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17 Greatest Issues to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2023

There are numerous issues to do in Chiang Mai. The town is Thailand’s rose of the north and is a large draw for vacationers. Filled with scrumptious meals, tons of of temples and buzzing with Thai tradition, Chiang Mai is a metropolis the place it’s unimaginable to be bored.

I spent fairly some time there throughout my huge backpacking journey round Southeast Asia. It shortly turned one in every of my favourite cities in Thailand. I discovered numerous issues to see in Chiang Mai, and I had an actual journey once I rode a motorcycle from there to Pai.

Chiang Mai is situated within the mountainous north of the nation, the place the climate is cooler, the jungles are thicker and the rivers are stronger. All of this makes the world across the metropolis an adventurer’s playground with a by no means ending checklist of issues to do in Chiang Mai. Go away the “beachy” issues to do in Koh Phangan and different Thai islands behind, and make your technique to the mountains of Thailand, you gained’t remorse it!

This publish was up to date in 2023 to incorporate much more superb issues to do in Chiang Mai.

17 Greatest Issues to Do in Chiang Mai

If trekking the jungles or using the rapids just isn’t your factor, Chiang Mai itself is throbbing with sufficient actions and sights to steal your coronary heart. Right here is my checklist of just some of the unimaginable issues to do in Chiang Mai – it’s undoubtedly one of many prime locations to go to in Thailand.

Have a examine what to do in Chiang Mai and begin planning your subsequent journey.

1. Go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Seeing the golden temples and towers of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

One of many prime issues to do in Chiang Mai is to go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. This stunning golden temple sits atop of Doi Suthep mountain and is situated 12 kilometers from town. In addition to being essentially the most sacred place in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep can also be one of the sacred temples in the entire of Thailand.

Together with some spectacular views, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which is an unimaginable thirteenth century golden temple, additionally homes an exquisite white elephant shrine and a powerful duplicate of the Emerald Buddha.

If you find yourself within the metropolis, each taxi driver and journey agent will ask to take you to see the temple. Nonetheless, this isn’t obligatory as Doi Suthep may be very straightforward to succeed in. The best possibility to succeed in the highest of the mountain is by Songthaew, one of many transformed pick-ups which you will note whizzing in regards to the metropolis. These hop on hop off “buses” are one of the best ways to get about Chiang Mai. Don’t miss this temple when backpacking Thailand.

Tackle: Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand

2. Gorge Your self on the Night time Markets

Locals and tourists in the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai's night markets

There are such a lot of issues to do in Thailand, however this nation is unquestionably well-known for its many evening markets with Chiang Mai being house to a number of the greatest within the nation. The largest of all of the nightly markets is the Night time Bazaar which is situated on Chang Klan Highway.

By day Chang Klan is a traditional highway, however with the darkness comes tons of of market stalls. These stalls promote every little thing from pretend designer garments to Thai lanterns and art work. Meals can also be offered on the Night time Bazaar however in Chiang Mai evening time meals stalls are in all places providing every little thing from Sushi to meat on a stick.

☞ SEE ALSO: A Digital Nomad Information to Residing in Chiang Mai

The Night time Bazaar of Chang Klan Highway is open three hundred and sixty five days of the yr it doesn’t matter what the climate. Do be warned nonetheless, bartering is a should, so be ready to haggle your socks off if you need worth.

3. Strive the Insect Buffet

Roasted insects for sale at a market stall in Chiang Mai

One other of the various issues to do in Chiang Mai is to style the insect buffet. These stalls that are filled with creepy crawlies are discovered all through the nation and are a should for a lot of vacationers. At first look, I assumed, no method I’ll eat that, however finally I labored up sufficient braveness (and starvation!) to strive some.

Tasty little nibbles from tarantulas and scorpions to bugs and grasshoppers are simply ready to freak you out. Many individuals solely want to take a photograph to indicate their associates again house. Nonetheless, the stall homeowners will nonetheless cost you a greenback for {a photograph}. Not solely is that this a prime attraction in Chiang Mai, however it’s one of many many widespread issues to do in Bangkok as nicely.

Bugs are a terrific supply of protein and are additionally extremely straightforward to farm. With stories that the governments of the world would really like these tasty little horrors on the menus of their very own international locations, it won’t be lengthy earlier than you possibly can eat your very personal bag of crickets at house.

4. Watch a Muay Thai Combat

Muay Thai fighters in Chiang Mai, Thailand

In Thailand Muay Thai is greater than a sport, it’s a faith. Educated from an extremely younger age, Muay Thai fighters are a number of the most dangerous on this planet. Muay Thai is likely one of the most prolific combating types, and is usually integrated into combined martial arts similar to the worldwide UFC.

In Thailand Muay Thai is in all places, from again alley rings to stadiums full of cheering spectators. It’s also not unusual to see younger youngsters combating within the ring. Muay Thai is likely one of the only a few methods to earn good cash in Thailand for a number of the poorer households and in addition attracts unimaginable respect.

The 2 most important stadiums in Chiang Mai are Thaphae Boxing Stadium and in addition Kawila Boxing Stadium. If you need to see a combat, ask any Songthaew or Tuk-Tuk and they’ll take you to the stadium. Nonetheless, there are various smaller institutions that additionally placed on nightly exhibits that are cheaper however wouldn’t have the identical environment.

I’ve been to the massive stadiums and the smaller exhibits, and so they’re each price testing. In case you solely have time for one, nonetheless, I like to recommend the spectacle of a busy stadium.

5. Journey a Motorcycle to Pai

Riding a motorbike to Pai is one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of many extra adventurous issues to do in Chiang Mai is to hire a motorbike and journey by means of the mountains to Pai. And never solely that, however this was one of the adventurous issues I’ve executed anyplace.

The highway from Chiang Mai to Pai is likely one of the most stunning that I’ve ever seen. This twisting, winding ribbon of tarmac is ideal for using motorbikes. Stretching 150 kilometers north from town, the highway to Pai is surrounded by pure magnificence. Plus, when you get there, there are such a lot of issues to do in Pai to maintain you busy. 

Talking of motorbiking, the Mae Hong Son Loop in Thailand is likely one of the hottest and scenic journeys. And, it takes in Pai as nicely! Click on right here to study extra.

Additionally, in case you are a backpacker, Pai is a traveler’s paradise nestled in pristine nationwide park and is a should when on this a part of the nation. To study extra about this unimaginable little place, have a learn of my Traveler’s Information To Pai.

6. Go to Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm

Colorful flowers in bloom at the Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm, Chiang Mai

Located simply exterior of Chiang Mai is the Bai Orchid and Butterfly farm. Right here it’s potential to see hundreds of lovely butterflies and blooming flowers all yr spherical. A lot beloved by the folks of Thailand, the orchid can also be a nationwide image of the nation.

It’s also potential to purchase your very personal seedlings from the Bai Orchid so as to develop your personal flowers at house. One of many huge attracts within the memento store are the golden orchids. These are orchids which have been dipped into gold and reworked into stunning jewellery. These are extremely wanted all through the nation.

Bai Orchid is a kind of like it or hate it locations. I beloved it, and in case you’re a lover of flowers and butterflies like me, the 40 Baht entrance payment is unquestionably price it. If flowers and butterflies aren’t actually your factor, then this can be one of many issues to do in Chiang Mai that it is best to give a miss.

Tackle: WW9M+FMV, Mae Raem, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai, 50180, Thailand

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7. Obtain a Thai Therapeutic massage from a Prisoner

Thai masseuse from a woman's prison working a customer's feet

Thai massages can be found on nearly each road within the nation. Nonetheless, the ladies’s jail within the metropolis runs a scheme for quickly to be launched prisoners, the place they’re taught life expertise to assist them reintegrate into society.

That is one for these which are on the lookout for issues to do in Chiang Mai which are a bit totally different. Receiving a Thai Therapeutic massage from an inmate of the jail is one thing that I’ll always remember. The ladies are supervised always and there’s no danger of foul play.

That is additionally a terrific assist to the ladies as it may be very troublesome for them to seek out jobs as soon as they go away jail. In addition to the Thai therapeutic massage there may be additionally a bit cafe the place you possibly can get pleasure from some tasty Thai meals and a patio backyard the place you possibly can wait.

8. Journey in a Tuk-Tuk

Riding in a tuk-tuk is one of the most classic things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

It’s unimaginable to go to Thailand and never take a journey in one of many native Tuk-Tuks. These nippy little autos are discovered throughout Thailand and are a enjoyable technique to get in regards to the metropolis. Every area of the nation has its personal fashion of Tuk-Tuk and Chiang Mai isn’t any totally different.

Nonetheless, I might not advise that you just take Tuk-Tuks in Thailand typically. A journey in a Tuk-Tuk is costlier than a taxi and may turn into fairly a problem in case you allow them to. That mentioned, a brief journey in a Tuk-Tuk is usually a brilliant and entertaining technique to whizz in regards to the metropolis and I all the time had a blast using in them.

Often known as Auto Rickshaws, taking a journey in a Tuk-Tuk is only one extra of the various nice issues to do in Chiang Mai.

The place to Keep in Chiang Mai

Here’s a checklist of the highest 3 rated, reasonably priced properties in Chiang Mai. Click on on the hyperlinks and test them out for your self!

  • Tommy Huts – From $13 / Night time, Ranking 9.7. Click on right here to see the newest worth on
  • Tato Home – From $34 / Night time, Ranking 9.9. Click on right here to see the newest worth on
  • Wealth Boutique Lodge – From $63 / Night time, Ranking 9.5. Click on right here to see the newest worth on

Click on right here to see all lodging choices obtainable in Chiang Mai on

9. Take a Dip on the San Kamphaeng Scorching Springs – one of the enjoyable issues to do in Chiang Mai

San Kamphaeng Hot Springs in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Subsequent up is the San Kamphaeng Scorching Springs. Located to the northeast of Chiang Mai, the San Kamphaeng Scorching Springs are nestled within the excessive hills surrounded by each woods and mountains. That is what to do in Chiang Mai once you’re actually in want of a relaxation.

Excessive sulphur ranges within the water implies that the springs have been reworked into mineral baths. Together with the baths there may be additionally a pure mineral swimming pool and therapeutic massage amenities. The San Kamphaeng Scorching Springs are a terrific place to simply sit back and chill out.

In case you do make it to the recent springs, be sure to purchase an egg. Surprisingly, eggs can be found so that you can boil within the hotter springs. I loved cooking and consuming them whereas barely realizing that I used to be additionally cooking myself.

Tackle: 1 Ban Sa Ha Khon, Mae On District, Chiang Mai, 50130, Thailand

10. Strive Durian, the World’s Smelliest Fruit

The famously fragrant durian

Durian, the smelliest fruit on this planet, is banned in motels and public areas all through Asia. To not be mistaken for the very comparable Jackfruit, Durian is damaging to all however the strongest noses. I shortly realized to acknowledge its pungent stench from miles away.

For some folks the style is well worth the odor, whereas others hate each the style and the ungodly odour. If you need to see which aspect of the size you fall underneath, durian is kind of straightforward to get.

By asking round in most markets you’ll quickly discover a piece of the so-called “King of Fruits”. Why it has been christened such is past me, however then I’ve by no means dared make the leap. Give me scorpions and tarantulas and I’ll eat them any day of the week; give me durian, nonetheless, and I’ll run for the hills.

11. Go White Water Rafting

White water rafting is one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

In case you occur to be visiting in the course of the moist season and are on the lookout for what to do in Chiang Mai for a bit journey, white water rafting is for you. It’s most undoubtedly one of many extra adventurous issues to do in Chiang Mai.

White water rafting in Chiang Mai just isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. However with its tropical local weather, steep mountains and exquisite surroundings, the world possesses excellent circumstances for the game. I’ve tried it in a number of international locations, and my journey in Chiang Mai was undoubtedly among the best.

Many firms in Chiang Mai provide white water rafting excursions, with all saying they’re the very best. I might advise you to test Tripadvisor and skim the evaluations. See what others have mentioned and make your personal thoughts up about which firm to decide on.

12. Take a Thai Cooking Class

Thai noodles and ingredients on a stylish table

One of many nice issues to do in Chiang Mai is to take a Thai cooking class so that after you come house you possibly can take the tastes of Thailand with you.

After you have travelled by means of Thailand, there isn’t a doubt that you’ll fall in love with the meals. From pink and inexperienced curries to Khao Soi and Pad Thai, the meals in Thailand is superb.

Chiang Mai gives many locations the place you possibly can take a Thai cooking class. Indicators are posted at varied factors all through the vacationer areas of town, all providing to show you the secrets and techniques of Thai meals. One other nice technique to discover good lessons is by utilizing Tripadvisor. Alternatively you might ask different vacationers, that is all the time a good way of garnering data.

13. Benefit from the Sunday Avenue Market

Chiang Mai Sunday night street market

Attempt to plan your journey to Chiang Mai for a weekend so you possibly can stick round and benefit from the Sunday evening market. Throughout this time, the Previous Metropolis is closed off to site visitors, and is taken over by quite a few distributors promoting their artwork, meals and crafts.

Everybody comes out on a Sunday evening to get pleasure from this market. To not point out, it’s a superb place to seek out lowered charges on souvenirs and different trinkets. No desirous about shopping for something? A few of my favourite issues to do have been to sit down down and revel in a foot therapeutic massage, sip on some Thai tea, and gorge myself on scrumptious Thai meals.

14. Strive a Hundred Yr Previous Egg

Hundred year eggs, also known as century eggs

Do you have got a powerful abdomen? Do you want a problem? Then perhaps consuming 100 yr egg is one in every of your prime issues to do in Chiang Mai. Often known as a century egg or a thousand yr egg, that is an Asian delicacy which is eaten all through this a part of the world.

The egg is preserved for a number of weeks or months utilizing varied totally different strategies together with the usage of clay ash and salt. Nonetheless, in my expertise, because the saying goes, the hundred yr egg’s bark is much worse than its chunk. Each the blackness of the egg and the odor are far worse than the precise style.

Hundred yr eggs may be discovered at most markets all through Chiang Mai. Strive one your self and get a photograph to terrorise your extra squeamish associates again house. That is what to do in Chiang Mai once you wish to strive one thing that’s actually totally different.

15. Bathe an Elephant on the Elephant Nature Park

Elephants bathing in the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

With so many tales in regards to the horrendous lives that these stunning animals stay, the Elephant Nature Park is a brilliant mild within the darkness. The Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary which is situated only one hour from Chiang Mai. It was simply one in every of my favourite issues to see in Chiang Mai.

The sanctuary is devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating these majestic creatures from the horrid lives that they’ve been compelled to stay. The park gives resort decide up which makes it extremely straightforward to succeed in.

Guests to the Elephant Nature Park are given an elephant training and may feed and bathe the animals. This is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Chiang Mai, and it was a spotlight of my journey.

Tackle: 1 Ratchamanka Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand

16. Devour the Native Meals

The many dishes of colorful, flavorful Thai food

As acknowledged earlier, I strongly consider that Thai meals is a number of the most tasty on this planet. Typically it appears that there’s a by no means ending menu of deliciousness once you’re exploring the gastronomic aspect of Thailand. From road meals and the evening markets to the eating places and seashore bars, Thai meals won’t ever disappoint.

Be sure that to strive dishes such because the coconut curry and Pad Krapow. Additionally don’t forget to seize some mango sticky rice to maintain up your vitality as you’re exploring town.

One other wonderful thing about the meals in Chiang Mai is simply how low-cost all of it is. In case you seize a meal from one of many many road distributors, you’ll pay solely a few {dollars}.

17. Watch a Ladyboy Cabaret Present

Wondering what to do in Chiang Mai for entertainment? See a ladyboy cabaret show.

You can’t journey to Thailand and never see a ladyboy cabaret present, and Chiang Mai gives a number of the greatest within the nation. Many individuals are sometimes shocked simply how good the exhibits are. They’re enjoyable and entertaining and a good way to spend the evening.

In England, ladyboy cabaret exhibits have turn into an enormous draw for nights out similar to work and hen events. These, nonetheless, don’t have anything on the Chiang Mai ladyboy cabaret exhibits, one of many prime issues to do in Chiang Mai for leisure. I had an superior time.

You should have no hassle discovering a present, simply ask a taxi driver to take you. You might be shocked on the many alternative folks you see attending. From backpackers to businessmen, everyone loves evening out.

FAQs for What to Do in Chiang Mai

Take a look at these solutions to regularly requested questions on issues to do in Chiang Mai.

What’s Chiang Mai greatest recognized for?

Beautiful historic temples, similar to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, are a number of the greatest issues to see in Chiang Mai. The town can also be recognized for its bustling evening markets and scenic pure areas within the surrounding mountains.

What number of days and nights are wanted for Chiang Mai?

To get style of what to do in Chiang Mai, it is best to plan on no less than 4 days and 5 nights. That method, you possibly can go to temples, discover evening markets, and take within the pure surroundings of the close by mountains.

Is Chiang Mai higher than Phuket?

Chiang Mai is an on a regular basis metropolis filled with tradition and nature, whereas Phuket is an island paradise. Head to Phuket for white-sand seashores, scuba diving, and boat journeys to islands of white cliffs. Because it’s removed from the seashore, you gained’t discover any of those in Chiang Mai.

What’s the most well-known meals in Chiang Mai?

There’s little doubt that consuming native meals is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Chiang Mai. Additionally widespread in close by Laos, Khao Soi could also be Chiang Mai’s best-known dish. It’s a coconut curry soup with two sorts of noodles and hen or beef.

Which a part of Chiang Mai is greatest?

The Previous Metropolis has a lot of the prime issues to see in Chiang Mai, together with historic buildings, temples, and sections of the previous metropolis wall.

Is Chiang Mai a walkable metropolis?

Sure, Chiang Mai is made for strolling. Certainly, exploring town on foot is one of the best ways to soak up lots of its prime points of interest, such because the evening markets.

Pack Your Luggage for Chiang Mai!

Chiang Mai is a metropolis that may preserve you entertained for so long as you enable it to. Not for nothing is Thailand one of many prime vacationer locations on the planet. How lots of the 17 are you going to do? Or you probably have already been to Chiang Mai, what else do you suppose must be on the checklist? Pontificate within the feedback under.

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