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Traveling on a Budget in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, จ.เชียงใหม่, Thailand
1 Kudo
After a week in Siem Reap, my boyfriend and I headed to Northern Thailand. First stop - Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is known as the trekking capital of Thailand, but we decided to skip a guided trek and do our own independent adventures.

First, we headed to the buddhist temples inside the old walled city. Most are lanna style, but my favorite was Wat Chedi Luang, a 16th century temple known as the "Pillar of the City."

Later, we headed to the night bazaar, where the typical Thai goods we had seen in every other city were sold. For dinner, we ate delicious Khao Soy at Just Khao Soy (110 baht), and topped it off with some Roti pancakes (25 baht) from a street vendor.

The next day, we decided to rent a scooter (180 baht) and drive up to the Lake at Huay Tong Tao (30 baht entrance fee). The lake was more of a local's place, and we were excited to get away from the crowds of tourists for a change.

We were rewarded with a gorgeous 6 mile hike under banana trees and a waterfall at midpoint. We never saw another person on our trail.

Including our hotel (200 baht) and a few tuk tuks, we managed to keep our stay in Chiang Mai at under 600 baht a day but had an experience worth far more.
Story Details

Bars and nightlife

Boy Blues Bar
Nice cocktails and live music. Best ABBA covers I've heard.


Royal Guest House
Decent rooms with a balcony, hot water & fans. Pool & a lovely garden era - and cheap!

Points of interest

Wat Chedi Luang
16th century temple. It was damaged by an earthquake but has recently undergone some preservation work.
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Singh
Buddhist lanna style wat within the old city walls.


Just Khao Soy
Just Khao Soy
The best Khao Soy I had - the chicken was falling off the bone in this delicious, Chiang Mai dish.


Night bazaar
Typical tourist market goods you see in every town in Thailand.

Special activities

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
Booked a trip to Crazy Horse Buttress for a day of rock climbing. Great climbing, with nice views of the surrounding forest canopy. Mostly bolted routes.
Huay Tung Tao Lake
Huay Tung Tao Lake
Scenic hiking along the lake. There is also a restaurant with private bamboo shack seating along the lake.

On The Map