Chiang Mai

The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the Old City contains 38 of Chiang Mai’s temples, including its
The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the
The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but t

The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the Old City contains 38 of Chiang Mai’s temples, including its oldest and most historic ones. The so-called Lanna style of architecture—stepped eaves, dark teak, and gleaming white stucco construction—has been adopted by the owners of boutique hotels in the Old City, where high-rise buildings are banned.

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  • 1. Doi Inthanon National Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain (8,464 feet), rises majestically over a national park of staggering beauty. Many have compared the...Read More

  • 2. Wat Chamthewi

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    About 2 km (1 mile) west of Lamphun's center is Wat Chamthewi, often called the "topless chedi" because the gold that once covered the spire...Read More

  • 3. Wat Chedi Luang

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In 1411 King Saen Muang Ma ordered his workers to build a chedi "as high as a dove could fly." He died before the structure was finished, as...Read More

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  • 4. Wat Phra Singh

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Chiang Mai's principal monastery was extensively renovated in 2006. In the western section of the Old City, the beautifully decorated wat contains...Read More

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  • 5. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    As in so many chapters of Thai history, an elephant is closely involved in the legend surrounding the foundation of the late-14th-century Wat...Read More

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  • 6. Wat Phra That Hariphunchai

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The temple complex of the 11th-century Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is dazzling. Through gates guarded by ornamental lions lies a three-tier,...Read More

  • 7. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of the most venerated temples in the north, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is also one of the most striking. Surrounded by stout laterite defense...Read More

  • 8. Bhubing Palace

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The summer residence of the royal family is a serene mansion that shares an exquisitely landscaped park with the more modest mountain retreats...Read More

  • 9. Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center

    Old City | Museum/Gallery

    The handsome city museum is housed in a colonnaded palace that was the official administrative headquarters of the last local ruler, Chao (Prince...Read More

  • 10. Chiang Mai National Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    This northern Thai–style building contains many statues of Lord Buddha, including a bust that measures 10 feet high. There's also a huge Buddha...Read More

  • 11. Chiang Mai Night Safari

    Zoo/Aquarium

    Modeled on Singapore's famous game park, the Chiang Mai Night Safari realized a long-held dream of Thaksin Shinnawatra, Thailand's prime minister...Read More

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  • 12. Chiang Mai Tribal Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    The varied collection at this museum, more than 1,000 pieces of traditional crafts from the hill tribes living in the region, is one of the...Read More

  • 13. Chiang Mai Zoo

    Zoo/Aquarium

    The cages and enclosures of this zoo on the lower slopes of Doi Suthep are spaced out along paths that wind leisurely through shaded woodlands...Read More

  • 14. Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium

    Zoo/Aquarium

    A walk-through underwater tunnel more than 146 meters (160 yards) long provides dramatic views of the thousands of aquatic creatures that live...Read More

  • 15. Darapirom Palace

    House/Mansion/Villa

    This Lanna-style mansion was the last home of Jao Dararasamee, daughter of a late-19th-century ruler of Chiang Mai and the favorite wife of...Read More

  • 16. Doi Suthep National Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    You don't have to head to the distant mountains to go trekking during your stay in Chiang Mai. Doi Suthep, the 3,542-foot peak that broods over...Read More

  • 17. Elephant Nature Park

    Zoo/Aquarium

    There are several elephant reserves north of Chiang Mai, but for a truly authentic up-close experience this one is hard to beat. More than 30...Read More

  • 18. Elephant Training Center

    Zoo/Aquarium

    The pachyderms here are treated well and seem to enjoy showing off their skills. They certainly like the dip they take in the river before...Read More

  • 19. Ku Chang

    Cemetery

    Lamphun has one of the region's most unusual cemeteries, an elephant's graveyard called Ku Chang. The rounded chedi is said to contain the remains...Read More

  • 20. National Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Just outside Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, the National Museum has a fine selection of Dvaravati-style stuccowork. The collection of Lanna antiques...Read More

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