City Guide: Chiang Mai

it is safe to say that chiang mai was our favorite city that we visited during our trip.
heck, b even brought up the idea of living in this jungle city at some point in our life.

we enjoyed the less humid climate, easy navigation through the city (compared to bangkok) and the slower pace.
it is referred to as ” the rose of the north” for good reason.

so without further or do here is a list of our favorite things to do, eat and see!

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elephant nature park – are you tired of me talking about my love for elephants and this incredible experience that elephant nature park offers? hope not!
elephant nature park provides people the opportunity to walk, feed, bathe and love on asian elephants. it is a great humane option but on the pricier side!
check my previous post for more details.

rent a scooter – the best way to tour the city in my opinion! it is also very cost effective. we rented a scooter for a few dollars a day. do note they don’t drive on the same side of the road as we do in the states so that can get a little confusing.

shop at night bazaar – a bustling outdoor market with souvenirs, clothes and food galore. it has by far the best prices i have seen for merchandise in thailand!

exfoliate your feet – have you ever seen those tanks with the fish in them that supposedly eat your dead skin? well those tanks are available at the night bazaar. b loved it and kept putting his hand in the tank for the fish to eat the skin off. i, on the other hand, am way too ticklish. i am not even a fan of pedicures because they touch my feet too much.
i didn’t think i would be able to feel the fish as much as i did. i could literally feel every single fish sucking and i was not having it. you have to have a lot of self control to participate!

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get a massage at zabai thai massage – massages in thailand are cheeeap. like ben got a massage almost every night cheap. this place was on the pricier side when it came to massages but both b and i agreed it was well worth it with ambience of the spa and the professionalism / experience of the employees. b said it may have been the best massage he ever had.
i paid around $18 for a one hour aromatherapy message (thai massages are a little too rough for me but b prefers it).

take a tuk tuk – tuk tuks are more readily available than taxis in chiang mai so this was another way we would get around to dinner/massages. i love tuk tuks. i love the wind in my hair. i love bartering with the drivers before hand (you must decide on a price before entering or they will swindle you!). i love all the different smells you encounter on your drive through the city. it really is so thai.

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a lot of thai – another highlight of the trip for me was taking a half day cooking class with chef yui. the half day class includes three dishes and a tour of the local market (full day is 5 dishes + local market tour — wish we had that kind of time!). this is the perfect way to bring a piece of thailand home with you.
yui is an amazing teacher with a low key approach that makes you enjoy the dish you are creating. not to mention she is hilarious!

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the house restaurant – lovely atmosphere with vibrant thai dishes ; gingers restaurant located next door is also a great dinning option but a little pricier!

the riverside – a great mix of western and thai food ; moderate pricing ; live music ; eat on the patio by the water!

la fourchette –  confession. we did not eat thai food the whole time we were there. sometimes my body just wanted to mix it up and la fourchette is the place to do it. it is a french restaurant with exquisite dishes like duck and lamb.

la petite chiangmai - wonderful authentic northern thai cuisine with exceptional service!

mamory delicious for good memories – we actually did not eat here but it was recommended to us so i thought i would pass down the recommendation to you. please let me know what you think of it!

angel’s secrets – this is the kind of bakery / coffee shop that you could spend your whole day in and be content. the food is delicious. the restaurant is located in the center of the city and they have a garden. what more could you ask for?


wat chedi luang – to be honest, this was the only temple we were able to visit while in chiang mai. a lot of our time was eaten up by excursions and so we didn’t have as much time to explore as we would have liked.
this temple is 600 years old and used to house the emerald buddah, which is now at the grand palace in bangkok. i love the elephant statues and the steep staircases. i can only imagine what it would have looked like in its’ prime!

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do explore the other exquisite temples in chiang mai for me! here is a great guide.

we simply adored the city of chiang mai. our only wish was that we could have spent at the very least a couple more days. we were only there for 2 full days and one day was with the elephants. but we will take what we can get it!

oh chiang mai, you have a special piece of my heart.



linked to: treat yo’ self

  • Shannon Kennedy

    Your photos are incredible. It looks like an amazing trip!

    • Emily

      thailand is so beautiful it is hard to take bad pictures of it haha! it was such an amazing trip. thanks for stopping by xx