Chiang Mai Blog Cover

I’ve been in Bangkok for just about a month now, and my friends and I decided that we wanted to visit Northern Thailand to see what it had to offer. We chose to go to Chiang Mai, and it was the best decision ever. The fresh air, beautiful mountain ranges, and tremendous historic temples made Chiang Mai a whole world in and of itself.

Despite our lack of sleep from doing so many activities each day, we got to experience everything Chiang Mai had to offer in just a couple of days. Let’s take a look at our wild itinerary.

Friday
After arriving, we checked into our hotel. In Chiang Mai, there are so many great hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a resort, hotel, or villa, Socialgiver offers a variety of options. Horizon Village & Resort, Jomkitti Boutique Hotel, and Hmong Hilltribe Lodge are a few great places to stay during your trip. And did you know that when you book a hotel through Socialgiver, 100% of the profits from your purchase will go toward the Big Trees Foundation?

Our first destination was Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple located high in the hills above Chiang Mai. We took a roddaeng up the winding roads leading up to this mountainside temple — this transportation method was unlike any other! It was an exhilarating experience being able to ride with a large group of friends all while being able to see the view from the back of this truck. After being in a city for so long, the breeze was definitely a refreshing feeling, and the views of the tall trees and distant mountain ranges were breathtaking!

When we arrived at the gate of Doi Suthep, all we could see were stairs ahead of us. This temple is known for having about 300 steps that must be climbed in order to reach the top.

Hundreds of steps later, we made it to the top, arriving just in time for the chant of the monks. This was an incredibly unique experience. We watched and listened to about 20 monks in the heart of the temple chanting for 15 minutes. Afterward, we walked around the temple and found some beautiful viewpoints where we could see the mountains and landscapes of Chiang Mai.

I definitely recommend visiting Wat Phra Doi Suthep — indulge in the culture, take in some stunning views, and get some steps in!

Doi Suthep Compilation

Saturday
If I could relive a day again, it would be this day.

Bright and early in the morning, my friends and I went on our way to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. When you’re visiting Thailand, it’s important to avoid activities that encourage any forms of cruelty toward animals. You’ve probably seen pictures of tourists riding elephants or visiting tiger parks, but these attractions are severely harmful to these animals. Instead, try to visit these gentle giants in an eco-friendly and cruelty-free way! The sanctuary we visited has a track record of being extremely ethical and sustainable. During our trip, we got to feed the elephants up close, pet them, take selfies with them, and even give them a mud bath! I could not recommend this experience more.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Compilation

Next, we were off to Grand Canyon Water Park to live our Wipeout dreams. If you’ve ever thought the big balls were easy… think again! This waterpark was situated in the middle of a large canyon, and it was an endless pit of obstacle courses, ziplining, kayaking, and more. I tried the inflatable blast bag for the first time and went flying! Even if you decide not to swim, you can still enjoy yourself by doing some karaoke or enjoying the beautiful view from the top of the canyon. Either way, you will not find a dull moment at this water park.

waterpark

After a long day of adventures, what better way to relax than to sit down and watch a Muay Thai match? We watched 7 diverse fights that were jaw-dropping and extremely entertaining.

waterpark (1)

If you’re looking for even more fun activities to do in Chiang Mai, Socialgiver also offers so many options! Want to go ziplining while seeing some wild gibbons? Then check out our Flight of the Gibbon package. Make sure to also take a look at our Segway Tour to explore around Chiang Mai using your own transportation. If you’re looking for more of a nighttime scene, Italics Chiang Mai and Rooftop Bar is a hip and energetic place worth checkin’ out!

Sunday
On this day, we took a full-day tour to Chiang Rai! At our first stop, we saw some hot springs. This natural wonder was an incredible sight to see, and some individuals were even cooking their food in them!

Our next stop was Wat Rong Khun, otherwise known as the White Temple. Out of all the temples I’ve seen in Thailand so far, this one was definitely one like no other. This temple is a crazy art exhibition, from hands reaching up from the ground to bizarre murals to intricate and grandiose architecture. This all white temple definitely cannot be missed on your trip to Northern Thailand.

waterpark (2)Wat Rong Seur Ten, or the Blue Temple, was our next stop. In contrast to the White Temple, this one was a colorful explosion. The blue and gold colors bring a magical atmosphere to this temple. Be sure to spend lots of time admiring the ginormous buddha and all of its details.

blue temp

The last “temple” we visited was the Black Temple, otherwise known as the Black House, or Baandam Museum. This unique installation was filled with so much artwork, and you definitely won’t see such precise sculpting and creativity anywhere else. There was certainly a spooky vibe to this area which added all the adventure.

Last but not least, we took a trip to the long neck village. Although apprehensive to visit this village at first, it turned out to be the most memorable part of this trip. As we walked down this village, we sparked a conversation with the beautiful women with gold coils wrapped around the entirety of their necks. We were able to purchase some of their beautiful handmade jewelry, scarfs, and other souvenirs, too! However, the most heartwarming part of this experience was playing with the children; I made mud sculptures, let them experiment with my camera, and played tag around their home. We left this long-neck village with a full heart and smiles on our faces!

blue temp (1)

What a day! When we arrived back in Chiang Mai, we finished a day full of adventures at the Sunday Night Market. Surrounded by food, shops, and fun, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last night in Northern Thailand.

These three days were absolutely action-packed. From beautiful landscapes to temples to Muay Thai to elephants, it feels like we got the whole Thailand experience in just one weekend. Always experience new things, even if you’re unsure if you’ll like them — it’ll surprise you in the end!

This post was written by Socialgiver intern, Linda Shen.

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