How To Enjoy The Best Of Chiang Mai In 1 Day’s Travel
By Jaxon Toh
Chiang Mai city was founded as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Today, it is the focal point for northern Thailand tourism. To enjoy and explore Chiang Mai, it is best to spend at least 3 days for your travel. That is the minimum to get that Chiang Mai experience. However, if you had only 1 day, here are some ideas for your travel itinerary to get the best of this city.
Start off in the early morning at about 8am and get your breakfast at the most famous traditional market in Chiang Mai: Warorot Market. Sit with the locals and watch them go about their daily business, shopping for groceries and others. To get here, you can take a red songtaew (pickup). Throughout the day, this will be your choice for a cheap and convenient transport around the city.
The second stop of your tour will be Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple on the hill from where you can get a fantastic view of Chiang Mai below. This is also accessible by songtaew. Wat Phra That is north Thailand’s holiest temple and should not be missed. Many locals and tourists come here and pray. Don’t forget your camera as this lovely temple offers many photography opportunities. The 290 Naga-flanked steps and the huge golden chedi are popular shots.
It should be around lunchtime now and if you’re hungry, there are some Thai restaurants at the car park further down the road that you came up on. Or you can eat in the old city of Chiang Mai, which is your next stop. Make your way to Wat Phra Singh, a temple within the old city that is surround by a square moat.
This is one of the major temples in Chiang Mai and contains the Lai Kham chapel featuring exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals and a magnificent scriptural repository with striking bas-reliefs.
You’d have probably seen enough temples for today and it’s a good time to rest your feet. So head on to a massage shop or even a temple to have a good old traditional Thai massage or foot massage to recharge your batteries. The price is really affordable: 1 hour of massage can be enjoyed for 200 baht or less.
After your massage, you’ll probably be hungry. Take a songtaew to the nearby Ping River where the river banks are lined with many restaurants offering fine food by the river. The tourists’ favorites lie between Nawarat Bridge and Nakorn Ping Bridge. Enjoy your dinner and drinks here with live music.
And if you’re still game for some shopping, visit one of the icons of Chiang Mai: the Night Bazaar. Roadside carts selling all kinds of goods and souvenirs line both sides of the road. The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar building houses many of the province’s handicraft shops and is popular with tourists.
And this ends your day in Chiang Mai. There are much more Chiang Mai has to offer though and travelers often stay longer than they had planned. You may do so too if you’d been enchanted by this beautiful city.