Chiang Mai is a tropical paradise that is filled with temples. There are a lot of temples that could be visited, but the ultimate experience is to visit a mountaintop temple. The city is surrounded by mountains and there are also a lot of temples to be visited in the mountaintops. The mountaintop temple of Doi Sutthep is incomparable to rest though. The view over the city is breath-taking and definitely worth the trip with an entrance fee of $0.90. There are a lot of ways to get there, but renting a motorcycle, which cost about $1, 50 a day, or using the transport of the temples are the easiest ways to do it. When visiting these temples, try to wear clothing that covers knees and elbows (both sexes).
The price to stay in a basic room in Chiang Mai would start from about $6 per night and the more expensive hotels range from $25-$30 per night. Even if you don’t book ahead, the rooms are not expensive.
Eating in Chiang Mai is extremely cheap. You can get food from a market or at a restaurant, but don’t expect the service or fanciness that you get in Europe. The best meal that most definitely must be tried, is Khao Soi. Khao Soi is a creamy soup with noodles or rice and traditionally chicken, but can be made with beef, pork or tofu. These meals cost around $1, but fancy dining can go up until $15.
Since you are travelling on a budget, I would recommend you do some free sightseeing. The best and most beautiful thing to do for free is to go waterfall hunting. In the mountains there are roads that can be followed which will lead you to extraordinary waterfalls. There is also a night market which has a great atmosphere and gives you a good feeling.
Also very a very important factor is the weather. The weather in Chiang mai is the best between November and April. These are the hottest months and the weather can rise up to 35 degrees during the day and drop to 14 in the evenings. This happens because of the high humidity so also be prepared for that.
More expensive experiences
- Elephant Nature Park : $70 full day or $50 half day
- Zip-line in jungle : $130
- Museum of World Insects and natural wonders : $6
- Night/day safari : $25
Chiang Mai is a beautiful city with an unique island experience. And if you are travelling on a budget, you should definitely consider the extraordinary city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is also a great destination if you are looking for the backpacking experience.