Exploring Chiang Mai: A Delightful Thai Adventure

Explore the enchanting city of Chiang Mai through vibrant markets, captivating temples, and tantalizing Thai cuisine. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Embarking on a journey to Thailand is always an exhilarating experience, filled with the promise of vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unforgettable adventures. When it comes to exploring the diverse wonders of this Southeast Asian gem, a visit to Chiang Mai, the cultural heartland of Thailand, is an absolute must.

After touching down in Bangkok for what promised to be a remarkable two-week vacation, my wife and I decided to dedicate four days of our trip to uncovering the magic and charm of Chiang Mai. Armed with our excitement and a domestic flight ticket from AirAsia, we eagerly boarded a plane at Don Muaeng International Airport, Bangkok, destined for Chiang Mai International Airport.

Join us as we delve into the delightful details of our four-day, three-night escapade to Chiang Mai, a destination renowned for its ancient temples, lush mountains, and warm-hearted locals. From enchanting cultural experiences to thrilling outdoor adventures, our time in this vibrant city left an indelible mark on our souls.

During 3 night stay in Chiang Mai, we stayed at a hotel near Suan Dok Gate. The hotel's name is Suan Dok Gate Guesthouse. Without hesitation, we would recommend this place to anyone who is planning to stay in Chiang Mai.

Hotel - Suan Dok Gate Guesthouse


Day 1: A Sunday Morning at Jing Jai Market

Our first day in Chiang Mai started with a visit to Jing Jai Market, an enchanting local market that takes place every Sunday morning. As we entered the market, we were immediately greeted by a lively and vibrant atmosphere. The market was teeming with people, both locals and tourists, eager to explore the multitude of offerings.

The aromatic scents of Thai cuisine wafted through the air, enticing us to sample the various delicacies available. Food stalls lined the market, offering a wide array of traditional Thai dishes. We couldn't resist trying the famous Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish bursting with flavors of tamarind, peanuts, and fresh herbs. The combination of sweet, sour, and savory flavors was simply exquisite. Additionally, we opted for a chicken wrap filled with a medley of fresh vegetables and aromatic spices, providing a satisfying and flavorful meal.

At Jing Jai Market

As we savored our delectable treats, we were serenaded by a small music group playing traditional Thai melodies. The melodic tunes added to the vibrant ambiance of the market, creating an immersive cultural experience. We leisurely strolled through the aisles, admiring the vibrant colors of the handicrafts, clothing, and local produce on display. It was a feast for the senses, with the market showcasing the rich tapestry of Chiang Mai's cultural heritage.

At our hotel

In the evening, we made our way to Wat Phra Singh, a renowned temple located within walking distance from our accommodation. The temple's intricate architecture and ornate decorations left us awe-struck. We marveled at the golden spires, intricate wood carvings, and ornamental details that adorned the temple grounds. The tranquil atmosphere provided a respite from the bustling city, allowing us to appreciate the site's spiritual significance.


After we visited Wat Phra Singh, we decided to explore Tha Phae Gate in the evening. As luck would have it, it was a Sunday, and Tha Pae Walking Street was gearing up to start. The street was adorned with colorful stalls, eagerly preparing for the bustling night market. We joined the crowds and ventured into the vibrant chaos of Tha Pae Walking Street.

At Wat Phra Singh
At Wat Phra Singh

The street came alive with a diverse range of vendors offering a plethora of goods and mouthwatering street food. The tantalizing aroma of grilled meats, sizzling stir-fries, and delectable desserts filled the air. We couldn't resist the temptation and indulged in a gastronomic adventure, sampling local favorites such as grilled satay skewers, mango sticky rice, and crispy fried spring rolls. The flavors danced on our taste buds, providing a delightful exploration of Thai cuisine.

At Tha Pae Gate

Tha Pae Walking Street was not just about food, it also showcased local craftsmanship, with artisans displaying their handmade products, including intricate jewelry, traditional clothing, and unique souvenirs. We couldn't resist purchasing a few keepsakes to commemorate our time in Chiang Mai.

At Tha Pae Gate
Tha Pae Gate
At Street Near Tha Pae Gate

As the night wore on, Tha Pae Walking Street became alive with live music performances, adding to the lively atmosphere. We found ourselves tapping our feet to the rhythm of the traditional Thai music and joining the locals in celebration. It was a perfect ending to our first day in Chiang Mai, leaving us with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the days to come.

Tha Pae Waling Street
Temple in the Tha Pae Walking Street

Day 2: Exploring Chiang Rai and Night Markets Galore

For our second day, we embarked on a day tour to Chiang Rai, a nearby city known for its remarkable White Temple. We booked the tour through Klook, and it proved to be a fantastic experience. But that's a story for another time.


After our temple visits, we returned to Chiang Mai in the late afternoon, ready to immerse ourselves in the vibrant night market scene once again. Our first stop was Kalare Night Bazaar, located near Chiang Mai Gate. This market stood out with its lively atmosphere and modern design. The streets were lined with a multitude of food stalls, each offering unique culinary creations. We indulged in a gastronomic feast, sampling a variety of dishes, from fiery curries to refreshing fruit smoothies. The live music performances on the stage added to the ambiance, creating a lively and enjoyable experience.

At Kalare Night Bazzar
At Kalare Night Bazzar

Next, we ventured to Ploen Ruedee Night Market, a relatively new addition to Chiang Mai's night market scene. This trendy street food market boasted a vibrant and contemporary setup. Colorful food stalls lined the streets, offering a wide array of cuisines from around the world. We savored dishes from different countries, including delicious sushi rolls, flavorful Indian curries, and tantalizing Mexican tacos. The market had a young and energetic vibe, with a live band performing on a central stage, creating an electric atmosphere.

At Ploen Ruade Market

To end our night market adventure, we made our way to Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, one of the city's most famous markets. The bustling bazaar spanned several blocks and offered a dizzying array of goods and street food. We weaved through the bustling crowds, exploring the countless stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to handicrafts and artwork. The scents of grilled meats, fried delicacies, and exotic spices filled the air as we navigated through the maze of food stalls. We couldn't resist the temptation and savored some more local favorites, including flavorful noodle soups and succulent barbecued skewers.

As the clock neared 8 p.m., signaling the end of the market, we took a moment to reflect on the vibrant day we had experienced. The night markets of Chiang Mai not only provided us with an opportunity to indulge in delicious food and discover unique treasures but also a chance to connect with the local culture and immerse ourselves in the lively atmosphere that defines this enchanting city.

Day 3: Temples and Anusarn Market Farewell

On our final day in Chiang Mai, we embarked on a journey to explore the city's renowned temples, each offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

We began our day by visiting Wat Pha Lat, a hidden gem nestled amidst the lush mountainside. To reach the temple, we embarked on a scenic hike through a verdant forest, following a trail that meandered alongside a gentle waterfall. The tranquil surroundings and the soothing sound of cascading water created a sense of serenity and tranquility. As we reached the temple, we were greeted by its ethereal beauty. Wat Pha Lat's modest yet charming structures blended harmoniously with the natural surroundings, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valley. We took our time exploring the temple grounds, basking in the serene atmosphere and admiring the intricate details of the ancient statues and architecture.

At Wat Pha Lat
At Wat Pha Lat
At Wat Pha Lat
At Wat Pha Lat
At Wat Pha Lat

After we visited Wat Pha Lat, we continued our temple tour by making our way to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most revered and iconic temples in Chiang Mai. Situated atop Doi Suthep mountain, the temple offered a spiritual sanctuary and a panoramic view of the city below. To reach the temple, we climbed a grand staircase flanked by mythical serpent statues, each step bringing us closer to the sacred site. The journey itself was a testament to the devotion and dedication of the countless pilgrims who had made the same ascent before us.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Upon reaching the temple, we were captivated by its grandeur. The golden pagodas and intricate structures shone brightly under the sun, casting a mesmerizing glow. We marveled at the ornate carvings, glistening mosaics, and exquisite Buddha statues that adorned the temple grounds. The tranquil atmosphere and the gentle scent of incense created a space for contemplation and reflection.

As the day transitioned into the evening, we decided to make our way back to the Anusarn Market and Kalare Night Market to bid farewell to Chiang Mai in style. Anusarn Market, located near the iconic Night Bazaar, offered a vibrant and eclectic selection of street food stalls, restaurants, and bars. The lively ambiance, with music filling the air and colorful lights illuminating the night, provided a festive backdrop for our final night in the city. We indulged in our favorite dishes once again, savoring the flavors that had become familiar and beloved during our stay.

Kalare Night Market, with its energetic atmosphere and lively performances, allowed us to savor the vibrant spirit of Chiang Mai for one last time. We immersed ourselves in the bustling crowds, enjoying the sights and sounds surrounding us. The night market was a truly sensory experience, with the tantalizing aromas of street food, the vibrant colors of the stalls, and the melodies of live music filling the air.

As we made our way back to our accommodation, we couldn't help but reflect on the incredible journey we had experienced in Chiang Mai. The city had opened its doors to us, revealing its vibrant markets, captivating temples, and rich cultural heritage. It welcomed us with open arms and left an indelible mark on our hearts.

With gratitude and nostalgia, we bid farewell to Chiang Mai, knowing that its memories would forever hold a special place in our travel adventures. As we continued our exploration of Thailand, we carried with us the warmth and charm of this enchanting city, eager to uncover more wonders and create new memories in the days to come.

If you still haven't read our other blog posts on our Thailand Tour here they are