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Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai


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“If you haven’t tasted Khao Soi or seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai.” This famous Thai saying clearly rings true, as visitors to Northern Thailand will find that there are certain things to try in order to fully experience the city. Chiang Mai is definitely more relaxed than Bangkok, and its northern mountain air definitely offers respite from the country’s normally hot and humid weather. Nature lovers choose Chiang Mai as their top place in which to experience a unique and organic trip, full of waterfalls, mountains, and rare wildlife. From Doi Inthanon to […]

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Number 9 > Drive beyond San Kamphaeng to Mae On and climb up the hills passing many tree farms and nurseries along the way.  Visit some of the quaint cafes perched atop the ridges or eat in one of the many restaurants.This area, along with its hot springs, awesome views and quaintness is well worth exploring for a day or even just an afternoon.

Number 10 > Another good drive, given a full day to do it, is the Samoeng loop of ~100km.   Loads of great places to stop and eat and fabulous views on a clear day.  If time permits one can visit many attractions at the northern end: Queen Sirikit Gardens, Mae Sa Waterfall, Monkey Centre, X-Centre, Elephant Camp and others.   Beware of motorcyclists as it's a popular route and top up with fuel before you set out.

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Lived in Chiang Mai for a few years:

1. Doi Suthep :-  Definately - you must go and see.

2. San Kamphaeng Road :-  No -  very long and lots of over-priced artwork type khrapp - unless you like that stuff.

 

3. Warorot Market :- Definitely - best market in Chiang Mai - anytime of the day/night.

 

4. Doi Inthanon National Park :- Definitely - a long drive but absolutely worth it - take warm clothing as it gets cold up there. 

 

5. Try Khao Soi :- Abolutely loved that dish - best price in local food courts and on streets - just as good as in expensive restaurants.

 

 

 

 

6. Chiang Mai “Grand Canyon” :- No - over priced tourist trap.

 

7. Mae Ping River :- No thank you - not clean water and no way I would swim/canoe in it.

8. Night Bazaar:- OK - but Warawot much better.

Lots of great Golf Course in and around Chiang Mai.  Take your Thai wife or GF and tell them you are a local and ask for 'promotion' price - much cheaper.

Chiang Mai Zoo is/was very good. But like many places in Thailand during the Covid pandemic it might be now run down and in disrepair. Probably best to wait til tourism kicks back in.  

January to March - lost of smoke from forests burning in Thailand and Myanmar - best to avoid Chiang Mai then, but it can also happen anytime outside of rainy season.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AussieBob said:

 . . . lost of smoke . . .

Great word-play, there, AussieBob

Sorry . . . couldn't resist!

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According to online data air pollution has cost an estimated1,200 deaths in Chiang Mai in 2021. Not sure how many people died in CM from COVID-19, but i am not going there for any of these wonders. Last time i was there in February and i had air purifier in my room, showing 290 AIQ inside the room with the sealed windows. Thank you, Koh Chang for me at any time of the year!

 

Sorry, didn't know that links are not allowed, but it's according to IQAir web site

Edited by AlexPTY
LINK removed as per forum guidelines
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Alex, I can assure you that much of what you read online based on 'data', is not peer reviewed or necessarily accurate. 

In the case of Air Quality data, the measuring locations around Chiang Mai report wildly different readings for various reasons:-

Location:- centre city adjacent busy street choked with rush hour traffic = very high ppm readings.  Or, another meter located atop a hospital recorded ppm off the scale... how?  Wind blowing the mortuary furnaces smoke that way ...?

The media always hone in on the HIGHEST readings as that makes sensationalist news.

This year, 2021, was the best ever for smoke pollution and frankly everyone I know was very happy with those early rains which drove the smoke away and laid the dust down.

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14 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

Alex, I can assure you that much of what you read online based on 'data', is not peer reviewed or necessarily accurate.

Cap, i agree, but when i see 290 on the display in CM and 2 in my condo in BKK, it tells me something. I do not need a peers to review this data, i will run and never come back, cause, frankly, your body can develop antibodies against COVID, but PM2.5 will accumulate in your lungs and stay forever, and this fact was already reviewed by peers.

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1 hour ago, AlexPTY said:

Cap, i agree, but when i see 290 on the display in CM and 2 in my condo in BKK, it tells me something. I do not need a peers to review this data, i will run and never come back, cause, frankly, your body can develop antibodies against COVID, but PM2.5 will accumulate in your lungs and stay forever, and this fact was already reviewed by peers.

I'm not denying you may see high readings on your own personal air scrubber or AQ meter.  I wonder about the location of that condo and the actual date in February?  Bush fires roared thru scrub and forest around Doi Suthep and the smoke was pretty dense in the CMU, Nimmen thru to Mae Rim corridor, so perhaps that is what you allude to.  Rest of the city and suburbs were largely unaffected.

My point was in regards to online AQ data (sorry but LINKS not currently permitted), and especially the high number always published as sensationalist news ie "Chiang Mai Most Polluted in the World".  One should bear in mind 2 things: 1/ Chiang Mai is both a large Province and a city.  2./ Our 'pollution' is mainly from dust and burning vegetation smoke, not industrial smoke.

There's around 15 to 20 Air Quality metering stations around the city and the highest readings almost always come from 1 or 2 in the old city where vehicle congestion occurs at the 2 peaks times.  Convection lifts dust and other particulates high up among the buildings as there's usually no breeze to carry it away.   Diesel trucks, pickups, buses and songthaews are among the worst black soot emitters in the cbd. 

pm 2.5 can be dangerous for the elderly, infirm, especially those with breathing problems.  It may even knock a few days off my life.

Really harmful pollution, nanoparticulate, is not measured here.  That's the cocktail of invisible chemicals in vehicle exhausts and burning tyres, plastics, industrial smoke etc.

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26 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

I wonder about the location of that condo and the actual date in February?  Bush fires roared thru scrub and forest around Doi Suthep and the smoke was pretty dense in the CMU, Nimmen thru to Mae Rim corridor, so perhaps that is what you allude to.  Rest of the city and suburbs were largely unaffected.

Cap, i got it, you love CM, i don't, if you live there, you can average on good and bad days as i could in BKK, but i was in CM on March 4-9th (sorry got mixed with dates earlier) and my Shangri-La room AIQ was 290-200 every day, i was taken to the Roof Top Bar at Hotel Yayee for a dinner to enjoy a nice view of Doi Suthep, which we couldn't even see.

Yes, it was probably a fires and no breeze, but for me, it was a 100% crappy experience in that particular trip. I don't really care is on March 12th it was a perfect weather, nice breeze and a perfect view, my trip was ruined and i ain't coming back again to see those 8 wonders, it's my personal experience, my 2 cents, no more...

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45 minutes ago, AlexPTY said:

Cap, i got it, you love CM, i don't, if you live there, you can average on good and bad days as i could in BKK, but i was in CM on March 4-9th (sorry got mixed with dates earlier) and my Shangri-La room AIQ was 290-200 every day, i was taken to the Roof Top Bar at Hotel Yayee for a dinner to enjoy a nice view of Doi Suthep, which we couldn't even see.

Yes, it was probably a fires and no breeze, but for me, it was a 100% crappy experience in that particular trip. I don't really care is on March 12th it was a perfect weather, nice breeze and a perfect view, my trip was ruined and i ain't coming back again to see those 8 wonders, it's my personal experience, my 2 cents, no more...

Tourists should never visit Chiang Mai in March or April. It's too hot and is the smoky season for all of the north*, not just CM.

Feb this year was almost as bad due to 3 months of no rain leaving nothing but dust and tinder dry scrub.  Luckily we had very early onset of rains end of March, most unusual, and April was clear of all smoke.

Normally we travel March/April as it's off-season but good weather downunder but covid put a halt on that this year.

*The band of smoke often extends from Pakistan > India > Bangladesh > Burma > Mae Hong Son > Chiang Mai/Rai > Laos > Isaan and further east.  A temperature inversion can hold smoke, trapped in valleys, for days.  No sea breezes here!

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I agree with both of you guys - @ KaptainRob  @AlexPTY.  When we lived in Chiang Mai (for several years) and there were days when we did not go far - and certainly did not play golf.  But with sensible air filtering arrangements in the house and car it was all good most of the time - the malls etc all have good air-con systems, we had no issues most days of the year. Jan-March was usually the worst period, but it can happen anytime during the year.  IMO Chiang Mai is not a good tourist destination - like Alex you can be unlucky and get nothing but bad air - and then 2 weeks later it is great and all the locals 'come out to play' :)

 

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