Located in the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is the country’s second city. Thanks to the prestigious Chiang Mai University the city has a young laid back vibe, and boasts an array of wats, temples, restaurants and markets. Visitors can climb 300 steps to the hill-top Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple before heading back into centre and wandering the ancient city walls of the Old Town. Here they can discover over 30 different wats, from Wat Chiang Man – the oldest in the city, to the prestigious Wat Chedi Luang or the small and quiet Wat Phan Tao next door.
For those of you who can’t resist Thai cuisine, Chiang Mai provides an overabundance of restaurants and delicious street food. If you want to learn how to prepare Thai food yourself, the city offers plenty of quality cooking classes to choose from and the Don Phayam Market, located just outside the north-western corner of the old town, provides an outstanding example of a local produce market.