While traveling to Chiang Mai, we stayed in the ancient city at the Chada House guest house. It is very cheap, clean, and the service as well as location is great.
Things to do in Chiang Mai
Eat Khao-soi, Thailand’s Traditional Dish!
This is actually so light and delicious, that you could eat it every day without ever getting tired of it.
The dish is served as a type of a soup with cooked egg noodles and fried rice noodles, lime, shallots, pickles, chilli flakes, and with your choice of beef or chicken with curry and coconut milk.
Since it is a street food, it is extremely cheap. You can find it for 30-50 Bhut which is as low as a single dollar.
We tried it in a lot of places. The best one we found was the recommendation of Mark Wiens (famous vlogger).
It is a Khao-soi restaurant that is open only until 2pm. They open at 10am from Monday-Saturday. Address: Sri Poom 8 Alley, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Hiking in the Mountains
There are plenty of hiking trails in the mountains of Chiang Mai.
There are longer ones that take a couple of days and others that take a few hours. The best way to do it is to go with a few friends since it’s easy to get lost out there.
Also, there are a few areas that you can’t get into and and you’ll need special permit.
Some companies offer to take the hike with a combination of several attractions, such as riding elephants! I don’t support that because I consider it animal abuse, so I prefer to walk only.
You can find a hiking agency and go with them, there are so many in Chiang Mai so you’ll find it really easily.
I picked a trail that is less touristy.
You walk through the jungle, bath in a waterfall, visit a tribe, and see bat caves! The walk is about 4-4.5 hours.
There is an hour and a half drive each way to get to the trail. You get lunch so you don’t have to pack any.
I had the best time and I got to know some really nice people!
We were about 10 people and I paid 1,300 Baht which includes the drive, the guide, and lunch.
If you order a day in advance the group is not going to be as full and there is a chance to get a cheaper price. The price is usually between 1,200-1,500 Baht through different companies.
The trail was a bit hard at times, but it was easy to intermediate.
The only thing that bothered me is that the lunch break was a bit too long, but others seemed to have enjoyed the break.
I got picked up at 8:30am and was dropped off at 5:30pm from the comfort of my guest house.
Mountain Biking in the Mountains
While I went hiking, Roman went to do some mountain biking! I love riding bikes, but on a nice asphalt road and not in the mountains! Roman loves those kinds of challenges and he really wanted to try the biking!
There is an option to rent your own bikes, but it’s dangerous to do it on your own, and especially for beginners. Unless you are an experienced mountain biker, don’t go by yourself.
There are companies that offer a few trails in different levels of difficulty. Roman took a while to decide between the easy and hard and he ended up taking the one in between.
They said that if you don’t have experience then you won’t be able to complete the hard trail.
The intermediate one was hard as well and a lot of people fell.
If it’s your first time then you should pick the easy trail.
You have to get to the bike shop in the morning to pick up the equipment and there is a shuttle to the mountain. It was from around 9am-5pm.
Roman said some good things about the agency so you should definitely do it through them! They are called Mountain biking chiang mai
Visit Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in all of Thailand. Its height is 2,565 meters. In 1954 it was declared as a national park and between 1972-1975 the park was expanded to its size today – 482 squared kilometers.
This is one of the most impressive locations in Thailand and I highly recommend going there! You should hire a driver, especially of you are a few people traveling together.
I got to spend a few days by myself in Chiang Mai, and I didn’t want to go alone, plus it could get expensive! I decided to join an organized group to go there.
I met two girls that were really nice, and the trip was lovely. It was very touristy, however. We pulled over many times in gift shops and no one really cared for it.
Although, I must say that it was worth it, because otherwise I wouldn’t get to see this beautiful place! The drive was about 2.5 hours, and you should pack some warm clothes because it gets chilly up there.
I was picked up from the hotel at around 8:30am and dropped off at 4:30pm. It was 900 Baht because I ordered a day in advance and got a discount.
Drink Wine and Eat Cheese or Some Good Tea with Dessert
After spending 2 months in Thailand we craved a Western treat.
We looked for a place with some wine and cheese, and we actually found one!
The place is called Kalapela, and they import their wine and cheese from Europe! They also have a great assortment of teas and great desserts.
Visit the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens
The botanic gardens are about 50 km from the ancient city of Chiang Mai. We rented a scooter and drove there. You can also hire a driver to take you!
The garden are so impressive! There are so many kinds, and so much to see! We were there for about 4 hours and still just got a glimpse. There is an area of predator plants, a rain forest, and even entire areas designated for cactuses and orchids and so much more!
Everyday from 8:30am-5pm.
A ticket costs 100 Baht.
The gardens are very big and it will take more than a day to walk around and see everything, so you should bring the scooter inside and use it around the gardens, or take the car service of the gardens as an alternative, which is 30 Baht.