Chang Mai is situated in Northern Thailand, 700 kilometres from the capital of Bangkok, and is the second largest city in Thailand. In the past few decades, the city has been transformed from a sleepy little town to a travellers paradise, whilst maintaining its provincial charm. With a history dating back to 1296, the city is a major tourism hub today, boasting ancient temples, an old city with its historical monuments, museums, gardens, parks, hill tribe villages, limestone caves, outdoor activities, adventure sports, markets, cultural performances as well as a vibrant nightlife. The city is much greener and quieter that the capital, surrounded by mountains and lush countryside, making it a perfect travel destination.
The best way to get a taste of this “Rose of the North,” is to indulge in some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, which include tours of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the old city and its various temples and structures like the Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok. The city is also home to numerous museums that give a glimpse into the rich history and vibrant culture of the area, like the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre, Chiang Mai National Museum, Chiang Mai Numismatic Museum and Chiang Mai University Art Museum. The city offers numerous green spaces, parksural attractions and gardens that are a perfect location to spend a lazy afternoon, like Mae Sa Waterfall, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden and Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden. Other top things to do in Chiang Mai include the Chiang Mai Night Safari, Mae Khampong and Zip-lining, Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre, mountain biking, hiking, dragon boat river rides, river rafting, rich climbing, swimming, orchid & butterfly farms, snake farms, folk dances, Muay Thai fighting performances and Thai Massages. The city also hosts numerous annual festivals that area a major attraction among the visitors, including Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Songkran Festival, Bo Sang Umbrella & Sankampang Handicrafts Festival and the Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Festivals. Chiang Mai is a very special city that proudly boasts its culture that thrives in its small attractions and activities like cooking classes, temple visits and street food, and it is a must to experience the vibrant culture and extraordinary lifestyle of the city at least once.
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#1 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 29035 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, View Point, Statue, Family And Kids, Monastery
Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
07:00 am - 05:00 pm
A must see, on any visit to Chiang Mai, is the wondrous and holy temple of Wat Phra That which is located near the top of Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep). Built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383 it is still a working monastery today, this breathtaking architecture, statues, murals and shrines will definitely make you pause and have a better look.
The intricately carved 300 steps of the mythical Naga Serpent Staircase will take you to the site where you will marvel at the top of a golden spire that decorates the centre of the temple. The historical murals and shrines decorate the walls of the mini enclave and have a alluring emerald Buddha statue on display.
Outside this central enclave area you will find the shrine to the White Elephant and the story of how the temple on Doi Suthep was founded. There is a wide walkway around the main temple which leads you to a large viewing terrace with terrific views down over Chiang Mai, weather permitting. Just past the viewing terrace is one of the world’s largest gongs, which makes an earthly rich sound when struck. Give it a try, it is allowed.
#2 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 28973 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Monument, Family And Kids, Architecture , Archaeological Site , ...
103 Road King Prajadhipok Phra Singh, Muang District, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
06:00 am - 06:00 pm
Sponsored by the UNESCO for restoration, the Wat Chedi Luang is one place where you have to be when visiting Chiang Mai. The Ruined Lanna-style Chedi dates back to the 15th century and houses a Jade Buddha are picturesque keeps.
Wat Chedi Luang's other prominent attraction is the lak meu·ang (city pillar, believed to house the city's guardian deity) enshrined in a small building to the left of the compound's main entrance. In the main wi·haf.hn is the standing Buddha, known as Phra Chao Attarot, flanked by two disciples, both renowned for meditation and mysticism.
Wat ChediLuang offers you a historic insight into the city of Chiang Mai. As it is a religious site, there are no tickets for Wat ChediLuang. However, if you choose to stick on to some tour, it will offer you the advantage of knowledge along with the main attraction. Wat ChediLuang tours Tickets are easily available with us. As you pick up and book tickets for Wat ChediLuangwith us, you will be left spoilt with deals and ultimate prices. Wat ChediLuang ticket prices with our tours are affordable as you book them with us.
#3 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 29691 times in trip plans
Art And Culture, Religious Site, Temple, Family And Kids, Architecture
Woramahaviharn, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
This is undoubtedly Chiang Mai's most visited temple and owes its fame to the fact that it houses the city's most revered Buddha image, Phra Singh (Lion Buddha), and it has a fine collection of classic Lanna art and architecture.
Phra Singh is housed in Wihan Lai Kham, a small chapel to the rear of the temple grounds next to the chedi. The exterior chapel displays the Lanna characteristics of a three-tiered roofline and carved gables. The interior of the temple features sumptuous lai·krahm (gold pattern) stenciling on its interior back wall.
Wat Phra Singh's main chedi displays classic Lanna style with its octagonal base. Closer to the entrance is the main wi-hahn (sanctuary), which houses a bigger but less important Buddha known as Thong Thip. This temple has royal associations, indicated by the garuda (the royal symbol) displayed on the front of the main wi-hahn.
#4 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 26485 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Wildlife Safari, Family And Kids
Hangdong, southwest of Chiang Mai International Airport (about 12km from the city)
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
This attraction is open during the day but the real action happens at night during the Predator Prowl and 'Savannah Safari', when an open-sided tram transports visitors through the parkland. The night safari differs from the Chiang Mai Zoo in that some animals like wildebeests, giraffes, white rhinoceroses and zebras are allowed to roam and often come right up to the bus. In the 'Predator Prowl' section, the tigers, lions, Asiatic black bears and crocodiles are kept at a safe distance by deep trenches.
During the day you can visit the Jaguar Trail encircling Swan Lake, a 1.2km walk where over 50 species (ranging from rabbits to cranes) are generally not in cages, except of course the trail's namesake animal.
#5 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 26793 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Hiking Trail, Family And Kids
135 Moo 10 Suthep, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
06:00 am - 06:00 pm
The difference between this wat and the rest is the exotic location of the temple. A small trek will take you this temple, set in secluded setting and perfect for mediation or a quality “alone-time”. The interconnecting tunnels built underneath are marvelous and provide an unique experience.
An image of the fasting Buddha ribs, veins and all can be seen in the grounds on top of the tunnel hill, along with a very large and highly adored chedi.
A small artificial lake, surrounded by gu·A‘i (monastic cottages) is equally captivating to visit.
#6 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 19878 times in trip plans
Mountain, National Park, Family And Kids, Monastery , Hill, Picnic Spot
Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
08:00 am - 06:00 pm
Looming over the city like guardian spirits and providing a sanctuary of forest and mountain cool air, Chiang Mai's sacred peaks, Doi Suthep (1676m) and Doi Pui (1685m) were used by the city's founders as a divine compass in locating an auspicious position. Suthep was named after the hermit Sudeva, who lived on the mountain's slopes for many years, and is the site of Chiang Mai's holy temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Portions of the mountains form a 265-sq-km national park that contains a mix of wilderness, hill-tribe villages and tourist attractions, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Despite human encroachment, the park is still an excellent forest playground for city dwellers. Most people stick to the main road, visiting the temple, the winter palace and one of the touristy Hmong villages, altogether bypassing the forested interior.
The eastern side of the mountain stays green and cool almost year-round. The mountain ascends from the humid lowlands into the cool (and sometimes even cold) cloud belt with moss growing on the curbs and mist wafting across the road. Thriving in the diverse climate are more than 300 bird species and nearly 2000 species of ferns and flowering plants. During the rainy season, butterflies bloom as abundantly as the flowers.
#7 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 27448 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Family And Kids
204/5 Ratpakinai Road, Si Phum, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
06:00 am - 06:00 pm
Know as Chiang Mai's oldest temple, Wat Chiang Man used to be the residence of King Mengrai. It is located inside the walled city on Rachakinai Road. King Mangrai allegedly lived here while the new city of Chiang Mai was being constructed.
Enshrined in Wat Chiang Man is a tiny crystal Buddha called Phra Setang- Kamanee. It is thought to have the power to bring rain. Another image, called Phra Silakao, reflects the fine workmanship of Indian craftsmen from hundreds of years ago. The pagoda has rows of elephant buttresses at its base.
#8 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 27529 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Forest, Off Beaten Path, Family And Kids
Suan Dok Road, Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
06:00 am - 06:00 pm
The elaborate prayer hall or and the unusually sized chapel which is open on all the sides is enthralling has a charismatic effect. Directly west of the prayer hall are several large pagodas, called chedi in Thai.
Suan Dok has the largest pagoda containing a relic that reputedly is self-replicated. Acoording to the tale, one of the relics was placed on the back of a royal white elephant, which was then allowed to wander where-ever it wanted to go. The elephant eventually came to a stop, and actually died, on Suthep Mountain. Chiang Mai's most revered temple, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, was built on the exact spot where the elephant came to rest.
Next to the pagoda is a veritable forest of ornate white-washed reliquaries. This "city of the dead" houses the cremated remains of the rulers of Chiang Mai.
#9 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 30621 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Landmark, Historical Site, Monument, Family And Kids
Three kings monument square, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Proudly wearing 14th-century royal garb, the bronze Three Kings Monument commemorates the alliance forged between the three northern Thai-Lao kings (Phaya Ngam Meuang of Phayao, Phaya Mengrai of Chiang Mai and Phaya Khun Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai) in the founding of Chiang Mai. This monument appear in the centre of the square and comes across all the time.
The statues mark one of the city's spiritual centres and have become a shrine to local residents.
#10 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 17665 times in trip plans
Family And Kids, Archaeological Site
Saraphi district, Chiang Mai
08:00 am - 05:00 pm
An easy trip from the main city will take you to this picturesque-straight-out-of –the-book place. The ruins as well the little village is very charming.
Considered to be the earliest settlements In Chiang Mai, this was also a historical capital of the Lanna dynasty. Flooded and lost due to the change of course of the river Mae Ping, this place was found in archeological excavation.
Over 1300 inscribed stone slabs, bricks, bells and chedi have been excavated at the site. The most important archaeological discovery has been a four-piece inscribed stone slab, now on display in the Chiang Mai National Museum. The early 11th-century inscriptions on this slab indicate that the Thai script predates King Ramkhamhaeng's famous Sukhothai inscription (introduced in 1293) by 100 or more years.
#11 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 33962 times in trip plans
Park, View Point, Family And Kids
209/2 Sridom Chai Road, Chiang Mai 50100
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
Set in a natural valley, bordered by a river, and surrounded by forested mountains is the Elephant natural park which serves as a home to rescued and rehabilitated elephants from all over the country. It is amazing to observe the daily routine of the elephants and a glimpse of rural life is worth capturing.
The park also aims to provide Rain forest restoration and cultural preservation along with protecting the endangered species.
#12 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 27430 times in trip plans
Zoo, Family And Kids
100 Huai Kaeo Rd, 50200, Thailand
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
At the foot of Doi Suthep, the Chiang Mai Zoo occupies a lush park setting and boasts a fairly comprehensive assortment of animals plus two special attractions (pandas and an aquarium) that require separate admission fees. The aquarium reportedly has Asia's longest viewing tunnel (measuring 113m) and replicates the water environments of Thailand, from the northern rivers to the mangrove swamps and coastal oceans, as well as the Amazon basin.
#13 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 28151 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Historical Site, Family And Kids, Architecture , Sculptu...
Manee nopparat Soi 2, Si Phum, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
Wat Lok Moli is a Buddhist temple situated on the north side of the north moat surrounding the old part of the city, about 400 meters west of the Chang Phuak city gate. Built in the 16th century, the Mengrai royal family maintained the temple and the temple houses the asehs of many of its members.
The brickwork of the large chedi is left mostly bare, this in contrast to the, often recently, stuccoed chedis of other temples in Chiang Mai. Of note are the finely sculptured Nagas and wooden temple facade. The temple is aligned along a north-south axis most Buddhist temples are orientated towards the East, towards the rising sun.
#14 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 16135 times in trip plans
Museum, History Museum, Family And Kids, Arts And Crafts
Near Chiang Mai university, main ring road, superhighway.
09:00 am - 04:00 pm
Recently renovated, Chiang Mai's National Museum is well worth a visit.
The museum has an up-to-date and modern showcase for the heritage of Lanna. The downstairs area shows the historical development of the north of Thailand from Pre-Neolithic times to the present. There are models and paintings depicting legends and historical events, also scenes of the way of life in olden days. There are show cases with ceramics that have been excavated from the famous fourteenth sixteenth century kilns of the old Kingdom of Lanna - Kalong, Sangkampaeng, Lampang and so on.. There are cases filled with bronze and gold jewellery and other artefacts. Everywhere are fine examples of Buddha statues. Upstairs are collections of old farming and handicraft tools, wood carvings, old photographs and superb textiles.
The spacious grounds house the northern region archaeological research centre. Two ancient kilns have been excavated and rebuilt in the grounds.
#15 of 17 Things to do in Chiang Mai | Added 20904 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Temple, Ancient Ruin, Historical Site, Family And Kids
11, Chang Phueak, Chiang Mai, 50300, Thailand
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
Dedicated temple-spotters are the prime candidates for Wat Jet Yot. It was built to host the eighth World Buddhist Council in 1477, a momentous occasion for the Lanna capital. To the back of the temple compound are the ruins of the old Wi-hahn, which was supposed to be a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, but the proportions don't match up. Some scholars assume that the blueprint for the temple must have come from a small votive tablet depicting the Mahabodhi in distorted perspective.