Read our guide about backpacking in Chiang Mai to get to know this wonderful city. Our backpacker to backpacker community website brings together advice and tips from travellers who have backpacked through Chiang Mai, sampled the food, visited the best sites, used public transport to explore the city and much more.
Chiang Mai, also known as Thailand's northern capital was founded in 1296 and until 1558 the city was the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom. Chiang Mai has now become a hotspot for backpackers travelling to Thailand. The city located 700Km north of Bangkok and has a population of around 1.5 million in the metropolitan area with over 200,000 people living in the city centre alone.
It’s Old City still retains remnant of walls and moat from its history as a religious and cultural centre. Amongst the historical remains of the Old City, Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of extravagant Buddhist temples that attracts over 15 million yearly visitors. The most famous temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Prah That Doi Sethup which sits on the top of a hill and can be seen from around the city.
Covered in mountains, forests and vegetation a visit to Chiang Mai often provides a more peaceful escape from it’s chaotic Southern rival (Bangkok). Chiang Mai is a great place to relax, recharge and indulge in Northern dishes such as Khao Soi and Khan Toke. However, like many major cities in Thailand, Chiang Mai’s tourism continues to flourish and a trip to the city is incomplete without embracing the vast range of activities such as traditional Thai cooking classes, mountain trekking, white water rafting and a visit to an elephant care camp.