The nice thing about Chiangmai is that there are many places to go and see without making plans at all. The city is surrounded by some of the best scenery in Thailand, and whichever route you choose you can enjoy a day outside the city. Try some of these for tips, in case you're not familiar with the area, and check our maps to show you how to get there.
Doi Saket : East of Chiangmai on the road to Chiangrai is the charming country village of Doi Saket. Set in a rich, green valley, one with natural irrigation from national dam and water protects, Doi Saket is one of the most beautiful settings in the Chiangmai area. In the village, on a hill overlooking the valley, is the Dot Saket temple. This temple, set half in a forest and half on the open hilltop, has recently been expanded and shows some of the best of Chiangmai's temple architecture.
Mae Rim and the Mae Sa valley: North of Chiangmai is the suburb of Mae Rim. This area, only 16 km. away, was once the remote countryside. It is now an extension of Chiangmai, but off to the west is the beautified Mae Sa Valley. Here, just 5 kilometers from Mae Rim, are some of northern Thailand's beautiful orchid and butterfly farms and one of the most interesting elephant camps in the north. Along the Mae Sa Highway, in addition to these, are the Mae Sa Waterfall and a number of snake farms. Then, if you really want to move deep into the countyside, follow this road farther and it will take you all the way to Samoeng. Samoeng is one of those precious sights seldom found near big cities anymore. Protected by mountains on the east and the north, Samoeng is a quiet, genie enclave of farmers and florists set in the lush Mae Sa Valley.
Harngdong and Sanpatong: Meanwhile, south of Chiangmai and within easy reach of Samoeng are two old Chiangmai areas that every visitor should see. The first is Harngdong, one of Chiangmai's famous handicraft areas. Harngdong and its sister village, Baan Tawai, are Chiangmai's antique and wood candng venters. Sixteen kilometers south of Chiangmai, this is a great area for browsing and for shopping.
Not far beyond Harngdong is the countryside crenter of Sanpatong. Here the local farmers and ranchers meet every Monday morning and hold their weekly cattle market, and Sanpatong and the surrounding area has more. one of the favorite sights for trekking on the outskirts of Chiangmai, the area around Sanpatong is home to many hilltnbes and stretches southward and westward into the mountains where Doi Inthanon is located.
Dot Inthanon: Thailand s highest mountain peak, Doi Inthanon is a beautiful drive and a trip worth making for the sights available from the mountain top. Thirty-eight kilometers up a winding road from the junction at Jom Thong, south of Sanpatong the road to Doi Inthanon also has other attractions. One third of the way up is one of farms. Here, resting on a hillside near an enclave of Hmong Hill tribe villages, the beautiful and colorful fields of orchids almost reach out and and grab you.
These are just a few of the many possibilities available to the traveller here in Chiangmai For more information, check our maps and if you want to go all out check with some of Chiangmai's travel companies to see what kind of tours you can arrange to any of these areas.
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