Chiang Mai Culture & history

Our most recommended Chiang Mai Culture & history

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

1. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

Experience Chiang Rai on a full-day trip from Chiang Mai to White Temple, Wat Rong Seua Teb, and Baan Dam Museum. Travel in a comfortable car and choose from a group or private tour. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back and relax on the air conditioned drive. Stop at the Mae Khachan Hot Springs to relax, dip your feet into steaming mineral water, have a snack, or walk around the gardens. Continue to the modern architectural masterpiece known as the White Temple. Explore this fantastical space that was designed and built by a local artist, Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. Head to the Wat Rong Seua Ten (temple of the dancing tiger) to uncover the secrets of this religious site that was built where tigers were said to have leapt over the river. Admire the stunning blue and gold colors of this temple. Make your way to the Baan Dam Museum (Black House Museum). Explore a cluster of nearly 40 shadowy structures exhibiting art dating back to the Ayutthaya period. See preserved animals and a collection of bones. Travel by car back to your accommodation in Chiang Mai.

Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour

2. Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour

Begin your morning tour by climbing the 306 steps up to Doi Suthep Temple with your local guide. Bask in the golden rays of sunrise after conquering the staircase and take photos of the unrivaled view of the city of Chiang Mai.  Then, stand in the shadow of the golden Kruba Srivichai Monument, named after the Thai Buddhist monk and engineer of many temples and roads. Gain an insight into how the monks live and choose to make a merit (offering) with them.  Head to Wat Pha Lat, a hidden temple in the lush jungle. Admire the serene statues, shrines, and surrounding nature.  Wrap up your half-day tour with a stop at Wat Umong, a 700-year old temple built back in 1297. Explore the forest and underground tunnels. Marvel at the architecture of the chedi.

From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

3. From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

Uncover the secrets of Thailand's famed Golden Triangle on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Travel aboard an air conditioned van from a centrally-located meeting point. Visit the Mae Kachan hot springs and the White Temple.  Explore the Mekong river on a longtail boat and enjoy a tasty lunch. Enjoy a pickup in central Chiang Mai, depart for Chiang Rai, stopping for a short break at Mae Kachan hot springs. Visit Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, before continuing to the Golden Triangle area. Go to Wat Phra That Chedi Luang (limited access). See the Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar borders from the Golden Triangle viewpoint. Stop for lunch before spending time at House of Opium. Enjoy a long-tail boat trip on the mighty Mekong River. On the way back to Chiang Mai, take a break to stretch your legs in Mae Suay or Wiang Pa Pao district and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. The estimated arrival time in Chiang Mai city is 8:30 PM. 

4-Hour Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village from Chiang Mai

4. 4-Hour Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village from Chiang Mai

Depart Chiang Mai and travel to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep on Doi Suthep mountain. Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who climb up 309 steps to the stupa on the hilltop. Get spectacular views of Chiang Mai city and its surroundings. Then, visit a village and museum of the ethnic Hmong hill tribe, located inside the boundaries of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Learn more about the life of the tribe, known for their colorful costumes and handicraft traditions. Return to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel.

Chiang Mai: 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour

5. Chiang Mai: 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour

Be picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center and go on a short drive to Wat Umong temple in the late afternoon. At this time of day, the crowds are few and views are prime. Upon arrival, explore the underground tunnels, bask in the beauty of the temple, and enjoy the forest surroundings. It is said that the trees in this forest have words of wisdom for those who pass by. After Wat Umong, the next stop is Doi Suthep temple. At this ornate structure, which is reached by a 306-step staircase, enjoy a beautiful sunset that lights up the golden temple. Also, take in the spectacular views of Chiang Mai at night from the summit of the mountain. Join a traditional ceremony performed by the temple's monks at the Golden Pagoda. After an afternoon spent exploring Chiang Mai’s temples and enjoying the sunset over the city, be returned to your hotel.

Private Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour

6. Private Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour

Get picked up from your hotel or accommodation in Chiang Mai and drive up the curvy mountain roads to Doi Suthep - Pui National Park. You will visit the most important temple here. Walk up 306 steps (or, if you prefer an easier method, take a funicular ride) to the temple, which sits at 1,100 meters above sea level. The famous golden pagoda is stunning and the temple contains the relic of the Lord Buddha. Here, you'll also have the chance to get a holy blessing from a Buddhist monk and participate in a wrist tiding ceremony. From the balcony, enjoy a panoramic view of Chiang Mai. Next, you'll continue to Bua Tong waterfalls. Swim around the clear water or climb the "sticky" limestone and enjoy the gorgeous natural scenery.

Chiang Mai: 6-Hour Doi Pui National Park Summit Hike

7. Chiang Mai: 6-Hour Doi Pui National Park Summit Hike

After being picked up in the morning from your hotel in Chiang Mai city, you will head towards your local hiking adventure. 2 hours after beginning your ascent, you will reach Wat Doi Suthep at the 1,100 meter mark. Here you will start to traverse through highland jungle and the old Hmong Hill Tribe Village near the summit of Doi Pui which you will reach after your 3rd hour. After a hearty lunch at the village and an approximate 1-hour climb, you will tackle the summit of Doi Pui peak. Here we get to enjoy 180 degrees views of the Mae Ping Valley. The trip will be completed by a climb with a 30-minute downhill stroll to the Doi Pui Camp grounds ,where your ride back awaits you. Refreshed with cold drinks and snacks, you will then head back to the comfort of Chiang Mai, but not before making a stop at Wat Suthep to marvel at this rich temple which was built centuries ago in 1383.

Customize Your Own Chiang Mai and Surrounding Areas Tour

8. Customize Your Own Chiang Mai and Surrounding Areas Tour

See what's outside Chiang Mai on this customizable guided tour. Visit the roaring Wachirathan Waterfall, relax in the calming San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, or see indigenous Thai plants at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden. Enjoy pickup from your downtown Chiang Mai accommodation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle with a professional driver. Meet your guide in the car and head out. You can opt for a guide who speaks English, German, or Spanish. When you checkout, choose 3 to 4 sights or attractions that you must see, with a few additional optional sites so that your guide has several options to craft the best schedule for you based on geography and diversity. Nature-loving customers might enjoy the Doi Inthanon route, with a hike in the Doi Inthanon National Park, and a visit to Wachirathan Waterfall. If you’re thinking of taking the Mae Rim or Mae Taeng route, visit Mon Jam Highlands and Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden. Adventure and relaxation enthusiasts will love San Kamphaeng Hot Springs and Ban Mae Kampong Village. To help keep your travel time down, consider sights within 3 different routes. Doi Inthanon Route: • Doi Inthanon National Park (Doi Inthanon summit and Angka Nature Trail)• Wachirathan Waterfall• Twin Royal Pagodas (Napamatanee Don and Napaphon Bhumisiri)• Inthanon Royal Agricultural Station (Royal Project)• Mae Klang Luang Village (Hill Tribe Village, Pha Chor Canyon, Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong) Mae Rim and Mae Taeng Route: • Mon Jam Highlands• Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden conservation center for indigenous Thai plants with a canopy walkway)• Pongyang Zipline and Jungle Coaster• Mae Sa Waterfall, Wat Pa Dara Phirom Temple• Nong Hoi Royal Project Development Center• Plai Fa Strawberry Farm, Mae Taman Elephant Camp• Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribes Village (long-necked Karen village)• Wat Ban Den• Bua Tong Waterfalls (Sticky Waterfalls)• Nam Phu Chet Si Spring• Chiang Dao Cave San Kamphaeng and Ban Mae Kampong Route: • San Kamphaeng Hot Springs• Ban Mae Kampong Village (ziplining activity and cafes)• Mae Kampong Waterfall• Wat Mae Kampong (hidden temple)• MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum• Muang On Cave, Baan Jang Nak (Museum of Elephant Wood Carvings)• Bo-Sang Handicrafts Centre• San Kamphaeng Saturday Walking Street (Saturdays only)

Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep & Inthanon National Park Day Tour

9. Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep & Inthanon National Park Day Tour

Start your day of adventure at 8:00 AM when your private guide and driver picks you up from your hotel. You'll drive through the west of Chiang Mai to the Doi Suthep Temple, the most famous landmark in Chiang Mai and a sacred site among the locals. Thai people say you haven’t truly been to Chiang Mai if you haven't visited Doi Suthep. At the top of the temple, marvel at the shining gold and jeweled pagoda made in the Lanna architecture style. Listen to the chanting of the monks while you admire the panoramic views of the whole city of Chiang Mai from the viewing platform.  Next, you'll head to Doi Inthanon National Park where Thailand's highest peak is located. The area is covered by lush green preserved forests and has become one of the country's best parks. Stop at the halfway point up to the peak where you can admire the beautiful Wachirathan Waterfall and enjoy the flavors the real Thai food for lunch. After lunch, continue the drive up the mountain and enjoy the amazing views along the way. At the summit, visit the King, and Queen Pagoda and the beautiful surrounding gardens.  On the return trip, you'll make a final stop at a local market on the way down the mountain before heading back to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Trip

10. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Trip

Soak in the waters of the Mae Kajan hot springs and visit the White Temple on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Ride in an air-conditioned coach or van. Savor and authentic Thai lunch, tasty snacks, and fresh fruits. Go to a market on Don Sao Island, the Opium House Museum, and the Long Neck tribe. Depart Chiang Mai and journey towards Chiang Rai, stopping at the hot springs of Mae Kajan to soak your feet in the healing waters. Then, visit the temple of Wat Rong Khun and marvel at is white exterior inlaid with mirrored glass. Enter the "Golden Triangle" to see the city of Chiang Saen. Enjoy lunch at a famous restaurant before climbing aboard a boat for a ride along the Mekong River (optional). Cross into Laos and go to the market at Don Sao Island. Visit the Opium House Museum to learn more about opium and why it was once as expensive as gold.  Get the chance to stop at a hill tribe village en route back to Chiang Mai and meet the people of the Long Neck tribes.

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What people are saying about Chiang Mai

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 690 reviews

This tour was definitely a highlight of my long weekend in Chiang Mai. Our tour guide, Amy, was fantastic! I learned a lot about Buddhism. The sunrise was spectacular. There were only 6 of us on the tour, so it was the perfect amount. I would highly recommend this tour. I would not have had such a wonderful experience visiting the temples on my own.

Nong was a funny and thoughtful guide. The van was comfortable and he and the driver Richit took good care of us. The white temple is breathtaking and the Golden Triangle area is quite interesting from a geopolitical perspective.

Yee was so knowledgeable and passionate about the history of the temples we visited that you became so immersed in the experience. I had a great time learning about this side of Thailand!

our guide was great, she explained everything that we wanted to know with finesse.

Definitely a great experience—we got to see two very different aspects of Thailand