Chiang Mai

Holidays to Chiang Mai

It is worth noting that Chiang Mai has a significant expat population amongst its 170,000 central city dwellers. It also has a very cosmopolitan feel. If you are interested in Eastern religion, especially Buddhism, the 300 Buddhist temples in the area will justify your decision to spend your holidays in Chiang Mai. Many of the temples will be predominately visited by locals only, so it is necessary to dress respectfully when visiting some of the more remote temples. There is a wonderful, diverse heritage in Northern Thailand.

Inside the old city walls lies the fantastic Wat Phra Singh temple. It houses the Wihaan Lai Kham, and features ancient temple murals and exquisite gold on red decor. Chiang Mai holidays typically include a visit to this temple, which was built in 1345. Wat Jet Yod, a series of grounds established in 1455 to host a World Buddhist Council, sits under ancient trees and is filled with a sense of history and resplendent architecture.

Holidays to Chiang Mai are also famed for their elephant nature parks; while some similar parks around South-East Asia are not known for their animal welfare records, the Elephant Nature Park close to Chiang Mai has the status of a sanctuary. You can visit overnight or volunteer for a week at the centre to gain a greater understanding of these magnificent creatures. Baanchang Elephant Park within Chiang Mai is often the most frequently visited during holidays in Chiang Mai. Aside from the expertly treated elephants and beautiful atmosphere, rural entertainment is also available; visitors can enjoy campfire activities, such as releasing fire lanterns, and taste traditional foods that are prepared for those who stay overnight.

Keeping with the natural feel of the city, the Flight of the Gibbon Adventure Tour is available for around £30; it will take tourists and locals around two kilometres of sky-bridges throughout the treetops. Chiang Mai holidays would not be complete without this tour; the scenery and feel of walking above the treetops is an experience visitors will never forget. The tour also includes a view of the spectacular and dramatic Mae Kompong Waterfall.

Muay Thai is extremely popular in the city and Chiang Mai holidays will often feature a visit to the Kawila Boxing Stadium near Narawat Bridge. The stadium puts on fights featuring rookies and experienced fighters every Friday at 8pm. Many of the fighters come from different countries to fight at the stadium. Entry is considered very affordable at around £8 for the night -- less than pay-per-view boxing in the UK!

Holidays to Chiang Mai offer a great, relaxed alternative to Bangkok. This city is more suitable for families, and offers a real taste of local life with fantastic cuisine, temples and activities that most travellers will enjoy.


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