Choose from 30 Fun Things to Do in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar is perhaps the city's most popular must-do attraction. The colorful mix of regular shops and stalls create a unique market buzz.
You’ll find everything for sale here, from ersatz designer brands to embroidered hill tribes textiles, lacquerware, silver jewelry, carvings, silks, ceramics and antiques.
The best range of antiques is on the second floor of the covered market building called the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, to the north of the busy intersection near a narrow cross street.
The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is held in the eastern quarter of the city, on land bordered by the Mae Nam Ping River and its tributary.
The market’s busy heart focuses on the intersection of the streets Th Chang Khlan and Th Loi Kroh, but the stalls extend in every direction over several streets.
The market operates every night from sunset to midnight.
In addition, the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre serves as a venue for special exhibits and cultural events. Enquire with the staff about upcoming events like dance or music performances.
- On tours that cross into Laos or Myanmar, it’s helpful to carry a small amount of US currency in addition to Thai baht.
- A valid passport is required for border crossings into Laos and Myanmar.
- Thailand’s northern region is more conservative than Bangkok, the islands, and the beaches down south. Cover your shoulders and avoid wearing swimming attire at religious sites.
Mae Sa Waterfall is a popular retreat from the city and full facilities are available including washrooms, picnic tables, and food stalls.
The waterfalls are a popular weekend destination for locals, so visit the falls on a weekday if you prefer to avoid the crowds.
- Doi Inthanon is a must-see for adventure travelers and nature lovers.
- Dress in layers; daytime temperatures in the park can be surprisingly cool.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.
- Most day tours from Chiang Mai include roundtrip transportation and lunch.
- Expect a full-day tour to last upwards of eight hours.
Sight-seeing tours and dinner cruises along the Mae Ping River available. For the more adventurous, kayaking and rafting trips can be arranged.
The Mae Ping River has a history of breaching its banks and has caused severe flooding in Chiang Mai as recently as 2011.
If you’ve ever wanted to chat to a Buddhist monk, pull up a chair at Wat Chedi Luang. As you enter the wat from Th Phra Pokkao, turn right and you’ll see some tables under a sign reading ‘Monk Chat.’
The partially ruined wat dates back to the year 1441, and is most famous as the former home of the incredible Emerald Buddha. Nowadays, a jade replica fills the eastern niche of Wat Chedi Luang, and you can see the original in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew.
Wat Chedi Luang has undergone a restoration program, which has added several Buddha images, porticoes and statues.
Wat Chedi Luang is in the center of the moated old city of Chiang Mai near Th Ratchadamnoen, a non-stop shopping strip of stalls and street food.
- This elephant rescue center is a must-see for animal lovers and families.
- Common areas of the elephant park offer free Wi-Fi access.
- A full-day park visit includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Chiang Mai city and lunch.
- All experiences at the elephant park are suitable for all fitness levels.
- The park has a restaurant serving both Thai and Western vegetarian dishes, buffet style.
- Be sure to book your experience in advance as they tend to sell out.