City Guide | Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Chiang Mai was full of wonder.  Derek and I discussed what really made Chiang Mai special, and this is our guide to our favorite parts of the city:

The Whole Earth Restaurant is our top pick for a date night.  It was very well priced, and their menu was quite extensive.  Derek and I both found options that perfectly fit both our palettes.

May Kaidee's Cooking Class is a must if you are interested in bringing back some knowledge of the recipes.  This particular cooking class is vegetarian, but there are so many more options available.

The street food is absolutely divine, so you don't need to spend much to really please your taste buds here.  I suggest the spicy green papaya salads and the mango lassi smoothies.

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The Night Bazaar (located in the Eastern side of the Old City)  is a must!  There was so much to do, and it was home to the greatest food stands. Plus, there are free shows every night!

We also loved the Sunday Walking Markets (pictured above).  You can find these in the center of Chiang Mai's Old City.

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Tuk Tuks & bicycles are the best way to get around this city.  We really preferred the bicycles, because we could stop anytime we wanted and just explore.  If you want to get somewhere quickly (and cheaply) then the Tuk Tuks were the best bet!  Don't let them fool you with the price.  Most are honest, but the rides shouldn't be more than 60-100 Thai Baht for a ride within the city.

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The temples, or wats, are a definite must see in Thailand.  They are exquisite, and pop up everywhere.  Definitely check out as many as you can!!

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Take a kayaking trip to see some wildlife and experience the quieter side of Thailand.  We went with Chiang Mai Kayaking, and it was definitely worth it.  Our group was extremely intimate with only three members plus our two guides.  We saw various species of rare birds, a few snakes (eek!), and kayaked past the banana fields.  Do not forget your sunscreen for this one!  I never get sunburns, but my legs were extremely red after this!

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The Peak Spa was a much-need restoration session for us both.  This was a definite luxury.  The whole experience started with herbal tea and hot towels.  We were able to choose our own aromatherapy oils for our experience.  They have private rooms or you may opt for a couple's room.  We chose different types of massages but were able to be in the same room.  It was an amazing experience for a nice price tag of $60!  Yes, you read that right!

Lastly, here are some Dos and Don'ts for your trip:

Don't touch people on the head.  This includes the Buddha statues.  It is considered an extreme act of disrespect.

Don't disrespect the Thai Royal family!  This is a huge one, because the Thai people take this very seriously.  Some people have even been arrested or fined for insulting them.

Don't support the abuse of animals!  I would, personally, avoid anything in the Mae Rim Valley, because I only heard negative things about it from the Thai people.  Try to find places that enrich the animals' lives.  I suggest the Elephant Nature Park!  There's no riding and no shows, so they are allowed to thrive naturally.

Do smile often!  Thai people are extremely friendly, so be sure to return the kindness.

Do get a fish foot massage!  This was so cool.  The little guys get a meal, and you get the smoothest feet on earth. Win-win!

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Have you been to Thailand?  What did you enjoy most?  Planning on visiting soon?  Did I miss something?  Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

maria