Your christmas doesn’t have to be white to be right; this year, take a trip to the charming province of Chiang Mai. This northern city is favoured by locals and tourists alike for the wonderful weather and picturesque attractions.
There are so many wonderful Chiang Mai tours to be had during the cooler months. From November to mid-February, the temperatures are perfect. Warm, breezy days make for great conditions to spend a day outside exploring Chiang Mai, and cool nights, dropping down to 20°C, are ideal for cozying up in bed with a good book. Tis the season for Chiang Mai tours.
The word ‘doi’ means ‘mountain’ in the Chiang Mai dialect, and Doi Inthanon has the highest peak in Chiang Mai. It is so high, in fact, that up at the top of the misty mountain the average temperature is 5°C. This beautiful mountainous region is a must-see in December when the air is fresh and crisp. You’ll be greeted with an incredible view of the forest and two iconic Buddhist stupas surrounded by stunning greenery.
To get to Doi Inthanon, you have the option of driving your own vehicle, renting a van, or taking a ‘songtaew’ (open-air pick up truck). It will get cold on the mountain so make sure to bring warm clothing.
This breathtaking golden temple rests on top of the Doi Suthep mountain. This temple is very dear to the Thai people’s hearts, as it is believed to hold a preserved shard of Buddha’s bone. For a hearty bit of exercise, you can challenge yourself to climb the 309 steps to reach the temple; you’ll feel great once you are rewarded with the spectacular view. For an easier ascent, you can take the tram service up to the top; the panorama of the city is just as spectacular, with or without the workout.
It is important to know what clothes are appropriate to wear when entering Doi Suthep. Please avoid clothing that cuts off above the knee, is revealing or see-through, or has inappropriate messages or symbols.
The Hmong people are a group of villagers from the mountains of Chiang Mai, near Wat Doi Suthep. A visit to their hill tribe is an eye-opening experience; you’ll learn about the traditional Hmong garb, huts, and way of life. At the entrance of the village, you’ll see variety of handicrafts and lovely silk fabrics for sale.
Doi Pui is also famous for their strawberry farm. The best time to visit is winter, when the succulent fruit is ripe for the tasting.
In November, something wonderful happens all over Thailand—the Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festivals. The Loy Krathong festival is all about giving thanks to the water goddess and letting go of negative energy. The locals pay homage to the water goddess by floating mini-banana-leaf boats known as krathongs across the water. Chiang Mai holds the biggest Loy Krathong festival across Thailand, making it a wonderful addition to your Chiang Mai winter tour.
On the third night of Loy Krathong, the Yi Peng festival is held. People release thousands of floating lanterns into the night sky, lighting it up like brilliant christmas lights. It’s a very moving sight, to watch the lanterns join the stars above.
The Sunday Night Market is on a lively street loaded with local handicrafts, delicious food, clothes, and other fun little knick-knacks. If you like browsing around and shopping at street markets but don’t care for the heat, the winter months are an optimal time to visit the Sunday Night Market. You can enjoy the brisk air while sipping hot Chiang Mai coffee and strolling along aisles of vibrant merchandise.