Wat Prathat Doi Suthep Temple
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chang Phueak
About thirty minutes outside the city is a golden temple atop a mountain. To get there, you'll wind along an uphill road (you can grab a taxi in Chiang Mai), passing waterfalls and thick green jungle. Once there, the glimmering gold structure will be unlike anything you've seen. It is gigantic. It glows in the sun. The majestic peaks look like they're electrified. Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is one of Thailand's most sacred temples. It dates back more than six centuries. Thai children from across the country visit the temple with their classmates and teachers, as do countless global tourists. You can walk among the pagodas, shrines, and statues. The grandeur, the size, the history—it all deserves at least a half-day excursion to take it all in. (Wear respectful attire and be sure to cover your shoulders and legs.)
15/3 Nimmanhemin Rd., Chang Phueak
Its name comes from doppio ristretto, which is espresso's smoother, richer, less acidic cousin. That is the base of most of the coffee drinks at this artisanal café. The owner, Arnon Thitiprasert, sources some of the best single-origin beans in the world. He also does the most incredible latte art—and not just hearts, but animals, leaves, you name it—in the milk foam, which has earned him several awards. There are several outposts in Chiang Mai, but this one is our favorite because of the exciting location. We could spend an entire afternoon here.
Raming Tea House
158 Amphoe Muang, Chang Phueak
This is a stunning old colonial teak tea house that’s more than a century old. Owned by the Raming family (who have been cultivating and producing teas in northern Thailand since the 1940s), it’s a bit touristy but always relaxing. We love to go in the afternoon and order a pot of the oolong with a slice of the house-made light, fluffy butter cake. It’s a decadent late-day treat.