After the photography tour, I extended my stay for another two days. Exhausted from the lack of sleep and long shooting sessions, the popular Thai/Foot Massage was like god sent! They can be found everywhere, from the open air in the middle of a bazaar, to hotels, to shop houses near busy street. Prices can range from over 2,000 baht to as low as 200 baht per session. I recommend going to the lower end massage as they are basically the same. The massages were so affordable I was doing 2 sessions a day!
There are well over thousand of temples in Chiang Mai. I skipped all the animal attractions like Zoo, Tigers and Elephants, to visit various famous temples in the city. The temples were rich in history and cultural, yet it still inspired a sense of awe and serenity whilst wondering the scared ground.
Going around the city is simple with Tuktuk and Songteaws (red trucks) readily available especially near tourist attractions. Tuktuk fare for 1 way tend to vary widely. They will quote higher price to foreigners, easily 100 baht and above. As I understood, a 5 mins ride can go as low as 20 baht. Yes 100 baht is less than US$3, but I don’t like being suckered. So always negotiate when taking Tuktuk. From experience, Songteaws usually offer better rates of about 20-50baht per head. Only drawback is they will pick up other passengers along the way resulting in longer travel time. I’m not in a hurry, so why not.
In Chiang Mai city, there are 3 main shopping attractions. The night bazaar is one of the biggest attraction offering all sorts of souvenirs to handicrafts at very affordable price. I was amazed at the wide varieties and quality offered. In addition, there are the Saturday and Sunday Walking Streets which are only available during the weekend. Similar to the Night Bazaar, the walking streets offer better atmosphere as the street are off limit to traffic, but the crowd can be a little overwhelming.
As for food, I did no research and simply went on with my visits, trying the most appealing vendors, stalls or restaurants. Food is relatively convenient, and by far mostly great. Unless you are picky or have restriction, just go ahead and try their local vendors.
There is a chinese restaurant I would highly recommend. Visit Jia Tong Heng Restaurant and try their roast suckling pig and duck. They have been around for ages and the food is great! I was told their original location in the city is always pack and crowded, so go their alternative location if you can. No queue, same good food.
If you would like to know more about Chiang Mai attractions, below are other sites which have detailed write up. The sites helped me narrow down on the things to do.
- 10 Best Things to do in Chiang Mai
- Top 10 Must-See Temples in Chiang Mai
- Nightlife & Thai Girls in Chiang Mai
Pocket map courtesy of Raming Lodge Hotel where I stayed at.