In the magical mountains of Thailand lies the enchanting city of Chiang Mai, home to Temples, Muay Thai Boxing and delicious Thai Cuisine.
We arrived mid afternoon in this busy mountain city Chiang Mai, via the Green Bus from Chiang Rai. Our first frustration? was trying to get transportation to our hotel; Uber was too expensive, Taxis refused us and Tuk Tuks wanted a small fortune; most were unable to read our western written hotel address.?Tip: Be sure to have all addresses in Thai for drivers. Finally, after walking away from the station, we found someone in the street willing to phone our hotel for the address and take us for, after negotiating, 100 baht / USD$3.00 (he started at 200 baht).
15 minutes later we arrived at C Hotel Boutique and Comfort on the outer wall of the old city. The reception was very friendly and informative. The bright room had a balcony, a comfy big bed with fluffy pillows and bedding , fridge, water kettle with complimentary tea and coffee, flat screen tv with cable, air conditioning and a modern bathroom with big fluffy towels and a hairdryer!!! Until now, the best room of the trip with a great smell thanks to incense sticks. Cost: 1,700 for 2 nights (850 per night / USD$25) View my PHOTO GALLERY for more pictures of Chiang Mai.
The list of things to do in Chiang Mai is a smorgasbord of activities. Probably, if not already templed out, temples top the list, but also on offer are river cruises, trekking, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, cooking courses, spa, Elephant camps and more. But first on our list is a quick shower and a search for food!?
Feeling refreshed, we grabbed an Uber and took an 8 minute drive, 39 baht (USD$1.15) to the Tikky Cafe. Great deal! The restaurant had a cool vibe?, in spite of it being tourism pure – certainly no Thai people here, other than the help.
Our order was a Passion Fruit Shake for 40 baht / US$1.20, Green Tea shake (45฿ / $1.30), Papaya salad (60฿ / $1.75), Thom Kha Gai soup (100฿ / $2.90) and Yellow Curry Chicken Rice (70฿ / $2). Everything was made fresh, unfortunately the papaya salad did not arrive until we were ready to leave. The shakes were very 4 star good, the soup and rice were 3 star good; probably we could have gotten better prices and maybe tastier food elsewhere. That being said, if you are looking to meet other travelers, this is a great choice! Total bill: 240 Baht (USD$7)
After dinner we walked to Wat Phra Singh, which was beautifully lit for the evening. The sound of monks singing echoed through the courtyards. ?The temples are definitely worth 2 visits, once during the day, and once by night! We also found the Wat Phan Tao temple and Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan with its ruined chedi (stupa) from the 15th century and Wat Pan Whaen.
Next we wandered toward the night market; after Chiang Rai, this was disappointing, but still nice for a walk. Eventually, we ended up at the Iron Bridge which crosses the Mae Ping River. This seemed like a cool place to spend some time. ?
The next morning we went to a little corner cafe across the road called Lek House for a breakfast of Pork Pad Thai and an Omelette with rice for a total of 105฿ / $3. It was very good!
Energized and ready to go, we headed back into the old city to see it by day. After circling hours through the numerous temples, we found ourselves at the indoor Warorot Market (map). It is very big and sells everything from food to clothing; interesting walk through and great prices.
For lunch, we found a restaurant called Pad Thai Rachadumnoen, which became our go to eating spot due to the great food with fantastic prices. At the end of the blog, you will find some of the dishes we ate along with the prices. Each dish was amazing! I definitely recommend everyone to try this restaurant and let me know what you think!
‼️Before 11am and between 2 pm and 5 pm you cannot buy beer?
My love of Thai Cuisine helped me decide I could not leave without doing a cooking class. I signed up for the 5 hour morning course with Zabb-E-Lee Thai Cooking School. Read about my awesome experience here: Cooking Class Chiang Mai Cost: 900 Baht / USD$26
In the evening we walked to the Loikroh Boxing Stadium to watch Muay Thai Boxing . The entrance fee was 400 baht (USD$11.65) per person. It was an interesting experience which I enjoyed far more than I thought I would! Read about it: Muay Boxing
In the morning we checked out of C Hotel, ordered an Uber car (60฿ / $1.75) and checked into Lamphu House Chiang Mai as a small treat for the end of our vacation. Located in the old city, this is a nice hotel with a pool! Cost: 2 nights 2000฿ / $58. We finished up our Chiang Mai time with two leisurely days of swimming, eating, drinking and strolling around the city!
Visit my Chiang Mai Photo Gallery for more pictures and info!
?Tips: - Be helpful to the Uber cars; they have problems with the red taxis, so sit in the front seat so it looks like you are friends. - 7-eleven - ok prices, toiletries, drinks, snacks, SIM cards - Kookai Laundry (map) - best prices we found for washing clothes, let us know in the comments section if you found a better place
Costs for 5 nights, 2 persons: Transportation: USD$4.10 Excluding transportation to and out of Chiang Mai Entertainment / Excursions: USD$50 Lodging: USD$133 Food and Drink: USD$109 Total Cost: (2 persons): USD$296.10 or $60.00 per day
Next Stop: Bangkok – Booked Air Asia from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Saturday March 11. – 1,300฿ / $38 each.
Some Food Prices (for reference):
Passion fruit juice – 30฿ / $0.87
Passion fruit smoothie 35฿ / $1.00
Spring rolls 60฿ / $1.75
Green curry with chicken 100฿ / $2.90
Som-Tum (papaya salad) 60฿ / $1.75
Basil fried chicken with rice – 50฿ / $1.45