Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai

A Beginners Guide To Exploring Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Chiang Mai, Thailand is an amazing city. Packed full of amazing experiences just waiting for you. We have your beginners guide to exploring Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’ll break down everything you need to know for your visit to this northern Thai city. 

How To Get To Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are many options on how to get to Chiang Mai.

You can fly, ride the rails or kick up some dirt on the open road to get to Chiang Mai. Basically, you have a lot of options.  

If you have nothing but time, a overnight bus or overnight train is a great way to get to Chiang Mai. It’s your 2-for-1 transportation and accommodation. If you choose this route, our recommendation is to book at least 2 nights before your departure date.

If your short on time, flying is pretty cheap from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and there are a handful of flights a day. 

How Long To Spend in Chiang Mai, Thailand

For us, our 6 nights were perfect but caveat, we FREAKING LOVE Chiang Mai.

We’ve met some folks who have been here for months and some only staying 3 days. In all honesty, 3-5 nights is a good amount of time.

Five is waaaay better than three, but hey, we’re biased 🙂

What To See and Experience in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Alrighty. With so much to see, do and experience in Chiang Mai, we had to to write not one BUT TWO complete separate posts to cover it all.

Be sure to check out 7 things you must experience in Chiang Mai as well as our 3 not to miss temples in Chiang Mai post.

What To Eat And Drink In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thai Iced Tea

A mixture of red Thai tea, heavy splash of coconut milk, and liquid sweetness  makes a delightful drink to quench your thirst.

Khao Soi

Explosion of epic awesomeness in your mouth. Once you’ve had Khao Soi you ask yourself “how have I never tasted this delicious concoction?”

To quote Jesse, “The lady boys took my life away and Khao Soi gave it back.”

Everything about this balances well, crunchy and boiled egg noodles, a thinner curry soup with coconut milk added to enhance the flavor and of course a chicken leg with bone still in!

Goes down best if you’re not feeling well, hung over, feeling great or just plain hungry aka anytime is Khao Soi time.

Cowboy Lady at the Northern Gate

Stewed pork leg cut from the bone to order served with a little rice drizzled with her own pork sauce…made by a Thai woman wearing none other than a (you guessed it), cowboy hat.

Eat Some Bugs

Crickets and silkworms galore. Try your fill at the Sunday Night Market. We did it and it was salty and crunchy – not mushy like you would think.

Nightlife In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Looking for a place to dance into the hours of the early morning? A chill place to have a few Chang Beers? Well, whatever it is, our below list of where to party in Chiang Mai has you covered.

Roots Rock Reggae

A nice play that plays reggae music. Sometimes it’s chill and other times there will be dancing but either way, a solid choice for an evening out.

Zoe In Yellow

Rager, dance party. The DJ spins EDM and Rap till midnight then everyone takes it to Spicy.


Second rager, dance party but a little more “spicy”. Same music as Zoe in Yellow and definitely a club scene. Stays open till….well, um not to sure. Tends to be different every night.

Ha, as long as the cops don’t come, this is for sure a 3-amer.

North Gate Jazz Co-Op

Great little spot (and I mean little) where Jazz is played all the time. Pull  up a chair, grab some drinks and just enjoy the music. 

Where To Stay In Chiang Mai, Thailand

For The Budget Conscious: Great vibe, fun, friendly and social atmosphere, look no further than Stamps Backpackers. The owners are Thai and Canadian and were great resources for the area and not to mention SUPER friendly.  It was clean and a great location so if you’re backpacking this is seriously the spot for you

The The Luxury Inclined: Phra Singh Village is luxury located in the heart of Chiang Mai. From a killer breakfast buffet to one hell of a pool Phra Singh Village is your luxury oasis.

For Something In Between: Located in the old city, Pha-Thai House is a short walk from all of Chiang Mai’s highlights. Featuring a pool and gardens, this place will be a nice little break from city site seeing.

For more places to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand you can check out the latest places and prices here.


Beginners Guide To Motorbiking The Mae Hong Son Loop

3 Days in Bangkok, Thailand

One Month on The Thai Islands


For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstusPinterest and on Facebook. Oh, and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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  1. Living ur life vicariously thru your eyes & loving your posts ❤?? Awesome ! Keep them coming…

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