Ditch The Islands & Explore Chiang Mai In Thailand!


When someone mentions 'Thailand', the first things that come to your mind are the pristine sandy beaches, the tranquil turquoise waters, and the tantalizing nightlife - for sure! But this, essentially, is the picture of Southern Thailand, and the North of the country is rather serene, with lush green forests and highlands, tribal folks narrating age-old tales, gorgeous temples oozing with aesthetic senses and culinary delights that are quite different from what you'll get along the coasts!

If you're planning to escape to Thailand, then here's why you should ditch the beaches for once & head off to Chiang Mai.

Photo of Ditch The Islands & Explore Chiang Mai In Thailand! 1/4 by Riyanka Roy
Courtesy: Pixabay

Explore The Gorgeous Temples Of Chiang Mai

Here, the past is not merely the stuff of stories found in the pages of old history books, it is a very real part of everyday life. The enchanting Chiang Mai has more than 300 ‘wats’ scattered throughout the city and surrounding countryside - no other province in the whole of Thailand is home to more. In ancient times kings built temples to demonstrate not only their devotion but also their wealth and power. Today, these temples are a central part of Thai life and the holy structures of Chiang Mai are living, breathing places that serve as invaluable bridges to the past, keeping the people linked to the timeless traditions of their ancestors.

Amongst these is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the city's most famous temple, standing on Doi Suthep, a mountain to the north-west of the city, at an elevation of 1,073 meters. Other popular ones are - Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Umong, Wat Lok Molee, etc.

Get Closer To The Elephants & Volunteer For Their Well-Being

When you're in Chiang Mai, you gotta experience the goodness of volunteering with the elephants & getting closer to them, while feeding, bathing, or just playing around with the calves! Yeah, as surreal as it may sound, this would be one of a kind experience to indulge in. There are several elephant sanctuaries surrounding the main city of Chiang Mai (mostly in the outskirts, a short drive away) and you can spend your days there, living a simple life and enjoying the company of the gentle giants, while learning more about the Thai elephants from the mahouts (the caretakers of the elephants).

You can get a mud bath while bathing the elephants in a nearby river flowing through, learn how to make paper out of elephant poop, prepare meals for these adorable animals & experience the joy of selfless love.

Photo of Ditch The Islands & Explore Chiang Mai In Thailand! 3/4 by Riyanka Roy
Courtesy: Pixabay

Know More About The Ethnic Hill Tribes Living Around Chiang Mai

The word ‘Hill Tribes’ is used to call people from all different ethnic groups who have been living in the highlands mainly in the northern and western parts of Thailand & Chiang Mai has been the home to most of the hill tribe people. Migrating from various parts of China, Tibet, Myanmar, and other regions of Southeast Asia, these tribes have settled in here for decades now, each with their unique histories, cultures, colorful dresses, and language. Some of the most popular tribes are - the Hmong Tribe, the Karen Tribe, the Lisu Tribe, the Palong Tribe among others.

The villages of these tribes are scattered around the mountainous region, and they're so secluded from one another that they remain unmarked on many maps. As you choose to traverse along the ‘not-so-popular’ trails of Thailand, you’d have incredible opportunity to get closer to these people, spend adequate time with them, get to know more about their past & present as well as listen to the folklores that are no less interesting than the real stories!

Photo of Ditch The Islands & Explore Chiang Mai In Thailand! 4/4 by Riyanka Roy
Courtesy: Pixabay

Wander around the various National Parks of Northern Thailand

While in Chiang Mai, you'd have the option of exploring some of the most popular National Parks of Thailand & soak in the serenity while hiking through the lush green trails. Just south of the city of Chiang Mai is Ob Khan National Park, where, instead of palm trees and giant tropical plants you’ll find limestone and igneous rock mountains covered in hill evergreen forest, pine forest, and more.

Within the park is the river source of the Wang River, the Win River, and the Kan River, and a collection of streams and waterfalls provide cool relief from the heat. Probably most well-known for Wat Phra That Doi Suthep―the glittering Buddhist temple on the side of the mountain - Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is just a few kilometers northwest of the city of Chiang Mai, offering panoramic views of the city. And then there's Doi Inthanon National Park, that’s home to the highest mountain in Thailand. Needless to say, your adventurous soul will keep longing for more once you're in Chiang Mai - so be ready to feel the adrenaline pumping!

If you’ve been to Thailand and explored Chiang Mai, then you surely know what magic the place holds! And in case you’re contemplating to travel soon, once the pandemic gets over - you can surely consider this place, & you’d definitely not regret it!