Top attractions in Chiang Mai
Whether seeking adventure or something a little more spiritual, Thailand's second city is a great place to start. Chiang Mai means "new city," yet teems with historic, cultural, and natural monuments, each more breathtaking than the last! Here are a few.
This 15-century temple lasted barely 150 years before suffering serious earthquake damage. What survives provides a striking image, made all the more marvelous lit up at night!
There are two Wat Umong's in town. Be sure you're going to the one dedicated to the clairvoyant monk Thera Jan, in order to explore this iconic forest-temple's ancient tunnels.
Of Chiang Mai's many elephant camps this is by far the most humane. The animals have mostly been rescued from poor captivity conditions and visitors are encouraged to help feeding!
You'll likely find Chiang Mai's sacred peaks rather overcast, but it's precisely the cloudy conditions that have blessed Doi Suthep and Doi Pui with such rich plant- and bird-life.
Doi Suthep mountain boasts more than just flora and fauna. The elaborate temple's revered seated Buddha statue is a coveted sight for pilgrims and sightseers alike.
At the foot of Doi Suthep lies one of the city's best family attractions. If you're short on time, all the best enclosures are conveniently located towards the bottom of the hill.
Established by Chiang Mai's founder, Phaya Mengrai, towards the end of the 13th century, Chiang Man is the city's oldest temple and a sightseeing essential.
Otherwise known as Wat Suan Dok, the 14th-century temple is a favorite among visitors for its English-language meditation retreats and talkative monks!
Thailand's highest mountain is a resplendent natural park that counts waterfalls, pagodas, and tribal villages among its many draws. We recommend planning a whole day to explore!
Get up close to the animals at Chiang Mai Night Safari. Open both day and night, the zoo comes to life after dark. See all kinds of creatures, from big predators to more unusual animals.
March, April, and May are Chiang Mai's hottest months, with November to January seeing the city's coolest temperatures. May to September is the rainy season, but despite its threatening name, is considered by some to be the best time to visit. If you can handle the odd, refreshing shower, you'll be rewarded with smaller crowds, greener countryside, and more active wildlife.
Chiang Mai is cheap to visit and boasts plenty to do. You'll want to spend at least four or five full days there.
- CurrencyThai baht (฿)
- Time ZoneUTC (+07:00)
- Country Code+66
- Best time to visitIt depends how you feel about rain! If you don't mind a refreshing shower here and there, May to September is an absolutely wonderful time to visit Chiang Mai.
Things to Do in Chiang Mai
Top Attractions in Chiang Mai
Cities in Thailand
Other Sightseeing Options in Chiang Mai
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What people are saying about Chiang Mai
A great day trip which fully where as expected and written in the resume. The tour was perfectly planned and the guide was very good to tell what we drove past and told a lot about the Thailand culture and way of living.
Em (or M), our tour-guide, was amazing. His unique experience and view is what made the trip unforgettable for us. You see a side of Thailand that you wouldn't have otherwise. I highly recommend this tour if you're looking for a more relaxing and insightful activity.
Enjoyed the cooking class and the delicious food under the guidance of our teacher.
We booked the Chiang Mai: Full-Day Doi Suthep Trekking Tour quite last minute for a group of 5 people. Thankfully our booking was confirmed fast and the whole process was seamless. On the actual tour day the heavens were pouring down on us, but that did not ruin our mood. Although it was too dangerous to trek up the mountain our guide took us to the top in the car (which was big a spacious) and we climbed the stairs to the beautiful temple and scenery above. The guide explained to us the history and significance of the temple and the surrounding area and organised an authentic PadThai lunch. Overall the tour was a lot of fun where we were cared for from pick-up to drop-off and learned a lot.
Can't say enough good things about this class and our chef/instructor. Learned so much, and made (and ate!) the most delicious food. The setting was gorgeous, the ingredients fresh as could be to make all from-scratch dishes, and the set up perfect, as everyone had their own work station. A really enjoulyable time, and definitely a highlight of our trip.