Though it is Thailand's second largest city, it sure doesn't feel like it. Walking the streets of this town, it seems you are in a village in the countryside. No high buildings, huge streets or hasty traffic here. Even better are the immediate surroundings, thickly forested hills.
People seem to be friendlier the more north you go in Thailand, some say the opposite about the south but we can't agree with that. After visiting the many temples we joined a cooking course for a day. We opted for a day on farm, starting our day at the local market learning about the produce we then headed to the farm where they cultivated most of our ingredients. It's a great experience and really worth making time for.
Just north of the city you'll find Doi Suthep, these forested peaks are a great city escape. Within the national park you'll find waterfalls, hill tribe villages and beautiful trekking routes. Chang Mai's biggest plus has to be the laid back atmosphere, if you want escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and take it down a gear or two you've come to the right place.
We enjoyed our stay, loved the cooking course and had a great time cooling down in our 'private' waterfall.