One of the main things to remember about travelling is, the journey can sometimes (actually, often) take longer than expected. I was travelling from Phitsanulok (about 4 hours bus from Bangkok) and thought the trip was going to take 4/5 hours – in actual fact it took 7, with a change from one bus to another half way.
Upon arrival, take a trip a few metres up the road – it is highly recommended to try to street food, with Thailand being well known as the king of street food.
The next day, if you are up early and feel like a bit of a refreshment after travelling, I recommend a place called Wild Rose Yoga, it was a great studio and had a really enjoyable morning class.
If you are not one for tourism, like myself, or doing the all day excursions ask in the yoga studio what there is to do in the day. Local knowledge is usually very good knowledge. They recommended to me walking round the old city and visiting all the temples (for free), for a little adventure.
Here, you can actually see the monks homes. A monk was standing outside when I was there and he came over and spoke to me. He was such a nice guy, good sense of humour and spoke good English too! He explained how it is believed all Thai men should be a monk at least once in their life, whether it be for a week or a month. This is paying respect to their parents.
After the temples, try one of the little cafes – if you can find it, there is one on the corner with a ton of old books and amazing ice cream, I can’t remember the name of it, apologies!
Then, if you’re feeling up to it, and want to prep yourself to feel amazing for the evening, head back to the yoga studio for another class 😉
In the evening, try some of the local bars and more street food! It’s a completely different setting at night and so beautiful. You can stay at Chiang Mai Gate Hotel. It’s a budget hotel but decent for the price paid.