Hidden Travel Spots in Chiang Mai, Thailand

We’ve become familiar with the usual tourist spots of various cities through the many photos we’ve seen online. Yet the experience may become saturated in the crowds of random tourists, competition for empty photo spots, and a mish-mash of foreign languages integrated as background white noise.

Known for its temples, natural scenery, and local shopping, Chiang Mai is one of the many intriguing cities in Thailand to visit. Steering away from the usual tourist attractions, Four Seasons Resort Thailand has recommended five hidden spots within Chiang Mai for a more immersive experience of its history and contemporary local culture.

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Wat Sri Suphan (Silver Temple)

Wat Sri Suphan is a hidden gem in Chiang Mai, most notably known as the Silver Temple. Completely covered in silver decoration from the walls to the roof, the temple is the first of its kind. It was built since 1501, making it more than 500 years old. It is located in Chiang Mai’s Wualai silversmith village, and people usually visit the temple to pay respects for Buddhist tradition. However, due to certain beliefs, women are not allowed to enter the temple.

You can join the meditation sessions every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. You are also encouraged to approach the English-speaking monks at the temple, if you’re interested in conversations about Buddhism and spirituality.

Address: 100 Wualai Road, Haiya Sub-district, Muang District, Chiang Mai

Admission fee: No admission fee

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Wat Umong (Tunnel Temple)

Located in an area with natural scenery and a peaceful ambience, Wat Umong is renowned for the ancient tunnels within the temple, which is where the name ‘Umong’ was derived from. Built in 1297 by King Mengrai of the Lanna Dynasty, the Buddha statues are placed within these tunnels. The architecture was made to reflect Chiang Mai’s local wisdom amidst the abundance of nature. 

There are meditation courses at Wat Umong, and you could approach the monks as well. Recommended for people looking for a peace of mind. 

Address: 135 Moo.10, Suthep Sub-district, Muang District, Chiang Mai (Behind Chiang Mai University)

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Jing Jai Farmer Market 

A market selling organic goods, handicrafts, and second-hand products, Jing Jai Farmer Market is open on the weekends, from early morning to early afternoon.

There are three different zones in the market. 

Zone 1: Jing Jai Farmer Market (Saturday and Sunday, from 6am to 1pm) 

The first organic market in Chiang Mai since 2012, Jing Jai Farmer Market boasts a wide range of agricultural products for sale at a reasonable price by local farmers.

Zone 2: Rustic Market (Every Sunday, from 7am to 1pm)

Rustic Market holds more than a hundred craft shops with their own unique styles, i.e. arts, home decoration, bakeries, homemade and organic coffee, etc. 

Zone 3: Hobby Market (Every Saturday, from 7am to 1pm)

Hobby Market is the centre of secondhand products, and goods made by merchants as hobbies.

Location: Jing Jai Market, 45 Assatorn Road, Patan, Chiang Mai

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B Samcook Home 16

B Samcook offers authentic Thai Fusion food. With an open-concept kitchen, the chef offers his customers the chance to witness the cooking process.

The restaurant is open daily from lunch onwards, and don’t forget to make a reservation for dinner. 

Address: 5 Soi Kampaengdin 3, Haiya Sub-District, Muang District, Chiang Mai

Tel. (+66)95-4464364, (+66)91-8545391

Photo credit: Colin Hinshelwood

The North Gate Jazz Co-Op

Almost all local people in Chiang Mai who love jazz will say that The North Gate is the best Jazz Pub in town. An avid Jazz lover himself, the owner of the pub wanted to build a Jazz community upon falling in love with the saxophone.

There are live Jazz performances every night  – the first set is from 9:30pm to 10:30pm, and the second set is from 11pm to midnight.

Address: Changpuak Gate, Old City, Chiang Mai