We probably made a strategic error in our planning for Chiang Mai: we thought that we could make the best from this city in one and half day, but couldn’t. We should have started the visit of the old town right away instead of waiting for the next morning. The temples in the old city were nice but in a way too similar to the smaller ones in Bangkok (maybe because we were enchanted by Sukhothai the previous day). The old city is nice, but in some parts too touristy. A little bit outside of the old city, the night market seems to be one of the main tourist activities after dawn.
We felt we were missing out on Chiang Mai, because there seemed to be several interesting visits outside of the city, but due to the limited time and the fact that those visits were seemingly temporally mutually exclusive and incompatible with our old city visit, we only stayed in the old city.
One of the visits advertised in every corner of the city was a tiger park, with encounters with tigers of different ages. We were tempted, especially me I’ll gladly admit, but I went online and checked some reviews. It became quickly obvious that we didn’t want to participate in this kind of operation: the tigers are apparently drugged to keep them calm, and physically abused to keep them awake while tourists are being photographed with them.