BY Guinness Bear

Top 10 Fun Things to Do on a Chiang Mai Holiday

When it comes to unique tourism destinations in Thailand, Chiang Mai is one of the most fascinating and intriguing places in Southeast Asia πŸ§”

Where places like Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Samui heavily depend on beaches and standard Thailand holiday requirements, a Chiang Mai holiday is a completely different beast. It has everything from sacred Temples to nature hiking trails and shopping areas.

If you want to make the most out of your time in this majestic city in Northern Thailand, here are some fun things πŸ§” to do on your holiday. 


#10 - Zipline Adventure 

If you are in Chiang Mai with your family and children, you can have some adventure ziplining. The Flight of the Gibbon park is located an hour's drive from Chiang Mai and has the safest and adventurous zipline for you to enjoy πŸ§” It is Asia's longest zipline with a length of 800 meters that takes you on a ride on top of the jungle canopy. Not only do you enjoy the sights and adventure, but you also become part of the conservation efforts to save wild animals and rainforests by paying for the zipline ride. A zipline ride costs around THB 1100, and there are discounts offered as well.

Apart from ziplining, you can also indulge in other sports such as mountain biking in Doi Suthep national park, ATV driving in the Thai countryside, or Kayaking in the Mae Ping River πŸ…


#9 - Waterfalls in Chiang Mai

Thailand has some of the most impressive waterfalls that can welcome relief in the warm weather environment πŸ§” There are quite a few waterfalls in and around Chiang Mai that attract tourists all year around. Huay Kaew Waterfall is one of them and is just a minute walk away from Chiang Mai Zoo. This waterfall flows through the year; its natural beauty and cool waters attract many visitors.

The Mae Sa waterfall is located 20km from Chiang Mai and is one of the most popular tourist destinations. This waterfall has 10 levels which take about an hour to walk from first to the last. You can also spend a night here camping. Another famous waterfall is the Bua Tong waterfall located to the north of Chiang Mai. It is filled with tourists all year long. At the top of the falls, you will find small cafes serving snacks and drinks.

If you are in Chiang Mai, don't forget to miss its incredible natural waterfalls and enjoy the natural beauty of Chiang Mai with your family. Which is one of bet fun things to do hereπŸ₯‡.


#8 - Traditional Khantoke Dinner

Immerse yourself in the ultimate Chiang Mai cultural experience by enjoying an evening at a traditional Khantoke Dinner in the Old City πŸ§” Merging the traditional culture of the Lanna empire, with lots of traditional dances and shows, alongside some amazing Lanna-style food dishes, this evening is something really special and will enhance any Chiang Mai holiday to a state of Eternal Nirvana.

Taking place mainly at the Old Chiangmai Cultural Center, you first get to enjoy a stunning Lanna Thai buffet with lots of top-quality local food with some Western food as well, and then you will sit down to experience a stage show that is over 150 years old. The costumes, live music, and dance performances really are spectacular. 

If you want to come away from your holiday in Chiang Mai with a deeper and more meaningful appreciation of the City and the old Lanna ways, this Khantoke Dinner is a must! 


#7 - Shopping and Eating at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

As you already know, Thailand is one of the best places in Asia for shopping, and if you are looking to explore the local markets during your Chiang Mai holiday, the Night Bazaar is all you will ever need πŸ§”. Whether you are looking to buy a local handicraft or art piece, local Thai silk products, clothes, fashion products or just want to get some food and drink, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar has almost everything.

Located on the east side of the old walled city, on a 1km stretch of Thonon Chang Khlan, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is open every evening of the week from dusk until midnight. Although the streets are filled with shops in the daytime, at night the area transforms into one of the coolest markets in Thailand πŸ…. 

When you need to buy a souvenir or clothing for friends back home, nowhere in Chiang Mai can match the Night Bazaar for bargains, so make sure you don’t miss out! 


#6 - Art in Chiang Mai

This section could well have its own article. It is debatable whether Bangkok or Chiang Mai is the epicenter of art in Thailand, but one thing is for sure… if you are an art lover πŸ§”, this Chiang Mai holiday will be something to remember. Come and visit some of the biggest art exhibition centers and galleries such as the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center, Art in Paradise Chiang Mai, or the Matoom Art Space or other art gallery-type cafes such as The Meeting Room Art café are where you will find the city’s art community hanging out. If you are looking to purchase art pieces, there are lots of factory shops on the outskirts of the city that make ceramics, carvings, pottery, local silk products, and more, or you can check out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar or Chiang Mai Walking Street at the weekends to find some bargains πŸ…


#5 - Exploring the Chiang Mai Zoo

Not only is Chiang Mai Zoo one of the most impressive wildlife parks in the region, but is widely considered the best zoo in Thailand πŸ§” Located on Huay Kaew Road in the heart of the city, the zoo is set over 200 acres and was first established way back in 1977.

Although there are over 400 species of animals on show from the four corners of the globe such as lots of wild cats that include Bengal Tigers, alongside elephants, ostriches, snakes, monkeys, and everything you can conceivably imagine, the main reason why the zoo is so internationally famous is because of their Giant Pandas. Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang first arrived at Chiang Mai Zoo in 2003 and were on loan for a 10-year period from China. In 2009, they had a baby Panda called Lin Bing πŸ₯‡, which hit the news right across the world. Come and see the best zoo in Thailand get close to the pandas. 


#4 - Check Out the Chiang Mai Hilltribe Villages

No Chiang Mai holiday would be complete without visiting the famous hill-tribe villages. These hill-tribe people have been living at one with the jungle and their natural surroundings for hundreds of years πŸ§” There are 7 ethnic hill tribe groups in the Chiang Mai region that settled here over the course of the past few hundred years named Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Lisu, Mien, Akha, and Padaung.

Come and see them living their daily lives and going through the motions or purchase one of their cool handicrafts as a souvenir at one of the several hill-tribe village locations such as the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge in Mae Rim or the Karen Hilltribe Lodge in Chamluang πŸ…


#3 - Visit the Summit of Doi Inthanon Mountain

Chiang Mai is home to some of the tallest mountain ranges in Thailand and has a very different topography when compared to other regions and terrains across the Kingdom. One of the most stunning experiences during your Chiang Mai holiday will be visiting the summit of the tallest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon πŸ§” Inside Doi Inthanon National Park itself, you can explore lots of waterfalls such as Mae Ya and Mae Klang and even the stunning flowers at the Royal Agricultural Station. However, the main point of coming here is to visit the 2,565 summit, which offers amazing views in the summer months πŸ₯‡ Do take a coat or a sweater along because it can get a bit cold at the peak. 


#2 - Taking in a Chiang Mai Holiday Temple Tour

Did you know that Chiang Mai has some of the oldest temples in Thailand? πŸ§” Some of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai are over 500 years old, some in dilapidated states, but nonetheless are pretty impressive.

The city has over 300 temples, but if you want to find out more, we would suggest that you get a taxi driver who speaks English and gets him to take you on a Chiang Mai temple tour. The most popular temples in the city that you simply must visit are Wat Phra That Doi Suthep with its 600-year old Stupor, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, the ancient and 700-year old Wat Umong, and Wat Phra That Doi Kham, although there are obviously hundreds more to choose from. 

If you can acquire a guide for your temple tour who knows the history of the temples and region, that will take the experience to the next level πŸ₯‡


#1 - Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

As the locals say, you haven't seen Chiang Mai until you visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep because it is the most important Temple in Chiang Mai πŸ§” It is located in Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai Province, and Doi Suthep Hill is 14 kilometers away from the center of Chiang Mai. The Temple was constructed in 1386 and is still present with all its magnificence. You can arrive here by driving yourself, by a songthaew or take a hike from Suthep road. The entrance fee is THB 50, and the Temple is open for visitors from 6:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Going up to the Temple is an adventurous experience on its own because you can climb the 306 steps or ride a cable car to the top. You can also find souvenir shops and snacks at the temple base. Apart from spending hours exploring the Temple, you can go hiking nearby and enjoy the serene environment. Visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a must when you are in Chiang Mai as it is the top tourist destination here πŸ†


Chiang Mai is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Thailand. You can visit many of the ancient Temples, museums, national parks, markets, and much more. If you are in Chiang Mai, then make sure you spend all of your time enjoying the beauty of this place to the fullest πŸ§”

Written by
Guinness Bear

Guinness Bear EN


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