Chiang Mai, Thailand – The largest city in northern Thailand has always been one of the cities we been yearning to visit. Known for its cool winter climate and warm hospitality, “Chiang” is city in northern Thai dialect while “Mai” is new, hence the name “New City” which also takes historical symbolism as the city was the former capital of the kingdom of Lan Na. A mere three hours flight from Singapore, here are some of the things to do if you only have a few days in Chiang Mai.
Visit the Sunday Market
If you happen to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday night which we highly encourage you to plan your trip around, the Sunday Market is located in the heart of the old walled city area starting at the Tha Phae Gate at one end. There is plenty of street food, snacks and local handicraft along the 1km stretch of Ratchadamnoen Road. Packed with locals and tourists, the Sunday Market starts from 4pm till midnight every Sunday.
Check out Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Other than the weekly Sunday Market, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar reminds us of the night markets in Bangkok which sells similar merchandise and imitation products. Located on the east side of the old walled city, it is approximately 1km long on Thanon Chang Khlan. Food wise, most of the restaurants along this Njght Bazaar look like tourist traps even though there are familiar fast food chain names and Hard Rock Cafe. The Night Bazaar is opened daily from evening till midnight.
Try the famous Khao Soi Noodle
If there is only one thing you must try in Chiang Mai, Khao Soi is definitely at the top of our recommendation. This Northern Thai dish is an amazing creation with a long history, taking inspiration from the local dish in Myanmar, prepared with Indian spices and Chinese egg noodles. Topped with crispy egg noodles, the curry paste of Khao Soi is prepared with a variety of local and Indian spices to lend it a unique flavour which we have not come across anywhere else.
See the best remains of the Old City wall at Tha Phae Gate
Designed as a square grid, you can catch traces of the old city walls of Chiang Mai old city. The best spot to witness the remains of it is Tha Phae Gate, one of the most intact spots of the old wall and probably the best for photo opportunities.
Join a day tour to the famous White Temple and Golden Triangle
If you have a full day to spare, it is fairly easy to drop by any local tour operator in the old city to join a full day tour to visit the famous White Temple and Golden Triangle region, also the border where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.
Stay in a nature resort away from the hustle and bustle of the city
If nature is your kind of zen like the pandas, staying away from the old city is highly recommended if you value tranquility more than a city stay experience. Veranda Chiang Mai The High Resort MGallery by Sofitel (read our full review here) is an affordable mid-range luxury accommodation to the South-West of the old city, less than 15km and 30-45 minutes away. To splurge, the award winning Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai (read our full review here) in the north of the old city is our top recommendation. Located in Mae Rim village, the luxurious resort provides lush views of rice and paddy fields, a cooking school as well as local farming experience along with on site local farmers.
Ranted by The Ranter