Locals are proud of Chiang Mai’s 700-year history and the city’s original layout--a neat square surrounded by a moat, the vestiges of the fortified wall and the four main gates still exist today. Once the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is now the economic, cultural and communications hub of northern Thailand. The area, famous for its elephant training centers, is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to many hill tribes. In addition, the area’s national parks are filled with exotic flora and fauna. Chiang Mai’s diverse landscape and visitor activities are such that both backpackers and luxury travelers can enjoy themselves to the fullest.
Wat Chedi Luang
The 98-meter tall and 54-meter wide chedi was built in the reign of King Tilokkarat. The construction was completed in 1481. In 1545 the chedi collapsed due to an earthquake during the reign of King Jiraprapa.
The chapel in the front was built by Chao Khun Uba Lee Poramacharn (Sirichantathera) and Chao Kaeo Navarat in 1928.
TThe magnificent methodological serpents ramble from the entrance of the chapel to its door on both sides. It is believed that they are the most beautiful man-made serpents in the northern Thailand.
Huai Nam Dang National Park
The mountain has a verdant forest, which is the source of tributaries and various streams. Attractions include: Huai Nam Dang Viewpoint or Doi Kiu Lom overlooks Doi Chiang Dao and is a superb spot to see sunrise amid cloudy valleys in the early morning.
To get there, drive along Mae Malai-Pai Road to between Km. 65-66, and then take a 6-kilometre access road to the park office.
Doi Chang Viewpoint is located 20 kilometres beyond the Huai Nam Dang Viewpoint. Only a four-wheel vehicle can make the trip. The scenic views of natural mountain ranges and early morning sea of cloud can be seen from here.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is 15 kilometers from Chiang Mai. It nestles into the side of Doi Suthep, some 3,000 feet above sea level amongst some of the most picturesque scenery you are likely to encounter. Built by King Gue-Na in 1383, the temple houses a large copper-plate Chedi (twenty-two meters high) that is covered in gold and contains holy relics of the Lord.
It nestles into the side of Doi Suthep some 3,000 feet above sea level amongst some of the most picturesque scenery you are likely to encounter. Built by King Gue-Na in 1383, the temple houses a large copper-plate Chedi (twenty-two meters high) that is covered in gold and contains holy relics of the Lord Buddha.
As well as being a key tourism destination, the temple has considerable importance. Buddhist pilgrims visit the site all year round. The temple has four chapels and an important golden Buddha image is found at the temple. To get to there you either walk up a staircase (around 300 steps) or use a cable car.
Chiang Mai Night Safari is located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, covering an overall area of approximately 328 acres of Tambon Mae Hia and Tambon Suthep.
This is an abundant night safari. Visitors can see various kinds of animals such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, Asiatic black bears, tigers, hyenas, crocodiles, etc. by open-air tram.
There is also a trekking route to see the wild animals surrounded by a beautiful atmosphere on the lake’s bank that is full of various trees.
Operation hours: Day time from Mon.-Fri. between 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m. Sat.-Sun. between 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Night time daily between 6.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon is a part of the Himalayas, which range across Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and ends at Northern Thailand. Complex mountain ranges and a mild climate characterise an area with a moist and dense summit forest.
Visiting Doi Inthanon is possible throughout the year. The best period for viewing waterfalls is May through November.
Visiting Doi Inthanon is possible throughout the year. The best period for viewing waterfalls is May through November. The best period for viewing wild flowers is December through February.