:: Attractions

Only 36 km away from town is the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs amidst natural forest surroundings and verdant hills. The continuously boiling water, with temperatures ranging from 90 to 100 Celsius, contains a high content of sulfur, popular for its curative and restorative properties. Private mineral water bathing rooms, a swimming pool, accommodations, and dining facilities are available.

Popular jungle treks , with durations of between 2-7 days, take visitors through forested mountains, high valleys, meadows, and terraced rice fields to remote hilltribe settlements for overnight stays. Travel frequently is a combination of foot, boat, elephant back, horse-back or by jeep, to reach these high altitude domiciles. Guides are usually hilltribe youths who can speak English, Thai and at least three tribal dialects.


Watch trained elephants demonstrate their highly valued forestry skills as they perform at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp from 09.30-11.00 hrs daily. After the show, hop on for a thrilling two-hour jungle tour on elephant back. Close by is the Chiang Dao Cave , a highly popular tourist attraction with a stream teeming with fish flowing in front of the cave's entrance. Within the cavern is Burmese-style Buddha images and spectacular rock formations.

 

Chiang Mai is Thailand's main center for quality handicrafts. Visitors can watch artisans working in the outlying villages where authentic cottage industries thrive, particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng Road , lined with handicraft-producing factories. Along this road is the famous umbrella village of Bo Sang where young women manufacture and paint silk and cotton umbrellas and paper parasols. This trade has been passed down for more than 200 years. San Kamphaeng is renowned for its silk and handicraft products.

For those short on time, a visit to the Night Bazaar will give you the advantage of viewing a variety of handicrafts without traveling the distance. At night, the pavements of the Changklan Road are transformed into a bazaar selling a wide range of goods besides handicraft products.

:: City Attractions Part 1
Wat Phra Sing, located on Sam Lan Road, houses the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image cast in Subduing Mara. The Buddha image is now enshrined in Vihan Lai Kham. During the Songkran festival, each April 13-15, people process the most sacred Buddha image around Chiang Mai town for traditional bathing. Formerly, this area was a Wat Li Chiang Market until 1345, when King Pa Yu, the fifth king of the Mengrai Dynasty, commanded the people to built this temple and a 24-feet chedi containing his father's ashes. The temple compound includes the lovely Lai Kham chapel featuring exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals, a magnificent scriptural repository with striking bas relief, and a circular stupa (in Lankan bell shape).

Wat Suan Dok is on Suthep Road. The temple was built in a 14 th century Lanna Thai monarch's pleasure gardens, and is a favourite spot for photographers particularly for striking sunsets. Several of the white chedis contain ashes of Chiang Mai's former royal family. The 500-year-old bronze Buddha image, in a secondary chapel, is one of Thailand's largest metal images.

Wat Chiang Man
is Chiang Mai's oldest temple and probably dates from 1296. King Mengrai allegedly lived here while the new city of Chiang Mai was constructed. The temple is located within the walled city on Ratchaphakhinai Road. It is noteworthy for a chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses and a beautiful chapel. Enshrined in the temple is a tiny crystal Buddha called Phra Kaeo Khao , which is thought to have the power to bring rain. Another image, called Phra Sila Khao , reflects the fine workmanship of Indian craftsmen from thousands of years ago.

Wat Prasat , located on Inthawarorot Road near Wat Phra Sing. The temple houses a traditional Lanna architecture chapel, and the chapel roof is decorated in colourful glass and carved wooden lions. Wat Prasat houses one of the rare Lanna arts' Buddha image.
 
Wat Chedi Luang houses the largest chedi in Chiang Mai. The temple is located right in the middle of the city and was built in the reign of King Saen Mueang Mak, the seventh king of Mengrai Dynasty. The 98-metre tall and 54-metre wide chedi was built in the reign of King Tilokkarat. The construction was completed in 1481. In 1545 the chedi collapsed due to an earthquake, during the reign of King Jiraprapa. The chapel at the front, was built by Chao Khun Uba Lee Poramacharn (Sirichantathera) and Chao Kaeo Navarat in 1928.

The magnificent methodological serpents ramble from the entrance of the chapel to its doors on both sides. It is believed that they are the most beautiful manmade serpents in the north of Thailand.

Sao Inthakil or Sao Lak Muang , the city pillar was built when the founder of Chiang Mai, King Mengrai governed the city in 1296. It is located in front of Wat Chedi Luang and enshrined in a small Thai chapel. The pillar is made of wood and kept underground. The Khao Inthakil or city pillar celebration is held annually in May.

Wat Phan Tao
, located on Phra Pok Klao Road beside Wat Chedi Luang. The temple was a throne hall for King Mahotara Prateth, thus the peacock shaped doors were built. It is believed that the peacock is a symbol of the king.

Wat Ku Tao,
was formerly called Wat Veru Vanaram. The temple is located in Tambon Sri Phum near Chiang Mai Satdium. It is noteworthy for an unusual watermelon shaped pagoda, thus giving its symbolic name by locals. An exact period of its establishment is somewhat unknown, but from legend, the Ku Tao chedi contains ashes of Prince Saravadee, the son of King Bureng Nong who ruled Chiang Mai from 1579 to 1607.