Thailand's northern capital, Chiang Mai is the country's second most-visited city, yet in terms of size it does not remotely compare to Bangkok. With its smaller size and population, Chiang Mai has a lot in its favour for tourists and travellers alike, with the centre of town packed with glittering wats, excellent restaurants and expansive shopping markets all of which are easily taken in on foot.
If Thai temples are your thing, then Chiang Mai has a lot to offer -- the hill-top Wat Doi Suthep is the crown jewels, but the old city is packed with a vivid collection of traditional Thai temples, with Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Chiang Man being three of the true standouts -- there's even a developing "monk chat" scene. The city's temples and Lanna architecture are so popular in fact that one of Chiang Mai's most luxurious hotels (with some controversy) modelled itself on one.
Home to the prestigious Chiang Mai University, the city has quite a cosmopolitan feel when compared to other northern Thai provinces and it has a lively entertainment scene accompanied by some of the best eating in northern Thailand -- this is not a town you'll go hungry in.
Most famous for its khao soi, Chiang Mai also delivers solid Northern Thai cuisine both at a street and market level and in its burgeoning selection of more upmarket restaurants. Thanks to its proximity to both Burma and Laos there are even more foods to try.
Explore Chiang Mai holidays and discover the best things to do, top local restaurants, supreme shopping places and when and where to visit, etc.
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