The capital of northern Thailand – and once the center of an independent kingdom – Chiang Mai offers the entire Thai package in one compact location: stellar food, rich culture, ancient ruins, responsible elephant encounters, relaxed nightlife and an easy-going traveler scene that’s easy to plug into.
Every time of day is snack time in Chiang Mai. From the city’s impressive northern Thai restaurants to its fun-filled and frenetic night markets and hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving the city’s famous kow soi soup, the city always has a fork or spoon in hand. What makes Chiang Mai especially suited to solo travelers is its collection of cooking schools – ideal places to meet new people and learn how to cook up a perfect bowl of phat thai, green curry or hot and sour tom yam soup.
Epic solo travel experience: Learning to cook Thai food, of course! Most courses start with a market trip so you can learn to identify local ingredients before you start pounding herbs and spices to make your own curry paste