I must confess, Chiang Mai, the “northern capital” is one of my favorite cities in Thailad. This is a human-sized city with a lot to see and a lot to do. On our website, we already told you the best of Chiang Mai but here I will present you six experiments to discover Chiang Mai in a different way.
Ban Pa Pong Piang rice fields
I begin with the most amazing place: Ban Pa Pong Piang and its beautiful landscapes of rice fields terraces. The place is known as the one with the most beautiful scenery of its kind in Thailand. It is a little far from Chiang Mai and you may need to rent or hire a 4×4 car or a good motobike to get there, the last kilometers are more a rutted path than a road. There is a guesthouse up there and I advise you to book a room because it is at sunset and sunrise that the place is the most beautiful!
-> Pabong Piang Homestay fofers ten rooms from 500 THB night, you can contact, in English: +66 81 020 1691 (mobile).
Eat with locals in Chiang Mai
Eating with locals at their home is always a more interesting and friendly moment than eating in a restaurant or even at a night market. And eating with locals in Chiang Mai is possible through the website Withlocals where you will find meals or cooking classes + meals formulas. Prices are reasonable for many offers and it is a very interesting experience (if you speak English).
-> Find here offers for eating with locals in Chiang Mai
Get a massage at Chiang Mai women’s prison
In Chiang Mai, there are many quality massages parlors and among them there is one that is a bit unconventional where masseuses are inmates of the women’s city prison. But do not worry, you will be saf e! The masseuses are very professional and talented. They learned massage to be able to reintegrate society. Besides, you will find masseuses coming from here in other Chiang Mai massage parlors.
Chat with Buddhist monks
In Chiang Mai, several temples offer “monk chat”, ie times when you can come and sit at a table and talk with a monk from the temple and ask him any questions you want. If the goal is to discover Buddhism, you can also talk about other issues. The monks particularly enjoy talking with strangers, it allows them to practice English and learn a lot about other countries.
-> the most famous temples offering monk chat in Chiang Mai are Wat Chedi Luang (daily from 9am to 6pm) in the center of Chiang Mai and Wat Suan Dok (Monday to Friday from 5pm to 7pm), a little outside city center.
Shopping, dining and getting a massage at Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Street
This pedestrian street installs every Sunday late afternoon and is one of the things I love most in Chiang Mai ! This great night market sets up its stalls on Rachadamnoen Road from Tha Phae Gate and extends for 1 km. This is the ideal place for shopping and buying souvenirs. But what I particularly like are the street restaurants that settle in two temples of the street. A typical Thai atmosphere !
-> Find more information here about Sunday Walking Street.
Taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has probably the city in Thailand where cooking schools are among the best. There are over a dozen of quality cooking schools. For me, the two more interesting are the Thai Farm Cooking School and the Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School but there are others. There are several formulas but usually you at least learn to prepare 3 dishes.
And in Chiang Mai, you can also take massage courses, have Thai yoga and meditation retreats… It is quite impossible to get bored in Chaing Mai !
This was just a selection but of course, there are a lot of other interesting things to do in Chiang Mai !
Remember that if you plan to get there for Loy Krathong (in November) or for the Flower Festival (in February) or even Songkran (in April), it is strongly recommended to book your hotel or guesthouse room in Chiang Mai in advance.