Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Visiting the Mountains Around Chiang MaiThe mountains around Chiang Mai offer a different atmosphere for those looking to escape the busy streets of the city centre.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most visited areas. It’s also considered to be one of the most scenic provinces in the country because of its stunning mountain ranges, valleys, vegetation, and wildlife.

Northern Thailand has a tropical wet and dry climate which offers warm to hot weather.

The night-time conditions during the dry season can be cooler and are much lower than daytime temperatures. Surprisingly in some of the mountain villages, the temperatures can reach as low as 0c.

Mountains Around Chiang Mai

In the mountains Around Chiang Mai people are extremely proud of their northern roots and the Lanna origins. This part of Thailand has unique foods, language, and way of life compared to Bangkok or southern Thailand.

The mountains around Chiang Mai are also home to various hill tribes, and each one has their own distinctive culture.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

It’s possible to either rent a vehicle or drive straight up into the mountains to explore for yourself. However, it’s much easier to plan the trip with a company like Farm Stay Asia.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Driving along the mountains roads is an adventure on its own. Exploring tight windy roads can be fun, but as the signs are in Thai it’s better to have someone who knows where they are going!

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

The best car in Northern Thailand!

The best car in Northern Thailand! Click To Tweet

Temples

No visit to the mountains around Chiang Mai would be complete without stopping off at the local temple. Temples are a point of curiosity travellers, but they also play a significant role in everyday life for local people in Thailand.

Thailand mountain temple dragon

Temple in the mountains around Chiang Mai

People go to the temple to pray to the Buddha for things such as health, happiness, wealth, and advice from monks.

Buddhist temples in Thailand are called “wats” which means an enclosure.

Temple in the mountains around Chiang Mai

Wat design and architecture has changed over the course of Thailands history. Although there are differences between style and layout, they mostly follow the same principles.

A Thai temple normally has two parts: the Phutthawat and the Sangkhawat.

Sometimes one photo isn't enough

One travel photo isn't always enough... Click To Tweet

Hiking

The mountains around Chiang Mai offer some incredible day hikes. It’s even possible to eat bush snacks like bamboo and mushrooms from the forest while hiking near Chiang Mai.

Hiking in the mountains around Chiang Mai

It’s important to note that most of the mountain paths are unmarked with no signs. Paths around a waterfall area like the one we hiked may have one or two signs – but even then the information was lacking.

Hiking the mountains around Chiang Mai

I recommend taking it easy at first and not venture out too far without proper knowledge or a guide to avoid getting lost.

Hiking the mountains around Chiang Mai

A local guide is invaluable regarding knowledge of the routes and area. When you take a local guide on a hike, it’s also nice to know you are putting some money back into the community.

We need coffee! ☕ That's me planting the next generation of coffee plants into the ground in northern Thailand ?

Our guide lived in the village and had plenty of information to share about its history.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Mountain Living

It’s hard to believe that in just an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai you can stay in a place like this. A place where there’s nothing to do at the end of the day but eat, drink, and relax by enjoying the tranquility.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Even if you can’t stand to be away from the city for long, it’s worth staying out here for at least one night.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

From the traditional ways all the way to present day conveniences, it’s interesting to see how self-sufficient the villagers can be.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

Many locals grow fruits, vegetables, and even coffee beans. With no supermarkets close by there’s much more of an emphasis on growing things yourself.

Growing food in the mountains around Chiang Mai is surprisingly cheap and healthy. It’s also not that difficult once you understand the concepts – which the locals are happy to share with you.

Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

If you are interested in this type of travel, I used Farm Stay Asia to organise my trip. At present thye have over 20 different locations around Thailand to visit.

They can be contacted by email at farmstayasia@gmail.com or through their website Farm Stay Asia.

Barry Sproston

Barry is a traveller and expat who spends most of his time between Asia and Australia. He has spent 12 months training at a Gung Fu school learning Wing Chun. Explored the island of Taiwan by scooter more than once. Been tricked into eating raw horse meat sushi in Japan. Even tried to overcome the fear of heights by bungee jumping in Thailand. One day he plans to open a guesthouse.


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24 thoughts on “Photos from the Mountains Around Chiang Mai

  1. Toby

    Wicked post Barry.

    I’m flying into Chiang Mai tomorrow and them I’m going to document and photograph a 3 day solo hike and camping, to work it into a post?

    Do you have any recommendations on places to start from? I’m pretty keen to be well of the beaten track.

    Thanks.

  2. Carmen Baguio

    What a pretty place! I love all of the lush vegetation. I can see why you love Chiang Mai. Hopefully we can get to this part of the world someday soon!

  3. Shona @ paraphernalia.co

    I’m a bit sad this is your last on Chang Mai and the Farm Stays. I’ve pinned them all for when I get there. I just love the whole concept, getting away from the city, understanding the local way of life and just being in such tranquil surroundings. Giving back is so important too. Your pics have been fab too.

  4. Angie (FeetDoTravel)Angie (FeetDoTravel)

    We need to return to Chiang Mai to check out more of the mountains as we didn’t get around to visiting them last time (it was Songkran though so a tad busy with tourists!). Thanks for giving all this information, I have pinned for when we return #feetdotravel

  5. James

    I visited Inthanon mountain recently and this area of Thailand is so beautiful. I wish I could make time to explore the mountains with a guide etc..it must be so tranquil.

  6. Scarlett Begonias

    I’ve been interested in hiking in Chiang Mai, and I had no idea that the paths were unmarked. That’s really unique, and I suppose it would be smarter to start with a guide. I’m also interested in learning to forage for food, that’s so cool that you can eat the mushrooms and plants. Great post 🙂

  7. Ruth

    I didn’t have the opportunity to visit Chiang Mai’s surrounding area when I visited. Well, I remember going to the Doi Suthep temple. The road was very windy. I would have loved to see the streams, waterfalls and coffee plantations. We did have coffee from the area in Chiang Mai. It was delicious!

  8. Travel Lexx

    Some fantastic photos there, Barry! I love Chiang Mai and while I have spent some time in the mountains around it, I haven’t done anywhere near as much as you. You’ve visited some great places – farms, villages, mountains and did some really cool hiking too! Definitely will be using your posts when I am next in the area! Hopefully sooner rather than later!

  9. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler)

    The mountains of Chaing Mai look so amazing! Northern Thailand I have yet to explore but after reading your article I must include it on my list of places to visit. You hooked up with a great tour company and I like the idea of staying up in the mountains. I had to laugh at the car with the horns. Great photos and information. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

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