Why not discover the legendary land of smiles? Head for Thailand! And more precisely, Chiang Mai is called “The Rose of the North”. Thailand’s second-largest city, culturally the most significant in the north and capital
Why not discover the legendary land of smiles? Head for Thailand! And more precisely, Chiang Mai is called “The Rose of the North”. Thailand’s second-largest city, culturally the most significant in the north and capital of Chiang Mai province, is located 800 kilometers north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. The city lies on the banks of the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Praya River.
To visit Chiang Mai is also to appreciate Thai hospitality and kindness, admire authentic temples, palaces, and monuments, discover extraordinary flora and fauna and breathtaking landscapes, and learn more about local handicrafts and Buddhist culture… One thing is certain, the change of scenery will be at its peak.
1. Marvel at the temples, including the Doi Suthep temple
Chiang Mai is also known as “The City of 300 Temples”. That says it all! You’ll find them on every corner, and that’s what makes the city so beautiful. These temples are called “Wat” in Thai. One of the main ones is the Doi Suthep temple which owes its name to the mountain on which it is located. The temple is a cultural jewel dating back to 1383 and is located 15 kilometers from the city.
Here are some other temples you can see in the city: Wat Phantao, Wat Chang Taem, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phan Tao… Note that there is a guided tour of Chiang Mai by bicycle that goes around the temples.
2. Attend a Thai boxing match
If you visit Chiang Mai, discover the world of Thai boxing, a true tradition rooted in the history of the country. It is THE national sport, more commonly known as “Muay Thai”. It is a slightly more violent variant of boxing; in addition to their fists, fighters can use their elbows, knees, feet, and shins to hit their opponent. It costs between 400 and 600 Bath (10/15€) to attend a match in one of the 4 stadiums in the city.
3. Try a traditional Thai massage
What’s a relaxing thing to do in Chiang Mai? You can’t go to Thailand without trying a traditional full-body massage, one of the country’s specialties. The pressure, tension, and twisting will literally bring you back to life! It is even possible to take a course, so you can take some of the skills home with you.
There are many places to get a massage in Chiang Mai, but we recommend you try the massages at the Women Correctional Institution Training Center. Through a rehabilitation program, women convicted of minor offenses can be trained in the ancient art of Thai massage while in prison.
4. Introducing yourself to new flavors
With a perfect mix of aromatic garnishes and some spicy condiments, Chiang Mai‘s cuisine, also known as Lanna cuisine, is particularly tasty. In the restaurants and street-food outlets that populate the streets, you can try some delicious specialties, including Khao Soï, a delicious soup of cooked and fried noodles dipped in curry and coconut milk, Saï Oua, a spicy and grilled pork sausage seasoned with fresh herbs, ginger, and lime, or Miang Kham, a simple and original dish.
If you’re wondering what to do in Chiang Mai, a must is to book a Thai cooking class to learn how to cook Pad Thai (fried rice noodles with vegetables, herbs, meat or fish) and mango sticky rice (sticky rice with mango and coconut).
5. See elephants in an ethical way
The elephant is the emblem of Thailand and is omnipresent in Chiang Mai. However, it is important to note that elephants are often mistreated in order to offer various activities to tourists (including elephant rides). However, there are a number of animal rescue centers that allow you to live in contact with these large mammals without causing them harm. You can feed and bathe them for a day or simply observe them in their natural environment. A rare and exceptional moment that will remain engraved in your memory! Learn more about visiting the elephant sanctuary.
6. Wander through the colourful markets
One of the best ways to visit Chiang Mai is to browse the markets! There are three well-known markets in Chiang Mai, but you should not miss the Walking Street Market (also known as the Saturday Night Market) in the old town on Saturday nights. It stretches over a kilometer from the Tha Phae gate to the end of Rachadamnoen Street. Colours, flavors, handicrafts and food will be on display for your enjoyment! You’ll be able to bring back plenty of gifts for your loved ones!
Looking for help?
Want a taste of Thailand in Montreal? Are you looking for authentic Thai food? Then look no further than Mia Thai Cuisine. They are an authentic Thai restaurant located in the heart of Montreal on St-Denis St. We pride ourselves on offering traditional Thai curries, stir-fries, and more to hungry patrons from all over the city.
We will also soon offer cooking classes for everyone looking to replicate our dishes in their home. So, what are you waiting for? Give them a call to fix all your cravings and get some authentic Thai food. For more information, visit their website or give them a call.