1) Discover the Lanna culture
If you have already visited the main temples of Chiang Mai, Lanna Folklife Museum, located in front of the monument of the Three Kings, will allow you to get to know customs and traditions of the peoples of Northern Thailand. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 to 14. Tickets cost 90 baht.
2) Try a massage
In every corner of the city there are Spa who will take care of your wellbeing.
You will find any kind from the cheapest to the most luxurious. On rainy days, and after hiking, I used to go in the Santara Spa for a massage. Small but very well organized, this Spa, close to the Bodhi Serene Hotel, offers facials and body made by an expert and very friendly staff.
3) Enjoy jogging in the park
The small central park of Chiang Mai is a very relaxing place and worth a visit to discover the habits of the local population. Sit down on a park bench in the late afternoon and you will see young people run, mothers bring their children to the playground, couples walking hand in hand and small groups of yoga lovers. Moments of everyday life that make you feel part of the city.
4) Admire Street Art
Chiang Mai is a city full of art: you find it especially in the street, colorful, unexpected and beautiful. Turn along the narrow streets of the old town and have fun finding colorful murals.
5) Visit the Art in Paradise il 3D Art Museum
This museum, located in Chang Khlan Road in the modern part of the city, well worth a visit. You will enter into a world of color, magic and optical illusions.
You will return child, playing with artwork so realistic as to seem true. You will lose the sense of time and you don’t wanna get out of this fantasy world inhabited by animals and beautiful landscapes. The ticket costs 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children.
6) Take a trip to the zoo and arboretum Huai Kaeo
Next to the University of Chiang Mai is located a beautiful botanical garden that contains many varieties of tropical trees and next to this is situated the zoo. Very large and well organized extends on the lower slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain and home to over 200 species of animals. Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. The ticket costs 150 baht, and if you want to see the pandas have to pay a fee of 100 baht.
7) Vist the falls Namtok Huai Kaeo
Close to the zoo, you can see the waterfall Namtok Huai Kaeo: 10 meters high. The paths to get there are clean and supervised by park rangers that ensure the safety and security of visitors during the excursions.
8) Visit the Satuday & Sunday Night Walking Street Market and the Morning Market at Chiang Mai Gate
Morning Market al Chiang Mai Gate: to see this market you have to wake up at sunrise, it’s open from 4:30 am until noon, but the visit will allow you to immerse yourself in the daily life of Chiang Mai. In fact you will see the monks collect offerings and residents haggling to buy fresh fruit, fish and other typical products.
Saturday Night Walking Street: every Saturday, from 5 pm onwards, the busy Wualai Road turns into a huge pedestrian zone. From afternoon to evening the street is animated by hundreds of market stalls with souvenirs, street food, local crafts and all kinds of products.
Not recommended attractions:
9) e 10 ) Karen’s Village and Tigers Temple
Karen’s Village: also known as “giraffe women”, are part of Padaung ethnicity fled from the Burmese regime to seek political asylum in Thailand.
They are famous for having her neck stretched by heavy collars with gold rings and, in Chiang Mai, they live in a dusty village of shacks. The entrance costs 500 baht and is guarded by some men. The village is a collection of huts where women and girls with elongated neck, selling scarves and sovenirs to tourists. The Karen are a unique tribe in their kind, and I was sorry to see them forced to survive in this way. I tried to ask a girl the story of her rings, but when she realized of what I was wondering, her eyes became gloomy, and she remained in silent, masking her sadness with a polite smile. I didn’t t insist, as I didn’t take many photos. There were women, but above all little girls in that village. Girls as young as four years with rings around her neck. I wondered how much they were exploited to the delight of tourists and I left the dusty road and the row of shacks with this boulder in the heart and the knowledge that, coming into the village, I wasn’t helping that people to live in a better way.
Tiger temples: after the traumatic experience in the village of Karen women, I haven’t visited the tigers temples. I don’t know if animals are drugged or not to the delight of visitors who can get close, caressing them and take pictures with tigers. I preferred not to know, and I went to visit a nearby village of woodworkers.
The next article will conclude my journey to discover Chiang Mai.
I will talk about the elephant and I will take on Thailand’s highest peak.