Activities around Chiang Mai (Part 1)

Activities around Chiang Mai (Part 1)
International House Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand, is a fantastic escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. It’s also a great place to study English! If you’re planning a study holiday or just a normal holiday up to Thailand’s “northern capital”, be sure to add these places onto your to-do list!

Temples
Chiang Mai is home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful temples. Wat Chedi Luang is located right in the centre of the city’s old town and is very accessible to pedestrians. This temple dates back to the 14th century and contains several statues of the Buddha and many ancient inscriptions giving insight into the history of Chiang Mai.

Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is perhaps the most famous temple in the Chiang Mai area. Located outside of the city atop Doi Suthep mountain, you can visit this temple and explore the national park it’s a part of all in the same day. Doi Suthep is 1,676 metres tall and, as such, takes several hours to climb. If the length of the journey and the sweltering heat turn you off from making the trek on foot, feel free to hitch a ride with a Snogthaew from the base of the mountain or from the city. The trip costs 50 Baht and you can stop to visit other, smaller temples on the way up.

The last temple we’ll highlight here is Wat Phra Singh. This temple is known for its peaceful and quiet atmosphere, the ornate golden filigree work on the temple structures, and the large, golden lion statues which guard the entrance. Wat Phra Singh is located in the old city near Wat Chedi Luang, so plan to visit both in the same day!

Visit Nature
Chiang Mai is loved by travelers for its quality of natural beauty. While still a city with all the urban trappings, compared to faraway Bangkok, Chiang Mai is an oasis of greenery and fresh air. So what are the best places to go to see the nature around Chiang Mai? 

First we’d recommend exploring Doi Inthanon. This is Thailand’s highest mountain, stretching up to an impressive height of 1,850 metres. At the peak of this powerful mountain are Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri, two “chedis” or “stupas” built to honour the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the Queen Sirikit on their sixtieth birthdays. The view from atop Doi Inthanon is breathtaking, the weather is a refreshing break from the unrelenting heat of Thailand, and the cultural icons provide an interesting backdrop to the rest you will no doubt take after surmounting the peak. If you’re coming to Chiang Mai, don’t miss out on this!

Also be sure to visit the Bua Thong Waterfalls when you visit Chiang Mai. These breathtaking falls are about an hour and a half drive north of Chiang Mai, but they are worth the trip. Also known as the “sticky waterfalls”, a special mineral in the area allows for a person to traverse their surface without slipping and falling. You can have a lot of fun playing in and around these falls, and you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself! Be sure to pack a snack or a meal for a picnic. After the trip north and a few hours clambering through the falls, you’ll want to relax and enjoy the serene nature while replenishing yourself for the trip back to Chiang Mai.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of things to see and do in Chiang Mai province! Check out next week’s blog for another quick list of some fun activities and fabulous sights in this Southeast Asian paradise!

-Aaron