Chiang Mai is an ancient city in Thailand which offers an amazingly unique experience of the rich Thai traditions and culture. The tourist population visiting Chiang Mai each year has gained popularity and is one the rise year on year. Many people participate in the local customs and festivals to enjoy an overwhelming experience. With several activities to participate in, delicious cuisine, the concentration of culture, and a beautiful natural landscape and scenery, you can’t ask for a better tourist destination in Southeast Asia. One of the perfect places to break away from the shackles of the bustling Bangkok city. We have handpicked some of the activities which you should indulge in during your tour to Chiang Mai to make your trip special and unique.
What to Do in Chiang Mai?
1. Explore and discover new unknowns
A visit to the Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai is a must-visit, no matter which place you are coming from. It offers a wonderful environment for people looking for an off the beaten path holiday. Placed at a 40-minute drive from the main town, you can enjoy and soak up the beautiful ambiance as you watch the adventure junkies indulge in a 50-foot jump. If you wish to have an adrenaline rush, then there is probably no better activity to indulge in this region. The entrance fee is 50 Baht per person which includes a complimentary herbal drink at the onsite café. You can also grab a quick bite from the small selection of food items displayed.
2. Learning cooking Thai dishes
Thai dishes are popular all over the world and people from different backgrounds have always savored Thai dishes. One needs to find the right balance between spices, salt, and sweet to prepare these delicious delicacies. Imagine you can prepare all these yummy dishes at your own convenience at your home when you return back. There is nothing like it. In addition, indulging in cooking classes gives you a better understanding of the culture as well. Select a school which will give you hands-on experience in selecting your ingredients from the local market to prepare these mouth-watering dishes. Some of the recommended schools include Thai Farm Cooking School, Secret Thai Cooking School, Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School, and Sammy’s Organic Thai Cooking School.
3. Chat with a Monk
Monks are a frequent feature in the crowd. These iconic saffron robes are available almost in many parts of Thailand. Here you are given an opportunity to go one step further and get personal with a monk. Explore and discover the daily life of these monks and understand their mindsets and about their beliefs. You should dress up conservatively as you are entering a sacred area and make sure your clothing covers your shoulders and you are gift wrapped above your knees. There are about 5 temples in this city which promote Monk Chat programs. Some of the popular temples where these programs are held are Wat Suan Dok Temple, Wat Sisuphan Temple, and Wat Chedi Luang Temple.
4. Exquisite Thai massages by prison inmates
The feeling is quite different when you get massaged in an 8×8 concrete cell with bars. These masseurs are serving short terms sentences for minor crimes. The Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institution gives this rare opportunity to give the inmates necessary marketing skills and work on self-improvement. You would probably be contributing to a social cause here. Here the inmates can save the wages and tips till their release date. The massage is provided in dim-light environment with carries a strong fragrance of eucalyptus and menthol. The rates are nominal i.e. 150 baht for an hour long foot massage, 180 baht for an hour long Thai massage, and 360 baht for a 2-hour long Thai massage.
5. Release a Lantern
Come the month of November, Thailand hosts the Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Festivals. The dates are decided with the help of the lunar calendar. So, do your research well before you wish to indulge in the same. Also, the accommodation is probably needed to be booked well in advance. It is amazing to participate and watch the crowd releasing a lantern either in air or water depending on the festival you are participating in. Something which you should not miss out during your trip to Chiang Mai.
6. Play with the grand elephants
There are several elephant tours found in Thailand and Chiang Mai, but the biggest challenge for you would be to find a one which does not include riding on them. People often object to this rides as elephant spines are anatomically equipped to carry people all day. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is one such which arranges a tour without affecting these grand elephants mentally and emotionally. A 2-hour ride here is one of a lifetime experience and definitely worth a visit. You can choose your elephant and feed them, bathe them and chill out with them during the course of your journey. Understand the lifestyle of these magnificent creatures.
7. Supporting a sustainable farm with delicious cuisines
The Pun Pun Farm is placed in the tropical jungles and mountains in the northern countryside of Thailand. This farm is quite popular for the sustainable methods practiced here. The Pun Pun Restaurant serves organic vegetarian food which is sourced right from the farms. The rates are reasonable enough and your taste buds get to savor healthy and support sustainability movements. This restaurant is open only untill 4 pm every day. So, you can visit this place post which you can indulge in a Monk Chat at the Wat Suan Dok temple.
8.Savoring Khao Soi
One of the undiscovered secret Thai dishes which has not made it on the menu of many Thai restaurants all over the world. This dish has high Burmese influences and is found commonly in Chiang Mai and other northern parts of Thailand. A perfect combination of chicken/egg noodle soup and yellow curry along with local ingredients like lime, chilies, and chicken shallots are just waiting to make your first bite truly special. They are garnished and served with pickled vegetables to provide the local texture and flavor. We would recommend you to try this dish on the streets near the Ming Muang Market. You get serving in the range of 30-40 baht.
Some of the unique experiences which are not listed above is a visit to the exquisite temples of Chiang Mai, zipping through an adventure through the jungle, indulging in a shopping spree at the night markets, and much more. The spiritual capital of Thailand opens its door to many unique experiences and activities which are hard to find in other places in Thailand. Get in touch with our travel experts and get the best Chiang Mai packages which cater to your needs and requirements.