Chiang Mai is a major city in Northern Thailand. It is starkly different from the winding and grinding of the busy south. Matter of fact, the main city is completely surrounded by a moat and walls, which also mostly remain standing. Due to this, traffic is a problem even with such a small population.
At the center of the city is the must see Wat Chedi Luang which still lays in ruin. On the temple grounds one can partake in monk chats in English. The monks would like to practice their English and the tourists would like to learn a bit about Buddhism. There are numerous temples around the city, as well as ruins of stupas from Chiang Mai’s glory days. At night open the enormous night markets where one can buy pretty much anything, plus get a fantastic and cheap massage.
The weather in Chiang Mai is often pleasant and the nearby mountains always bring pleasant air. It is a great place to visit to get away and go on more adventurous trekking.
P.S. I recommend Gongkaew Chiangmai Home as it is cheap and a vacation on its own.