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Chiang Mai is a mountain city located in Northern Thailand. Its beautiful scenery, vibrant, friendly culture, and affordable cost of living have made it a popular travel destination and expat hot spot in recent years.
Visitors are often enamored with Chiang Mai’s lush mountain setting which provides opportunities to swim in waterfalls, ascend temples shrouded in jungle leaves or hike through national parks. There are also lively street markets where you can sample local street food and shop for handcrafted souvenirs.
Foodie travelers will love the range of culinary options to be found in Chiang Mai. The city attracts visitors and residents from throughout the world, and this is reflected in the food scene.
Those interested in history will be keen to explore the many historic buildings and sites throughout the city. From Buddhist temples to living museums highlighting ancient cultures, there’s a lot to take in! Needless to say, whatever your travel style, you’ll have no problem filling your Chiang Mai itinerary.
One of the best ways to get around Chiang Mai is via scooter, which doesn’t lend itself to carrying a lot of luggage. Fortunately, Bounce is available to store your valuables so you can explore the city carrying only the essentials.
Bounce has partnered with local businesses throughout Chiang Mai to offer short-term luggage storage for travelers and locals alike. Whether you live in Chiang Mai and want to lighten your load for the day, or you’re visiting and need somewhere to stash your luggage, Bounce can help. Just find a local Bounce partner, drop your bags, and off you go! You’ll be able to enjoy your day knowing that your belongings are safe and sound.
Top Things to do in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a large city offering a mixture of modern amenities as well as windows to the past. It is home to over 20 Buddhist temples, many cultural museums, a lively street culture, and so much more. Whether you prefer to spend your time learning about Chiang Mai’s history, eating your way through the city, or simply wandering the streets, you’re sure to enjoy your time. The following are a few attractions Bounce suggests checking out while you’re in the city.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just looking for an offbeat experience, Chiang Mai is home to museums that cater to every type of traveler. The following are a few museums Bounce suggests including in your Chiang Mai itinerary. Since most museums won’t allow you to enter with large bags, arrange to store any unnecessary items with a local Bounce partner before your visit.
Lanna Traditional House Museum: This museum gives insight into the Lanna lifestyle with a property that holds 9 traditional homes and 4 rice granaries. As you tour the grounds, you will get a glimpse at how people once lived in Chiang Mai. The museum grounds also hold beautiful gardens and a cafe serving homemade cakes and teas.
Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders: If you’re interested in insects or nature you shouldn’t miss this museum. There is an entire exhibit dedicated to different species of mosquitos that can be found in Thailand. You’ll also encounter displays featuring butterflies, wasps nests, and other insects, and you’ll learn about different insect-borne tropical diseases. The space is small, but the collection is vast.
Art in Paradise 3D Art Museum: This interactive museum is fun for visitors of all ages. The exhibits feature art that toys with your perspective and perceptions. There’s a free app available that helps make the experience even more interactive by bringing the art to life. You’ll have fun posing with the pieces and snapping photos.
Chiang Mai offers a huge range of different shopping experiences, from crowded night markets to modern shopping centers and everything in between. Whether you’re on the hunt for something in particular or just want to browse, there’s sure to be an option that suits your needs. Chiang Mai also has many tailors who will custom-make items for very reasonable prices. If you’ll be in town for a while, this is an alluring option to pursue. If you’re headed to any of Chiang Mai’s markets (and you should), be aware that pickpocketing is a possibility. With this in mind, arrange to store any non-essential items with a local Bounce partner for safekeeping while you’re out and about.
His & Hers Tailor House: Because the prices are so affordable, many visitors to Chiang Mai opt to have a few clothing items custom made. This established tailor has been providing this service for over 20 years. Their tailors will work with you to ensure that your pieces are well-made and conform to your specifications.
Tha Pae Walking Street: Located in central Chiang Mai, this street market is open every Sunday, beginning in the afternoon. You will find hundreds of stalls selling everything from souvenirs to food. It’s a great place to pick up items to take back home with you. You can sample the street food or simply take in the busy atmosphere.
CentralFestival Chiang Mai: This enormous shopping center holds nearly 300 stores, from large international chains to local shops you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for inside. Additionally, this mall holds an ice rink, a fitness center, and 10 Cineplex theatres, including a 3D IMAX. Whether you’re looking to shop or just pass some time during a rainstorm, you’ll find plenty to do here!
When it comes to food, Chiang Mai offers up a plethora of options. With a mix of tourists, a large expat community, and Chiang Mai natives, there’s a market for every type of dining experience. You will find restaurants specializing in homecooked, traditional Thai food, as well as international cuisines ranging from French to western and beyond. You’ll encounter fine dining and budget-friendly options, and plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly places. Before you head out to eat, take advantage of short-term luggage storage with Bounce. Many of Chiang Mai’s restaurants are small, so they will be easier to navigate without clunky bags weighing you down.
B Samcook Home: This popular, family-run restaurant specializes in local Thai food and flavors. The menu is fixed and the chefs work to create each dish with special care, from the flavors to the presentation. They will even work with you to customize the menu to your tastes. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable; you’re sure to feel right at home.
David’s Kitchen: This restaurant specializes in traditional French cuisine with a modern twist. You can order favorites like foie gras, French onion soup, or boeuf bourguignon and enjoy them in an elegant, modern dining room. The service is impeccable, making this a favorite place for celebrating special occasions.
Renegade Craft Beer and Restaurant: This trendy, modern bar offers over 300 different beers. There are billiards on-site, and large tables which make it the perfect place for large groups to gather. The menu features a mix of classic bar foods (burgers, pizza, wings) as well as Thai favorites, salad, and desserts. If you’re on the hunt for a relaxed, air-conditioned space to grab a drink with friends, this is the perfect place.
Where is the best places to stay and eat while in Chiang Mai?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Ploen Ruedee Night Market, Khao Soi Khun Yai, and Farm Cowboy. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Chiang Mai are Le Naview@Prasingh, Furama Hotel, and U Chiang Mai. When traveling on a budget, the best hostels in Chiang Mai are YOUR SPACE, Eden, and Me-U Hostel.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai offers several scenic parks including Suan Buak Haad Park, Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Park, and King Rama IX Park.
Where can I store my luggage in Chiang Mai?
We've partnered with local Chiang Mai businesses around the city who offer a dedicated storage room or a designated area that's off limits for customers.
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