Chiang Mai gives you a feel of authentic Thai culture with its natural and cultural deposits. Even though being a small town, it houses ancient and iconic temples and various attractions concentrated within its boundaries. Explore the beautiful natural landscape of Thailand as you visit the verdant countryside and mountains and amazing indulgence in ethnic hill-tribe villages. With endless places to explore in the surrounding, we recommend you to plan your trip well to cover all the fascinating spots of what to see in Chiang Mai. Starting from hanging out at temples with monks, clicking pictures with tiger cubs, to riding on elephants in the jungles. The list just goes on. We have prepared a list of top things to do in Chiang Mai which make your trip more memorable.
Elephant Camps & Treks
For a magical experience, we recommend you to spend a day with the grand elephants in the Thai jungle. The visit would be insightful as well as exciting while you bond with them with the help of a Mahout while doing health checkups, feeding, and bathing the elephants. A Mahout dedicates their life to one elephant and spends close to 18 hours in a day with them. You can be rest assured of spending most of your time swimming and washing your elephant pal as you try to understand the various behavioral patterns of your pal. As you stroll on the elephant, you will get to pass through the jungle. There are dedicated photographers assigned to small groups, so you can be sure to capture these precious moments. Some of the popular spots to check out are Elephant Nature Pak and Patara Elephant Farm. You can count on this as one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.
Ancient Town Temples Walking Tour
Chiang Mai is home to over 120 magnificent temples and visiting all of them will not be possible. But, you can count on them as one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai. Some of the common captivating features in each temple are grand brick-laid monuments, moss covered structures, and orange-robed monks. During the Lanna Empire rule in 1296AD saw a big boom in temple building in Chiang Mai. Some of the most popular ones include Dragon Temple, the Temple of the Great Stupa, the Wat Doi Suthep temple, the White Temple, and the Monastery of a Thousand Kilns. Early morning is the best time to visit these temples as you can beat the crowd.
You will feel really blessed if are able to join a Monk Chat cultural exchange. The Monk Chat is an exciting opportunity offered to tourists and visitors to get a glimpse into the lives of many young monks. There are several Monk Chats available daily in many temple locations which are easily accessible. The young monks are very friendly and open to both men and women. Do read the Monk Chat guide and grasp a couple of local words which would help break the ice. It is a completely new experience and we recommend every tourist and visitor to indulge in the same.
The Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is a popular festival among the locals and tourists alike. You can definitely count them as one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai. Do check with you local tour operator to include the same in you Chiang Mai tours. The floating lanterns are released which give a magical nighttime display. There are two lantern festivals held in Chiang Mai, and each festival carries its own charm and essence. While the Yi Peng festival is more popular and photographed more frequently where close to 3000 paper lanterns are lit and released. This is held during the full moon of the 2nd month of the ancient lunar calendar in the Norther suburb regions of Mae Jo. The second festival is Loi Krathong where people light and release lotus-shaped floating lanterns and are placed in water. This festival is held during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar onto the Mae Ping River.
[Also Read : Thailand Festivals and Events]
Chiang Mai Night Markets & Walking Streets
Night markets are very popular in many towns in Thailand, but the ones in Chiang Mai are located very close to each other, thus allowing to visit more than 1 night market in one go. There is a daily night market held near the Mae Ping River on the eastern side of Old Town. You can purchase everything from clothing, accessories, electronics, food, gifts, and souvenirs, etc. from the indoor and outdoor sections of the market. In addition to the above, there are many bars and restaurants located near the market where you can catch a drink or two with your friends and buddies. Many Old Town roads are shut down for vehicles and are turned into walking streets for the temporary markets. Although these walking streets serve more food than other stuff, you should definitely visit one of them for a memorable experience.
Chiang Mai offers a great experience to get a taste of authentic Thai culture and traditions. No matter what your expectations are, Chiang Mai has everything to fulfill those needs and requirements. Talk to our tour experts today to know more.