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Flying Lanterns, Elephant Sanctuaries & Historic Temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand with Tom

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt blue temple horizontal

The Blue Temple

I’m really excited to interview Tom Libelt of Smart Brand Marketing about Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tom’s tips for the best things to do in Chiang Mai are awesome because he’s traveled the world as a digital marketing expert and chose this city for its ease of life and safety. He loves that the city is laid back with nature around it and is only a 1-hour jump to Bangkok.

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Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt Loi Krathong

Loi Krathong

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and is near most of the highest mountains in the country, like Doi Suthep and Doi Inthanon (which is the highest mountain in Thailand). The city and its neighboring districts are home to approximately 1 million people.

Thailand is a very affordable destination and Chiang Mai is typically cheaper than Bangkok, another popular tourist destination. Temples are a popular attraction in Chiang Mai, so look to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Pha Lat, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and more. There are many beautiful waterfalls that you can hike to, like Sticky Waterfalls, HUay Kaew Waterfall, and Mork Fa Waterfall. When you’re done with your hike, venture around the city for a massage, which you can get for about $6 to $10 for a full hour.

The city has a tropical savanna climate that is tempered by its low altitude and moderate elevation. This means that the temperatures are warm to hot year-round, although it can get cooler at night during the dry season. Tom recommends visiting from October to December where you’ll find comfortable temperatures during the day and a slight chill at night. May to October is hot, rainy, and very humid. Travelers should avoid the “burning season” of February to May because that’s when farmers burn their fields to prepare for the next planting. During this time, the air is dry and is polluted with smoke.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Amazing Thailand, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt Baan Landai 2

Baan Landai

Getting around Chiang Mai

The local airport is Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), which is about a 10-minute drive to the city. Look for taxis to get you from the airport to the city and expect to pay about $6 for a flat-rate ride.

Tom says that, if you’re staying downtown, you’ll want to rent a scooter or a bike, or else the city will be closed off to you. Avoid the songthaews (aka Red Trucks), which act as shared taxis around the city, because they are typically rip-off machines. You can also use the bus system to get around, like from Nimman to the Old City.

Grab is a rideshare service similar to Uber and Lyft and also is a great way to get around.

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Tom Libelt about Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Green dots = best things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Who is Tom Libelt?

Tom Libelt was born in Poland and escaped at the age of 11. He’s led an intriguing life and has a variety of professional experiences that laid the foundation of his marketing expertise. Tom learned to DJ as a teenager and became a music engineer for rap artists. After reading The 4-Hour Work Week, Tom was inspired to create a location-independent lifestyle. He’s now is a digital nomad teaching people how to create and market online courses.

He is a frequent guest on podcasts sharing marketing tips for businesses. Plus, he hosts three podcasts of his own – Smart Brand Marketing, We Create Online Courses, and Crypto Moon Radio. Tom and his team create and market online courses for clients and teach them how to do it for themselves.

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt

Here are a few of his podcast episodes:

You can connect with Tom on his website and on Twitter and Facebook.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy to use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to to start your free account.

Best things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand Tom Libelt Baan Landai

Baan Landai

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis on Airbus tour

Jamie Larounis on Airbus tour

Listen to the next episode when Jamie Larounis of The Forward Cabin shares the best things to do in Washington D.C. Jamie and I talk about attending Embassy Row parties, seeing Cherry Blossoms in the spring, and exploring the National Mall. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Chiang Mai, Thailand? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about cities in Southeast Asia, listen to our other episodes: