Things To Do In Chiang Mai

About Things To Do In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the finest jumping off point for visiting the rest of northern Thailand, which is surrounded by verdant mountains and lined with ancient temples. It offers the best of so many worlds: exciting activities, beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and delicious cuisine. Visitors who have never been to Thailand before should experience some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, such as hiking to a waterfall in Doi Inthanon National Park, taking a Thai cooking class, or witnessing the sunrise from the peak of Doi Suthep. If this is not your first trip to Chiang Mai, however, you should not miss out on seeing the city's top attractions, including the temples of , Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, and the national parks of Doi Suthep-Pui, and Doi Inthanon. There are a gazillion things to do in Chiang Mai, from exploring the city's many markets and eating its delicious street food to unwinding with a meditation session or traditional Thai massage and even day trips to Chiang Rai and some of Thailand's most stunning natural attractions.

Top Things To Do In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai's abundance of incredible activities means that it can satisfy the curiosity of history buffs and future explorers alike. Things to do in Chiang Mai span the gamut from touring the city's historic sites, kayaking and visiting temples to engaging in adrenaline-pumping outdoor pursuits like bamboo rafting and reveling in the city's vibrant nightlife culture.

Kayaking In Chiang Mai

One of the most enjoyable activities to do in Chiang Mai is go kayaking as there is no prerequisite expertise level for this endeavor. Not having swimming skills is also not a requirement for participation in this activity. Chiang Mai kayaking provides access to previously uncharted jungle regions as paddling through the jungles is a relaxing way to spend time and can even be energizing. On both banks of the river, you can observe traditional village life as it is lived by indigenous peoples.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Tour

Get to Chiang Mai so you can watch the sunrise over the city from the top of the mountain where the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is located. One of the best activities to do in Chiang Mai is to go to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi, which can be found atop the stunningly beautiful Doi Suthep mountain. After climbing the temple's 309 steps to enjoy an amazing sunrise view of Chiang Mai city. You also get to visit the golden Kruba Srivichai Monument and learn about the everyday activities of Thai monks. At Wat Pha Lat, a hidden temple in the midst of a verdant forest awaits your discovery. Finally, visit Wat Umong to see the 700-year-old temple, explore the surrounding forest and a network of underground tunnels.

Bamboo Rafting In Chiang Mai

Bamboo rafting is one of the enjoyable activities to do in Chiang Mai, and the perfect alternative to hiking through the jungle. There will be no need for heavy walking; instead, you can simply lounge on your bamboo raft and take in the sights. You'll find that your pace of life slows to match the steady rhythm of the jungle as there are patches of sunlight and shadow, and the raft weaves between them. During the trip, you can stay cool and alert thanks to the water that seeps in through the gaps in the lashed bamboo. The Mae Wang River is a popular destination for rafting trips due to its reputation as an excellent bamboo rafting river. Due to the river’s low depth and placid surface, you can enjoy a leisurely float on a bamboo boat while viewing spectacular rapids. You will also love reliving this historic means to travel between riverside settlements.

Ping River Dinner Cruise In Chiang Mai

Experiencing a night to remember as you are dining and sailing along the picturesque Ping River is one of the memorable activities to do in Chiang Mai. You can educate yourself about Thai culture while enjoying the sights of Chiang Mai's top attractions. One of the two major rivers that feed into the pristine Chao Phraya River in northwest Thailand is the Ping. Indulge in a delicious spread of authentic Thai food at a buffet while you take in the sights of this magnificent metropolis.

Doi Inthanon National Park Tour

The national park surrounding Thailand's highest peak is home to many of the stunning landscapes that draw tourists to the country. Thus going on a strenuous hike up the mountain, or taking it easy and just strolling through the park is one of the relaxing activities to do in Chiang Mai. In addition to the two pagodas erected in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, there are a number of waterfalls and a hill tribe village to visit.

Bungee Jumping In Chiang Mai

Taking the plunge from this remote location combines the rush of adrenaline with the calm of nature, making it the ideal setting for facing your greatest fears. Bungy jumping from a height of 50 meters into the stunning landscapes is one of the adrenaline-pumping activities to do in Chiang Mai. A trained instructor briefs you on the sport of bungee jumping as they secure you with a large elastic cord and other safety equipment at the location. You'll get a certificate of courage for completing this activity.

Ziplining In Chiang Mai

Experiment with one of Asia's longest ziplines, spanning 765 meters across 26 lines, 55 platforms, three abseils, and three sky bridges. It's a must-do if you're in the area, and one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai overall. Chiang Mai is home to many zipline sites which give you a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the lush jungle and all of its inhabitants. At any time of day, you can take advantage of the spiral staircase, stunning vistas, and "Net walking" available at this location.

Try Street Food at the Chiang Mai Gate Market

The best street food can be found at the Chiang Mai Gate, where vendors set up shop every evening, and trying the food here is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai. They sell everything from pad kra pow, a spicy meat dish with basil, to the ideal dessert of fresh mango sticky rice with coconut milk. The market is open seven days a week, but weekends aren't the best time to visit because fewer vendors set up shop then.

Shop at Sunday Walking Street

There's no need to stress about where to find weekend street shopping because Chiang Mai is home to a wide variety of specialty markets. And, going for delicious food and unique souvenirs at the Sunday Walking Street is one of the satisfying things to do in Chiang Mai. Rachadamnoen Road, which starts right behind Thapae Gate and runs through the center of the market, is the main thoroughfare. Here, you can find stalls selling handmade soaps, Christmas ornaments, dolls, jewelry, lamps, clothes, regional handicrafts, and pretty much any other souvenir you can think of.

Visit Elephant Nature Park

Exploring the Elephant Nature Park is one of the things to do in Chiang Mai that allows you to spend a day with elephants, including feeding them and giving them a bath in the river. Most of the elephants at ENP were rescued after harsh lives as show or labor animals, but they are now treated with kindness and respect. Spending the day here will open your eyes to the plight of elephants and provide you with an intimate experience with these majestic animals. Transportation and lunch are provided for volunteers, and all proceeds go toward groundskeeping and animal care. Remember to schedule in advance because volunteer opportunities tend to fill up quickly.

Explore Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls

Spending a day away from the city exploring this destination is one of the highly recommended things to do in Chiang Mai. The tranquil wooded area around the falls is a nice bonus, but the main attraction is the fact that you can walk up the falls themselves. You can climb all over the place because the limestone remains "sticky" even when water flows over it. The place gets pretty busy on the weekends, so if you can, try to visit during the week instead.

Visit Art in Paradise

One of the most fun things to do in Chiang Mai is pretending to ride a giant wave, flying on a magic carpet, or standing in the middle of an erupting volcano at Art in Paradise. There are plenty of great photo ops to be had at this illusion art museum, which features 3D artwork with an incredibly realistic effect. More than 130 photographs cover topics as diverse as the ocean, animals, Ancient Egypt, and European metropolises, and are organized into six distinct sections. It's recommended to allot a minimum of two hours to wander around and take pictures in the various settings.

Things To Do In Chiang Mai FAQs

Which are the best things to do in Chiang Mai?

Some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai include taking a cooking class or going on the thrilling slides at Tube Trek Water Park. However, visiting Wat Phra Singh and touring the Old City on a Segway are some of the traditional things you can engage in. Shopping at the night market and taking a cruise down the Mae Ping River are a few more exciting things to do outside.

What is the best time to visit Chiang Mai?

The months of October through April are perfect for a trip to Chiang Mai. Since this time of year typically features mild temperatures and a gentle breeze, it's no surprise that it's also the busiest time of year for tourists. If you want to experience Chiang Mai at its most exciting, you should go there during one of the many festivals it hosts throughout the year.

How to reach Chiang Mai?

  • By Air: If you're on your own schedule for getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, flying is the most convenient option. Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, which primarily serves domestic flights, is where most budget airlines, including Nok Air and AirAsia, depart for Chiang Mai. Larger carriers, such as Bangkok Airways, depart from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) and also travel to Chiang Mai, however at a much greater expense. It takes roughly an hour and fifteen minutes to fly between the two cities, no matter which airline you choose.

  • By train: Chiang Mai's central train station is located about three kilometers away. It might take anything from 12 to 15 hours to travel by train from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to Chiang Mai Station, so selecting a comfortable seat is essential. The 6:10 PM Thai Railways departure is another affordable option.

  • By road: Taking a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will cost you the least amount of money. From the Mo Chit Bus Station in Bangkok to the Arcade major bus station in Chiang Mai is a daily 10- to 11-hour journey serviced by multiple bus operators. One can take a VIP 24 bus from Bangkok, operated by Thailand's most well-known bus service, Bangkok Busline, to Chiang Mai; or one can take a songthaew (open-air shared buses) to get even closer to the city.

What are the best things to do in Chiang Mai with your family?

If you're seeking fun things to do in Chiang Mai with kids, the Chiang Mai X Center is a terrific place to go. It provides a wide range of activities, from off-road adventures to bicycle tours of Chiang Mai's breathtaking scenery and cultural experiences. You can go to the Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders in Paradise Chiang Mai and see 10,000 different kinds of insects. Or, you can check out the art museum and see 130 3D illusion paintings.

What are the best adventurous activities to do in Chiang Mai for bachelors?

The best adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai are trekking and hiking through dense forests, surreal views of nature and gushing waterfalls. That's because Chiang Mai's trails are a paradise for tourists and locals alike, satisfying the needs of both nature lovers and thrill-seekers. Zip lining is another thrilling and exciting activity in Chiang Mai. You can fly through the trees at high speeds and get the full bird's-eye view of the city.

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