top things to do in chiang mai for travelers

1- Visit Doi Inthanon National Park
2- Boat Trip on the Mae Ping River
3- Visit the Long Neck Karen Tribe
4- Shopping at the Sunday Market
5- Explore the Nightlife
6- Wat Chedi Luang
7- Visit Wat Phra Singh
8- Learn How to Cook Thai Food
9- Wiang Kum Kam Ancient City
10- Lanna Folklife Museum

Chiang Mai known as the largest city in Northern Thailand. The city was founded in 1296 as the capital of Lan Na (also known as Lannathai) which was an Indianized state from 13th to 18th centuries. According to Thai Tourism Authority, more than 9 million of tourists visited this land of nature in 2018.

The temperature of Chiang Mai is cooler than the other Thai cities. Old city area is the most popular location for tourists to stay with a lot of hotel and property options. The best time to visit Chiang Mai is October to May that calling as dry and cool season. Peoples find Chiang Mai fairly pleased when compare to other tourist destinations in Thailand.

In this article we are listing top 10 things to do in Chiang Mai;

1- Visit Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park

The highest peak in Thailand nicknamed as “rooftop of Thailand” covers an area of 482 square km. The distance between Chiang Mai and Doi Inthanon National Park is approximately 62 km. The best way to get to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai is to join day tours or to hire a driver.

If you are planning a day trip to Doi Inthanon National Park, do not forget to bring water, hat, sunscreen, a sweater or raincoat (depending on the season). The entrance fee in 300 Thb for adult foreigners and 150 Thb for children.


2- Boat Trip on the Mae Ping River Chiang Mai

Mae Ping River tickets

Mae Ping or Maenam Ping River is one of the main tributaries of the Chao Phraya River. Explore traditional architecture, cultural, religious and historic sites of Chiang Mai along the way.

Some of the river cruise companies  offers package of hotel pick-up, monk offering in a local temple, lunch in a local farm etc.. Duration of the classic tours takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.


3- Visit the Long Neck Karen Tribe

Long Neck Karen Tribe

The Karen are tribal group who’ve historically lived in Myanmar. Karen women are recognized by heavy rings around their necks and forearms. Thousands of Karen members have migrated to Thailand from Myanmar due to  religious and ethnic persecution of the Myanmar government.

In our day they live in a small village in Mae Rim just outside of Chiang Mai. There are full and half day guided tribe tours from Chiang Mai.


4- Shopping at the Sunday Market in Chiang Mai

chiang mai sunday market

Also known as the Weekend or Walking Market in Chiang Mai. The market takes place every Sunday. Start from Thapae Gate and connect to the Ratchadamnoen Road.

Along 1 km of the walking road, you will find hundreds of stalls sell handmade and exotic goods, souvenirs, Thai foods, deserts etc.. The Sunday market operates from 4:00 pm till midnight. The Ratchadamnoen road is located in the center of Chiang Mai.


5- Explore the Nightlife in Chiang Mai

chiang mai nightlife

If you like to get involved with the nightlife in Chiang Mai, there are 3 main nightlife area in the city such as; Old, City, Loi Kroh Road and Nimman Road (also known as Nimmanahaeminda Road). .

The best are in the Old City is definitely in Boon Yoo Market it is also known as Soi Reggae. Loi Kroh as the entertainment area with girlie bars but not a red light district. There are also variety of different venues to explore along the Nimman Road.


6- Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang also known as Jedi Luang that means “the Temple of the Great Stupa” is a one of the most impressive Buddhist temple and located in the historic center of Chiang Mai. Construction of the temple was started in 1391 and was finally finished in 1475.

In 1545 an earthquake was destroyed some part of Wat Chedi Luang but it was later restored by the 1990’s. The temple open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Entrance used to be free of charge but now 40 Thb for adults and 20 for children.


7- Visit Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh

One of the most revered Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. The temple houses an important Buddha statue (Phra Buddha Sihing) which gives the name to the temple. Also known as “Monastery of the Lion Buddha” .

Today there are over 700 monks living in the temple to teach and give information about Buddhism. The construction was stared in 1345 by the 5th King of Mangrai Dynasty to house his fathers ashes. Open from 9:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. Etrance fee 20 Thb per person.


8- Learn How to Cook Thai Food

Cook Thai Food

If you like to impress your friends or family with your cooking skills, learn how to cook Thai food like a local chef while you are in Thailand.

Chiang Mai is a popular city with its unique local tastes and one of the greatest destination to attend a cooking class. Some of cooking classes are offering market visit to learn about the ingredients.


9- Wiang Kum Kam Ancient City

Kum Kam Ancient City

Wiang Kum Kam is historical and archeological site of Chiang Mai. According to history the city was founded by King Mangrai during the years 1286 to 1295 as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom.

King Mangrai discovered a new site on the higher opposite bank of the Ping River and declared the newly built city of Chiang Mai as the new capital of his Kingdom in 1296. The ancient Wiang Kum Kam is located about 6 km Southeast of the Old City of Chiang Mai.


10- Lanna Folklife Museum

Chiang Mai Lanna Folklife Museum

Lanna has a long history of over 700 years and a great cultural arts to be preserved for the later generations. Lanna Folklife Museum is a outstanding place to exhibits the life-style, culture and art of Lanna People.

The white colour colonial style museum building located opposite to the Three Kings Monuement. Operates Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Entrance fee is 90 Thb for adults and 40 Thb for children.