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Weekend in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has lots of attractions, from its lovely landscape to its unique sites, museums, misty mountains, colorful hills, etc, the copacetic features of this beguiling city make it one of the best places you’ll ever visit. Make your weekend in Chiang Mai fabulous.
Chiang Mai, a mountainous city in Thailand is a land of colorful hill tribes, a typical playground for seasonal tourists, a delight for adventure lovers, and a paradise for shoppers.
En-route this picturesque city, as a curious traveler, you can broaden your horizons with Thai cooking courses and their appealing massage. You will also be intrigued by the panoply of handicrafts and antiques on display while exploring this beautiful city.
Weekend in Chiang Mai can be enjoyed by partaking in lots of fun-filled activities and visiting interesting places like the Do Inthanon National park, Chiang Dao Cave, Doi Pui Tribal village and national park, Bo Sang Handicraft Village, etc.
Below are the top things to do on a weekend in Chiang Mai.
Take a trip to Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep is the most famous attraction in the whole of Chiang Mai. It is quite popular, just like how popular Big Ben in London is. Doi Suthep houses a mountain that is capable of providing you with a fantastic view of this great city.
Standing at an impressive height of 5400 meters, the mountain also houses Wat Phra That Dou Suthep, which is a 13th-century temple that is home to a huge white elephant shrine as well as an exact copy of the captivating Emerald Buddha.
Visiting Doi Suthep should be amongst your “To do” list during your weekend stay in Chiang Mai.
Relax At Bai Orchid and butterfly farm
The orchid is known to be the symbol of Thailand, including Thai Airways, so its no surprise that orchids are quite popular amongst the people of Thailand.
On a cool weekend, you can join several visitors who visit the orchid and butterfly farm to marvel at the year rounds exotic blooms as well as buy seedlings.
The souvenir shop sells fresh orchids that have been immersed in gold and transformed into diverse jewelry items which you’ll find quite attractive.
A better way to relax here is to stare at the butterfly farm which is situated close to the orchid farm. This farm is known to house thousands of butterflies in their natural habitat.
Check Out The Ruins Of Wat Chedi Luang
Regarded as the temple of the Big Stupa, Wat Chedi Luang is the ruins of an old temple located in the center of the city Chiang Mai. Before the temple was in its latest state, it used to be the home of Emerald Buddha, the most sacred object in the whole of Thailand.
Did you know?
An earthquake in the year 1545 destroyed a large portion of the temple and five years later, when the Burmese captured Chiang Mai, the temple was left to fall into ruin. The temple is still used for worship, so you can find monks strolling about as well as lots of Buddha shrines.
Stop for Coffee at the Cat Cafe
Popular in countries like Japan and China, Chiang Mai now boasts of its very own Cat Cafe, and its name is Catmosphere. The cafe is designed to fit in with its name, with several portraits of spaceships and cats floating around the walls of the cafe. The Cafe houses fifteen cats who are allowed to roam about as if it is their home.
Drinks are a little expensive than a normal cafe which you would expect, as a lot of money is allocated to the welfare of the cats and the cleanliness of the cafe.
Spending a cool Saturday afternoon here isn’t a bad idea.
Take a boat trip on the Mae Ping River
A three-hour boat trip is a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon as you get to watch as the scenery along with the river changes.
You also get to observe several beautiful traditional teak houses Including a lot of greenery along the wat.
There also exist some tour companies who carry out the boat trips and they sail for about 45 minutes before stopping at a local farmhouse for lunch.
While in the house, you can observe how Jasmine rice is produced, as well as further relaxing in the beautiful gardens.
Visiting Chiang Mai for the very first time, you have several questions probing your dazzled mind, questions like what do you do on your first day in the city. Below are things you can do on your first day in this dazzling city.
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR FIRST DAY IN CHIANG MAI
Stop at Chiang Mai Grand Canyon
A stale soil quarry, the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon is still very much unknown. It is a gigantic canyon that is currently filled with water and has some impressive views.
This canyon is extremely deep and the water filling it is gathered rainwater which is estimated to be 40 meters deep. At the entrance, you have a nice restaurant to stop for a drink before you begin your adventure.
There isn’t much to do here except for continuously staring at the magnificent view of the canyon which you will never get bored of.
This should certainly be the first thing you should do on your first day in Chiang Mai. A wonderful full-day tour to the Grand Canyon, maybe in combination with any other wonderful location in Chiang Mai surroundings.
HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD YOU SPEND IN CHIANG MAI?
A one-day excursion in Chiang Mai doesn’t really give you enough time to explore the nooks and crannies of this beautiful city.
The same goes for spending two days. Spending three days in Chiang Mai is preferable to spending a day or two because you will have the much-needed flexibility with regards to exploring Chiang Mai.
The ideal number of days you should spend in Chiang Mai in order to property explore the staggering city should be 3-5 days, or if possible a week.
WHERE SHOULD YOU GO IN CHIANG MAI
There are lots of interesting places to visit in Chiang Mai. Attached to these places are activities to ensure that you really enjoy your visit.
CHIANG MAI NIGHT SAFARI PARK
The Chiang Mai night safari park is modeled to appear like the Singapore safari.
This park was made to provide tourists and visitors with a thrilling experience, just like the experience of being out in the wilderness at night, the difference is that this is more exhilarating.
Aside from exploring the three animal regions, predator prowl, jaguar trail, and savanna safari through an open-sided tram or on foot, you can as well enjoy a wide range of activities orchestrated to keep you thrilled throughout your stay.
These activities range from hand-feeding wild animals to a laser light show and dancing fountain.
WIANG KUM KAM, THE UNDERGROUND ANCIENT CITY
Located in the beguiling countryside approximately five kilometers south of Chiang Mai along with river ping, Wiang Kum Kam is known as an ancient city going back to the 18th century Haripunchai Kingdom.
On your visit to Wiang Kum Kam, you’ll be surely thrilled to see many interesting items and amazing structures such as Buddhist architectures and sculptures, stone tablets with Mon inscription, earthenware and, pottery, etc.
Exploring this underground city with the aid of a horse-drawn carriage is the best way to tour Wiang Kum Kam without leaving any detail out.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN CHIANG MAI ON SATURDAY
Shop at Warorot Market
Nothing beats shopping on a cool Saturday afternoon. The Warorot Market is located right beside the ping river.
The shop opens in the morning and closes when everywhere gets dark, so u have the choice of visiting whenever you like.
This is a market where you can get things at a very affordable price, unlike other tourist markets.
You can get just about anything in this market like vegetables, fruits, meat, clothing, pieces of jewelry, souvenirs, fireworks, and much more.
When you proceed out of the market and venture into the streets, you will find a lot of affordable Thai Handicraft goods made by the local hill tribe.
Shopping in the Warorot market is the best thing to do on a Saturday in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a beautiful place and people visit it for various reasons; there are temples to visit and historical buildings to see, do not forget about the spas where people go to get the traditional Thai massage.
For whatever reason you will be visiting Chiang Mai, you cannot leave out a visit to colorful markets. We will be telling you about seven markets that are most famous which you should visit whenever you go to Chiang Mai sightseeing.
Warorot Market & Ton Lamyai
The Warorot Market is famous for its location; it is located in little Chinatown at the center of the city.
This market is the place where you can witness the truest colors of Chiang Mai sightseeing, meaning that this place has not changed due to the visit of tourists and remains the same as it used to be, the same culture and same traditions.
The Warorot Market is a shopping center that has multiple stories with a number of traditional shops, most of these shops sell food on the ground floor while the upper floor shops sell clothes.
Just like Warorot Market, there is another building that is the same and it is called Ton Lamyai. It is located just opposite to the Warorot Market across the road and it also houses different shops selling food and clothes.
Note that If you come out of these markets, you will see a number of shops surrounding these markets, these are outdoor shops and you will see hundreds of merchants selling not just food and clothes but also vases for putting flowers in them and other beautiful handicrafts.
This whole cluster of shops along with the Warorot Market and Ton Lamyai make the largest everyday market area in the town.
The Warorot Market and Ton Lamyai open up at 5 AM and close at 6 PM while the outside market opens at 5 AM and remains open late till 11 PM. You can find this market near the Ping River at the end of Chiang Mai Road.
Morning Market at Chiang Mai Gate
The Gate of Chiang Mai is controlled by two markets; the morning market which remains open till noon and the night market which opens from noon till night.
If you visit the morning market, for which you will have to get up early in the morning, you will have ample opportunities to take pictures.
It takes place in the semi-outdoor market which is in the shape of a hall where you can witness people bargaining with each other over the prices, preparation of tasty Thai delicacies and monks collecting alms.
If you visit the morning market, you will see a unique sight and the daily life of the people of Thailand.
As said earlier, you may have to get up early to witness all these amazing sights, as early as 4:30 because that is when the market opens.
You will not see a single tourist around until 9 AM. The market closes at the noon so make sure you do not miss out on it.
Saturday & Sunday Night Walking Street
As the name states, these markets only take place on the weekends and are most popular among the tourists. If you visit this market then you can have the best shopping experience in Chiang Mai, even though these markets are really crowded.
The shops are lined up on each side making a tunnel where there are hundreds of vendors selling handicraft and exclusive clothes that you may not be able to find anywhere else.
You will also see different merchants selling food on shops that are their specialty, you will have the experience of tasting a lot of Thai cuisine.
Saturday Night Walking Street
The Saturday Night Walking Street takes place on every Saturday from 5 PM onwards. This market takes place on Wualai Road, the flow of vehicles comes to a halt and you will only witness people walking.
The Wualai Road starts from the southwest of Chiang Mai Gate. You will witness craftsmen making jewelry of silver and creating objects made up of zinc and copper.
Sunday Night Walking Street
As the name tells, the Sunday market is a sequel of the Saturday market, it opens at noon of Sunday near the Thapae Gate and as the time passes it keeps expanding until it reaches the Rachadamnoen Road which also becomes a place for people to walk and the flow of vehicles stops.
The popular thing to see here is the outdoor food place which is positioned around the golden stupa.
The Famous Night Bazaar
If you already do not know the nighty bazaar in Chiang Mai open every day of the week, and thousands of visitors go over there to enjoy the night along with shopping.
You will be seeing vendors selling clothes and a lot of stuff but the most thing about the night bazaar is that you will be getting a copy of Rolex watches at a good price that is of good quality. Not only that but cheap prices DVDs and a lot more.
The reason it is famous is that it has to offer you the price range that is not available anywhere in the whole of Thailand.
You need to try all of your haggling skills here because you can always buy your desired thing at a steal price.
In case you love the handicraft items then you are in the right place. It is suggested always to visit on Saturday and Sunday as we have mentioned above because you can buy better quality.
There are many national and international eateries and restaurants are situated in clusters in the market area. You will also be witnessing live music and dance. It will make you feel the traditional vibes.
As it is a night bazaar which means it opens at around 18:00 every day at midnight. The location is nearby the Chang Klan Road.
Kham Tiang Flower Market
It is very obvious that you cannot take plants and flowers along with you, while you are traveling there it is one of the beautiful markets there, quite a sight.
You will be witnessing the flower market that is dedicated to selling flowers and plants.
This is an opportunity for you to visit it in your free time and see the diversity of flowers and plants available there.
The tropical flowers such as lilies, lotus, orchids and many more. If you think that flowers are not enough then you can go to the fish section side, it is a large section.
This market opens up at 09:00 to 18:00 every day. If you are interested in knowing the location then it is behind TESCO lotus that is on the superhighway, towards the north side of the city.
If you are looking for the markets that are located within the walking distance from Kham Tiang Market then you should visit the JJ market, which is also known as the Jing Jai market.
You will find each and everything there such as the fresh vegetables, products for the spa, handicrafts if you want some quality but cheap furniture then you have the option of buying second-hand furniture along with the antique goods.
Talking about the beauty of the buildings that are designed in the typical Lanna style the market is providing dining facilities and shops for having amazing coffee. If we talk about its opening timings on a daily basis then it opens at around 11:00-20:00
These markets that are mentioned above are worth a visit because you will be finding the quality stuff to bring as gifts from Thailand.
These markets are traditional ones that you would not feel away from the Thai culture.
Whenever you are visiting Chiang Mai it is suggested that you cover all the markets out there because most of the local restaurants that are providing the traditional taste are situated within the markets.
As a tourist, you will be warmly welcomed by the vendors and the locals.
When you will visit these markets and local hotels you will understand why we have added these to our list of Chiang Mai sightseeing, when you are on a tour do not miss the chance to cover most of these markets.
Visit also the many cities nearby Chiang Mai, to have a complete and unique view of Northern Thailand!