In northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is the region’s largest cultural and urban center, with numerous temples, national parks, and other attractions which enthrall an average of five million visitors every year. Historically, the city rose to significance because of its strategic trading position on the Ping River, and the city remains well-known for its silver jewelry and other handcrafted goods. The following five Chiang Mai attractions exemplify the best of what the city has to offer:
1. The Night Bazaar
Located in the city’s urban center, the night bazaar offers both visitors the chance to leisurely stroll along the Chan Klan road, where street stalls and shops are open during the night. The market’s close proximity to many local manufacturers, allows vendors to sell at an extremely low price. Additionally, the bazaar is known for its street food and portrait artists.
2. Elephant Nature Park
Founded in 1996, the Elephant Nature Park serves as a sanctuary for distressed elephants from across Thailand. The over 2,000 acre park, where visitors can help feed and bathe the majestic animals, is open to the public throughout the year.
3. Doi Inthanon
At 8,415 feet, Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s highest mountain. In 1954, the forests around the mountain were named among the country’s 14 national parks. Among the trails, forests, and waterfalls, over 350 bird species call the area home, making it a must-see attraction for bird enthusiasts and hikers alike.
4. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
A Buddhist temple located on a mountain 15km from Chiang Mai, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a popular destination for Thai nationals as well as visitors. The site offers the opportunity to view Buddhist art, as well as a view of the nearby city. The temple signifies the cultural traditions that you can experience on your Chiang Mai holidays.
5. Wat Chiang Man
Built in the late 13th century CE, Wat Chiang Man is a Buddhist temple located within the walls of the old city. The temple offers visitors the chance to view a variety of artwork, ranging from the 13th century to today.