Charming Chiang Mai
Linda Hong

Wanderguide by

Linda Hong

Charming Chiang Mai

There’s so much to do and see in Chiang Mai and after the past 3 years of living here, this is what I consider the best of the best in CM. I always say to everyone, “you will eat your way through Chiang Mai” and what better way to experience the culture than through your tummy!

Where to stay?

There are also lots of options on Airbnb! Popular areas include, nimman and old city. Anything east of the square is just out of the way.

Image - Green Tiger House
Place
Green Tiger House
Linda:$ - On the moat in the old city, on the cheaper end since its a hostel. There are private rooms as well and they have a vegan cafe.
Image - ALEXA Hostel
Place
ALEXA Hostel
Linda:$ - New hostel in the nimman area - great location!
Image - BED Nimman
Place
BED Nimman
Linda:$$ - Popular hotel name that has a few locations around Chiang Mai.
Image - Buri Siri Hotel
Place
Buri Siri Hotel
Linda:$$ - Nimman area
Image - Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
Place
Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
Linda:$$$ - rooftop bar and pool. Pretty fancy if you are feeling those vibes
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Day Trips, Activities & Sightseeing

Image - Doi Suthep
Place
Doi Suthep
Linda:At the top of Doi Suthep - the must-see temple!
Image - Wat Chedi Luang
Place
Wat Chedi Luang
Linda:Oldest temple in the middle of the old city. There’s a monk chat so you can talk to the monks who are practicing their English - really cool
Image - Huay Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai
Place
Huay Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai
Linda:You can cycle there if you are feeling ambitious! Sit in a stilted bungalow on the lake and eat lunch among picnicking Thai families.
Image - Nong Buak Hard Public Park
Place
Nong Buak Hard Public Park
Linda:In the Old City, rent a bamboo mat and watch the pigeons - really chill!
Image - Doi Inthanon
Place
Doi Inthanon
Linda:It's the national park! Super lush and about 2 hours by bike about 3 in the car (there are tours you can book through your hotel - just ask
Image - The Chai Lai Orchid
Place
The Chai Lai Orchid
Linda:I can’t talk highly enough about this place! Not only is this a great place to stay for a weekend - you are supporting human rights!
Image - Bua Tong Waterfalls
Place
Bua Tong Waterfalls
Linda:It’s great during the rainy season because the water is high (June-August is rainy season but fear not it’s the on/off kind of rain)
Image - Samoeng loop around Chiang Mai, Thailand
Story
Samoeng loop around Chiang Mai, Thailand
Linda:Beautiful scenery, fresh air, swings around back to Chiang Mai. Only if you are confident on 2 wheels I recommend doing this!

Coffee/Cafes/Brunch

Image - Akha Ama Coffee
Place
Akha Ama Coffee
Linda:In Chang Puak (closed on Wed) no food but bagels and cakes, GO FOR THE COFFEE! No soy or almond milk here but you can buy their coffee beans
Image - Flips&Flips Homemade Donuts
Place
Flips&Flips Homemade Donuts
Linda:The best in Chiang Mai (closed on Thursday) open 11 am but they sell out SUPER QUICK like 2 hours max and they are done!
Image - Gallery Seescape
Place
Gallery Seescape
Linda:This is one my favorite brunch places - best chicken avo poached egg breaky ever! And good coffee (they use ahka ama beans)
Image - Rustic and Blue The Farm Shop
Place
Rustic and Blue The Farm Shop
Linda:Super cute, farm style cafe. Very picturesque! I love their brunch. A bit pricey for the locals but technically still cheap - great coffee!
Image - The Larder Cafe & Bar
Place
The Larder Cafe & Bar
Linda:Small, hip, cozy breakfast place - I come here for the sunny side up evoo dish (just simple and easy)
Image - Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Place
Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Linda:This place is really cool because of the old shipping containers being recycled into a school called ISDSI and a coworking space.
Image - Bagel House Cafe
Place
Bagel House Cafe
Linda:Need I say more? They have the best bagels with vegan options too!
Image - Overstand Coffee Old City
Place
Overstand Coffee Old City
Linda:Super edgy, cool vibes kind of place. Great food and coffee! Two locations in the old city and nimman

Coworking Spaces

So many more to choose from! Just depends what area you are or the vibes you prefer

Image - The Brick Startup Space
Place
The Brick Startup Space
Linda:Located at Nimman
Image - Thesis Coffee
Place
Thesis Coffee
Image - CAMP at MAYA
Place
CAMP at MAYA
Linda:Nimman - Open 24 hours
Image - Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Place
Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Linda:Located about 10 mins away from Nimman

Restaurants

Don't forget to try street food! A lot of vendors cook meat on a stick (skewers) and they are safe and yummy!

Image - Lert Ros
Place
Lert Ros
Linda:Lemongrass stuffed grilled fish - you can get all your northern Thai food fixings out of the way here!! Its SO GOOD! - MUST GO!
Image - Dash
Place
Dash
Linda:Fancy(ish) Thai restaurant if you are looking for a nice dinner. Great ambiance - the tamarind chicken is a must try
Image - Free Bird Cafe
Place
Free Bird Cafe
Linda:Vegan Thai & authentic Shan food (The Shan are a persecuted minority in Burma, you are unlikely to find their cuisine elsewhere). Good cause
Image - Amrita Garden
Place
Amrita Garden
Linda:Japanese microbiotic food, everything is alive, soothing to the digestive system
Image - Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
Place
Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
Linda:The best place for classic grilled chicken, sticky rice and som tom (papaya salad)
Image - Food 4 Thought
Place
Food 4 Thought
Linda:Western fusion, awesome wraps, great coffee
Image - Cat House Chiang Mai
Place
Cat House Chiang Mai
Linda:Funky cool - vegetarian spot! Good for breakfast as well
Image - Beast Burger
Place
Beast Burger
Linda:If you are Thai-ed out as I say, a good burger is always the best go too!
Image - Street Pizza & The Wine House
Place
Street Pizza & The Wine House
Linda:Because who doesn’t like pizza? This is owned by a super young thai couple and it’s one of the best pizzas I’ve had almost ever!
Image - Musashi Sushi Bar Chiangmai มูซาชิ ซูชิ เชียงใหม่
Place
Musashi Sushi Bar Chiangmai มูซาชิ ซูชิ เชียงใหม่
Linda:SUSHI! This is just somewhere I go to all the time because I love sushi
Image - Why Not?
Place
Why Not?
Linda:An Italian restaurant if you are craving some good pasta!
Image - Salsa Kitchen
Place
Salsa Kitchen
Linda:Surprisingly good Mexican food - don’t feel bad about wanting this haha we all go here!

Markets

Image - Student Night Market
Place
Student Night Market
Linda:After sunset - hang with the university crowd, Thai style clothes and stuff, great people watching
Image - Sunday Night Market
Place
Sunday Night Market
Linda:Only Sundays 5pm-midnight. The “thing” to do in Chiang Mai, really cool stuff, super crowded, get there early!
Image - ร้านเพชร ห้างแสงเพชร SANG PETCH แหวนหมั้น แหวนแต่งงาน Jewelry Warorot Market Chiang Mai
Place
ร้านเพชร ห้างแสงเพชร SANG PETCH แหวนหมั้น แหวนแต่งงาน Jewelry Warorot Market Chiang Mai
Linda:Morning-sunset. Super local, lots of hill tribe fabrics and clothing, an adventure in itself - great for photos! It's quite the experience!
Image - Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Place
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Linda:Everyone likes going here for the shopping and because its just something to see - there’s a ladyboy show. I'm not a fan it's just TOO BUSY

Fun things to do ... maybe?

Image - SFX Cinema
Place
SFX Cinema
Linda:If you just want to chill and it’s a rainy day. Cheap - 3USD. King's anthem is played before and everyone has to stand up to show respect.
Image - Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
Place
Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
Linda:I actually haven’t never gone but it looks fun! It's down by the Night Bazaar Market
Image - Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
Place
Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
Linda:This use to be just cliff jumping but now its a whole water park with the blowup obstacles. 30 min from the city - 300B entrance fee
Image - Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC)
Place
Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC)
Linda:4 pm service and its in English, I see a lot of people come by even if they are tourists.
Image - Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
Place
Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
Linda:Lots of fun! No Gravity - top rope/lead climbing
Image - Somphet Massage สมเพชรนวดไทย
Place
Somphet Massage สมเพชรนวดไทย
Linda:Go get a massage! They are good and cheap! I usually go for oil because the thai ones kind of hurt haha
Image - Tiger Kingdom Thailand
Place
Tiger Kingdom Thailand
Linda:DON'T GO!! People might try to talk you into this but the Tigers are just sad and drugged - not a fan.