Thailand is considered an inclusive destination of all things exclusive in life. From spiritual attractions that including sprawling temples perched into lush forests, to staggering natural scenery, the island has lots of things to do in Chiang Mai. From little quaint islands, to large resorts, from cruises to bustling cities….Thailand is an incredible place to visit, and will cater to your every travel need.
Chiang Mai, one of the most popular places to visit in Thailand has the perfect juxtaposition of cultural activities, spiritual endeavors, an incredible culture to explore and friendly locals. It will lure you in with its intoxicating laid-back vibe and will keep you coming back for more. Below we have things to do in Chiang Mai when you visit.
For The Adrenaline Lovers
Of course, there is an adventurer in all of us. And Thailand perfectly caters to that adventurer looking for adrenaline-inducing activities to spice up their life. Of course you could scuba dive with whales, wakeboard through the ocean, go kayaking, hike through the jungle, skydive, surf or mountain bike. The list is practically endless.
In our opinion though if you’re asking what things should I do in Chiang Mai that I’ll never forget, nothing beats zip lining in Thailand. The zip lines in Thailand are an actual journey that will take you through the entirety of the jungle, where you’ll be stranded in the air (sometimes as high as 70 meters) and zip line down lines that are almost 1 km. You’ll feel like you just unleashed that Tomb Raider inside of you!
Shop Till You Drop
Thailand is cheap. Cheaper than most of the major touristic cities in the world and of course, that means that it is the absolute perfect place to shop. From Bangkok to Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, you’re bound to go broke from all the things you’re buying. You simply won’t be able to stop yourself as the prices are so good and it’s a must Chiang Mai thing to do.
If you want to give yourself a break from the activities and the sight-seeing and the temple-hopping, then head over for a good shopping spree. There are quite a few markets going around in the morning, but the most unique of the markets in Chiang Mai is definitely the night market.
The Weekend Night Markets
Surprisingly, the weekend night markets are actually attractions in and of themselves. They take place on Saturday and Sunday and offer a plethora of things you could buy – from souvenirs, to shawls, to clothes to some of the best handmade goods you could find in Thailand.
All of this atmosphere is accentuated with the echoes of street performers, musicians showing off their talent and an unparalleled lively vibe that permeates throughout the entire market .
Location: Wua Lai Road across the old city’s south gate.
The Night Bazaar
If you’re not going to be there in the weekend, don’t fret! The night bazaar is still as good and takes place every day. Think hundreds and hundreds of stalls that offer all types of products your mind can probably imagine. From sunglasses to clothes to chandeliers – you’ll literally find it all.
If you want to blend in with the locals and move away from the hustle and bustle of the touristic places in Chiang Mai, then by all means, head over to Warorot Market. It offers food stalls and a lot more, but has a more local audience.
For Animal Lovers
Up Close And Personal With The Elephants.
It’s almost like a rite of passage to ride an elephant, take a picture with one or play with one in Thailand. They are staple to the Thai culture and are an incredible animal to play with. When in Thailand, you simply cannot miss either an elephant tour or a chance to play with them. This is a thing everyone who visits Chiang Mai does.
However, in recent times, more and more people are becoming ethically against the violence against elephants that usually takes place to domesticate them. Therefore, we recommend that if you actually do want to play with an elephant, then definitely choose one of the Elephant Jungle Sanctuaries.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuaries guarantee that the elephants are treated respectfully, fed and not abused to be broken and domesticated. You can get up close to them, hang out next to the elephants and watch them from afar and is a must Chiang Mai thing to do. The trips to the sanctuaries are usually quite popular amongst tourists and are known to be more ethical.
Sight-Seeing And Spirituality
Visit A Temple
Thailand is known for its staggering temples, some perched in jungles, other juxtaposing bustling streets and red lights districts and some completely standing out with their grandeur. There are thousands of temples all over Thailand and 200 in Chiang Mai alone. If you want to effortlessly blend sight-seeing and spirituality put up a few list of the temples that you have to visit. Our recommendation for temples to visit in Chiang Mai?
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
- Wat Chedi Luang
- Wat Chiang Man
- Wat Suan Dorg
- Wat Ched Yot
- Wat Padarapirom
Have A Conversation With One Of The Monks
The best way to get to know the spiritual side of Thailand is not only by visiting its temples. Of course, visiting its temples is still considered highly rewarding, but you can learn so much by talking directly to one of the Monks through some of the Monk Chat programs across the city. You’ll be able to share cultures, experiences, and learn invaluable lessons that you will never be able to learn anywhere else and is a recommendation for things to do in Chiang Mai.
Indulge In Relaxation
If you’re not traveling to be climbing up mountains or zip lining through the jungle, then Thailand still caters to your need. South East Asia is known to be one of the best regions for some of the most incredible massage techniques and spas, and it’s no surprise that Thailand and Chiang Mai offer the same.
Get yourself one of the hundred different types of massages and lose yourself under the hands of your masseuse. From the oil massages, massages with herbs, reflexology massages, and much more, you’re bound to find that perfect massage for yourself. You can even get a massage by a prison inmate or from a blind therapist.
Want A More Local Experience?
They say the best way to get to know a city’s local culture is through its cuisine. And that is true. Not only do you learn more about a culture and their value through their food, you actually get to sit with and around locals and see how the normal, everyday local life is like.
Thai cuisine is world renowned for its deliciousness and is served throughout the whole world, so what better souvenir to bring back home other than an actual Thai dish?
Of course, we’re not saying you should pack a dish and take it with you (we would if we could!), but we’re saying that you should at least learn how to cook one meal. There are dozens of cooking classes that you can take and it will introduce you to all different types of foods in Thailand and how they use certain ingredients differently. Plus, of course, it’s the perfect way to show off when you’re back home!