What to Do in Chiang Mai
A definite highlight for visitors to Chiang Mai is to visit hill-tribe villages at Doi Angkhrang. There are four main villages located around here where the Muser, the Palong, the Thai Yai, and the Jean Hor people live. Learn about their traditional and an easy-going lifestyles. An elephant trekking tour in the wild is great fun too. Trekking tours often go through main national parks and highlight the natural wonders of the region, bamboo rafting is very popular with adventure travellers.
Spending a day or two on a motorbike or bicycle is another good way to discover and explore natural, cultural and historical attractions. Nature lovers and adventure seekers are spoiled for choice in Chiang Mai, and it's a destination that has a lot to offer everyone – from backpackers and families to honeymooners.
There are several hill-tribe villages located in the area near Doi Angkhang, a three-hour drive from Chiang Mai. The Musur (Kob Dong Village) people are believed to be originally from Tibet. They cultivate rice, corn and other agricultural produce, and have an easy-going nature. The Palong people live at Nor Rae on the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).
The Palong also make their living from agriculture, mainly growing vegetables. Both the Musur and the Palong people have their own culture and language, for which they receive support from Royal projects to preserve. Other notable tribal villages worth visiting are those of the Thai Yai and the Jean Hor. Most of these villages are best-visited with organised tours. (Read more...)
Those seeking adventure are on the right track if they're heading to Chiang Mai. Organised treks with well-trained elephants is in fact one of the best ways to explore the natural diversity of the area.
Treks often cover attractions along the route like an orchid nursery or butterfly farm. After lunch in the jungle, experience the thrill of bamboo rafting in the fast-flowing rivers while enjoying the scenery of local life on the river banks along the way. Various treks and rafting tours are offered, ranging from a one-day trip to overnight stays. (Read more...)
A popular way to explore the environment around Chiang Mai is on motorbike or bicycle. For a short distance, visitors could try a day-trip around the Tha Phae (Old City) area to visit the ancient temples. There are also longer trips that take up to four days all the way to Chiang Rai.
The choices of routes are plentiful, and journeys will take you to fascinating sites like elephant camps, orchid nurseries, butterfly farms, hill-tribe villages, the Golden Triangle, and many more. Your adventure is guaranteed to be fun, exciting, and a little bit more challenging on a bike or bicycle. (Read more...)
Chiang Mai is famous the world over for handicrafts, skillfully made for generations by artisans who often pass the tradition on to their children. With an abundance of different kinds of wood in the region, the craft of wooden carvings and furniture-making is a speciality.
On the outskirts of the city you can also see artisans at work making beautiful, hand-painted parasols. Bosang is famous for these parasols, made from local Saa paper and bamboo, a 200-year-old tradition. It is used for protection against the sun, rather than rain. As for silverware, Tha Phae Road is the best place to head to. Also a traditional craft of Chiang Mai, silver-smithing can be traced back centuries, and this area is known as the 'Silver Village'. Items to look out for are jewelry, trays, bowls and boxes. Also to be found in Chiang Mai is gorgeous silk and celadon (traditional pottery). (Read more...)