Chiang Mai, which is surrounded by a lot of mountains and temples, is the Northern capital of Thailand. It is said to be the best place for visitors to explore Thai culture and do exciting activities. Here is the list of fun things in Chiang Mai, Thailand that every tourist should experience at least once in a lifetime.
- Currency: Thai Baht (around 30 baht to 1 USD)
- Location: The Northern Capital of Thailand
- The best time to visit: From October to February (hot temperatures in March and April)
- Transportation: Overnight train, overnight VIP Bus or flights from Bangkok
- ATMs can be found everywhere
Fun Things To Do In Chiang Mai
- Visiting Chiang Mai Markets
Seeing local markets is a perfect way to explore the culture of the people here. When coming to a market, you will realize the most common foods local people use (meat or vegetables), the way they sell and buy goods, the specialties, etc.
In Chiang Mai, markets appear in every corner of the street, during the week or at the weekend, during the day or at night. From canned food to fresh one, from elephant pants to other souvenirs, and so on, all will give you an unforgettable memory. Here are some of the most famous markets in Chiang Mail you should arrive once:
- Saturday Night Market: Being organized between the south gate of the Old Pagoda and the Wua Lai Road, Saturday Night Market is for you to buy souvenirs and travel gifts.
- Sunday Night Market: You can buy everything from vendors in Sunday Night Market, which starts at Tha Phae Gate and stretches through the Rachadamnoen Road to the old city.
- Warorot Market (Kad Luang): This is a day market for tourists to buy cheap clothes and household appliances.
- Bor Sang (Umbrella Village) Market: People here sell decorated umbrellas and handicrafts.
- Malin Market: This is a famous place for visitors to have dinner, go shopping, buy jewelry and clothes, and enjoy local specialties.
- Participating In Lantern Festival
Chiang Mai is famous for its lantern festivals called Loi Krathong and the Yi Peng. This occasion is said to be the best time to enjoy the magic of the city. In November of each month, people send soaring thousands of lighted lanterns into the air while they are making a wish to pray for happy and wealthy lives. However, to join this event, you have to book months or weeks in advance. Also, while you are seeking for materials, make sure to use the bamboo lanterns because they are environmentally friendly.
- Chatting With A Monk
Spending an hour talking with a monk and asking them all about daily life will be an exciting experience that everyone should try. Monks from temples in Chiang Mai are willing to talk and open-minded, so they will give you advice on how to solve your problems effectively and reasonably.
To confide in a monk, you have to choose a temple with the “Monk Chat” program first. Then, arrive there on Monday, Wednesday or Friday afternoon (from 5 pm to 7 pm) to sign in (you have to write your name and your nationality) and then meet the monk. Remember to wear appropriate clothing which covers your knees and shoulders as you are going to visit a temple.
- Visiting Doi Suthep Temple
Visiting Chiang Mai without coming across Doi Suthep Temple is a big mistake for every tourist. This is considered as one of the most beautiful temples of Thailand. If you come here on a sunny day, you will get a panoramic view of Chiang Mai city. To visit this famous temple the most comfortable way, try to go early in the morning to avoid the crowd and wear comfortable shoes because you have to walk quite a lot.
To get to Doi Suthep Temple, firstly, catch a red truck from the city to Doi Suthep. It will take you about 60 Baht and 45 minutes in maximum to get to the hill. Then, spend 2 – 3 hours to hike to the top of the mountain, where Doi Suthep Temple is located.
- Seeing Elephants
Seeing elephants up close is one of the must-do activities in Chiang Mai in particular and Thailand in general. There are some major elephant sanctuaries you can visit such as the Elephant’s World in Kanchanaburi, Elephant Nature Park, Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, and so on. The problem is that you have to visit responsibly. It means that you have to follow the strict regulations of the zoo. Your behavior will contribute to bringing elephants and local people a better life.
Another way to see elephants is to give the Elephant Parade Land a visit. This is home of life-sized baby elephant statues, which were painted by both local and international artists. You can also purchase these statues as souvenirs for your relatives and friends.
- Climbing Up Bua Thong Waterfalls (The Sticky Waterfalls)
You think most waterfalls are slippery because of mossy rocks and fast-moving water, don’t you? It is true, but Bua Thong waterfalls in Chiang Mai are different. They are rich in mineral deposits, so the rocks became porous. It allows you to climb up with bare feet. There are various sections of the waterfall you can climb, but the very bottom is the most wonderful. It is where the water drops out thirty feet, so it is an ideal place for you to cool on a hot day. After playing the falls, you will see a spring on the opposite stairs while heading up. It is a deep hold with beautiful blue water.
To get to Bua Thong Waterfalls from Chiang Mai, you can rent a motorbike and drive there. If you are not confident, catching a red truck is the best way.
- Doing A Food Tour Around Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is well-known for its delicious foods and even cooking classes. Here, you can go to the night market to enjoy many types of regional specialties. Dishes in Chiang Mai often contain dried spices or bitterness. Here is some of the food you should not miss in this city:
- Fried laab – minced meat rubbed with local dried spices
- Khao soi – a rich Burmese-influenced coconut curry soup, sprinkled with crunchy noodles
- Spicy minced pork tomato dip
- Nam ngiao – a tangy tomato noodle soup with pork
- Riding Around Doi Suthep
Although Chiang Mai is the fourth largest and most modern city of Thailand, it is still surrounded by mountains and jungle. Therefore, if you want to live close to nature, participate in a mountain hiking tour. It not only helps you practice your health but also brings you a different viewpoint of Chiang Mai.
- Witnessing A Muay Thai Boxing Match
Seeing a Muay Thai Boxing Match is a must when you have a chance to arrive in Chiang Mai. Evenly, you can participate in a class in a gym. Both trying a class and watching a match will bring you special feelings.
We have introduced to you nine fun things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These things are promised to bring you unforgettable moments during the trip. Have you ever been to this city? If yes, share with us your experience. If no, we hope our article useful to you. Thanks for reading.
I am Emily Pham. I was born in Vietnam – a country with many unknown beaches, historic sites, and tourist attractions. Understanding that Vietnam nowadays is a famous destination, I establish the blog site vina.com with the purpose of introducing the elegant beauty of Vietnam to friends around the world. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, our blog will provide you with essential information on where to go and what to do in our country.
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