Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. Located in the north of the country, it is famous for its historical temples, picturesque mountains, cool weather and scenic views. The vibrant city is filled with interesting sites as well as a lots of great restaurants, cafes and bars while in the outskirts of the city you will find stunning landscapes and traditional villages. Below are the top 10 reasons to visit Chiang Mai!
- Cool and Pleasant Weather
Surrounded by mountains and with less urban development, Chiang Mai’s climate is much more pleasant than that of Bangkok. From October through the end of February, Chiang Mai’s temperatures average 25 degrees Celsius with evening temperatures falling to around 10 degrees. In the summer months, the temperatures reach the upper 30s but night times remain cooler than in Bangkok. For even cooler temperatures, get away from the city and explore the surrounding rural areas with Vespa Adventures’ Chiang Mai Countryside Adventure.
- Yi Peng Lantern Festival November
If your schedule is flexible, try to visit Chiang Mai during November’s full moon. At this time, thousands of local and international tourists come to the city to celebrate two Thai lantern festivals: Yi Ping and Loy Kratong. The festivals both feature illuminated lanterns that are launched into the sky for Yi Peng and onto water and land for Loy Kratong. Visiting Chiang Mai during these festivals will certainly be a highlight 0f your Thailand holiday.
- Rich History and Culture (300+ Temples and Museum)
If you are a historian or love visiting historical places, Chiang Mai is your city. It is over 7 centuries old and has temples that date back to the 13th Century. Most popular among them is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. A day spent exploring local neighborhoods, learning about culture, sampling traditional Thai food and visiting hidden temples is a great way to understand Chiang Mai’s rich history. Vespa Adventures’ Insider Chiang Mai half day tour is a great way to see all of this and more!
- Interact with Elephants
In the beautiful mountains surrounding Chiang Mai, there are many wonderful elephant sanctuaries where you can get up close with these gentle giants. The elephants have been rescued from bad living conditions or abuse and given a safe, healthy environment to recover and rehabilitate. During a visit to a Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary, you can feed the animals and learn more about their habits and life from their caretakers.
- Trekking to hilltribe villages
One of the most popular adventures in Chiang Mai is hill tribe treks. Spending a day or several days hiking through the highlands of north Thailand, you can meet with and learn about the rich traditional cultures of various ethnic groups. Some of the most popular areas for trekking in Thailand are Mae Hong Son and Doi Inthanon where Karen, Akha and Hmong villages can be found.
- Scrumptious Traditional Food
Chiang Mai has an amazing food scene with everything from traditional Thai food to more exotic regional dishes. Some of the highlights are khao soi curry noodles, som tom green papaya salad and grilled meat. If you love to try new things, then we highly recommend Vespa Adventures’ Chiang Mai After Dark tour which takes you to several food venues and bars around town where you can taste a variety of dishes!
- Hot Spring Baths and Natural Water Falls
San Kamphaeng Hot Springs located around 1-hour ride from Chiang Mai is the best place to relax. It is an open-air spa with hot springs, pools lodging in a lush setting with gardens and picnic areas. You can rent a motorbike from town and approach San Kamphaeng easily after an hour’s ride.
- Prisoner Massage
There is a unique chance to get a massage from women prisoners in Chiang Mai. Yes, from prisoners, it sounds very different; but actually it is part of Women Prison’s various programs that provide the women with an opportunity to find their way of living after their captivity.
- Cheap Shopping and Night Life
Chiang Mai offers cheap shopping and nightlife as compared to Bangkok. It has night markets where you can roam around and buy local products at cheap rates. You can visit Gate Market for cheap traditional food.
- Vespa Scooter Tour
If you want a truly local, truly unique experience in Chiang Mai look no further than Vespa Adventures. You’ll explore the city and places that are off-the-beaten-track on the back of a cool Vespa scooter. The guides are superb and will share lots of information about daily life and culture in Chiang Mai. And they include amazing food! If you do one thing in Chiang Mai, it should be a Vespa Adventures tour!