There are loads of things to do in Chiang Mai. So much in fact that you could visit the city many times over the last decade (like I have) and still not have seen and done everything on offer.
Chiang Mai is the main city in the North of Thailand and it is the antithesis of Bangkok. Unlike the capital with its noisy, hectic-ness, Chiang Mai is a welcome relief with a much calmer vibe. The city is nestled in the hilly terrain of the North and it is not too far from Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon.
Chiang Mai is one of those cities than can feel just as chilled out as it can busy. Take a wander through the old city and you can end up on a quiet soi (side street) with nobody around. Then visit the Nimmanhaemin Road to hang out with the hipsters at all of the cool coffee shops.
As chilled out as Chiang Mai can be compared to Bangkok, don’t be deceived! There are loads of things to do in Chiang Mai.
So if you are planning a visit the northern city, here is a list of 45 things you could add to your itinerary.
Hope it helps inspire you!
45 THINGS TO DO IN CHIANG MAI
1. Elephant Nature Park – my review here
2. Cooking Class – on my last trip I went with Chiang Mai Cookery School
3. Temples – my favourite temples are Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang Worewhian, Wat Suan Dok
4. Monk Chat – some temples have a dedicated time you can pop by and chat to the monks
5. Doi Suthep – the famous temple on top of the hill overlooking Chiang Mai.
6. Chiang Mai Zoo
7. Flight of the Gibbon
8. Cabaret at the Night Bazaar
9. Muay Thai Show
10. Chiang Mai Museums – I like the Lanna Folklife Museum, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre, Art in Paradise,
11. Watch 4D Movie at Central Festival Mall
12. Royal Park Rajapruek
13. Wander around the Somphet Food Market
14. Shop at the malls
15. Massage at the Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institute – go early to get a slot, and weekends are busy
16. Spa Day – there are so many spas in to choose from in Chiang Mai
17. Foot Massage – you can barely walk 100m in Chiang Mai without seeing somewhere offering a foot massage
19. Spend the day at Huay Tung Tao Lake – we spent the afternoon of my birthday there a few years ago
20. Expat Meet-up – there’s a large expat population in Chiang Mai, join a Facebook group or meetup
21. Hike up one of the mountains
22. Go on a jungle trek – choose one of the guided treks from the many travel agents in Chiang Mai
23. Camping in the mountains
24. Hang out at Chiang Mai Quarry (Hang Do)
25. Muay Thai Training – pick one here
26. Hilltribe trek / visit – the Northern region of Thailand is home to 7 hill tribes.
27. Take a bicycle tour around the city and beyond
28. Take a guided walking tour around the old city
29. Hire a moped – but make sure you’re insured first!
30. Wander around Nimmanhaemin Road – this area is hip, cool, and full of great coffee shops and eateries
31. Eat street food – it’s everywhere!
32. Nibble you way around the Night Bazaar
33. Sunday Walking Market – my favourite market in Chiang Mai, located from Wat Phra Singh down to Taepae Gate
34. Drink Fruit Smoothies
35. Eat Chiang Mai Noodles – we love Kao Soy Nimman located on soi 7
36. Drink and Dance with the hipsters – we love Warm Up Cafe
37. Eat Thai BBQ (aka Moogata)
OUTSIDE CHIANG MAI
38. Hang out at the Pha Chor ‘Grand’ Canyon
39. Visit the Sticky Waterfalls – Bua Thong
40. Visit the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon
41. Day trip to Chiang Rai, a city further North
42. Short Trip to Chiang Dao, sleepy Thai town
43. Short Trip to Pai, small town in the mountains
44. Drive the Mae Hong Son Loop – an infamous multi-day roadtrip route through the hills, this is a great guide
45. Visit the Mae Wang Waterfalls and National Park
I hope you have a great time in Chiang Mai! And let me know if there’s anything else you would add to this things to do in Chiang Mai list.
- Lonely Planet Guide Book
- Travel insurance
- List of Chiang Mai info for expats and tourists
WHERE TO STAY IN CHIANG MAI
READ MORE THAILAND POSTS:
- My Two Week Trip To Thailand
- Thai Food: 47 Things I Ate In Thailand
- Hotel Review: RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort
- Elephant Nature Park Experience, Chiang Mai
- Caturday, Cat Cafe in Bangkok
- Temples in Ayutthaya, Thailand
- Why You Should Not Ride Elephants
- How To Survive Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
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