Chiang Mai is definitely my favourite city in the whole of Thailand. I do love Bangkok, but Chiang Mai has a certain charm and vibe about it which means I always have it at the top of my list.
If you’re in the capital and wanting to head north to check out Thailand’s second largest city, then you’re in luck because traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai has never been easier. You can head up on a sleeper train, hop on a night bus or even pick up a flight for about $35 one way. All of the above are good options, I think everyone should experience a sleeper train once when they’re in Thailand but if time is of the essence then pick up a cheap flight from DMK airport.
People always throw loads of questions at me when I tell them how much I love Chiang Mai. Here are the 3 mains reasons why I love this place – I could have written a thousand but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
Everyone knows that Thailand is famous for being a place where you can travel on a low budget, but people are surprised when they realise how cheap Chiang Mai is compared to other major tourist stops. Food, hotels, tours and massages are all much cheaper than in Bangkok. If you are thinking about getting some dental work done when you’re over then this is the city for you because you will never find the same prices back home.
There are temples wherever you turn in Chiang Mai, it’s one of the things I love because everywhere you stroll you’re greeted by another beautiful pagoda or temple. There are over 300 temples here but it does feel like there are many more. It only takes about 20 minutes to drive from one side of the city to the other, so you can soak up lots of culture in a day. Personally I prefer to walk from temple to temple, that way you to get to see more of the city and uncover hidden gems too.
For me, the only way to get around the city is by walking. You can walk everywhere here, that might come as a surprise because it is the second largest city in Thailand. However, the city has such a chilled out vibe you really don’t feel like you’re in a chaotic, busy concrete jungle. When you walk around Bangkok you don’t feel relaxed because there’s so much traffic, in Chiang Mai you won’t find this. Being able to walk from place to place is one of the main reasons why the city is my favourite in Thailand.
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