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When it comes to stunning mountains, rich history, Chiang Mai shopping and cultural depth, no other destinations in Thailand can match the northern city of Chiang Mai. With its cooler temperatures when compared to the south, its stunning local arts and handicrafts, and a cool old city that has a completely unique vibe and atmosphere, Chiang Mai is one of the most desirable places to visit in Thailand and home to an eclectic choice of events and happenings that really take the fun to the next level. This is the guide to things to do in Chiang Mai.
Known for its cool art exhibitions, music festivals and events scene that centres around the city’s culture, nightlife and dining spots, Chiang Mai is the coolest city in Thailand to visit or live, especially with so much to see and do.
Things to Do in Chiang Mai?
Finding fun here is a very simple exercise. The city is small and compact, offering a broad range of fun things to do in Chiang Mai. The most memorable evenings out revolve around riverside bars and restaurants, creating a fun and friendly atmosphere with many live music events at classic blues, jazz and rock venues.
For the young and trendy crowd, the Nimmanheimin Road area offers a fun-packed experience with a multitude of live music bars and excellent restaurants. For those who think the backpacker atmosphere in Thailand died many moons ago, you can think again! There is a wide range of backpacker-style bars with affordable drink prices that are the perfect way to meet people and find out more about this majestic city.
What is Chiang Mai all about?
When people talk about Chiang Mai, the first thing that comes to mind is the city is an epicentre for art and culture in Thailand, second only to Bangkok and maybe even overtaking the metropolis. With ancient temples that go back over 800 years, stunning mountain ranges such as Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep, lots of golf courses and a cool old city that has a great choice of bars and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder that so many people like the things to do in Chiang Mai City.
Chiang Mai Events & Festivals
There is always something happening in Chiang Mai. From the multitude of art exhibitions to the most famous events such as the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival and the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, alongside other events such as music and food festivals, make sure you catch a event when you visit the city. This is a city that merges traditional festivals with ongoing weekly events that centre around the city’s bar and dining scene.
Chiang Mai nightlife and entertainment set it apart from many of Thailand’s other main tourist thoroughfares such as Phuket, Bangkok, Samui and Pattaya. The nightlife scene is home to a multitude of small beer bars that have a cool and hippy-like atmosphere that attracts all manner of tourists and is a favourite destination for backpackers and artsy types.
Art & Culture in the Northern City
The Northern City is home to a multitude of art galleries, cultural hotspots and age-old Buddhist temples. With over 800 years of Lanna culture, the city is awash with museums and cultural points of interest such as the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center, and establishments that offer antiques, pottery, paintings and a myriad of local handicrafts. There is always lots of art exhibitions and likes happening in the city, which makes it a great place to live or visit.
Chiang Mai Shopping Suggestions
The city has an assortment of world-class shopping malls, but the most unique Chiang Mai shopping options are reserved for local markets and art centres that offer amazing handicrafts, paintings, pottery, wooden sculptures and much more.
The Night Bazaar is a street in the centre of the city that is closed down at night and home to a vast choice of markets sealing all types of local cuisines and some bars areas. Every weekend, the night bazaar is the ultimate place for affordable shopping.
Chiang Mai Sports & Activities
Further, it is a great place for sports and activities. Whether its playing golf on one of the region’s best courses with beautiful mountain settings such as the Alpine Golf Resort, lots of mountain biking and trekking activities, visiting the hill tribe villages in their jungle habitat or extreme sports such as bungy jumping, paintball, shooting and is a great destination for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.