13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai, the fifth-largest city and is one of the most preferred places of tourists in northern Thailand. The city is surrounded by lush green jungles and steep mountains and valleys. This historical capital of the old Lanna Kingdom is rich in culture which has most of the beautiful temples, museums, and many other interesting sites. It is a perfect combination of ancient traditions and modern sides. Chiang Mai is known for its Buddhist temples and for providing spiritual healing to people. It is also referred to as the “Rose of the North”. Tourists often prefer visiting this place during the winters or during festivals, because the weather is quite favorable. So, If you’re planning to visit Chiang Mai, Check out the Best Things to do in Chiang Mai to make sure that you don’t miss out on the beautiful experience in this part of Thailand.

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– One Of The Best Places To Visit In Chiang Mai

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of northern Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist temples which crowns the Doi Suthep mountain and one of the best temples to see in Chiang Mai. It is believed to hold a piece of bone from Buddha’s shoulder which was constructed in 1386. It also has a meditation center where both locals and tourists learn and practice meditation. The white elephant statue is the first, what people see which tells the whole story behind the construction of this temple. You can either choose to drive up the hill or climb 306 steps to visit the temple. People here believe that you haven’t yet arrived in Chaing Mai until you have been to Doi Suthep.

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Elephant Nature Park

Elephant Nature Park / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Spending a day with elephants in the Thai jungle near Chiang Mai is one of the most magical experiences you need. Elephant Nature Park is educational and exciting as well, you can spend time bonding, feeding, and bathing the elephants. You guys can also spend your time working with an elephant assisted by a mahout (a guy who dedicates their life to just one elephant). The best camps provide authentic bareback riding with a limit of one person per elephant which is done to reduce physical and mental stress on the elephants. Dedicated photographers are given to each group of people to capture every moment while you give your attention to the elephants.

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Chiang Mai Zoo

Visiting the Chiang Mai Zoo guarantees you a fun day out with your family and friends. This is another one of the best things to do in Chain Mai because you’ll see animals from all around the world.

Chiang Mai Zoo / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

It is located at the base of Doi Suthep mountain which is spread around the 200-acre area. The zoo was started when Harold Mason Young who started helping injured animals. In 1957 he opened this site because of the increasing number of visitors to see the animals he was caring for. And in 1997 this zoo was officially taken over by the Zoological Park Organization under the finance of the King of Thailand and opened as the first commercial zoo of northern Thailand. Entrance tickets to the zoo are 150 Thai Baht for adults and 70 Thai Baht for children under 135cm of height. Those who wish to take the transportation have to pay extra 30 Thai Baht.

Doi Suthep – Pui National Park

Doi Suthep – Pui National Park / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Doi Suthep Pui National Park is a national park situated in Chiang Mai province. This place includes Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace, and the winter residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and family. It is a protected area for Flora, Fauna, and Habitat. Doi Aoi Chang is the former name of this place. A hermit named Prarusiwasuthep once lived in the local forest from where the name ‘Doi Suthep’ is inspired from. In 1981 it became the 24th national park of Thailand. Today it covers about 261sq km of territory.

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Warorot Market

Warorot Market / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Warorot Market is locally known as Kad Luang. This market is the best attraction in Chiang Mai and is the largest well-known market in northern Thailand. This place was previously used for the funeral ceremony of a ruler of Chiang Mai ‘Khuang Main’ but later on, Princess Dara Rasmi made it a market in 1910. Now, this market is well known for selling local food like Sai ua, Moo yo, Nam phrik num, dry fruits, etc. Clothes, ceramic, embroidery appliances, flowers, and many more things are also available here.

Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Doi Inthanon National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Thailand and the most popular hiking destination as it is one of the highest points in Thailand. When Royal Chedis was built to honor the 60th birthday of both the King (1987) and Queen (1992) it became one of the most visited tourist attractions in Thailand. The views at the sunset point are great and there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails nearby. This park is the part of the Himalayan mountain range with heights varying between 800 to 2,565 meters.

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Bua Thong Waterfalls

– One Of The Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai

Bua Thong Waterfalls / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls is one of the most unique waterfalls in Northern Thailand. The calcium-rich spring present at the top flows downwards which makes it appear sticky. This is the best place to visit in Chiang Mai due to its spectacular view where you can relax and enjoy your day. It is located at a height of around 400-900 meters above the mean sea level. This waterfall is unique because it lets you climb on the rocks directly in the opposite direction of the water flow. Here you will find locals picnicking on the grass and enjoying the waterfall.

Huay Tung Tao Reservoir

Huay Tung Tao Reservoir / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Huay Tung Tao Lake is a giant man-made reservoir located at the foot of Doi Suthep which is shallow and good for swimming. The grassy banks are surrounded by little wooden huts for picnic areas, drink, and food stalls. Paddleboats are available to rent at a very cheap price. Water raft, parachute jump, game zones, paintball, ATV car ride, and so on are also available here which makes this place very exciting. The camping area is also provided if you are willing to spend a night in the hut. Lady vendors wander around and sell fresh fruits and pickles for 20 baht per pack.

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Art In Paradise Museum

Art In Paradise Museum / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Art In Paradise Museum is one of the most fun places in Chiang Mai where you can take creative photographs with over 130 different images of illusions. These paintings are drawn to create a 3D image which makes people feel as if they are really in the picture. It is one of the biggest 3D museums in the world which has six different zones – underwater world, wildlife area, classic art, ancient Egypt, Surreal art, and the dinosaur zone. Visitors can take many unique photos that are creatively designed and painted on the walls and floors which is fun for adults and children. It is fully air-conditioned and has a restaurant and a coffee shop available. Tickets for adults are 300 Baht for adults and 200 Baht for Children’s.

Lanna Folklife Museum

Lanna Folklife Museum / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lanna Folklife Museum is one of the best places to see in Chiang Mai where the museum demonstrates the lives, history, and culture of the Lanna people of northern Thailand. The museum is also known as the Lanna Heritage Centre which is located opposite the three Kings Monument.  Now the building has been renovated and it looks like a white colonial-style building and offers a lot of information about the history of this city in English, Thai, and Chinese. There are 18 different exhibitions which display how life was in the past. Tickets cost 90 baht for adults and 40 baht for children or you can take a three in one museum pass which costs 180 baht for adults and 80 baht for children’s.

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Sunday Walking Street

The Sunday Weekend Walking Street gives you the most popular shopping experience in Chiang Mai. This place has the best display of art & crafts, music, and food with quality handmade goods.

Sunday Walking Street / 13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

It serves as the destination for all kinds of local events, from dance to beauty pageants and stage performances. It starts at 4 pm every Sunday until midnight. The items are more leaned towards handcrafted products rather than the variety of mass production selling where friendly bargaining is acceptable. Your feet are bound to get tired by roaming in this market and the best part is you can sit down to get a relaxing foot massage because there are plenty of them here.

You can take a stroll in the soft light of dusk while munching or sipping on street foods and fresh fruit juice, browsing through the shops accompanied by Thai music.


The Lantern Festival

13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand / Lantern Festival

1000’s of people release floating lanterns at once in a magical nighttime display. The lantern festival is the best attraction in Chiang Mai and also one of the best things to do all around Asia. There are actually 2 separate lantern festivals – Yi Peng and Loi Krathong. Yi Peng is the most photographed where 3000 lit lanterns are released into the sky which is the tradition of the Lana people of northern Thailand. Prayers and wishes are often written on the outside of the rice paper lantern and released. This falls during the full moon of 2nd month of the ancient Lana calendar. Loi Krathong is celebrated all across Thailand which is more water-based for which people prefer lotus-shaped lanterns that are placed on water. It falls during the full moon on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar.

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Wat Chedi Luang

13 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand / Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple that was built during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma who was the 7th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty between 1385-1402. It was once the home for Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred religious artifact. It measured up to 60 meters across the square base and 80 meters tall. It was damaged during an earthquake in 1545 and was reduced to nearly half of its original size yet it is still a beautiful structure. The Fine Arts Department finished restoration work around the chedi in 1992 to bring back the water serpent staircase on each of its faces. However, the actual work on the chedi was never complete, leaving it in its present state.

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