Attractions Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a large city in Northern Thailand, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains that provides a very different kind of experience than most other tourist destinations. It is inland and thus does not boast any of the beaches and associated water sports so beloved by travelers to Thailand. What it does have to offer is a wealth of Thai culture and history, all in a strikingly beautiful lush, green mountainous setting. Its geographical position cut Chiang Mai off from the rest of the country until the early 20th century, preserving the city’s tradition and culture. Nowadays with the growth of tall skyscrapers in the area, Chiang Mai has evolved into a fascinating blend of old and new Thailand.

Nature

The breath taking mountains are not just the back drop – they take center stage for many travelers, who come specifically to hike, trek and admire the spectacular scenery. Elephant tours are another way to view the lovely surroundings; however, beware of some unscrupulous operators who overcharge and keep their animals in miserable conditions. The Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is home to an amazing eight tiered waterfall, Mae Sa. Not far away by car is Dokmai Garden, with an astonishing variety of orchids and edible indigenous plants.

Cultural Attractions

The Thai royal family’s winter home, Phu Ping Palace, is open to the public several hours a day when it is unoccupied. The extensive gardens are actually more interesting than the palace itself. Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center’s multimedia exhibits give a complete and fascinating overview of the region’s history and culture. There are several other museums, including a postal museum and an art museum at the university. Children may particularly like the unusual Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders.

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