Everybody agrees that the famous night market in Chiang Mai is a must-see attraction. That’s why choosing a hotel near the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai makes so much sense. Guaranteed you will visit this bustling bazaar at least twice during your trip for food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment. But beyond the market, what else should you get up to in Thailand’s second-largest city? We are glad you asked! We have prepared a list of the absolutely six best things you must do when visiting this northern tourist hotspot.
1] MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Little-known MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, tucked away in the suburbs of Chiang Mai, is easily Thailand’s best modern museum experience. Besides the art inside, the building itself is well worth seeing; they have transformed an old warehouse into a striking modernist building. Inside are several galleries spread over two floors, showcasing established and up-and-coming Thai and regional artists.
2] Jin Jai Market
If you do not get shopped-out at the Night Bazaar, put Jin Jai Market (JJs), not far from Chiang Mai’s old city, atop your to-do list. This quaint, weekend-only farmer’s market is where Thais come to buy local, organic produce; browse stalls of handicrafts, clothes and knickknacks; and enjoy fresh plates of food. They also sell the city’s largest array of plant and garden supplies.
3] Mae Ping River
A leisurely boat trip down the Mae Ping River is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. With a refreshing beverage in hand, cruise down the river as you watch the scenery of traditional teak houses, sparkling wats, craggy mountains and lush farmland float on by. Tours can include lunch on-board or a stop at a local farmer’s house.
4] Wat Chedi Luang
Known as the Temple of the Big Stupa, this ruined ancient temple used to house the holiest religious object in all of Thailand – Emerald Buddha. Located in the centre of town, Wat Chedi Luang was irreparably damaged by an earthquake back in 1545 and five years on left to ruin when the Burmese invaded Chiang Mai. Still functioning as a place of worship, it’s a lovely place to wander and meet some Buddhist monks.
5] Bai Orchid & Butterfly Farm
The beautiful orchid is the well-known symbol of Thailand, famously featured on the Thai Airways logo. Situated just outside Chiang Mai, Bai Orchid & Butterfly Farm offers a staggering array of exotic blooms to admire and purchase. And for something truly memorable, buy a gold-dipped orchid flower as a souvenir! Alongside the flowers sits a large butterfly house housing thousands of winged beauties.
6] Karen Tribe
Originally from Myanmar, the Karen are a hill-tribe group who now live in small villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. This is no Disneyland set-up; these are real working places where you can see the villagers going about their everyday life. They allow visitors to visit and buy their products as an additional source of income. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of a unique people.
We hope this article has persuaded you that a hotel near the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai is a great choice for your stay in Thailand’s largest northern city.