mai too. I am so glad we had the opportunity to stay in Thailand for a full month so we had plenty of time to explore Chiang Mai 🙂

      Mrs Bosman
  1. I think I need to add Chiang Mai to my list of ‘must visit’ places, even if it is just to visit that coffee shop! That latte art is incredible! Something I’d not naturally associate with Thailand, but I just love it when a place surprises you like that!

    Carly
    1. I was actually surprised too! When I think about Thailand coffee is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind (rather more fruity drinks), but this café is absolutely wonderful and the coffee was amazing! I would say it’s worth it to go to Chiang Mai just for that, haha 😉

      Mrs Bosman
  2. I love Thailand too, it’s hot and chaotic, but thrills with energy. There were plenty of interesting, touring possibilities to fit just about every interest. Unfortunately I skipped Chiang Mai, I left that for another time.

    Unta
  3. Glad to see you were wearing helmets! Good to know that there are some decent jungle walks, nice to get out of the city for a stretch of the legs, especially after all that yummy street food 🙂

    Annie Soul
  4. I have visited Chiang Mai but spent only three days in the city. I wish I had spent more time there. Like you mentioned, the city is fun! I enjoyed wandering around during the day (or doing a day trip) and then coming back to the city to a great city and the night market. Want to go back!

    Ruth
  5. I’ll be keeping this handy; I went through a phase a couple of weeks ago of dreaming that I was in Chiang Mai, so it’s obviously meant to be! Looks a wonderful place, and I’d love to look around that market!

    Nicky
  6. I’ve been to Bangkok only and have been wanting to go back to explore other parts of Thailand and was told that there are more to see in Chiang Mai. I can’t wait to plan this comeback trip and I will definitely check out the Umphang jungle and the Royal Winter Palance. Thanks for sharing!

    Tria Narte
  7. You were brave enough to rent a scooter! I know what you mean, the traffic there is so different to that of Europe! The Royal Winter Residence looked like a little escape from the hustle and bustle, thank you for adding that in!

    Luis
  8. I agree, street food is usually best, cheaper and also more filling 🙂 I love how you trekked and then came to a bustling city. I’m yet to make it to Thailand, hopefully soon!

    Shivani Sharma
  9. Chiang Mai seems to be such a great place in Thailand, it’s a pity we couldn’t go there during our last visit. I’ll definitely remember your tips when going there, I absolutely need to try this coffee! Thanks for sharing!

    Karo
  10. Pingback: CHEAP Meditation Retreat in Thailand | The Things My Eyes Have Seen

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