chiang mai is a small town in the north of thailand with only 150.000 people living there. besides the old district - the area where you will find most of the attractions, famous temple and the sunday market - there is actually not that much to do nor to see. so i'd rather like to introduce to a few other things that are close-by.

how to get there


there are a few options to get to chiang mai. on my way there i decided to take the night train from bangkok and i returned taking the plane. i actually was really surprised how great the train was, but my expectations were also very low. the most difficult part was to get the ticket for the train. there is no way of buying or making a reservation online so you do have to go to the trainstation. while that is only possible 5 days before the departure, you have to plan that in advance. don’t go and try to buy your ticket last minute though, because it might already be sold out. you can choose between the bed on the bottom or the one on top - last one is a bit more pricy (price of the both options.) when you finally get your ticket it is time to prepare your night on the train.


rule #1 bring your own food and something to drink. besides some snacks they don’t offer any meals or other kind of food options.


rule #2 bring a sweater, long pants and some socks - it is freezing in there. and i am not somebody who gets cold easily.


now you are ready for the journey. board the train and find your seat - yes seat. the first 30 - 60 minutes you will be sitting. after that a train guard will walk through every car and prepare your bed. the seats will turn into two beds - with sheets, blankets and pillows. my bed was the top one and i didn’t want to leave my backpack downstairs so i took it with me and put it at the end of the bed. please keep in mind that asian people are not that tall, therefore the beds aren’t that big. but i still was able to get a good night sleep.

on my way back i decided to fly to save some time so i bought my planeticket on skyscanner for only 50€ back to bangkok. 

where to stay


at this point i would like to recommend you a guesthouse or hotel, but i really didn’t like both places i stayed in - guesthouse chiang mai white house and the hug hostel. i mean they weren't the worst but i think you will find something better than those two places. just have a look at agoda or

what to see

#1 lookout


wat phrathat doi suthep is not just a temple but also an amazing lookout and the town's landmark. since it is only 15km from the city center you can access it easily - by taking a songthaew taxi or just rent a scooter. the best time is to get there like 30 minutes before the sunset so you can see it by daylight but also when it gets dark outside. and the entrance fee is only 30 baht.

#2 bua thong waterfalls

sticky waterfalls


is one of the most amazing waterfalls i have ever seen. it is not very big or famous but totally worth to check it out. you ask yourself why? well the name says it all - it is sticky. so take the path to the lower level, take off your shoes and walk the waterfall back up. you won't slip and it is pretty easy to climb. who can say that they walked up a waterfall, right? it is about 60 km / or one and a half hour outside chiang mai but easy to reach if you have a scooter. there is also no entrance fee - but be careful if you bring for example your food. you might end up with a fine, because they want to keep the area clean. 

#3 grand canyon


 chiang mai quarry or the red mud quarry is by far my favorite spot in the area. i actually don't have words to describe it - it is just stunning. 

#3 grand canyon


 chiang mai quarry or the red mud quarry is by far my favorite spot in the area. i actually don't have words to describe it - it is just stunning. the closed down quarry is now basically a pig pool - you can go swimming and also jump from the cliffs. but be careful, it can be dangerous. you won't see any local people and just a handfull of tourists which means that you have the canyon almost all by yourself. 

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Write a comment

Comments: 23
  • #1

    Natasha (Monday, 05 December 2016 19:52)

    I love the time that I spent in Chiang Mai, while in Thailand -- but didn't really venture too far out. I think the waterfalls sounds amazing. Sounds like I need to visit again :)

  • #2

    Christine (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 03:50)

    I have never been to Chaing Mai! I really wanted to go this year for the lantern festival they had... maybe next year. This post really makes me want to visit even more now. Your photos are great!

  • #3

    Jo (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 07:49)

    There's a grand canyon in Chiang mai? Now how come I didn't know that :( Sigh! I just had 2 days in CM so could not see a lot but I know there are a ton of things to do and lots of reasons to revisit :)

  • #4

    mark (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 22:25)

    The waterfalls look amazing, my kids would love to to this actually I would love to do this. Thailand is high on our list of countries to visit very soon

  • #5

    Shane Prather (Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:01)

    I love chasing waterfalls! Wish I made it past Phuket, this area looks beautiful!

  • #6 (Thursday, 08 December 2016 16:00)

    Thank you for the post, especially for the two rules, those are two things that are so important, food and warmth, your basic needs. Asia has been on my bucket list for a really long time, and especially Thailand, I've been doing some research for next year, I´m thinking of going to teach English there. The water fall looks so pretty, love the pic of you standing under the waterfall taking it all in.

  • #7

    Natalie (Thursday, 08 December 2016 16:25)

    I have always wanted to sleep on a train. It just seems like such a cool thing to do. Once in Italy, I thought I was going to get my chance, but then there was a we didn't get to go. I know the kids would think it was a great adventure! We always travel with the kids and enjoy showing them the world. It really helps them become global citizens!

  • #8

    Nadine (Friday, 09 December 2016 04:25)

    I always wanted to know how it is to go there with the train because I took the plane. Hahah so funny that you first sit and then they prepare your bed. Thanks for all your tips very helpful for my next trip.

  • #9

    Ticker Eats The World (Friday, 09 December 2016 04:41)

    Been wanting to travel to Chiang Mai for a few years now. It looks beautiful and so full of nature and of course the Thai architecture and culture is amazing to experience.

  • #10

    Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer (Friday, 09 December 2016 07:58)

    I would also put my backpack beside me. It is better that way. You can easily grab your stuff whenever you need to. I would love to visit Chiang Mai quarry. It looks breathtaking.

  • #11

    Abby (Friday, 09 December 2016 13:29)

    I have read a lot about Chiang Mai and your post definitely added to the curiosity. The views are amazing especially the waterfalls!

  • #12

    Kreete (Friday, 09 December 2016 14:07)

    Honestly, I had never even heard of Chiang Mai. I would love to experience that "sleepover" train ride. I have heard so much about it when people travel in SEA. How awesome is that waterfall though? And that photo with the pond that looks like it has a vortex into the void? Crazy! Awesome quarry too! We have something like that in Estonia, but out of limestone. Nice post!

  • #13

    Leah (Friday, 09 December 2016 17:57)

    I'm hearing so much about Thailand lately! It's really making me want to make it my first Asian country to visit. Thanks so much for the great tips!

  • #14

    neha (Friday, 09 December 2016 18:48)

    Such beautiful places. Would be super cool if you could suggest some hotel/guesthouse as well..anything else apart from the ones that you stayed in?

  • #15

    Diana - MVMT Blog (Friday, 09 December 2016 20:19)

    Wow, so many interesting things in this post! First of all - sticky waterfall?? I've never heard of that before. Would love to check it out for myself. Also - I've never taken a sleeper train before, but this one actually doesn't look bad! I'm going to Chiang Mai for the first time in march and this post is perfect timing. I think I'll be flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai instead of taking the train though because I don't have a lot of time. I was just checking flights and they seem to be a lot more than 50 euro right now... can I ask when you bought your ticket? Was it pretty close to your departure date? Thanks! :)

  • #16

    Kristine (Friday, 09 December 2016 21:52)

    Wow, beautiful Thailand, never fails to surprise me. This place looks like a dream, absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure the night train must have been quite an experience! I didn't realize it got that cold, so thanks for sharing these packing tips!

  • #17

    blondemoments (Friday, 09 December 2016 23:12)

    Thanks so much guys!!! It means so much to me, hearing that you like my osts and m photos.
    @neha: i would love to, but i only stayed at the ones i mentionned and they weren't great. so i cannot tell you the ones that are great because i didn't stay at any.
    @diana: i thought that too. but if you take the train during the night you actualy don't waste any time. you might even safe some, because you sleep and wake up somewhere else. I think i bought my plan ticket like 5 days before I took it? shame that it is getting more expenssive. check out my next posts. they'll be about bangkok, pai and koh tao :)
    and again! thanks so much guys!

  • #18

    The Travel Ninjas (Saturday, 10 December 2016 02:59)

    The red mud quarry is so beautiful. It is a little known gem of Chang Mai. If swim or dive off the cliffs, is it hard to get back up. Are there any ladders or stairs or is it all just rocks to climb?

  • #19

    Vicki Louise (Saturday, 10 December 2016 06:28)

    I did number 1 but didn't get to 2 and 3! Sticky Falls has always fascinated me and I'd love to jump off the rocks into the Grand Canyon! Would be awesome to have that spot to yourself too! So peaceful!

  • #20

    Davide uTravelShare (Saturday, 10 December 2016 10:57)

    Wonderful post, I have been to Chiang Mai and love this city in all its unique part like temples, tradition, culture, weekend market and its food! anyway I did something outside this location except for red mud quarry, it looks amazing and I have never heard about it, why?!?! :-( right I just want go back there and visit it quickly to write it down, :-D thanks for sharing

  • #21

    Theresa (Sunday, 11 December 2016 08:11)

    Absolutely beautiful, especially the waterfall hike! It looks like your trip was amazing!

  • #22

    Allison (Thursday, 15 December 2016 08:08)

    While I have been to Thailand a few times I haven't made it to Chang Mai. I would probably end up flying to save time but would depend on the cost. The waterfall looks lovely but I'm not sure Ai would climb up it

  • #23

    Tracy (Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:07)

    Whoaaa..the waterfall! The water is crystal clear. Do you know the height of the waterfall? I love going waterfalls, just feeling good seeing so much water downpour. :D