I really loved Chiang Mai, maybe more than I liked Bangkok as, for me at least, there was much more that I wanted to see and do. So for those of you thinking about taking a trip to Thailand, you should definitely hit up Chiang Mai and takle some of these things on my to-do list:
1. Get there for the Loi Krathong festival – its a celebration where thousands of massive paper lanterns are released into the sky and everyone makes their own floating candles to put on the river. Absolutely gorgeous.
2. Go to the Tiger Kingdom and play with the tigers…you can choose from lots of different ages – I think the small ones are the best (5-7 months) as they’re still small enough to not be scary, and cute enough that you want to cuddle and play with them.
3. Go to Doi Suthep, the stunning temple on the top of a mountain…such a spiritual and happy place. And the views aren’t bad either.
4. Walk the night Bazaar and hop in and out to the many markets and food stalls available.
5. Go to the Walking Street markets on a Saturday and/or Sunday. The streets are closed to cars so you are free to roam the market stalls lining both sides of the entire road.
6. Ride in one of the red sawngthaeng taxis…these are hop on, hop off services that will take you (and whoever else happens to be in the taxi at the same time – it’s kind of like a public minibus) to pretty much anywhere you want to go, and for cheaper than the standard tuk tuk.
7. Go to Arom D coffee shop on Changklan Road for the best coffee and steamed milk you’ll ever have in your life! They also do toast and biscuits if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
8. Eat Pad Thai from one of the little restaurants/stalls on Changklan Road (this is where our hostel was so we spent quite a bit of time here!)
9. Walk from one side of the old city to the other, and then back again…just look around you and soak it all up.
10. Go to a market food stall and try one of everything…you may not like it all, but at least you can say you tried it!