A brief overview of the place
I must say, when visiting Thailand, Chiang Mai wasn’t at the top of my list, probably because I hadn’t heard much about it and as I love being by the sea, going inland seemed a bit bizarre. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much this wonderful place has going for it.
If you are a regular reader you will know I visit most places with my job on the cruise ship but, my trip to Chiang Mai was with my backpack and my best friend, Lara.
We stayed here for a few days before travelling around the rest of Thailand, and they were jam-packed days filled with fun activities. My hope is that after reading this post you are just as excited about this city as I am.
Where we stayed
We stayed in Chiang Mai Capsule Hostel which we found using the app ‘Hostelworld’ which by the way, you need to have if you are backpacking!
The hostel was very clean, affordable and had great wifi. We also met other backpackers during our say which was great as we got to pick their brains about what to do here.
What we did
The white temple
Lara and I visited Wat Rong Khun temple also known as The White Temple. Its located just above Chaing Mai on the map and was approximately a 3-hour drive away from our hostel.
This is one of the most famous temples in Thailand due to its intricate design and controversy. The Buddhist religion is all about peace so the fact this temple is spotted with hands coming out of the ground, heads on spikes and scary figures could be taken as odd. There is also a continual theme of pop culture as you walk through the temple which again, conflicts with the Buddhist religion. I really enjoyed my time here and was sure to write my name on one of the charms for a stroke of good luck at the end of my tour. This temple is a work of art and there is something new to see at every point.
Muay Thai boxing
Chaing Mai is home to two boxing stadiums that hold 3 to 4 fights a week. Each event typically has eight fights. Muay Thai boxing is a big part of Thai culture, spanning back over 500 years.
The stadium Lara and I went to is called Loi Kroh and we paid about 25USD for the night, that fee also included one Chang beer.
The fight was great and well worth a visit if you get the chance. I was sat on the edge of my seat the whole time. All the fights were a really close call which always makes it more exciting.
Patara Elephant Farm
Elephants are my favourite animal so, I was super excited to visit Patara Elephant park. I am a huge animal lover, so always do my research before going to any animal park to make sure that the animals are not abused. If you are planning on coming to Thailand, going to an elephant sanctuary is probably on your to-do list but, please do your research. There are a lot of bad parks around Thailand where they claim to be looking after the elephants but yet people are riding them and they are chained up. You should never ride elephants as it damages their spines, so if you really love them, you will do your research to find a good sanctuary, not an Elephant park.
Whilst we were at Patara I didn’t see any pokers, chains or riding so to the best of my knowledge, it seemed like a great place. We spent today feeding the elephants and walking alongside them through the trees. We also took them to the water and got to play with them whilst they bathed. Elephant love water and you can actually see how happy water makes them.
Where we ate
We found a real treasure in this place. it serves traditional Thai food for very low prices but is rich in flavour. I had the most amazing noodle soup here. It was a meal I never wanted to end. Because the food was so amazing, we ended up eating here every night during our stay as it was a convenient walk away from our hostel.
Address- Hai Ya, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand.
So, that’s a little overview of my time in Chiang Mai. I hope that, if you are planning a trip to Thailand you put this on your route and if you do, then maybe check out these places I have mentioned.