Often regarded as Thailand’s second most popular tourist hub after the capital Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a welcome alternative to the bustle and chaos of the former. Surrounded by breathtaking beauty, Chiang Mai occupies an area rich in cultural and recreational highlights visitors based in a centrally located Chiang Mai hotel such as the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort can easily experience.
Perhaps the area’s most renowned attraction for tourists, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is no ordinary mountainous temple in Thailand. As a sacred religious institution the venue is frequented by Buddhist devotees from around the world. Located atop a scenic mountain the temple is reached via a hike or a ride on board a songthaew. The locale’s main attraction is of course its iconic Buddha sculpture while the chedis and the gallery containing dozens of Buddha statues is no less impressive. Wat Chedi Luang is another point of interest worthy of exploration while a hiking tour of Thailand’s tallest peak Doi Inthanon is also a must for those who love a trek route littered with waterfalls and encounters with traditional hill tribes of Chiang Mai.
Wildlife enthusiasts should not forget to stopover at Chiang Mai’s famed Elephant Nature Park where activities involving gentle giant are available for visitors. From feeding to bathing the mammoth creatures, visitors can also contribute their time by volunteering in this conservation project to preserve the area’s elephant heritage.
Huay Tung Tao is also one of the region’s top highlights due to its captivating surroundings complete with a lake and reservoir with recreational facilities while those who wish to experience the cuisine and shopping culture of Chiang Mai should head down to the Chiang Mai Gate Market or the Sunday Walking Street where visitors can find hoards of stalls selling everything under the sun including clothing, jewellery and handicrafts at unbelievable rates. The Night Bazaar is another Chiang Mai hotspot complete with home ware and consumer goods stalls and Muay Thai fighting showcases although those in search of a quiet refuge can enjoy a picnic at the foot of the Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls where visitors can climb the length of the falls without any fear.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+