Chiang Mai, capital of the Lana Kingdom, this ancient destination is known as the cultural capital of Thailand and a favorite spot for those looking to glimpse into the past. Located 430 miles north of Bangkok or a short hour-long hour flight, the city has become an increasingly modern in recent times.
Packed with temples, art galleries and northern-style Thai restaurants, Chiang Mai offers a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. A trip outside the city’s ancient walls reveals lush hills home tribal villagers and sprawling fields.
Must-visit spots are the Doi Suthep Temple, the night bazaar and the street market found within the old city on Sundays. While in Chiang Mai, tourists often find themselves riding a water buffalo, planting rice in the fields or taking a Thai cooking class.
Chiang Mai offers a small, laid-back gay scene. Epicenters of which are located outside the wall of the old city, in nearby Chang Pueak, Niammanhaemin and Santitham. Chiang Mai, like all of Thailand is extremely friendly to the LGBT community, however, the most gay-friendly atmosphere can be found at the pool of The Rachamankha Boutique Hotel.