No matter how long it has been, whenever local Thais think of a getaway from the heat and smoke of the city, ‘Chiang Mai’ is always among the top of the list.
Thanks to the atmosphere of this city and its local slow-life lifestyle, Chiang Mai will make everyone feels so relaxed even if you’ve been here you would still want to return.
So today, we at Lifesara will take all of you through the list of hipster’s checkpoints to snaps some selfies, visit some temples, tastes some local eateries, and drink coffees as you immerse in Chiang Mai’s atmosphere without strenuous hiking through the mountain. Just flag down any red cab you saw, and they’ll take you there, no matter how obscure the direction seems. If you’re ready let’s go!!
Baan Kang Wat
This old, hipster community is the art and craft market built with old planks from the demolished buildings that will be giving you a vintage vibe. Baan Kang Wat is a secluded little world of its own that will make you feel cozy and comfortable from the very first step.
Fairy tales (NIMMAN LANE 13)
Another gallery and handcraft shop in Chiang Mai that’ll set your mood just right. This shop is filled to the brim with all little cuties you can put on your clothes, on your hair, on your bag, or your loved one, and all these little gifts are made by hand with the highest amount of care, and all the gold you can see on them are 18k gold, so you can be certain that the high prices actually come with quality worth its weight in gold.
Tha Phae Gate
Known as a site for many community events, from live music to diplomatic ceremonies, this preserved city gate dates back to ancient times when Chiang Mai was the capital of Lan Na kingdom, and the red brick wall ran along the whole length of the moat. Nowadays, however, Tha Phae Gate is the checkpoint where every traveler gotta swing by and snap a photo, so you can prove to the world you came to Chiang Mai for real.
The city park here is way above the usual urban park you’ll ever been because this reservoir has a beautiful mountain view as its natural backdrop. The proper running track has been built here so if you’re conscious about your health, you can come here to jog or walk around the reservoir under the sunrise or the sunset, breathe deep the fresh air and enjoy a slice of nature.
Chang Moi Kao Rd
This ancient road is full of local shops both old and new, from local cuisine diners and hawkers to various homestays. However, it’s the traditional Rattan furniture shop that’s the highlight of this place. All furniture and tools you can see in the shop are genuine objects Thai people really used, from fish trap to cat’s lair, so you can sometimes see Thai people buying things here too!
Wat Phrathat Doi Kham
One of the holiest temples in Thailand, this temple is on the top of its own mountain, with a golden stupa that can be seen from every high point overlooking Chiang Mai city. While the view and architecture by themselves are already enough of a sale pitch for many tourists, if you’re also a Buddhist or open-mind enough to try, Luang Por Tun Jai (Swift miracle monk), is famous for granting wishes, even the one seems impossible. So many Thais got their wishes fulfilled, so this temple has a lot of visitors every day to make a wish or show gratitude, you’ll never see this place empty!!
Chom Cafe and Restaurant
Have you ever tasted Northern Thai cuisine in a misty tropical jungle? Chom Cafe will surprise you from first sight. With a large waterfall, mist makers, tropical plants, and a lot of moss, this restaurant packs Chiang Mai’s forest at dawn into its tiny space and makes you forget the city outside right away. All the menus here are served with such care and artistry, every dish is not just for your tongue, but an experience for all your senses at once. If you start to get used to street food vendors and hawkers in Thailand, the price tag here may lift more than one eyebrow, but when you combine the price with the entire experience this place gives you, we promised it’s worth it.
Improvise coffee II
The improvised part is the decoration, not the coffee, so you can rest easy because they still serve real coffee here. Inside their little corner in Chiang Mai city, this loft-style cafe arranges their combination of calico tents, haystacks, bamboo, black steel, and various timber furniture in an aesthetically pleasing space. But despite their unique decoration, the price here can be pretty cheap, with 50 Baht for most basic coffee menus and much more drink per cup than many other coffee shops in the city. If you need to kill some time in Chiang Mai but have no place to go, perhaps you could improvise your schedule with this place.
This open-air shopping mall is hipster’s heaven. The combination of the modern loft, European aesthetic, and Lan Na architecture is a good place to spend the last dreg of your time in Chiang Mai if you must wait for your flight or other transportation as it’s close enough to the Chiang Mai airport and bus terminal you won’t take more than half an hour through the traffic to reach your flight in time. One Nimman has a lot of food vendors and eateries you can relax inside, many premium souvenirs shops, and if you’re here in the evening, night market inside. If you dreaded the stale air inside the terminal, then we suggest keeping One Nimman in mind so you can enjoy Chiang Mai to the last moment.