Spice up your trip with some of Chiang Mai’s hidden secrets!
One of the most popular cities in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai hosts visitors from all over the globe enjoying the main attractions on the daily. It’s also considered to be one of the popular destinations for families traveling in Thailand. But what hidden treasures does the city have to offer? Here are 4 must-have experiences below!
Baan Kang Wat Artist Village
Relatively new, Baan Kang Wat Artist Village is still largely uncharted by the millions of tourists that pass through Chiang Mai, which makes it the perfect excursion for a break from the outside world. The village is home to local artists and their respective stores, homey pop-up shops, food stands, and of course coffeeshops galore. You’ll find more than just your average market purchases in the village. Quality, handmade items are for sale, and lovers of all things vintage will have a field day here!
You’ll definitely find your share of ex-pats fond of the remote-working life in Baan Kang Wat, as they’re certain to be taking advantage of the village’s many cafés and free WiFi. Consequently, if you’ve come abroad with your own work to do, this is certainly the place! Many of the coffeeshops are themed and catered to specific tastes. For example, the Library Café is littered with floor mats and bookshelves, encouraging a relaxing afternoon curled up with Thai tea and a good book.
If you want to do more than simply relax on your vacation, there are also many a workshop you can enjoy. For instance, you can head to the amazing Pa Cha Na Ceramics Studio, where you can get hands-on experience creating your own pottery. You can also sit back and watch other artists create.
2-Day Traditional Karen Weaving Class
If you’re in Chiang Mai with kids, this is a fabulous opportunity for them to learn a new skill! This experience takes a slightly larger commitment of 2 days. You’ll learn about traditional Karen tribal culture through a unique medium, exploring the local customs and general lifestyle of the people. Weaving is the first thing you’ll notice that distinguishes the Karens from other tribes. The magnificent patterns and colors they use are ones you will learn how to create on this trip. You’ll be picked up from your residence in Chiang Mai and embark on a tour that you can personalize if you choose. The standard 2 day Traditional Karen Weaving Class includes: meals and accommodations, two weaving lessons, a northern Thai cooking class, treks to the jungle waterfalls, and of course, a survey of the local markets. The tour runs at $110 USD per person. It’s suitable for all ages, and the guides there are very attentive.
Some of the Chiang Mai temples, or wats, have a “Monk Chat” program, which allows your family to sit with a monk one-on-one and ask them anything you want, from their general lifestyle to specific questions about their beliefs and practices. Your family will have the exclusive opportunity of learning from Thai monks personally, and you can incorporate it into the inevitable temple hops your family will find itself on. All you have to do in return is provide them with conversation, so they can work on their English! Some Chiang Mai temples of note which offer this program include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, and Wat Sisuphan, with some available only in evenings and some going on all day. Wherever you decide to go, make sure to do your research beforehand so you get there at optimal Monk Chat time, and get ready for an incredibly enriching experience.
Warorot Evening Market
The one market you can’t miss, Warorot provides you with endless delectable options! Sadly, our human bodies aren’t capable of consuming the amount you would need to sample everything in one sitting, but you and your family can definitely make a dent in the various stands and stalls. Meat lovers will enjoy the sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage) and nam prik ong (chili-tomato pork dip) while vegetarians might want to go for some kaeng khanun (jackfruit curry). If you visit the market during the daytime, it may mimic the other various markets situated around Chiang Mai, what with its streets full of dried fruit, vegetables, jewelry, silks, handicrafts, goods and wares that could occupy you for hours. However, the prices you’ll encounter here are better than those of other local markets, and the goods are of a higher quality. Give yourself ample time to explore all the corridors and roads, so you can satisfy your pockets as well as your stomachs!
You can also take a look at the lesser-known and hidden spots for families traveling in Bangkok.
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