Chiang Mai is a beautiful city with an attitude to match.
This is my third time in Chiang Mai, Thailand; it's taken me a combined 6 months or so of time spent here to actually pen a post about it. I haven't quite had the words.
Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand and completely different to Bangkok, it's chilled out, green, hipster and full of lovely locals and foreigners. You don't get harassed on the street to buy a tailored suit or to get in a tuktuk ever.
I had quite an (unfortunately) bad opinion of Thailand until coming up north, I had only really seen Bangkok and touristy areas in the south, and the attitudes presented by Thais in those places. This was almost immediately dispelled when I arrived here in Chiang Mai - I have a really vivid memory of stopping by a small watch shop on one of my first nights here asking for directions to the night market, I was completely lost and in the wrong part of town and the man I was speaking to couldn't quite figure out a way of directing me in English to the place I needed to go. His solution was to say "follow me!" and take me the ~15min ride to the market on his scooter with me riding behind him. When we got there he just smiled and waved me off. This experience really stuck with me and it really summarises the feel of the place: warm.
If you ever go to Chiang Mai, my advice is to stay here. It's the first place I stayed when I moved here for 5 months last year and the place has an amazing feeling to it. The two ladies who run the place were super nice to me and even helped me find an apartment to live. Every time I'm back here I stay here and recommend it to my friends. It's in a fantastic location outside of the old city and near a local food market, they also have a cat cafe which is as cool as it sounds
The food in this city is some of the best I've seen anywhere in the world. I love eating so this is important to me. There's super yummy and cheap local food markets with Thai food and at least one good restaurant serving pretty much everything else I can think of. There are a number of delicious Mexican and Japanese restaurants which I frequent...
Basically Chiang Mai is really cool and I will definitely spend a lot more time here in the future. Definitely my favourite city in S. E. Asia thus far.