Chiang Mai has so many different activities to offer, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed! But fear not, here’s an easy list with suggestions for every type of tourist – from the historian, to the shopaholic, to the nature lover. There’s a great outing in store for you all in northern Thailand’s cultural epicenter.
Get up close and personal with a pachyderm. You can’t find these huge creatures at home, and when you do see an elephant there is often glass separating the two of you. In Chiang Mai you will have many opportunities to not only see elephants in as close to natural a habitat as you can find, but you’ll probably get to touch, feed, and ride them, too.
2. Tour Some Temples
Don’t let your spiritual side down! Or at least don’t disappoint your inner wannabe architect. When you visit Chiang Mai, you need to take in the beauty of the many temples that are in and around the region. There are ancient temples that house magnificent Buddha images and feel ethereal and otherworldly. But there are also modern temples that are pure works of art that will leave you contemplating the building at home. Don’t be afraid to take your shoes off (it’s required), and let yourself be awed but the temples of Chiang Mai.
3. Act Like a Local
Walking around the streets of Chiang Mai is a must! Get the local Thai experience by exploring the markets, finding your way to a local club, and eating some street food – all on foot. You’ll meet friendly vendors, find the souvenir of a life time, and most likely try something new. You don’t want to spend all your time in the hotel, right?
Need I say more? Relax and enjoy a massage the way it is supposed to be! Thai massage was born in Chiang Mai, so don’t forget to take time out for a massage while you’re there.
5. Taste Northern Thai Food
We’ve all had pad thai. But when in Chiang Mai, do as the Thais do. Get your grub on, Thai style. Whether it is from fine dining or a street cart, try something tasty and new. Don’t be afraid to ask a local what the best place to eat is!
6. Unleash Your Shopaholic
Get yourself on down to the Saturday Market to find something you didn’t even know you were looking for. Thai crafts, local food, and the hustle and bustle of the market is a perfect way to start your weekend. You might even find that once in a lifetime souvenir to take home to your family (and make everyone jealous!)
7. Get Back to Nature
There are so many adventures to be had in Thailand. Trekking, biking, rafting, and more! This country is made for you to go wild and have as much as fun as possible. Embrace your wild side as you zipline through the jungle, or whitewater raft, or meet some tigers. The adventure is waiting, you just have to choose it.
8. Venture Outside: Doi Inthanon
Thailand’s parks are something to be envious of. Doi Inthanon is the most famous of the parks. Featuring jungle, waterfalls, and of course, the highest mountain in all of Thailand for which it is named, you do not want to skip a trip to Doi Inthanon.
9. Learn About Thailand’s Culture with a Kanthoke Dinner
Watch and be mesmerized by traditional dances of the Thai people, all while eating delicious Thai food. Even if this is the only dose of culture you get, you’ll be happy that you did!
10. Get Lost in Chiang Mai
Whatever you choose to do, whether it is outdoorsy trekking or city wide shopping make sure you do it to the fullest! Get lost in your destination! You have the rest of your life to worry about things at home. When in Chiang Mai, make the most of it. Relax, have fun, eat delicious food and leave your cares behind.