Chiang Mai, in English New City, is the capital of the Chiang Mai Province in Thailand, located 700 km north of Bangkok. The city is applying to have the creative city status with UNESCO. The city is over 700 years old, and is the spiritual capital of the country, as there are over 300 buddha temples inside the city.
The New City is known for its beautiful art, culture, history and temples. Forming a great river basin east of the city is the Mae Ping River, part of the Sri Lanna National Park. The Mae Ping is now being revitalized for preservation by the Wildlife Fund Thailand.
One of the first stops you need to see while in town are the Elephants Sanctuaries. They are a major tourist attraction. Pick one and have the amazing experience of feeding bathing and learning more about this amazing animal history.
If you are very into the wildlife, you should take the Chiang Mai Night Safari. The Safari is inside a park and the concept is to provide the visitor with a thrilling experience as if they were our in the real wilderness at night. You will be touring three animal zones: Predator Prowl, Jaguar Trail and Savanna Safari, and you can do it by tram or on foot. If you are brave enough you can even hand feed the animals and pet tiger cubs. I never went, but the experience sound amazing even by just imagining it.
Take your time to also visit one of the Hill Tribes, they have sophisticated customs, laws and beliefs. You can hike through the jungle and discover the tribes and spend time with the host, and even sleep in a traditional bamboo house.
If you are interested in the Buddhism religion there are several temples around the city to keep you busy, some of them are the Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Sri Suphan and Wat Suan Dok. Just remember to wear long pants and a top that covers your shoulders while visiting any temple in the city.
Locals said that one of the points that you cannot miss when visiting the city is the Doi Suthep, they say that if you haven’s been to Doi Suthep, you haven’t visited Chiang Mai. The mountain overlooks the entire city from the northwest, and it is home of one of the most loved symbols of the country; the Doi Suthep, Doi Pui and Doi Buakha national park.
Last but not least, check on of the many Chiang Mai night markets. Some of the most popular ones are the Night bazaar, the Saturday night market, the Sunday walking street and many more! They offer a lot or bargains. The city also has traditional shopping malls, but I would stick with the street market, they will give you a more traditional set of the national culture.