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Places to Visit in Chiang Mai Thailand

Updated on March 11, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

I love travelling in Asia. Most visited countries are Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. I hope you enjoy my articles.

Are you planning a visit to Chiang Mai? You might be overwhelmed with the number of activities that this city presents. Most people have visited this city and then find themselves disappointed when they have to leave, having not been able to do and see everything they wanted to do and see.

If you have limited time in this city, here are the things that you should try to see and try to do:

Wat Pra That Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai has a staggering number of temples to visit and you are sure to be able to find a beautiful, spiritual site, no matter which one you choose to visit. That said, if you can only visit one or only want to visit one, consider choosing Wat Doi Suthep.

Set atop a mountain, Wat Pra That Doi Suthep is one of the most sacred places in the city and in the country. And while it is a bit of a climb to the top of the mountain, you can just hop on a motorbike or grab a ride on one of the trams.

You’ll first be greeted by a pair of demons, beyond whom the temple complex stands. The climb and the demons are well worth the beautiful temple within the walls.

Doi Inthanon

This site require another climb, but, again, the view and the attraction is well worth the effort you put in to get there. This is an incredible national park, poised on the highest peak in the country.

If you are interested in trekking, the park offers ample opportunity to do so, but if you prefer just to stroll around the park, there are opportunities to do that as well. You can spend as much or as little time in the park as you want to.

While this park isn’t technically in the city (it is about two hours away), if you are in the area, definitely make the effort and see what Doi Inthanon has to offer.

Wat Chedi Luang

You are probably not going to notice a shortage of ruins in Thailand, or even just in Chiang Mai, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hollow out time in your schedule to visit one.

If you can only visit one or want to see what is arguably one of the most haunting and beautiful sites in the entire city, choose Wat Chedi Luang. It was built more than six hundred years ago, and though it was damaged by an earthquake, is still mostly intact.

If you visit Wat Chedi Luang, make sure to walk around the entire perimeter and see all of the huge carvings of elephants that decorate the exterior.

Chiang Mai Gate Market

There are lots of different markets to visit in Chiang Mai, but if you have the time, make sure to put this market specifically on your list. Not only is it the perfect setting—near the Chiang Mai Gate—but there is plenty to do and see when the vendors start setting up.

Make sure to save your appetite and eat dinner at the market. Plenty of street food will be available, including pad kra pow and mango sticky rice. Unlike some markets in the city that only set up once a week, this market is open every single night, but you will find more vendors during the week than on the weekend.

Tiger Kingdom

You will probably only have a few opportunities in your life to get up close and personal with a tiger. These beautiful creatures are incredible to see and depending on what package you choose when you get there, you might actually be able to interact with some of the tigers.

Elephants are the most popular attraction for visitors to this area (and the Elephant Nature Park gives you the opportunity to interact directly with these awesome animals), but when else are you going to get the chance to pet a real tiger? Don’t pass up this experience.

Huay Tung Tao

If you are looking for a place to just blow off some steam and have a clam, relaxing day, this is the place to have it. This is a reservoir that is popular with not just visitors, but locals, too.

You can actually rent a hut on the water and there are lots of street food vendors in the area that give you the opportunity to try a wide variety of different dishes. This is an ideal day trip, especially if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just enjoy the beautiful Thai scenery for a while.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Sam Shepards


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    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 

      2 years ago from Singapore

      I visited Chiang Mai more than 30 years ago, as a kid. Reading your hub makes me yearn to revisit.


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