Explore Chiang Mai

Northern Thailand's temple town

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    THG Recommended Attractions in Chiang Mai

    Additional things to do in Chiang mai

    The list of things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand is a lengthy one if you intend to get around to filling it out, with attractions including temples, shopping venues, museums, the local scenery, and entertainment centres to go with the various activities such as the nightlife.

    Doi Suthep-Doi Pui Mountain

    These twin peaks are visible from much of Chiang Mai, serving as a constant visual landmark. Doi Suthep stands at 1676 metres, while Doi Pui comes up to 1685 metres

    Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

    One of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples, itself found on Doi Suthep mountain, it was established to enshrine one of the Buddha’s alleged bone fragments, another piece of which can be found at Wat Suan Dok. The on-site Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Center conducts religious outreach programs.

    Wat Chedi Luang

    This temple houses the Pillar of the City (Intakin) along with an assortment of Buddhist art and a rather sizeable gum tree near its entrance.

    Wat U Mong

    Also known as Wat Umong Suan Puthatham There is a tunnel under the big pagoda that you can walk pass through. the only forest temple in the province is located next to Doi Suthep is home to images of the Buddha, trees bearing plaques of Buddhist texts, and some lovely scenery.

    Wat Chiang Man

    The oldest of the area’s temples was built in the 13th century in the Lanna style. It contains two famous Buddha statues: Phra Sae Tang Khamani and Phra Sila.

    Wat Buppharam

    Located just outside of the Old City walls, this temple is home to a prominent Buddha image made out of white teak.

    Wat Phra Singh

    Known fully as Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn or the ‘Gold Temple’, this temple comes second only to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep among Chiang Mai’s local collection. Visitors should visit the Lai Kam assembly hall and its restored murals depicting local life from centuries back.

    Wat Suan Dok

    This temple houses several structures worth knowing, including the principle pagoda enshrining relics of the Buddha, a garden of mausoleums housing the ashes of previous rulers of Chiang Mai, and a sizeable assembly hall.

    Wat Phan Tong

    This quiet temple on Loi Kroh Road features calming scenery and old murals that complement the Lanna-style architecture.

    Wat Phra Thad Doi Saket

    This temple is located on Doi Saket, a small hill about 30 kilometres from Chiang Mai.

    Wat Sri Suphan

    Known as the ‘Silver Temple’, this Buddhist temple built in the Lanna fashion is so known due to being completely covered in hand-crafted silver decoration from the building itself to the statues and carvings. It can be found right next to the Saturday Walking Street Market.

    Wat Loi Kroh

    This temple on Loi Kroh Road was constructed in the 15th century and features some impressive Lanna architecture.

    Wat Phra That Doi Kham

    Also known as Wat Doi Kham or the ‘Golden Temple’, this venue is found on top of a hill in Mueang Chiang Mai District. The view from it is worth seeing, while the temple itself features a 17-metre-tall image of a sitting Buddha covered in gold.

    Wat Phan Tao

    Located in the Old City next to Wat Chedi Luang, this wooden temple features a decorated garden with a pond, bamboo trees, and a Buddha image beneath a Bodhi tree.

    Bhubing Palace

    This building in the Mueang District was built for the royal family as a residence during state visits, also serving as a guest house for foreign dignitaries.

    Royal Park Rajapruek

    Landscaped grounds featuring flowers, plants & sculptures, plus an elegant commemorative chapel. Very nice botanical garden with plants from all over the world. Visit highly recommend for all interested in plants.

    Warorot Market

    Also known as Kad Luang, this market features a bevy of dishes and fresh produce alongside clothing, fashion accessories, and personal car products at affordable prices. Visitors can also wind down at the massage chairs and fish spas.

    Anusarn Market

    A section of the Night Bazaar found on Chang Klan Road, this covered market features souvenirs, gifts, local products, and handicrafts, along with counterfeit items if you’re looking for them.

    Kalare Night Bazaar

    Located about a third of the way down from the upper end of Chiang Mai Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road, this relatively quiet section includes artist studios, jewellers, tour operators, clothing outlets, and more. It also features an open food court and entertainment area.

    Saturday Market

    Also known as Wua Lai Market based on the name of the street on which it is centred, the market starts in the late afternoon, running until before 11 PM. It’s the smaller, quieter counterpart to its Sunday counterpart featuring handicrafts, locally-made products, and local delicacies.

    Chiang Mai Gate Market

    Located on the southern end of the Old City’s moat, this open-air market features a wide variety of food stalls serving street food, sweets, and produce..

    Sunday Walking Street

    One of Chiang Mai’s most popular shopping experiences, this market runs each Sunday starting in the late afternoon on Ratchadamnoen Road, serving as a venue for events ranging from dance recitals to beauty pageants. The market itself finds sellers offering handcrafted products alongside tourist trinkets for the most part.

    Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

    Billed as the main venue for shopping in Chiang Mai, the market runs from around sunset until late in the night. Here, shoppers can find affordable goods running the gamut from electronics to fashion to antiques to all sorts of items you would not expect to see every day.

    Promenada Chiang Mai

    Billed as Chiang Mai’s first resort mall, this venue includes a supermarket, theatre, and children’s entertainment options.

    Central Festival Chiang Mai

    Also known as ‘Fest’ to locals, this shopping mall features various British brand name stores that are hard to find in other parts of Chiang Mai, along with over 300 shops, a cinema, and an IMAX theatre..

    Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center

    This Mueang District upscale mall is host to boutiques, gift shops, restaurants, a cinema, and the Myst Rooftop Bar.

    Loi Kroh Road

    A well-known local hotspot for the nightlife. Lying between the Old City moat and the Ping River, this stretch of road is lined with massage shops, handicraft and wood carving outlets, bars, pubs, restaurants, and even temples to complement its girlie bar zones.

    Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

    Located within the old provincial government hall of the Mueang Chiang Mai District, this museum offers visitors information about Chiang Mai’s history.

    Chiang Mai National Museum

    This regional museum in Mueang Chiang Mai District is dedicated to the conservation of the arts and culture of Chiang Mai and the Lanna (upper north).

    The Highland People Discovery Museum

    This venue in Mueang Chiang Mai District is dedicated to chronicling the history of northern Thailand’s hill tribes.

    Chiang Mai Historical Centre

    Found behind the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre, this building designed in the Lanna style features exhibitions, ancient ruins, and public information for locals, with interactive displays and wax models making for a family-friendly experience.

    Art in Paradise

    This venue in Mueang Chiang Mai District features 3D murals that should wow your senses and provide much in the way of family-friendly entertainment.

    Tha Pae Gate

    One of Chiang Mai’s premier landmarks serves as the threshold for the Old City, being surrounded by more hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, and all sorts of businesses than the rest of the city. It also serves as a point through which to access various other attractions, and its public square is often used to host public events and celebrations.

    Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

    This national park not only features the twin peaks, but also waterfalls, viewpoints, and trails, making it one of the best in Thailand for hiking and cycling. Also located within the park are Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Bhubing Palace.

    Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders

    Located between the Old City and Nimmanhaemin Road next to the Green Palace Hotel, this venue features a collection of over 10,000 species of beetles, butterflies, and stick insects, among others, along with samples of stones, fossils, and seashells.

    Buak Hard Public Park

    Also known as Suan Buak Haad, this is Chiang Mai’s most popular park. Here, visitors can find plenty of grassy space to relax among three large ponds, a walking path, and small bridges. At certain times of the day and week, visitors can join in a game of takraw or take part in yoga exercises.

    Doi Inthanon National Park

    Located on Thailand’s highest mountain (2565 meters above sea level), this is one of the most popular national parks in the country. Here, visitors can check out its waterfalls, trails, remote villages, farms, viewpoints, and constant cold water at its more elevated spots.

    Chiang Mai Zoo

    This zoo features about 400 different species of animals as well as a walkthrough aviary, a freshwater aquarium, and two pandas bequeathed by China.

    Jungle Flight

    A treat for adrenaline junkies, this is Thailand’s longest zip-line, running around 1000 metres. 

    Huay Tueng Thao Reservoir

    Huay Tung Tao is a huge lake with bamboo huts to relax in while overlooking mountains of Doi Pui. It is surrounded by wonderful nature and there’s a sand coast along the reservoir which is beautiful like seashore.

    Elephant Nature Park

    Lovers of pachyderms should appreciate this sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants located in the Mae Taeng District.

    Bua Thong Waterfall

    This small, multi-tiered waterfall made of limestone and mineral deposits is known as the ‘sticky waterfall’ due to its surface reducing slips. This makes it relatively easy to climb, and visitors can dine at a picnic spot or nearby restaurants. 

    Thapae East

    This venue for the creative arts can be found in the Mueang Chiang Mai District. Here, visitors can interact with a community that hosts poetry readings and live music, among other endeavours.

    Kawila Boxing Stadium

    This venue in the Mueang Chiang Mai District hosts Muay Thai matches for those of you eager to witness the sport in living motion.

    Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary

    This sanctuary near the Myanmar border features the Chiang Dao Caves, diverse flora and fauna, hot springs, and is ideal for activities such as trekking, birdwatching, caving, and camping.

    Chiang Mai Night Safari

    The world’s largest nocturnal zoo covers 819 rai, featuring tours and activities including hand-feeding the animals, petting them, a laser light show, and a ‘dancing’ fountain.

    Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai

    This wildlife sanctuary allows visitors to feed and bathe the resident elephants alongside their mahouts, with trained English-speaking guides offering information about them.

    Wiang Kum Kam

    This ancient city dating back to the eighth-century Haripunchai Kingdom can be found in Saraphi District. Here, visitors can observe stone tablets, Buddhist sculptures and architecture, and ancient earthenware and pottery..

    Bor Sang Village

    This craft village in the San Kamphaeng district centres around the making of paper umbrellas, having achieved international fame for its output.

    Lanna Folklife Museum

    This museum, also known as the Lanna Heritage Centre, is dedicated to chronicling the history and culture of the Lanna people of northern Thailand. It is situated inside Chiang Mai’s old municipal court and offers information in Chinese, English, and Thai.

    Chiang Mai Old City

    Found in the Mueang Chiang Mai District, this area ranges from the Old City’s walls to Nimmanhaemin and Huay Kaew Roads. Aside from the tourist attractions, visitors can occupy themselves with local shops and eateries.

    Chiang Mai X Centre

    Located in Mae Rim District, this venue for high-octane activities features motorsports (i.e. motorcycles, indoor drift carts), paintball, bungee jumping, and Zorb balls.

    Elephant PooPooPaper Park

    This outdoor museum park in the Mae Rim District shows visitors their signature process of producing paper from elephant fecal fibres. Visitors can also visit a café and shop on site.

    Three Kings Monument

    This sculpture of the founding fathers of Chiang Mai, Kings Mengrai, Ramkamhaeng, and Ngam Muang, sits in the Mueang Chiang Mai District.

    Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

    Located in the Mae Rim District, the QSBG spans 6,500 rai housing 12 greenhouses, the largest such complex of its kind in the nation.

    Chiang Mai Grand Canyon

    Located in the Hang Dong District, this water park built in an abandoned limestone quarry features an inflatable obstacle course, slides, a zip line, and wakeboarding.

    Chiang Mai – Overview

    As with other areas popular with tourists in the country, Chiang Mai is home to a large number of temples, over 300 of them in fact. Doi Suthep Mountain, visible from much of the city, is one standout example. Located there is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, perhaps the most famed such location in Chiang Mai. Another well-known site is Wat Chedi Luang, which has been around since the 15th century and houses the Pillar of the City. Wat U Mong, located next to Doi Suthep, is home to a variety of Buddha images, along with a lake and trees bearing plaques of Buddhist texts. Wat Chiang Man, the oldest of the local temples, was built in the 13th century in the Lanna style. Names including Wat Bupharam, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Suan Dok are also deserving of a place in your itinerary.

    The list of attractions in Chiang Mai includes a royal residence in the form of Bhubing Palace, which was built for the royal family to stay at during state visits, although it is open to the public when the premises are vacant.

    Those looking to shop have plenty of options. If you’re looking for souvenirs in the form of handicrafts, carvings, silk, or artwork, you’re in luck. Some of the local markets in the Mueang district feature handmade products from hill tribes. At the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, such handcrafted goods and antiques can be found in large quantities. Another popular option is Saturday- and Sunday-Night Walking Streets. The former is found along Wualai Road, the latter is situated on Ratchadamnoen Road. In addition to the artistic items and goods on sale, they feature artists, musicians, and street performers. A third place to look at is the Warorat Market’s affordable clothing and food courts. Aside from the aforementioned options, there is also the Anusarn Market. If it’s large indoor malls you’re looking for, both Central Festival and Promenada are located along the Superhighway (a section of Highway 11 passing through Chiang Mai).

    Or maybe you’re seeking adventures via the Chiang Mai nightlife, in which case, try Loi Kroh Road, while the aforementioned Sunday Night market on Ratchadamnoen is another option.

    On top of what has been mentioned thus far, you can take trips to the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre, Chiang Mai National Museum, the Tribal Museum dedicated to the history of Northern Thailand’s mountain tribes, or Art in Paradise if you’re in a cultured mood. If you happen to desire a visit to the great outdoors with the possibility of strenuous physical activity, then Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Doi Inthanon National Park, which is located on Thailand’s highest mountain, Chiang Mai Zoo, the Jungle Flight zip-line centre, and Elephant Nature Park should all be options. You can do things like appreciate the waterfalls at Bua Thong or enjoy the scenery on the Ping River.

    In addition, fans of local sports might want to catch a Muay Thai match at Kawila Boxing Stadium.

    Visitors can also find many things to do, be it meditation retreats or classes in subjects like cooking, yoga, or massage. In addition, you can visit local hill-tribe villages for a taste of local cultures. Meanwhile, at Thapae East, visitors can check out a community hosting creative endeavours in things like poetry and live music, among other things.

    Chiang Mai has a diverse selection of restaurants and street food, one of the best in Thailand. If you’d like to try the local delicacies at their most authentic, one area where street food stalls are common is the Chiang Mai Gate. Local places range from smaller eateries serving a mix of Western and Thai food to more upscale restaurants run by expats that serve local, foreign, and fusion cuisine. Spots popular with tourists feature fast food and Japanese restaurants, while the nightlife and bars can be found in places like Nimmanahaeminda Road and the surrounding area.

    The province is also home to its share of signature dishes. Khao Soi, for instance, is made up of wheat noodles in curry served in an earthenware bowl. Another is Sai Ua, a spiced sausage seasoned with lemongrass.

    If Chiang Mai alone isn’t enough, the nearby town of Doi Saket features a hilltop temple and a large Buddha statue, while Lamphun houses the remains of the 12th century Haripunchai kingdom.

    Read through the rest of this page now for more information on Chiang Mai’s tourist attractions and activities. If you have further questions or can’t find something, don’t hesitate to contact us now.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the top attractions to visit in Chiang Mai?

    According to ChiangMai.Bangkok.com, the top Chiang Mai attractions to visit include Doi Suthep, the temples of the Old City, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Wiang Kum Kam, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Dao Cave, local hill tribes like the Karen long neck tribe, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Bo Sang Village, and the Lanna Folklife Museum. Other names worth mentioning from other sources include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the Chiang Mai Gate Market, Sunday Walking Street, and the Night Bazaar.

    What are the best outdoor activities in Chiang Mai?

    According to Tripadvisor.com, the best out things to do in Chiang Mai outdoors include a course at the Siam Rice Thai Cookery School, a trip along the Thailand Mountain Trail, taking a day tour of the Elephant Caretaker Village, visiting the Elephant Rescue Park, and checking out Bann Phor Liang Meun.

    What are the best day trips from Chiang Mai?

    The best day trips from Chiang Mai, according to BigBoyTravel.com, are those to elephant camps near the city, heading to Wat Doi Suthep and Wat Rong Khuhn, Doi Inthanon National Park, Tiger Kingdom, Baan Tong Luang, the Flight of the Gibbon zip line, Chiang Dao Cave, Lamphun, the local hot springs, Chiang Rai, visiting the local hill tribes, and a journey to the Golden Triangle. In addition, there are further options requiring more travel time.

    What are the most popular things to do in Chiang Mai with kids?

    Some of the most popular things for those wondering what to do in Chiang Mai with children, according to Hotels.com, are visits to the Chiang Mai Night Safari, the Flight of the Gibbon zip line, visiting the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai, a trip to the Chiang Mai X Centre, going cycling, marvelling at the art tricks in Art in Paradise Chiang Mai,, checking out Elephant PooPooPaper Park, exploring the canopy walkway at Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, taking in the sights at the Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders, and finally spending some time at Chiang Mai Zoo.

    What is Chiang Mai Best Known for?

    Chiang Mai’s primary claim to fame is its many temples, with a focus on local culture both past and present (the latter being seen in the hill tribes who reside in the area), along with its lovely scenery and mountains.

    Is Chiang Mai worth visiting?

    We would like to think so. But if you don’t believe us, the rest of this page and the entire website might do the trick.

    When is the Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai?

    According to MakeMyTrip.com, peak tourist season occurs between October and April, as the weather is mostly cool with a light breeze. More specifically, it is recommended that tourists try between November to February, as the weather becomes ideal for outdoor activities.

    Where is the Best Location for Tourists to Stay in Chiang Mai?

    According to TheBrokeBackpacker.com, first-time visitors and those on a budget should stay in the Old City, those seeking the nightlife should try Nimman, those looking to stay abreast of trends should stay in Santhitham, and families should stay on the mountainside.

    How many days do you need in Chiang Mai?

    As many as you would like. But if you want a specific answer, TheAkyra.com suggests spending at least five days in Chiang Mai to truly absorb and see all you want to.

    What can you do in Chiang Mai for 3 days?

    It depends on your imagination and ability to keep to a schedule. But for something more specific, TripAdvisor.com suggests spending the first day visiting the local temples, Doi Inthanon National Park, and visiting the Night Bazaar. Day two can be spent at Warorot Market, Mae Sa Waterfall, the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, and Tha Pae Walking Street. On the third day, it is recommended that tourists visit the Elephant Nature Park, get a massage at the Green Bamboo Massage, and have a meal at David’s Kitchen. Feel free to try variations of this general plan to better suit your tastes.

    Is it safe in Chiang Mai?

    Like any place, some parts of Chiang Mai are safer than others. According to Smartertravel.com, tourists were at risks of getting caught in lottery scams near the Old Town. It is also recommended that the dogs at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep should not be pet or provoked, to be aware of possible scams by taxi drivers who fail to use their meters with tourists, to prepare for air pollution in particular from January to April. Aside from that, as with much of Thailand, driving standards are lax, so be careful when on the road.

    Is Chiang Mai cheap?

    According to TheCultureTrip.com, compared to Bangkok, most purchases cost slightly less. In general, Chiang Mai can range in affordability depending on where you go and what you spend money on. According to BudgetYourTrip.com, as of 2019, the average cost of food was 282 baht per day. BreathingTravel.com says that other tourist destinations, such as Phuket or Koh Samui, are more expensive.

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