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Things to do in

Chiang Dao

Our most recommended things to do in Chiang Dao

Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

1. Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

Drive high up into the Northern Thai Jungle, to the Chiang Dao Valley, and to the Mae Ping River. This creek-like river winds itself through the bamboo jungle and gives an intimate view of the Northern Thai wilderness.  Then, embark on a kayaking trip, where undisturbed woods, overgrown banks with fallen trees, and the shade from overhanging trees provide a unique environment as you navigate the task at hand. Abundant bird life, jumping fish and mysterious sounds from the forest accompany the journey. To complete this wonderful kayaking experience, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant or riverside.  Next, tackle Chiang Dao Cave, the most prominent cave system in Northern Thailand. Spend an hour following a local guide through the side arms with headlamps and flashlights until joining the main route into well-lit caverns. Marvel at the Buddhist shrines covering the entrance to the cave.

Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

2. Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

Don't miss this exclusive nature and cultural tour from Chiang Mai. Your tour starts at Chiang Dao Cave, which will take approximately 1.5 hours to reach on a route that goes through beautiful rolling hillsides. As you approach the caves, you'll see the scenic Doi Chiang Dao mountain range. The cave itself was the place where the Bermese soldiers rested before attacking Chiang Mai in the mid 1400s AD. Explore inside its complex of 5 public caves and see the the natural forms of their stalagmites and stalactites. Then, descend into a large cavern to see Burmese-style images of the Buddha and many shrines. You can freely explore two of the caves by yourself, as they are lit with electric lights! Continue on to Den Sali Teak Wood Temple, located north of the city. This is one of Chiang Mai's most remarkable temples - the complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn (retreat house), a meditation hall, the kuti (monks' living quarters), a drum hall, and several other buildings, which are all built in a gorgeous traditional architecture. Finish the tour at Bautong Sticky Waterfall, where you can climb on the limestone rocks of the waterfall, and enjoy your time bathing in the cool waters of the pool below. The Sticky Waterfalls are an impressive sight - the rocks are cream-colored and bulbous, almost cartoonish, and contrast beautifully with the dark green forest. The multi-tiered waterfalls are also stunning - don't forget to bring your camera! If you don't plan on getting wet in order to see the rocks, there are a couple hundred steep stairs you could take instead to see the various levels of the waterfalls. In the evening, head back to Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

3. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center and head off on a day trip to Chiang Dao. Begin with a visit to the Chiang Dao Cave (Wat Tham Chiang Dao), which is without a doubt one of the area's most fascinating sites. Five limestone caverns invite visitors to uncover the beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, Buddha statues, and offerings from faithful pilgrims. After paying a small entrance fee, the tour begins through a system of interconnected caverns extending over seven miles into the heart of the mountain. Expect cooler air in here, although hot days may create humid conditions at times. Some of the caves are illuminated by electric lights. Here you'll find Buddha statues, including a 13-foot reclining one. Don’t miss the row of five seated Buddhas in the first cavern, which many travelers find particularly impressive. After the cave adventure, the next stop is the Chiang Dao market to gorge on delicious local meals before heading to the Buatong Sticky Waterfall, one of the most unique waterfalls in Thailand. One impressive feature of this natural wonder is the sticky mineral deposits that allow visitors to actually climb up the waterfall without falling off, with the help of a safety rope. This is definitely a great way to cool off after a long day of your trip. Afterward, relax on a complimentary transfer back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

4. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Chiang Mai, and then take in stunning views of the countryside as you make your way towards the Chiang Dao mountain and Ping River. Gear up with the provided kayak gear upon arrival, and get basic tuition from an instructor about how to handle the boat on the water. Then, paddle on clear spring waters through the valley, and learn a few new tricks as you are greeted with beautiful vistas at almost every bend in the river. Soak up the relaxed pace of life as you encounter locals making a living by fishing and farming the land on the side of the river. Head back to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chiang Dao

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What people are saying about Chiang Dao

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 77 reviews

We had an amazing trip with our guide Maggi and driver Om (I hope I spell all correctly). We felt welcomed and cared from the start of the trip. All was set up comfortably. The temple and the cave were super impressive and sticky waterfall is super fun to climb up. Don’t be intimidated, going up the waterfall is easy and refreshing! The area around waterfall is green, protected from sun and nice to be. We had delicious lunch and fruits afterwards. Overall I think it makes a lot of sense to book this tour with the private guide, as it was very good to be photographed and taken care of while we were climbed up. Big thanks to the organizer company and guide and drive for the experience and the tour is absolutely to recommend!

We had an incredible time on our day trip with Sid and Pon. They were both so incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. The drive was beautiful and we really enjoyed all three stops. They gave us plenty of time to wander around and enjoy ourselves and took great videos and pictures of the day that we can now look back on and enjoy. We would 100% book with them again, it was a great day!

Our guide Sam was knowledgeable and his English was very good. We really enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to any other travellers.

The guides are really good and makes the trip really fun. Both the cave and the river were beautiful and worth the experience.

A fantastic day out. Good guide. Cave was great to see and the kayak experience was exceptional.