A few weeks ago, I went on a 4D3N trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand with my friend Jessie. As she just finished a major exam and I’d been pretty overwhelmed by my freelance and henna gigs, we were looking for a short getaway to rest and relax. We didn’t do much preparation besides booking our flight and accommodation. Fortunately for us, a Canadian friend of mine had been living in Chiang Mai for months for his Muay Thai training and could bring us around. Here are some of the things we did that you can do when you’re in Chiang Mai, especially if you are not really keen of temple hopping, elephant bathing, and waterfall chasing.
1. Go for a run at sunrise around Ang Kaew Reservoir (in Chiang Mai University)
My friend Brett took us here on our last evening after our dinner and I fell in love with the place instantly. It is so tranquil and peaceful, and you get a view of Suthep Mountain right through the forest. If I were to find out about this place earlier, I would have planned for a run, or even just a morning stroll around this beautiful reservoir in Chiang Mai University.
2. Get a yummy and healthy breakfast at Blue Diamond Breakfast Club
Blue Diamond Breakfast Club is a beautiful garden style restaurant that serves all sorts of healthy and organic stuff. From fresh avocados to homemade breads to handmade soap, the basic west coast bitch in me almost died of overindulging. My personal favourite was the tempeh from our salad, while Jessie couldn’t stop talking about the wholemeal croissant even after we left Chiang Mai.
3. Take a Muay Thai class
The highlight of our trip is definitely attending a muay thai class at Lanna Muay Thai. As my friend had been training in this gym for a while now, Jessie and I thought, “why don’t we drop by for a class and see what this is all about?” We paid 450 Baht (~$13) for a beginner session that is about 2-3 hours long, and we got a good workout, bucket full of sweat, countless bruises and laughters, and great memories with our new Thai friends.
4. Get a Traditional Thai Massage
Of course you need to get a massage when you’re in Thailand, it’s the best! As it was raining heavily on the day we planned to visit the sticky waterfall, we ended up chilling in our hotel room and getting an in-room massage service. It is slightly more expensive than the massage parlours down the street, but if you take into consideration the transportation fee plus the hassle we’d have to go through in the rain, it’s definitely worth the price.
5. Grab a Cuppa at No. 39 Cafe
A hidden gem located just outside of the city center of Chiang Mai, No. 39 is a cafe that is made up of a few wooden huts and patios surrounding a small lake. While the coffee is alright (didn’t try any food because we went after lunch), I had a great time just resting and enjoying the chill vibe and greenery. Bring a book, journal, or a date and I’m sure you’ll find yourself having a great time.
6. Get a matcha ice-cream from Sofuto Cream
While this is a matcha and yogurt soft serve store, I am recommending Sofuto Cream because of their chairs. Yes, the chairs. We got really excited when we realized that instead of legs, the chairs had those springs that you find under a children’s playground spring rider. We spent the evening licking ice-cream and bouncing very happily (definitely some hardcore #foodporn material over there) ??
7. Get a drink and learn how to salsa at Warm Up Cafe (if you’re there on a Tuesday night)
Don’t be fooled by the name of this “cafe.” Warm Up Cafe is a live bar cum night club cum speakeasy lounge. We were pretty surprised when we got there, especially since we were invited to join our new friend for a salsa class that happens every Tuesday night. It’s definitely an interesting place where I could listen to live band at one corner, go into a room and dance salsa, and walk into a mosh pit within a few seconds. Okay maybe in a few minutes when I’m drunk, but you get what I’m trying to say… ?
And there you go, 7 things to do in Chiang Mai besides visiting temples and waterfalls! If you are at Chiang Mai right now, enjoy your trip; if you are visiting Chiang Mai soon, safe travels; and if you need some extra push to book your flight ticket now, here’s a vlog that I made for our trip. Enjoy! ?