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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 13, 2018
Headline for Things to do in Chiang Mai – A Culturally Modern City
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Chiang Mai – A Culturally Modern City

A modern city that evolved from an ancient city while retaining its culture, Chiang Mai is the ideal place to wander around, relax and recuperate. Here are some of its main attractions.

1

Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or Doi Suthep as it is most commonly referred to is one of the most spiritual landmarks in Thailand. Its origins can be traced back almost 700 years and is a prime example of the Lanna culture. Local and foreign visitors who arrive in large numbers can either take a tram or climb 309 steps from the base of the temple to reach the pagoda.

2

Chiang Mai Night Safari

Chiang Mai Night Safari is the world's second night safari designed after its predecessor in Singapore. The park is broken into 3 zones - Predator Prowl, Savanna Safari and Jaguar Trail and offers a variety of activities such petting tiger cubs, 'dancing' fountains, a 'laser light" display and hand-feeding wild animals which are bound to delight both children and adults alike.

3

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai is located 60 km from Chiang Mai is one of the first sanctuaries to embrace the ethical elephant attractions concept which Thailand has started adapting. It acts as a retirement home for most of its inhabitants who have often worked in cruel environments like the tourism and logging. Tourists are carefully monitored as they interact with the elephants and circus tricks, elephant back rides are a big no-no. The sanctuary is co-operated by the locals of Chiang Mai and the Karen hill-tribes and locals from Chiang Mai and is home to more than 30 elephants at last count.

4

Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon is located at 2,565 km above sea level making it the highest peak of Thailand and is home to a wide variety of animal species. More than 362 species of birds call the park its home making it must see for bird lovers. Doi Inthanon spreads across 482 km and is rich in biodiversity, beautiful flowers, and breath-taking waterfalls making it a paradise for trekkers.

5

Old City Temples

Chiang Mai's Old City is one of the only cities in Thailand to have most of its old walls intact making it a living museum. Inside its ancient walls are narrow streets lined with old shops, temples and historical buildings. The temples are naturally its main attractions but the area is considered to be the hippest location in the city and is known to be the epicentre of arts in Chiang Mai. Hotel tour packages provided in some of the city's prominent resorts similar to Anantara Chiang Mai Resort highly recommend its patrons to visit the Old City and revel in its beauty.

6

Bo Sang Handicraft Village

Bo Sang Village is located 9 km east of the Old City and is known throughout the country and the world for its umbrellas. The umbrellas manufactured here are so well known that it has made the umbrella a symbol synonymous with Chiang Mai's Bo Sang Handicraft Village. Hand-painted umbrellas of various shapes sizes, designs and colours which are crafted here using the "sa" paper can be purchased for a reasonable price. Visitors can observe the assembly line process of how the umbrellas are made from start to finish before they are ready to be displayed on shop fronts for sale.