Known as the “Rose of the North,” Chiang Mai has become one of the most popular places to visit when in Thailand. With mountains in the background, temples in every corner, and trendy establishments in the city center, Chiang Mai is a flawless combination of the old and the new.
Nimmanhaemin or imply Nimman is one of the best examples of this “past-meets-present” charm of Chiang Mai. The locale has its share of modern restaurants and cafés, late-night bars for a vibrant nightlife, and bustling shopping areas. If you’re staying for more than a few days, you can find the best Nimman accommodation. You’ll discover a range of boutique and chain hotels, serviced apartments, hostels, and more to suit your personal preferences and budget.
But beyond this contemporary facade, Nimman Road maintains Thai culture deep in its bones. Here are some things to do in Nimman to experience this unique combination of modernity, heritage, and uniqueness.
Chat With Monks
One of the most interesting activities you can do in Chiang Mai is to interact with Buddhist monks through the Monk Chat program. There’s no script or set topics that you have to talk about, so feel free to discuss anything under the sun. Even simply introducing yourself is encouraged! What’s more, all visitors are welcome. Just make sure you are dressed appropriately..
Wat Suan Dok is one of the best places to participate in the Monk Chat program. The temple is just a short walk from Nimman Road, toward the south and onto Suthep Road, where you can easily spot the temple’s spectacular gold stupa. While you’re there, feel free to explore and take photos of Wat Suan Dok. One of the most interesting features in the temple is the pagoda that contains Buddha’s relics.
Learn How to Cook Thai Food
Thai food is quite delicious, indeed, but not everyone knows how to prepare and cook it. Sometimes, even the locals have difficulty getting the balance of flavors right. Thankfully, some of the best cooking schools can be found in the Nimman area, like Basil Cookery School and Nimman Thai Cooking School. What’s great about these classes is that they limit the number of participants so that the teachers can better help the students. Most of the schools also offer the classes with local market tours so you can get the freshest ingredients. Make sure to check the schedules first so you can be sure that you have a slot when you visit.
Visit Chiang Mai University
A school might not be the first thing you have in mind when touring, but Chiang Mai University is definitely a must-visit. The campus has beautiful gardens and features traditional Thai and modern architecture in an interesting combination. Chiang Mai University officially opened for tourists in 2014, and guests can enter the main gate at Huay Kaew Road. There’s a minimal fee of 50 baht, and you can also rent a bike for 50 baht per hour.
While you’re in the campus, you should also visit the Ang Kaew Reservoir, an artificial lake that was originally built to serve as the university’s water supply during the 1960s. Today, it acts as a park where both students and tourists take a break and enjoy the beautiful green scenery featuring the Doi Pui Mountain in the background.
See Thousands of Colorful and Quirky Insects
Do you love museums? How about unique and colorful insects? Then the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders is the place for you. Located a few streets from Nimmanhaemin Road, this small private museum has an impressive collection of over 10,000 bugs and critters. The owners, Dr. Rampa Rattanarithikul and her husband Manop, are more than willing to show you around and explain more about the insects on display. Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders is a bit tricky to find since the front doesn’t look like a museum at all. It’s near Green Palace Hotel, so it’s best if you use it as a landmark for taxi or tuk tuk drivers.
Immerse Yourself in Art
If you’re looking for contemporary art exhibits, Minimal Gallery is the place to go. The first floor is the gallery, where works of both local and foreign artists are displayed. There’s also a mini-bar so you can sip on crafted drinks while you browse the displays. Meanwhile, the second floor is an art studio that artists can use to create and hone their craft. If you want to stay updated on their latest exhibitions and opening nights, you can find their page on Facebook.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong about visiting the many temples and parks in Chiang Mai. These places are undoubtedly beautiful and the photos alone can be worth the visit. However, for those who want something new, why not try these activities instead? They can give you a new perspective on Chiang Mai and the evolution of Thailand’s culture.