Full Article: 36 Hours in Chiang Mai, Thailand
36 Hours in Chiang Mai, Thailand
By JOSHUA KURLANTZICK
BLESSED with a cooler climate than Bangkok and buffered by lush mountains, Chiang Mai has long served as a backpacker’s gateway to Thailand’s northern reaches. But an influx of Thai artists and Western expatriates has turned this quiet city into a vibrant destination in its own right. Design studios have sprung up in town, fusing traditional Thai with modern twists. Age-old curries are now paired with Australian red wines and croissants. The area around Nimanhaemin Road now looks like South Beach, packed with BMWs and Art Deco homes, alongside contemporary art galleries run by young Thais with purple hair and nose rings. But traditional Chiang Mai is still there. Walk away from Nimanhaemin into the old city and you’ll see shaved monks meditating and backpackers chowing down on banana pancakes.
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