Chiang Mai

"Attractions & Activities in Chang Mai Thailand"

"Chiang Mai Attractions" was last updated on Feb 27, 2013
All information below is subject to change

Waterfall in Chiang Mai Thailand Photo: TommyIX  ©

Ready to have some fun in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai doesn't exactly have a lack of things to see, do and explore.

When it comes to trekking, that's not a problem in this town!

Most travelers go to Chiang Mai to trek! Whether you're looking for rafting, caving, elephant riding, waterfalls or visits to hilltribe villages - you'll find it in Chiang Mai.

To book a tour, find out if the guest house you're staying at provides trekking services (most guest houses do).

Otherwise, you'll find travel agencies providing various trekking options (often combined tours) scattered around Chiang Mai.

But have in mind that there's a lot of competition so make sure you shop around for prices! This way, you can stear away from overpriced tours.


Other things to consider before booking a trek:

  • Is the trekking agency licensed?

A trekking agency should have a certificate from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

  • Check the time schedule - does it include your places of interest?
  • How have they set up the transportation? Does the price include transportation to and from the base camp?
  • Does the price include food and drinks? And what about sleeping bag/pad and tent?

Usually the trekking agency will provide anything you need for the trip, but make sure it really does.

The three-days tour (1500-1800 B) is very popular, but if you don't have the time you can do the one-day tour (usually 1000 B)! Backpacker families will usually have to pay 800 B per child.

If you choose a professional tour agency, expect to pay a lot more. To paint you the picture, trekking with Thailand Great Tours starts from 7,150 B which includes 6 nights in the jungle, exploring hill tribe villages and elephant trekking.

Eagle House Tours
in Chang Mai Thailand

Elephant trekking in Thailand Photo: sack ©

Eagle House is a popular option for travelers. They advertise for customised tours and that means you can go when and wherever you want, instead of following a tight schedule.

If you want to combine bamboo rafting and a elephant tour, or a sightseeing of Chiang Mai, this place is a good choice.

One of the reasons I picked Eagle House was because some of their income goes to projects in Hilltribe Villages: building houses or schools, clean water etc. This is a good way of contributing to the local community and have fun!

Reader's comments - Feb 27, 2013:

"I can highly recommend Elephant Nature Park, about 1 hour out of Chiang Mai, with an office in Chiang Mai and a website online.

I volunteered there last year (2012) and they are fantastic and dearly love their elephants! Please, please, please DON'T go ELEPHANT TREKKING in Chiang Mai - or anywhere else for that matter. The elephants in these places are all disciplined with bullhooks (large iron hooks, that the mahouts will tell you don't hurt them - just take a close look at the eles and you will see scars that tell another story).

They're also separated from each other when not working, which is very lonely for an elephant. They are herd/family creatures and need loving touching from each other like we do.

Also, they are not loadbearing animals - those seats hurt their backs. All domestic working elephants in Asia have been put through a torture process as babies to make them obedient. If you want an elephant experience go to Elephant Nature Park and you can see happy elephants that are not tied up, and experience touching, feeding and bathing them.

Make responsible choices as tourists, then other places will gradually change so that we can go and see happy elephants only. I am not advertising for this place, I am talking from experience. Look up Elephant Nature Park and see how many happy visitors - and return visitors - they have.

Happy travels,
Deb (New Zealand)."

More info on Elephant Nature Park (opens in a new window)

Return to top

Other Tour Providers

Chiang Mai Green Alternative Tours

Chiang Mai Green Alternative Tours provide trips to hilltribe villages, national parks, white water rafting, bird-watching and more.

Address: 31 Chiang Mai, Lamphun Rd, Tambon Watkeat, Amphur Muang.

The Peak

The Peak provide rock-climbing, white water rafting, trekking, sightseeing and even jungel survival cooking!

The Peak's Website

Return to top of Chiang Mai attractions

Temples in Chiang Mai &
Sightseeing by your own

Wat entrance in Chang Mai, Thailand

The highlight of Chiang Mai attractions is the wats (temples) in the city, built and decorated in North Thai style. Doi Suthep temple site is probably the most infamous temple of them all, located 15 km from downtown Chiang Mai. Its background history as pilgrimage temple attracts backpackers and tourists, and of course the awesome view of Chiang Mai area.

I was literally tired of partying 3 nights/days on a row and decided to make something useful of my stay in Chiang Mai!

I decided to just walk around and see where I would end.

My sightseeing started from Bohemian Bar, then I passed the elementary- and high school. I was apparently there by the time it was lunch, so hundreds of small children and teenagers were leaving the school area - this is what Chiang Mai is about!

- The children of Chiang Mai in their nice uniforms, just laughing, smiling and flirting with fellow handsome Thai students. That is what I call local life.

Chiang Mai City Art and Culture Center in Thailand

Then I passed the Chiang Mai City Art and Culture Center with three proud statues guarding the entrance. They are the Three Kings (Saam Kasat).

This museum represents the history of Chiang Mai and also the future of this city. It's divided into two parts: The front part contains exhibits, while the rear section is dedicated to cultural activities, temporary exhibits, souvenir shops, a lecture theater and an exhibition hall for Lanna arts.

Open: Tuesday - Sunday from 8 am- 5 pm.

Admission: 90 B

Address: Phra Pokklao road

Wat in Chiang Mai, Thailand

After the museum, I walked further down the road, then I stumbled upon a second-hand shop selling all kinds of emo-items, like clothing with cool prints, Converse shoes, to-die-for leather bags, patches, stickers (skulls, Manga) etc. The problem was that most of the clothing was one-size, meaning Small, but it felt like XXS to me!

So I just bought some stickers and a leather bag, and left the shop with a huge smile on my face.

Learn more about the shopping in Chiang Mai

Then I decided to walk back. I crossed the moat near SK House and walked over the main street. Here I found some interesting Wats. It was my first time with Wats, so I was excited and just kept taking pictures :-)

Further reading:

Like this page?

Return to top of Chiang Mai attractions

Chiang Mai Attractions

Comment this page:

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.