I recently returned from the most incredible trip to Thailand where I visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Ao Nang in Krabi. Before going I did a lot of research, mostly on Pinterest about things to do – I created a whole Thailand board to get ideas for adventures, things to do and places to see and I wanted to share with you some of my research and the perfect two day itinerary for visiting Chiang Mai.
Start your first day by going to Ristr8o on the Nimmanhemin road for a morning coffee. Depending on where your hotel is you can either walk here or catch a grab or tuk tuk instead. Ristr8o does really great coffee but the best bit is the latte art, several of the baristas are world latte art champions or runners up. The drinks really are almost too beautiful to drink and they play great tunes too.
Next, catch a Grab into the Old City to visit Wat Phra Singh which is simply stunning; it has a really lovely garden with lots of greenery and lots of smaller temples dotted about. Have a slow wander through the gardens and visit the temples, taking your shoes off of course as a mark if respect. What I really liked about this temple was the quotes dotted about the garden. Wat Chedi Luang is also very close by and these are two of the main temples in the centre of Chiang Mai.
Return to your hotel ready to be collected for your evening cooking class with Galangal. After lots of research through Pinterest and online before the holiday, we chose to do our cooking class through Galangal (which means Thai Ginger) because of all of the great reviews so we had high expectations. You’ll need to book this in advance and Galangal can be contacted either via email or Facebook. The Galangal team will pick you up between 3.30 and 4pm ish so make sure you’re ready. There are lots of cooking classes on the market but I can highly recommend Galangal – it was one of the highlights of our time in Chiang Mai. We cooked five different dishes and ate them all there and then but you could put any leftovers into a takeaway box to take them with you. You can read more about our experience with Galangal on day 6 of my Thailand live blog.
Finish off the day by heading to the night market, here you can have a wander round the stalls, pick up some souvenirs or get some dessert. I can vouch for the ice cream rolls freshly made right in front of your eyes. They’re so delicious although you might not have much room left for pudding after the cooking class!
For breakfast, visit SS1254372 a lovely cafe connected to a small art gallery. They do a great selection of brunch options, good coffee and tasty fruit smoothies. It’s also in the Nimmanhemin area and has really nice relaxed decor with lots of plants.
Next, take a songthaew (a red taxi truck) up to Doi Suthep which is the mountain. Most songathaews are shared but you can take a private one and the driver will wait for you to return. The journey itself is windy and twisting and when you arrive you have to climb up the 300+ steps before you arrive at the temple Wat Phra That right at the very top.
After visiting the temple and returning back down the mountain, visit a spa for a traditional Thai massage. Thai massage is not the same as a typical Swedish massage that you’re likely to have in the U.K; it’s not as relaxing, much more acrobatic and quite a bit more painful because the masseur will put your body in all sorts of positions including sitting on top of you to stretch every single muscle in your body. You can’t visit Thailand and not have a Thai massage!
Finally, to end the day head to Dash! Teak House in the Old City to enjoy a delicious meal of Khao Soi – this is a northern Thai curry noodle dish topped with crispy noodles which you won’t find anywhere else in Thailand.
Have you visited Chiang Mai before?