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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Night Market

    Market/Bazaar

    Sandwiched between the Old City and the riverside, this market opens for business around 6 pm. It's also, and confusingly, known as the Night...Read More

  • 4. Nimmanhemin Road

    Neighborhood/Street

    Chiang Mai's version of Bangkok's hip Sukhumvit area is a mile-long strip west of the Old City. Cafés, pubs, bars, restaurants, discos (Warm...Read More

  • 5. Riverside

    Neighborhood/Street

    Chinese traders originally settled this area 1½ km (1 mile) south of the Old City, and some of their well-preserved homes and commercial premises...Read More

  • 6. Wat Chaimongkol

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Although rarely visited, this small temple is well worth the journey. Its little chedi contains holy relics, but its real beauty lies in the...Read More

  • 7. Wat Chedi Yot

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Wat Photharam Maha Viharn is more commonly known as Wat Chedi Yot, or Seven-Spired Monastery. Built in 1455, it's a copy of the Mahabodhi temple...Read More

  • 8. Wat Suan Dok

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of Chiang Mai's largest temples, Wat Suan Dok is said to have been built on the site where bones of Lord Buddha were found. Some of these...Read More

  • 9. Wat Umong

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The most unusual temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Umong, dating from 1296. According to local lore, a monk named Jam liked to go wandering in the...Read More

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