If you have never been to Chiang Mai, you cannot say that you have been to Thailand! As long as this sentence exists, Chiang Mai is one of the most charming cities in Thailand. You can enjoy the most natural environment which is preserved well compared to other cities. It is the second biggest city located in the north of Thailand. So you can feel little chilly in the morning and at night. Also you can see the 13rd century to 18th century of kingdom of Rana (which existed during that period) – with its prosperous culture and historical sites. Now, are you ready to see some of the best places that you can find when traveling Chiang Mai?
1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep / Doi Pui
What Phra That Doi Suthep is a symbol of Chiang Mai. ‘Phra’ means small crystals found in Buddha. It was built at an elevation of 1000 meters mountain of ‘Doi Suthep,’ meaning the holy mountain, in 1383. You can see the best view of the entire city of Chiang Mai when you are in this place. If you walk up 300 stairs or ride a cable car, you can see the temple and pagoda which are covered in gold. Although this place is not that big, you will fall in love with this temple once you see the gorgeous temple and pagoda painted with gold!
Doi Pui is small village that the tribe of mong have lived in there. It is located in the middle of Doi Suthep mountain. Before you go to the entrance of the village, you can see the craft which was made by the tribe of Mong themselves. Also, there is a small flower garden where you can see how they live and well preserved the nature.
2. Chiang Mai Zoo
It is the only zoo in the north that was built in 1974 and located near the University of Chiang Mai and the mountain of Doi Suthep. You can see various animals there, including a giant panda. Since the zoo is located on the mountain, it is not easy to walk there. So it is better for visitors to take a shuttle bus provided by the zoo. You can go on a picnic instead of only watching the animals there!
3. Bban Kang Wat
There are lots of small communities in Chiang Mai. It is a place where artists have lived together from 2014 until now. Not only a traveler in Chinang Mai, but also the Thai people are interested in this place. Nattawut Ruckprasit is a young artist in Thailand who takes lead in making a community for helping the artists to concentrate on their art more easily because in big cities like Bangkok, artists cannot sustain their life because of high price. Therefore, artists operate the store themselves and pieces of art that they sell are different from one another.
4. Nana Jungle
The small market is open every Saturday morning from 8 to 11 am at Nana Jungle. The Bakery of Nana is famous among them. There are many people who are waiting to buy bread in this bakery from early in the morning. In this market, you can also find how fresh juice is being made in a very eco-friendly way. In general, we usually use the electricity blender to make juice, but you can see the person making juice by riding a bicycle to generate electricity for operating the blender!
5. Wat Umong Suan PuthathamIt
Wat Umong is located against the mountains of Doi Suthep and University of Chiang Mai. It was built by two monks in the 13th century for the living and then the cave called Umong was made by King of Kuena. In the 15th century, the Pagoda was built and the Dhemma Garden was established in 1947. This place is located inside of the mountain and far away from the city. So, you can be in a very peaceful and quiet mood. In addition, the sanctuary in which a statue of the Budda is located is in the cave, which makes the place more unique and silent.
By Kim Min Jung, ASEAN Correspondent from Thailand