Admire the gold at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
A beautiful mountaintop temple overlooking the city, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep glitters with its gold details. It is considered one of the most historically and spiritually significant places in Thailand and is designed to embody the Lanna culture with a history that dates back 700 years. Here you’ll find a 13th-century temple that is home to a large white elephant shrine in addition to a replica of the Emerald Buddha.
Observe gentle giants at Elephant Nature Park
Visiting an elephant sanctuary is a must when visiting Thailand, as it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is one of the best, as the owner “Lek”, an award-winning conservationist, is dedicated to rescuing injured and mistreated elephants. Instead of riding the elephants, visitors are given the opportunity to observe these gentle giants in an expansive prairie and feed them baskets of fruit.
Enjoy a monk chat at Wat Chedi Luang
Surely a memory you won’t soon forget, Wat Chedi Luang is not only a historic landmark but offers you the chance to chat with local monks. Known as the Temple of the Big Stupa, here you’ll find the ruins of an ancient temple sitting in the center of the city. It is the former home of the Emerald Buddha, the holiest religious object in all of Thailand and is a great spot to see massive elephant carvings and monks going about their daily work.
Bargain for souvenirs at Night Bazaar
If you’re looking to sharpen your bargaining skills, head to the Night Bazaar. Open every night, this bustling market on Chang Klan Road is a great spot to pick up souvenirs. There are some great finds found in the hundreds of vendors that line the street, from clothes and scarves to housewares and accessories. Visit here even if you’re not on the hunt for shopping treasures, just so you can experience the electric atmosphere and indulge in local delicacies from food stalls.
Step back in history at Wat Phra Singh
A beautiful Buddhist temple and monastery, Wat Phra Singh dates back to the 14th century. Known as the Temple of the Lion Buddha, it houses two Buddha statues, including a very large copper and a gold cast of the seated Buddha. Admire the elegantly decorated Lai Kam assembly hall and its restored murals that depict life hundreds of years ago, then step inside the Haw Trai library adorned with stucco figures and Buddhist scriptures.