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12 AWESOME Issues to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand [2022]


If you’re on the lookout for the very best issues to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you possibly can’t go previous these high 12 points of interest and actions. You’ll be amazed in any respect the alternatives for what to do in Chiang Mai!

From the world-class seashores within the South to the mountain forests within the North, Thailand actually does have one thing for everybody.

Whereas Bangkok is its bustling capital, the north is the center of tradition and creativity, and there are a whole bunch of issues to do in Chiang Mai.

See the very best issues in Chiang Mai, such because the temples of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang or go to a nationwide park reminiscent of Doi Inthanon or Doi Suthep-Pui.

Keep busy with Chiang Mai’s busy markets and road meals within the outdated metropolis, loosen up with meditation or a Thai therapeutic massage, and even take a day journey to Chiang Rai or to a few of the most stunning landscapes in Thailand.

Wat Phra Singh 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai Thailand
Don’t miss Wat Phra Singh in your checklist of the very best issues to do in Chiang Mai!

The Greatest Issues to Do in Chiang Mai!

You might simply spend a month (or extra) in Northern Thailand, making Chiang Mai a base for exploration.

With the very best restaurant and cafe scene within the nation, glorious nightlife, a powerful Buddhist presence, and sufficient actions to fill a calendar yr, there’s positively no scarcity of issues to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

It truly is the cultural capital of Thailand, and little doubt you’ll fall in love with it in your subsequent go to. Better of all it’s very inexpensive in comparison with the south of the nation.

There are such a lot of locations to go to in Chiang Mai, and on daily basis we discovered increasingly more to do! If you wish to know what to do in Chiang Mai, have a learn of this text and are available go to the town for your self!

2020 Replace – We really discovered ourselves primarily based in Chiang Mai for two.5 months after our first two visits, and actually beloved our time there and have added a few of our favorite new Chiang Mai points of interest to this information.

READ MORE: When planning to go to Thailand make sure you use our complete Journey Information to Thailand!

1) Go to Elephant Nature Park

Sadly, Thailand has a historical past of animal abuse to assist enhance its tourism economic system. Actions reminiscent of using an elephant or visiting the sedated tigers in lots of the temples solely add to this cruelty and needs to be prevented in any respect prices.

However in Chiang Mai, there’s one sanctuary that’s dedicated to training and rehabilitation. Elephant Nature Park is a rescue centre for elephants which were abused by the tourism trade over the many years.

Right here you possibly can both go to the elephants of their pure atmosphere or volunteer at Elephant Nature Park to assist out across the sanctuary.

Using elephants are prohibited; as an alternative, the main target is on treating and defending these stunning creatures. Positively top-of-the-line issues to do in Chiang Mai.

Elephant Nature Park can be the most costly possibility for visiting elephants in Chiang Mai, however that’s as a result of they’re the best possible firm on the town.

  • Tackle: Kuet Chang, Mae Taeng District
  • Opening hours: on daily basis from 7 AM – 5PM
  • Worth: 2,500 THB
Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai
Ensure you go to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.

2) Benefit from the Cafe Scene

Okay, we admit it – we’re suckers for a metropolis with an awesome cafe scene. And in Thailand few locations provide the sort of coffee-hopping joys that Chiang Mai does.

As a result of we work on-line, we love cafe with tasty espresso, a snug setting, funky music and quick wifi.

After an enormous morning in search of out all of the Chiang Mai points of interest, we’d usually discover ourselves in one of many quirky cafes to whereas away the afternoon hours.

Our favourites have been Good Morning Chiang Mai and Chook’s Nest Cafe, however you might spend weeks bouncing from place to put and by no means get sick of it.

The cafes actually are the bomb and top-of-the-line issues to do in Chiang Mai.

3) Experience the Mae Hong Son Loop

Okay, this isn’t precisely in Chiang Mai, however no journey to Northern Thailand could be full with out renting a scooter or bike and using this unimaginable four-day loop.

Ranging from Chiang Mai, you full a circuit, spending nights in Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son and in search of out the sweetness in Pai, earlier than returning again to the town.

It’s identified to be top-of-the-line bike loops in Southeast Asia, and after we spent 10 months using two motorbikes 15’000km across the area, we will actually agree that it’s nicely value doing.

There’s loads to see and do alongside the way in which, and first up is the sensational mountain surroundings. Make certain your journey cameras are charged as a result of it’s critically going to blow your thoughts.

There’s additionally loads of cool detours you possibly can take that can take you as much as some distinctive hill tribes. The folks up there are very pleasant and welcoming, however ensure you are dressed modestly and present them respect.

And if the temperature is getting the higher of you, there’s loads of attractive waterfalls to cease off at and take a fast dip.

The Mae Hong Son Loop might be up there with Chiang Rai as being top-of-the-line journeys from Chiang Mai. Many vacationers hit up Chiang Rai afterwards, however save time for the Mae Hong Son Loop, you actually received’t remorse it!

(Significantly, don’t be a type of digital nomads or backpackers who spend all their time within the metropolis and by no means leaves.)

Learn our full information on using the Mae Hong Son Loop.

Mae Hong Son Loop 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Don’t miss the trip across the Mae Hong Son Loop!

4) Spend Time With A Native

We’ve been fortunate sufficient to spend months backpacking Thailand, and one factor we by no means tire of is the welcoming and beneficiant tradition of the Thai folks.

If you’re within the nation you’ll little doubt have numerous unimaginable interactions that can assist persuade you Thailand could be the very best nation on the planet.

If you happen to’re within the metropolis and on a restricted schedule, there are many issues to do with locals in Chiang Mai, reminiscent of trekking and cooking courses.

Our absolute favorite expertise with locals is a Thai cooking class. We did this one and completely beloved it.

READ MORE: Take a look at our model new 3-days in Chiang Mai itinerary information!

5) Discover The Buddhist Temples

Chiang Mai is filled with superb Buddhist temples, generally known as ‘wats’, and the vast majority of them are open to guests. Whereas Wat Phra That Doi Suthep might be essentially the most stunning, those within the metropolis shouldn’t be missed both.

Even in the event you contemplate your self non secular, the temples are a Chiang Mai must-see!

Positively try Wat Phra Singh, Wat Pan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Umong. One of many actual distinctive issues to do in Chiang Mai is to attend a monk chat.

Principally, that is the place you possibly can go to a temple and discuss to the monks about Buddhism, life within the temples, or absolutely anything you possibly can consider.

They’re usually very excited to apply their English, so it’s mutually useful. Take a look at the posters plastered across the temples to see when the common monk chats are on.

The monks may even offer you some extra recommendations on what to do in Chiang Mai!

Wat Phra Singh 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

6) Hill Tribe Trekking within the Surrounding Mountains

Lots of people who go to Thailand begin within the Southern islands, that are undoubtedly stunning, however can lack a little bit of tradition and authenticity.

It’s no surprise then that when folks arrive in Chiang Mai, they’re usually craving to be taught concerning the historical past and ethnic improvement of the nation.

The jungles within the Chiang Mai province are a trekker’s paradise, full of waterfalls, valleys, mountains and, maybe extra apparently, numerous hill tribes.

Simply ensure you join your treks with a good and accountable tour operator, the place the vast majority of the cash will go to the native folks of northern Thailand.

Keep away from visiting the Karen lengthy neck tribes.

These minority folks have been compelled to proceed their paralysing traditions, on the insistence of the federal government, to continue to grow the booming tourism economic system.

This one trekking at Doi Suthep Mountain is de facto cool (booked with Klook).

7) Wander the Sunday Strolling Road Markets

Each Sunday night time the centre of the Previous Metropolis is closed to site visitors, and meals distributors, craftspeople and artists take over with their distinctive and bargain-priced road markets.

The night time road markets are among the many hottest Chiang Mai vacationer points of interest.

It’s an exquisite night out, and also you’ll discover locals and vacationers alike wandering round, testing the gadgets on the market and simply having fun with themselves.

If you happen to’re seeking to purchase any souvenirs or trinkets that is the place to do it. You’ll discover all types of issues right here, from conventional to modern, and often at excellent costs.

Or in the event you would reasonably spend your cash on one thing totally different, you will get foot massages for only some {dollars}, and actually stuff your self foolish with all of the scrumptious native meals that’s scattered everywhere in the markets.

Positively one of many higher issues to do in Chiang Mai at night time. The Saturday Night time Market can be simply as nice!

Scorching tip – don’t eat lunch on a Sunday, since you’re going to fill your self up on the strolling road markets for dinner!

Sunday Walking Street Market 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Positively stick round for the Sunday Strolling Road Markets in Chiang Mai Previous Metropolis.

8) Do a Meditation Course at Wat Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai is filled with methods to get in contact along with your inside self, however maybe essentially the most well-known one is the Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Centre. Located on high of Suthep Mountain, this temple receives hundreds of tourists each single day.

For those who need to keep longer and be taught extra about this life-changing methodology of meditation, the monks open their doorways and supply programs that vary from 3-28 days.

Talking is forbidden throughout your time within the temple, and all of your energies are centered on respiratory and clearing your thoughts of ideas and troubles.

Programs are run on donations. Alesha accomplished a 7-day course in 2014 and completely beloved it.

Click on right here to seek out out extra about her Vipassana meditation course in Chiang Mai.

  • Tackle: Suthep Rd, Muang
  • Opening hours: on daily basis from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Wat Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation 10 Things To Do In Chiang Mai Thailand
One of many stunning temples you apply your Vipassana Meditation in Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai.

READ MORE: Make sure you try the entire nice issues to do in Krabi!

9) Get a Thai Therapeutic massage on the Chiang Mai Girls’s Correctional Establishment

That’s proper – get a Thai therapeutic massage on the ladies’s jail. Earlier than you flip your nostril up at this concept, it is very important realise that that is really an exquisite and vastly useful enterprise.

The ladies on this correctional facility are all serving brief sentences for minor offences, and this can be a manner for them to be taught a brand new ability to assist them migrate again into society.

There’s a restaurant and crafts retailer on website, and the massages and spa amenities are very moderately priced (anticipate 180 Baht for a therapeutic massage). One of many strangest, however extra attention-grabbing, issues to do in Chiang Mai.

  • Tackle: 100 Rajchavithi Highway Sriphum subdistrict
  • Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 4:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday from 9 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Worth: round 180 THB

10) Cliff Diving on the Hold Dong Rock Quarry

If leaping off of excessive issues into water appears like your concept of enjoyable (it’s for us), then ensure you head out to the Hold Dong Rock Quarry in northern Thailand.

Initially used as a mine to filter limestone, the quarry has now full of water that glows a vibrant turquoise inexperienced. The huge pool is deep sufficient to launch from the very best cliffs, a few of them as much as 12m excessive.

If you happen to would reasonably take a dip with out taking the dive, there are many spots you possibly can simply swim out.

It may be onerous to seek out, so hiring a scooter or songthaew is one of the best ways to get there. The spot can be typically referred to as Chiang Mai Grand Canyon.

11) Get A Sak Yant From a Monk

If you happen to’re performed with Chiang Mai sightseeing and also you’d wish to commemorate your northern Thailand journey – get a sak yant.

If you happen to’ve ever wished to get a bamboo tattoo, then Chiang Mai is the place to do it. Fortunately there’s an unimaginable strategy to have this expertise too.

A sak yant is a standard, sacred tattoo within the Buddhist faith that’s carried out by an Ajarn, or tattoo grasp.

These Ajarns are sometimes Buddhist monks, and the sak yants given are historical script and designs that supply safety and energy to the individual sporting it.

Getting a sak yant is commonly one thing many travellers need to do on their journey round Thailand, however discovering a clear and hygienic place to do it may be robust.

Not eager to danger an infection, we signed up for a sak yant tour with The place Sidewalks Finish and even had an English-speaking information to assist translate your complete expertise for us with the monk.

It was one of many actual highlights of our time in Chiang Mai, and in the event you’re fascinated with doing this your self, we extremely suggest it.

Take a look at our detailed article about our expertise getting a sak yant in Chiang Mai.

Sak Yant Chiang Mai
Jazza getting a sak yant in Chiang Mai.

12) Go Buying on the Night time Bazaar

The night time bazaar in Chiang Mai is an absolute should for anybody who needs to dive into the myriad choices for items and trinkets from Chiang Mai in addition to numerous sensible gadgets for travellers.

A whole bunch of distributors start establishing their stalls round 6 PM. However the night time bazaar doesn’t begin kicking off till an hour or so later.

If you happen to’re not within the temper to purchase something, there’s loads to see in simply strolling across the night time bazaar.

Plus there are many locations the place you possibly can choose up one thing to eat or drink. Thai road meals is among the many greatest on the planet!

Chiang Mai Journey Information

Organising a visit consists of a lot analysis and planning – it may be a bit tiring. To save lots of you the trouble and time, we created an inventory that will help you discover lodging choices no matter your price range state of affairs.

The Chiang Mai Worldwide Airport can be simply 20 minutes from the middle of city, so transport to your lodging needs to be fast and straightforward. If you happen to’re questioning the place to remain in Chiang Mai whereas visiting northern Thailand, learn on!

The place to Keep in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai has an enormous variety of lodging choices to match each price range, from backpacker hostels and tiny guesthouses to 5-star luxurious resorts.

We stayed in just a few locations whereas visiting Chiang Mai, and so they have been all very respectable. If you’re a backpacker, try the choices on Hostel World.

If you’re a pair or would like one thing a bit higher-end, Reserving.com has an enormous collection of lodging.

Which Neighbourhood in Chiang Mai?

If you happen to’re questioning the place to remain in Chiang Mai, it’s essential to decide on the best neighbourhood to remain in.

Whereas loads of ex-pats and digital nomads select the favored Nimmanhaemin space for its abundance of cafes, bars and eating places, the reality is it’s a bit far-off from the vacationer points of interest.

If you happen to’re a backpacker you’ll need to keep close to the Previous Metropolis, which is essentially the most picturesque and is strolling distance to many of the Chiang Mai factors of curiosity.

Nevertheless high-quality resorts are fairly restricted within the Previous Metropolis, so that you’ll must enterprise additional afield. Don’t fear although – you’re by no means too removed from something in Chiang Mai, and tuk-tuks and bike leases are very low cost methods to get round.

Greatest Backpacker’s Hostel in Chiang Mai

There’s an awesome variety of superior hostels in Chiang Mai, and it may be daunting attempting to slender it all the way down to only one.

However the hostel with essentially the most good critiques is Hostel Lullaby. With over 1,000 constructive traveler critiques, and a 9.7 out of 10 ranking on Hostelworld, that is simply a high choose. Vacationers love that it’s centrally positioned within the Previous Metropolis and social, but not tremendous loud like a celebration hostel.

Greatest Mid-Vary Lodging in Chiang Mai

There’s no scarcity of mid-range lodging in Chiang Mai, however one among our favourites is the Sakorn Residence and Lodge.

It’s simply outdoors of the Previous Metropolis, so it’s a quieter place to relaxation your head and it actually has a shocking setup.

There’s a pool, enormous, vibrant and clear rooms, an awesome restaurant and pleasant employees. It actually has nearly all the pieces you’d need for a keep within the metropolis.

Greatest Luxurious Lodge in Chiang Mai

If cash isn’t an possibility and you actually need to splurge out on essentially the most good lodging in Chiang Mai, then you must try Akyra Manor.

It’s arguably the very best 5-star lodge within the metropolis, and if you see it for your self you’ll perceive why. The suites encompass personal courtyards, and there are artwork galleries and scrumptious cafes and eating places on-site.

Significantly, if you wish to reside in pure luxurious in Chiang Mai, that is the place to do it.

DISCLAIMER: A few of the hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which implies in the event you e-book lodging, excursions or purchase a product, we’ll obtain a small fee at no additional price to you. These commissions assist us maintain creating extra free journey content material to assist folks plan their holidays and adventures. We solely suggest the very best lodging, excursions and merchandise, and repeatedly assessment these. Thanks on your help, variety good friend!

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