Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand is a definite must-do on your Thai backpacking trip or holiday. Plus it’s a pit-stop on the way to wonderful Pai (more on that later). To get there from Bangkok you can fly but there’s an a/c overnight train for just £18 which is very comfortable. Chiang Mai is a super cool, chilled town and full of backpackers and ex-pats read on to see what’s the sitch up in CM.
BARS & CLUBS
Because we all need a Chang now and again, right? One note, all the clubs and bars in CM close at midnight but they’re all a short walk from each other.
Zoe’s is a sprawling indoor/outdoor complex of several bars to suit all but the most niche music tastes. Great for chilling out in the evening and catching up with friends.
Zoe’s in Yellow, Rajvithi Road, เชียงใหม่ 50200
This club opens a little later most nights so you can dance away to floor fillers until 2am. Lots of talent here too.
Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai
There are several night markets in CM but one thing they all have in common is great street food, cheap beer and a chilled outside vibe. There are some with live music too – I saw a really very good Thai Ska band!
It’s not all about chirpsin’ and partying, Chiang mai is an area of outstanding beauty with loads of things to do just outside the city.
Muay Thai Fight at Thapae Stadium
The art of Muay Thai is a fantastic sport to watch and Chiang Mai is famed for its matches at the Thapae Stadium. Watch ladies, kids and blindfolded people battle it out in front of a mainly western audience. Such a fun night out.
Feed The Elephants
Around Chiang Mai there are about 50 elephant parks and sanctuaries, I would strongly suggest you don’t ride elephants as they’re not horses and the harnesses are very painful for them. I fed and swam with them which was awesome, go into any local travel agent and they’ll be able to recommend you an elephant experience in your budget and timeframe.
Trekking, Rafting, Bamboo Rafting, Waterfalls
I went rafting and bamboo rafting and to see a waterfall and aside from being bloody good fun it’s also an incredibly good workout. Pack trainers, bikini and a sports bra. Again, book at a travel agents in CM.
WHERE TO EAT
My favourite bit of CM, after the greasy junk-food of BKK, this place is a health-food haven.
The name is faintly ridiculous but this romantic, cute restaurant serves up the freshest Thai food. Like, every ingredient shines in their dishes, try the insane papaya salad – heaven!
Vegan and veggie food and amazing fresh juices and shots. After a night out an apple, beetroot and ginger juice sorts you right out. Also they play a lovely bit of reggae and the staff are so sound.
There are two Salad Concepts in CM and both of them do a beautiful chicken caesar wrap, have great wifi and cool air con surroundings. Their build your own salads are amazing – and how healthy!?