In 2011, I traveled to Asia for the first time with my now husband and his family and we got to explore several beautiful areas of Thailand.
Our trip to Thailand lasted for 3 weeks and, within that time, we visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Chang. In this 3-part blog series, I’m breaking down each place we stayed and our favorite things we did in each place. Yesterday, I described our wonderful stay in Bangkok, and, today, I’m going to walk you through what we got up to in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand and it is buzzing with people and great nightlife. We stayed in the adorable Small hotel, which was very modern, colorful, and centrally located.
It also had an incredible breakfast buffet on the rooftop of the hotel, with a stunning view of Chiang Mai.
Here are a few of my favorite things we got up to while in Chiang Mai:
Go See A Thai Cultural Show
On our first night in Chiang Mai, our whole group went to a Khantoke Dinner and a Cultural Show at the Old Chiangmai Cultural Center. We sat down on pillows at a private table while delicious Thai food was served to us family-style.
While we ate, there were several on-stage performances. There were traditional Thai dancers, and one guy even danced with dozens of swords. After dinner, there were more performances outside, including fire dancers and more traditional Thai dancing. The staff were incredibly friendly and it was just a beautiful night overall!
Explore The Night Markets
The night markets in Chiang Mai are widely known for being amazing! The markets are open on Saturday and Sunday evening and run up until midnight. Hundreds upon hundreds of vendors line the streets selling cheap clothing, accessories, home goods, souvenirs, street food, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I loved picking up random snacks at the market and taste testing them. It’s also a great place to simply walk around and people watch.
Visit The San Kamphaeng Hot Springs
The San Kamphaeng Hot Springs are a bit off the beaten path, but definitely worth the trip. You can dip your feet in the natural hot springs or watch the beautiful, bursting geysers. It was a very serene experience and a great way to relax after days of busy traveling.
Visit The Wat Phra That (Holy Temple) On Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep)
This was definitely one of the most magical places I got to visit in Thailand. The Wat Phra That is located near the top of a mountain, which causes the whole temple to be surrounded by a mystical fog. The golden temple was breathtaking and surrounded by ceremonial bells and gongs. Walking around the temple, you can’t help but feel humbled by this gorgeous place.
Stroll Through Phuping Palace
Not far from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is Phuping Palace. Created as a seasonal spot for the royal family, this palace is filled with colorful gardens. It’s a great place to spend a few hours walking around and taking in the sights!
Though we were only in Chiang Mai for a couple of days, it is a place I will never forget!