Voluntouring comes with a great deal of fun, after all, what’s better than earning some good karma while you travel ? Chiang Mai is the location where the soul of Thailand lies, It is away from the madding crowds and perfect to explore the countryside of Bangkok. The city offers a range of activities to its visitors ranging from tree-top adventure to meditation classes taken by monks at Buddhist temples. Visit the most culturally significant city of Thailand and return with unforgettable experiences that’ll last for a lifetime.
It can get a little confusing for everybody with the myriad information available and no one concrete list that encompasses everything. You needn’t worry since we have brought a crisp and handy list of the 8 Must Do Things in Chiang Mai.
Located 500 miles north of Bangkok on the banks of Ping river is a land of misty mountains and vibrant hill tribes. Explore mother nature amidst mountains, wildlife sanctuaries and elephant camps. Visit Doi Suthep, one of the highest mountains in Chiang Mai or go for a night safari in Hang Dong – the city will enchant you with its picturesque locations and tranquil air. Take up one day Mahout training or bamboo rafting or a simple trek up the mountains, be prepared to embrace mother nature in Chiang Mai. One can also take up volunteering in Chiang Mai and have a fulfilling vacation in Thailand.
Visit the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand or explore the aesthetic antiquities of The Bo Sang Handicraft Village. There are over 300 temples in Chiang Mai which makes it a popular cultural spot amongst visitors. You could also take up traditional thai cooking at any of the cookery classes and learn how to cook delicious thai delicacies.
Thailand is a foodie’s paradise and Chiang is a strong testimony to that fact. There are plenty of cuisines on offer at different restaurants in the city. You must sneak a taste of the well known Khao Suey (Egg Noodles Curry) or Sai Oua (Grilled Herb Sausage). Other popular dishes are Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeow (Rice Vermicelli with Soybean Curry), Tam Khanun (Young Jackfruit Salad) and Gaeng Hang Lay (Burmese-style Sweet Curry)
There are a lot of top class eateries in Chiang Mai out of which Khan Toke Dinner at Old Chiangmai, Cultural Center , The Good View, Huen Suntari and Huen Phen are some of the popular ones. International, japanese, chinese and ethnic lanna style are the various cuisines on offer in these restaurants. One can never fall short of food options in Thailand.
From Morning Bazaars to Night and weekend bazaars, Chiang Mai is the destination where the sinful addiction of shopping gets out of control. So, hone your bargaining skills, put on your shopping shoes and get set to conquer the world with oh-so-fashionable picks from these bazaars. From designer t-shirts, to paintings, silk clothes and traditional Thai Souvenirs, the bazaars have cater to all sorts of buyers. Markets that must be checked are Riverside Boutique Shops, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Nimmanhemin Promenade
Sankampaeng Craft Street, Baan Tawai Wood Crafts and JJ Market Chiang Mai
Nimmanhaemin Road is one of Chiang Mai’s most happening areas as it has a galore of fashion stores, bars, discotheques and dining choices. The live music at some of the bars coupled with friendly localities make this place a must visit for the party lovers.
Chiang Mai celebrates Thai festivals in their pure traditional form which is a welcome change from how it is done in the bigger cities. There are three main festivals that are celebrated in the city.
a)Songkran: The traditional Thai and Buddhist SE Asian New Year with an astrological (the sun moving from Aries to Taurus) Brahmin background in addition to a plethora of lunar backgrounds which are again based on traditions related to the rice farming seasons.
b) Loy Krathong: Far less flashy , far less touristy and much more picturesque and quieter and less spoiled than Songkran, this is the festival that every visitor to Thailand should witness in order to understand the true culture of the nation .
The festival takes place on the full mean of the 12th and last month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar. While Songkran is more frequently associated with “Thai New Year”, Loy Krathong is the actual, ancient Siamese lunar New Year celebration.
c) Chiang Mai Flower Festival: Chiang Mai, which is also known as the Rose of the Northern Thailand holds its annual flower festival in the first week of February. Flowers are laid beautifully on most public spaces and later in the day a flower parade is carried out. The thai flowers which are majorly used are chrysanthemums, damask Rose and dendrobium orchids.
It is highly recommended for visitors to learn some quick thai phrases for ease in communication and practice some good bargaining.
a) Krab / Ka = Words added at the end of a sentence/phrase to add politeness. Krab if you are a male. Ka if you are a female
b) I (male / female) don’t speak Thai
c)Lod dai maak sood tao rai? = What’s your best price?
d)Hong nam yuu nai? = Where are the restrooms?
e) Check bin / Kheb tang = Can I have the bill please?
A Culture, Gender And Social Enthusiast, Aparna loves being in and exploring diverse and multicultural setups. She finds solace in humor and reading up all kinds of things, including shampoo bottle directions.
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