Chiang Mai is a city full of hidden charms. Here are seven of those gems to visit on your days off to unwind and enjoy what the city has to offer.
Mon Cham is a beautiful tourist area hidden away in the mountains. Located at an altitude of 1,350 meters, the view is spectacular. To get there you have to pass through Mae Sa Valley, then drive up a very steep road to a village and finally you’ll arrive at Mon Cham – just the route to get there makes it worthy of being called a hidden gem. The view is perfect for photography and a chill day off. You can enjoy traditional Thai foods and a variety of natural herbal teas picked straight from the Royal Project Gardens which can be found on the way to Mon Cham.
Nakara Jardin is a quiet, luxurious small tropical garden locatedright on the banks of the Ping River.
A Le Cordon Bleu student created this business, and not only is the view beautiful but the delectable food and cakes, as well as the tranquil atmosphere all add up to create a wonderful experience. The place has a unique French and Thai style with a small, but spot on menu with with affordable options.
Tita GalleryHidden away in a small soy in the Mae Rim district close to the Four Seasons Resort, is a small cafe called Tita Gallery. At Tita Gallery, there are a variety of desserts available, from cheesecakes to apple strudel and literally all of them are delicious!
As the name suggests, the place also serves as a gallery for art lovers. The walls are lined with artwork which are for sale. I highly recommend this place for people who enjoy warm drinks and an artistic atmosphere.
Wat Prabat Si Roy
Temple of the Four Buddha Footprints, or Wat Prabat Si Roy in Thai, is a forest temple that is located in the Mae Rim Salouang district. The famous Buddha footprint is the main attraction, but there are also photogenic temple buildings and lots of Buddha status all around. I consider this place to be a hidden gem because this place is mostly popular to Thais; few foreigners know about this location. The steep, curved roads make it difficult to reach, as well as public transportation being unavailable. Going to this hidden temple from the city could take up to 1hr45 minutes to 2hrs, although it’s a long way it’s definitely worth the trip. There are signs all along the road to the temple, so just follow the buddha footprint signs and they’ll lead you to the destination.
Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
According to legend passed down, the Buddha visited the Muang Na district as he traveled, and encountered a white elephant that offered him a peach-like fruit. As soon as the Buddha touched the fruit, it turned into solid gold and after this day the elephant remained by the Buddha’s side and became a disciple. One day the elephant went to play in a nearby stream where hunters found and beat him to death, goes the legend. The Buddha arrived and gave the men a sermon. After that day they stopped sinning and settled in this area near the Buddha. They named the location Muang Na.
It is also believed that King Naresuan may have died in one of the caves in Muang Na, where he had fallen ill and paused on his journey to rest in the caves.
It takes around 2hrs to get there, and it is located approximately 1.5 km from the border of Burma.
I would recommend this hidden gem to people who are curious and interested in learning more about Thai history and mythology.
It covers 486 square kilometers that is full of different cave temples.
Daraphirom Palace Museum
Daraphirom Palace was the home of Princess Dara Rasmi, the daughter of the ruler of Chiang Mai, before it became Siam. At first people might find the idea of going to a museum dull but this palace museum is actually very interesting. The architecture of the palace is a mix of European and Thai. It was built in 1913. Decades after the death of Princess Dara Rasmi, the palace was acquired by Chulalongkorn University. It was brought back to its original condition and repainted to look exactly as it had when the princess had lived there. It was opened as a museum in 1999. Inside the palace are old artifacts and personal belongings of the princess. If you’re interested in seeing royal antiques, arts, photos, and musical instruments then this is your go-to place.
Dara Rasamee Border Patrol Police Camp
Rim Tai subdistrict, Mae Rim, Thailand
Bua Thong falls
Bua thong is also known as nam phu chet si is a waterfall located in Mae Taeng.
The unique thing that distinguishes this waterfall with many other waterfalls in Chiang Mai is the fact that it is “sticky”, formed by minerals instead of the usual rocky falls which are always slippery. The sticky waterfall enables you to walk around it without falling. People can to walk from the bottom of the waterfall to the top, something that would be impossible to do on a normal waterfall. The drive to the waterfall is a great chance to see the natural scenery of the countryside, and it is only 45 minutes out of Chiang Mai.