For someone like me who loves the cold weather and comes from a country with fiercely freezing winters, I tend to genuinely enjoy colder weather. Coming to a hot and humid Southeast Asian country such as Thailand, I knew it would take a while for me to ‘warm’ up to the climate. This is why Chiang Mai has been a part of Thailand I’ve always wanted to visit from the start. Since it is so far up north (700km north, to be exact), the days and nights are slightly cooler compared to those I have experienced in Bangkok.
Chiang Mai is known for its ancient culture and old architecture. The city is extremely rich in history dating back over 700 years. It has a distinct culture with more temples than any other city in Thailand.
Fun fact: There are over 42,000 temples in all of Thailand!
Many historical sites include portions of an old city that are still intact, allowing visitors to experience the ancient culture of Thailand. Our visit to Chiang Mai was short but full of exciting trips to temples, local market shopping, exploring the city, and trying delicious Northern Thai dishes.
Our adventure began by having dinner at a local family-owned restaurant, B Samcook Home 16. Weird name, right? But yes, that’s what it’s called. This dinner, in all honesty, was the highlight of the entire trip and a place I would recommend to anyone visiting Chiang Mai. This place allows you to feel right at home with a comfortable, homely environment. Reservations are made by privately messaging the chef ahead of time due to high demand and a small number of available spaces.
Not to make this blog into a Trip Advisor review, but I’ll give this place more than five stars if I could (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+). All the meals are prepared with thought and love, which shows through the presentation and taste. The dinner includes unique souvenirs as well as a ride back to the hotel from the restaurant staff! Which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. An amazing way to start our Chiang Mai trip!
After the most comfortable sleep we have had so far and extra hot hotel showers, we took a day tour to Chiang Rai, a province three hours drive from Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai is home to many amazing temples and art, such as Wat Rong Khun (white temple), Wat Rong Suea Ten (blue temple), and Baan Dam Museum (also known as the black house museum). Each location had something significant and special to offer, whether it was interesting architecture or unique art displays. The amazing contrast in colours of all the different temples and buildings was a unique sight to see.
Here, we had the opportunity to try a traditional Chiang Mai dish, Khao Soi, a curry broth noodle soup. As we have been told by the locals: no trip to Chiang Mai is completed without trying Khao Soi. To end our first day, we entered full tourist mode and rode a tuk-tuk to Wua Lai walking street, where we walked through the local market, shopped for souvenirs, and explored the city at night.
Our last day in Chiang Mai was reserved for exploring the city’s central area, Old City. As we walked around the city, it quickly became clear that the art and cafe culture was very unique in Chiang Mai. Each place we visited was a new environment making cafe hopping and exploring the city a memorable and exciting activity.
The Chiang Mai climate is definitely something I enjoyed the most. The nights are much cooler, with temperatures dropping to as little as 14oC, while the temperature during the day reaches highs of 30oC. Due to the dryer air, the hot temperature is more bearable than the one in Bangkok. However, with the impractical location of the city itself, the pollution in Chiang Mai is a lot worse than that in Bangkok. Chiang Mai is located in a valley surrounded by mountains; hence all of the smog and pollution gets trapped within the city, making it very hard to breathe without a mask.
With the weekend coming to an end and the start of another full week of work back at our internships, it was time to open up the planner and start planning our final weekend adventure in Thailand.