My best friend and I stayed in Chiang Mai for a few nights during our 4 weeks in SE Asia. Chiang Mai is easily one of the coolest cities in Thailand. The city is far more laid back than Bangkok. We rented scooters and stayed at a few different hostels. The surrounding region of Northern Thailand has some of the most beautiful scenery around. No matter what your travel style is, I urge you to rent a moped and go off on your own and get lost for a bit. We rode for most of the day and made it all the way to Pai- a small hippie/travel town and stayed there a few nights.