If you want distinctive Thai culture, arts, and traditions amid lush countryside and stunning mountain scenery, head to Chiang Mai, the undisputed capital of Northern Thailand. We love that Chiang Mai is infused with a modern, cosmopolitan vibe, yet is still more tranquil and sedate than Bangkok. Our favourite part of a holiday in Chiang Mai is viewing the city from a river cruise on the meandering ribbon strip of Mae Ping River, visiting the hill tribes, and trekking in the surrounding Himalayan Mountains. Chiang Mai is a
Chiang Mai features about 300 Buddhist temples, some of which are older than the 700-year-old city itself. These temples display a mix of architectural styles reflecting the heritages of Northern Thailand, the kingdom of Lanna, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka, including intricate wood carvings, gilded umbrellas, Naga staircases, lion and angel stone guardians, and pagodas laced with gold filigree. These beautiful and revered temples give Chiang Mai a timeless elegance and serenity.
Chiang Mai's elephant parks and camps offer a magical, life affirming experience. Visit the Elephant Nature Park to see rescued elephants. Patara Elephant Farm lets you interact with these grand creatures, including feeding, bathing, and riding bare-back to visit nearby forests, waterfalls, or temples. And the Maesa Elephant Camp is home to the eight artist elephants that created the Guinness World Record for largest painting by a group of elephants.
Chiang Mai is famous for its night bazaar, which sprawls chaotically across several city blocks, inside temple grounds and buildings, and across open squares. The night bazaar is situated in the heart of Chiang Mai on the Chan Klan road and offers authentic Thai cuisine food stalls, portrait paintings, handicrafts, local wares, toys, clothing, jewellery, and much more.