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  4. 25 Things To Do In Chiang Mai - Explore The Cultural Treasures!

25 Things to Do in Chiang Mai - Explore the Cultural Treasures!

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One of Northern Thailand's largest cities, Chiang Mai, is renowned for its long history, which dates back to the Lanna Kingdom. It is one of the cooler locations in Thailand because of its geographic advantage. As a result of its diverse elements, the area is ideal for tourism. Numerous elements contribute to this diversity, including biological and geological diversity, diverse ethnic groups and cultures, temples, excellent transportation connectivity, and more. Chiang Mai also referred to as the "Rose of the North," is a haven for artisans and has maintained its traditional styles despite rapid urbanization. The locals and way of life around Chiang Mai are among the most straightforward and laid-back. In this article, we'll share some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, along with information on exciting Thailand packages from India that cater to the travel needs of Indian visitors.


Visit the mountaintop Doi Suthep Temple


One of the holiest Buddhist temples and a popular tourist destination in Chiang Mai is Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep Ratchaworawihan. This temple has reportedly held a shoulder bone from the Buddha since 1368. The 309 steps leading up to the temple grounds may be challenging for visitors, but they will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Chiang Mai and its surroundings. Tourists may get a glimpse of traditional Thai culture by observing the locals who visit this location to make offerings and pay their respects. The temple becomes quite lively, especially during noteworthy occasions like Songkran or Loi Krathong. There is a link between this temple and the white elephant legend. The temple is a part of the Doi Suthip-Pui National Park and is home to the Bhubling Rjanives Palace, waterfall exploration, and jungle trekking, among other attractions. One of the top things to do in Chiang Mai is to visit this temple and explore the surrounding areas.


Shop till you drop at Chiang Mai Markets

Chiang Mai Market

Any vacation to Chiang Mai should include a tour through the city's many marketplaces. Whether you want to buy souvenirs or food, you will likely discover what you want. The largest market in the city, Talat Warorot, should be visited during the day. Everything is there, including apparel and food carts. Locals love this market as it is next to Chinatown and located east of the old town. You may also visit the neighboring riverside flower market. Florists provide lovely flower arrangements and presents. Visit the Chang Klan Road Night Bazaar, which opens daily at six o'clock in the evening. You may discover items crafted by indigenous tribes there. It's also a wonderful location to savor mouthwatering meals at one of the numerous street food stands. The weekend markets offer a wide variety of handicrafts, mementos, clothing, and miniatures at affordable costs. One of the best things to do in Chiang Mai at night is to explore the nightlife in these markets.


Visit Doi Inthanon, National Park

Doi Inthanon

Visit Doi Inthanon in northern Thailand as one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai if you want to take in the region’s natural beauty. The park is situated 70 kilometers to the southwest of Chiang Mai. Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand, is also regarded as the "Roof of Thailand." This one is an offshoot of the Himalayan mountain range. This national park is a terrific destination to explore because of its well-known biodiversity. Thousands of ornithologists visit this location every year to engage in bird watching at the beginning of the migratory bird season. At least 500 different bird species have been identified in Doi Inthanon National Park. Discovering waterfalls, hiking the Kew Mae Pan Trail, birdwatching, and visiting the Grand Pagoda are the main activities in this region. One of the stops on the Mae Hong Son Loop is the mountain, which is a must-see.


Eat the local foods in Chiang Mai


Even though Thailand is renowned for its spicy and sweet cuisine, there are various regional styles. Because a large portion of the region was once a part of the Lanna kingdom, the cooking style in northern Thailand is known as the Lanna style. The northern region is influenced by Chinese, Burmese, and Isan cuisine. This cooking method is used in Chiang Mai, which is distinct from Bangkok cuisine. Popular dishes include Khao Soi, Sai Oua, Nam Prik Ong, and Northern Pork and Ginger Curry, to name a few. One of the best things to do in Chiang Mai is to explore the streets and enjoy the local cuisine.


Visit the Bai Orchid and Butterfly Park


The Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai is home to the Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm. A visit to the Bai orchid can easily find a couple of hours in your itinerary because the Mae Rim district is home to several small attractions. There are two main areas of the gardens where the orchids are on display. In the center of the garden is a location for raising butterflies. Jewellery, including electroplated butterflies and flowers, is offered for sale in the gift shop. Lunch is served on-site, and the buffet consists primarily of vegetarian dishes. We get a peek at the insect life cycle thanks to the colorful arrangement created in conjunction with the natural setup. While going outside, you might also purchase some orchids to add to your house. One of the unique things to do in Chiang Mai is to tour offbeat attractions like the Bai Orchid and Butterfly Park, the Araksa Tea Garden, the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, and many more in a single day.


Explore the temples of Chiang Mai


Since there are more than 300 temples in Chiang Mai, it is almost impossible to list them all. Chiang Mai is one of the oldest temple towns in Thailand that is still in use today. Due to their location, these temples are also referred to as Lanna temple styles. They are distinguished by curved domes that point upward. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Long, Wat Suan Dok, and numerous other temples are just a few of the well-known temples in Chiang Mai. Most of these temples offer free admission, but it is advised to dress appropriately. Investigating these temples is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand. if you're interested in spirituality and religious travel. One of the main activities carried out here is getting the Sak Yantra tattooed under the instruction of Buddhist monks.


Have fun at theme parks of Chiang Mai


The Grand Canyon Water Park is one of Chiang Mai's highlights. This park offers everything, from calm river floats to thrilling rides. There is an impressive selection of slides, swimming pools, and other attractions at the Grand Canyon Water Park. With the variety of heart-pounding slides available, thrill seekers will be in their element, including one special slide that launches you into a huge bowl before shooting you out again. There are many bubbling jacuzzis and lazy rivers for people who prefer to go at a slower pace. This park is renowned for its top-notch safety procedures. Other water parks include Hidden Village, Tube Trek Water Park, and Doi Pui Waterfall Park. Among the more adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai is to spend some time exploring these theme parks. 


Relax At Royal Park Rajapruel

Royal Park Rajapruek

Chiang Mai's Royal Park Rajapruek is a well-liked tourist spot that offers visitors a getaway from the city's bustle. The park's lovely gardens, lakes, pavilions, and sculptures are guaranteed to provide visitors with a delightful experience. It is ideal for a stroll or picnic because of the beautiful green grass and tropical plants that surround it. To see the lake's splendor from a different perspective, you may even take a boat trip across it. You can take guided tours to learn more about the wildlife, plants, and history of this royal park. The Royal Park Rajapruek is the ideal location for anybody wishing to experience Thailand's culture distinctively. Because there are activities held here all year long, including concerts, exhibitions, and traditional Thai dance performances, One of the best things to do with family in Chiang Mai is to visit this royal garden, which remains open from morning 8:00 to evening 6:00. 


Visit The Long Neck Karen Tribe


The Karen are a tribe that originated in Myanmar but fled to Thailand during earlier political unrest. They currently reside in small communities, one of which is in Mae Rim, a rural area outside of Chiang Mai. As you observe the tribal people going about their daily lives while having to sell their products to tourists to feed themselves, visits to the villages are eye-opening experiences. Large brass rings that women wear around their necks are the primary reason the area is so well-known. This can be explained by their traditional beliefs or a desire to protect themselves from animals. One of the non-touristy things to do in Chiang Mai is to go here and interact with the locals, but it does reveal a lot about their culture. To communicate with the locals, always travel with a tour guide.


Participate In the Festive celebrations in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

During the festive seasons in Chiang Mai, the temples are usually kept busy with locals who seek blessing here. Songkran is one of the major festivals in Thailand that marks the beginning of a new year. Participating in one of the biggest water fight festivals in the world is a well-liked activity associated with this festival. In the past, water was used as a ritual to purge us of our transgressions, but more recently, it has changed to become a source of amusement and humor without upsetting the balance of tradition. Chiang Mai is among the best locations to attend water festivals. One of the most amazing and unique romantic things to do in Chiang Mai is to take part in the Yi Peng festival. By letting the lanterns fly through the night, the festival is observed. This festival, which marks the start of a new season, occurs in November. Beautiful nighttime illumination can be found throughout Chiang Mai's old town, including at the Three Kings Monument, Thapa Gate, and other locations. The most well-known pop culture allusion to this historical occasion is found in the passionate scene from Disney's Tangled. Every year, over the first weekend in February, Chiang Mai hosts its Flower Festival. This festive atmosphere is lively thanks to dance performances, street parades, and celebrations where people burst crackers.


Relax at Hot Springs


Some of Thailand's top hot springs surround the city of Chiang Mai. It is the ideal all-year-round natural recreational option, particularly in the winter. These warm hot springs are a welcome relief while visiting Chiang Mai, which is relatively cooler than other parts of Thailand. These hot springs also function as a mineral pool with therapeutic benefits. San Kamphaeng Hotsprings, one of the most well-known hot springs in Chiang Mai, is renowned for its stunning scenery, vibrant plants, and unspoiled natural beauty. They also provide a private pool where one can relax with friends and family. Theppanom Hotsprings, Pong Dueat Hotsprings, and Doi Saket Hotsprings are some of the other well-known hot springs in Chiang Mai. The temperatures in some hot springs might damage our skin, so it’s important to take preventive measures while visiting these pools. A day trip to these hot springs, mountains, and other attractions that are a little remote and offer privacy is one of the romantic things to do in Chiang Mai.


Spend time with elephants


Because of their extraordinary strength, longevity, and durability, elephants are revered as a national symbol in Thailand. So, a variety of tourist destinations, including elephant parks, rides, and shows, offer the opportunity for visitors to see elephants. As people's awareness of animal abuse and the mistreatment of elephants grows, ethical and eco-tourist sanctuaries have recently gained popularity. Their goal is to rescue abused elephants that have been victims of logging, circuses, or beggars. One must visit these sanctuaries to get a better idea of how elephants act and communicate with other animals and people in their natural environment. One of the best things to do with the family in Chiang Mai is to meet these friendly giants in these eco-parks. Feeding, mud bathing, swimming, or food preparation are some of the ways that one could interact with the elephants. Free pick-up and drop-off services are offered by a few of these parks in Chiang Mai. Some of the well-known elephant parks in Chiang Mai include Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, Elephant Nature Park, and Elephant Rescue Park. 


Explore the Bua Thong Sticky waterfalls


The Sticky Falls are 60 kilometers north of Chiang Mai Old Town in the Sri Lanna National Forest. When talking about fun things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, without spending any money, the Bua Tong Sticky Falls are frequently forgotten. This sticky effect is thought to be caused by a chemical reaction between the water's minerals and the limestone rock beneath it. People used to come here and play by scaling the falls. There will be some Instagram-worthy photos taken if you visit the park and climb in the falls. The seven-color spring, located close to this park, is another location to view the change in colors. Not to be overlooked is the striking sight that these falls provide with their lush, emerald-green forests and cream-colored rock. One could look for opportunities for jungle trekking in the nearby Mae Taeng Forest Reserve with the help of a guide.


Walk through Chiang Mai's Old City


Chiang Mai has managed to keep its traditional outlook despite its urban sprawl. The fact that Chiang Mai's old city is located right in the centre of the city is one of the primary causes of this. When Chiang Mai was founded, its four-walled city centre was located in the old city. The wall has recently undergone a number of renovations to preserve its aesthetic value. The old city of Chiang Mai is home to the majority of the city's cultural landmarks, including statues, temples, and museums. The Thapae Gate, Sunday Walking Street, Lana Folklife Museum, and Three King Monument are a few of the well-known attractions in Chiang Mai's old city. Even though exploring the old town may seem like a non-touristy thing to do in Chiang Mai, it reveals a lot about the history and culture of the region.


Relax at Lake Huay Tung Ho

Lake Huay Tung Ho

About 15 kilometres outside of Chiang Mai is Lake Huay Tung Tao. On the weekends, even the locals gather here to spend time by the lake with their families. The row of tiny wooden houses built along the lake's edge, with gorgeous mountains serving as the backdrop, make Huay Tung Ho Lake a picturesque location. Here is one of Chiang Mai's prettiest places to unwind after a long day. You could go fishing all day in the lake and eat your catch for lunch. Additionally, you can rent a pedal boat or swim in one of the designated areas. The area with the sizable straw elephants, gorillas, lions, and buffaloes is not to be missed. It's the ideal setting for entertaining snaps. Entry into the lake costs 50 Baht for each person. One of the pleasant things to do in Chiang Mai is to take the family here in the afternoon after finishing the tasks on your program.


Explore Chiang Mai museums

NAtional Museum bangkok

The culture and traditions of a place can be learned about and enjoyed in museums. Due to Chiang Mai's extensive recorded history, one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai city is to visit the numerous museums located all over the nation. There are numerous fascinating museums in Chiang Mai, ranging from quirky to historical. Visit the exhibits at the Tribal Museum of Chiang Mai to learn about the cultures of the Akha, Hmong, Yao, and other peoples. Visit the Chiang Mai Art and Cultural Center to learn more about the history and culture of Chiang Mai and its tribe. Visit the quirky Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, which features a variety of insect exhibits. Visit the 3-D Art Paradise museums for picturesque settings. Other well-known museums in Chiang Mai include the Baan Dam Museum, the Cotton Textile Museum, the Lanna Traditional House Museums, and numerous others.


Go adventurous in exploring the sports of Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai, which is in Thailand's north, is blessed with lush forests, high mountains, and meandering rivers, making it possible to explore some of the region's risky activities. Among adventure seekers in Chiang Mai, bungee jumping from a height of 50 meters and ziplining are very popular. Another distinctive feature of Chiang Mao is ascending through a hot air balloon. In Chiang Mai, activities like mountain biking, bamboo rafting, kayaking, and jungle trekking are very popular ways to experience the thrill of the forests in a slightly safer way. You can also cycle through the walled city of Chiang Mai and be in awe of this ancient place. Trying these extreme sports, which were made possible by nature, is unquestionably one of the more adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai


Loop around the Mae Hong Son


Covering the Mae Hong Son Loop, which is about 600 km long, is one of the well-liked multi-day excursions or trips that can be found in Northern Thailand. Anyone can enjoy this trip around the breathtaking landscape of northern Thailand with their preferred mode of transportation, but it's a great ride for bike enthusiasts. From Chiang Mai itself, you can rent bikes or other vehicles. Starting in Chiang Mai, travelling in a loop to Pai, Mae Hong Son City, Mae Sarang, and Do Inathon, and then returning to Chiang Mai, is the popular travel itinerary along this loop. Throughout the loop, you will see verdant forests, breathtaking canyons, meandering rivers, amazing waterfalls, and undiscovered villages with delectable cuisine. Spending a week travelling and exploring the hidden spots and popular attractions along this loop is one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai and its surroundings.


Visit Chiang Mai zoo

Chiang mai zoo

The 200-acre Chiang Mai Zoo, which is situated at the foot of Doi Suthep, is the largest in the region. Elephants, pandas, rhinos, hippopotamuses, penguins, and many other species are on display at the zoo. We are constantly assisted in navigating this vast landscape by the shuttle bus services. It also has a few aquariums, including one of the biggest marine aquariums in Asia, in addition to the zoo. The star attraction of this zoo is a pair of pandas that live inside the panda house. The aquarium and panda house require some additional fees to be paid. Other major draws include hiking trails, kids' water parks, aviary parks, and night safari tours. Overall, if you're travelling with your family, going to the Chiang Mai Zoo is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai and shouldn't be left off your itinerary.


Watch and Learn Muay Thai Boxing


If you're a fervent supporter of boxing, mixed martial arts, or fitness, you shouldn't miss witnessing Muay Thai in its own country. Thai people take immense pride in their sport since it is so important to their culture. Unlike in conventional boxing, Thai boxers can engage all of their limbs during a fight, including their fists, elbows, knees, and legs. The boxer attempts to strike the opponent as hard as he can. Muay Thai may look elementary, but the striking requires amazing power and precision. Watching fights at Thaphae Boxing Stadium, Loi Kroh Boxing Stadium, Kalare Boxing Stadium, and Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium is one of the most amazing things to do in Chiang Mai at night if you love this sport. The price of stadium tickets varies according to the matchup and location of the spectators. Learning Muay Thai toughens and strengthens one's body, soul, and mind. You can join a few short-term Thai boxing coaching clubs in Chiang Mai to learn the art of Thai boxing.


Explore the tiger kingdom


One of the best things to do in Chiang Mai is to visit the Tiger Kingdom, which is in Mae Rim, 20 kilometers from the old town. These tigers, which range in age from cubs to adults, can be seen up close by visitors. Depending on the size and age of the animal, different prices apply for visits. Typically, one could only spend ten minutes with these enormous cats. On their campus, there are also cheetahs. The cubs could be fed, enjoyed while relaxing, and photographed. Join the keeper for a day program to get behind-the-scenes access to these cats if you're an animal lover who is passionate about having an immersive experience with these cats. You will learn about feeding schedules, cage cleaning, and other enriching activities here. The Tiger Kingdom is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the last entry time being at 4:30 p.m. It is recommended to visit the tiger kingdom early in the day because the animals are usually more active then. As a memento of this memorable visit, you could also purchase souvenirs like cuddly toys, key chains, merchandise clothing, and other items.


Learn Thai Cooking


Learning Thai cooking is one of the unusual things to do in Chiang Mai. Due to its use of fresh ingredients and harmony of flavours, Thai cuisine is delicious and nutrient-dense. Fresh herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, pepper, and chilli, are frequently used in Thai cuisine. Some classes also include visits to the neighborhood markets, where we learn about how to choose vegetables. Chiang Mai's cuisine draws inspiration from its cool climate and mountain slopes, as well as Chinese and Myanmarese cuisine. In Chiang Mai, you can also notice the Isan cooking influence. In Chiang Mai, some of the most well-liked food sources include roots, wild vegetables, pork, and chicken. The foods from Northern Thailand are significantly less spicy and sweeter than those from Bangkok. Thai and Akha Cooking Classes, Tomyumthai Cooking Classes, and Thai Farm Cooking Classes are a few of the well-liked cooking classes in Chiang Mai.


Treat yourself to Thai Massage


One wants to return completely unfatigued and refreshed after exploring Chiang Mai's mountain trails, temple locations, and other attractions. After a long journey through northern Thailand, one of the most soothing and revitalizing things to do in Chiang Mai is to treat yourself to a Thai massage. Here, no oils are applied, and the main techniques for massaging the muscles are rotation and stretching. Thai massage has a long history and releases muscle tension using tried-and-true techniques. They improve our posture and promote blood flow. Some of the well-known massage spas in Chiang Mai include Zira Spa, Fah Lanna Spa, and the Women Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners. Spas and massage services have become more prevalent in recent years as the number of spiritual retreats has grown. 


Explore the hidden villages of Chiang Mai


One of the few areas in Thailand where traditional and modern architecture harmoniously coexist is Chiang Mai. Exploring the village life in and around the province is one of the unique things to do in Chiang Mai, even though you could spend your day visiting the province's most well-known tourist attractions. The best way to discover this province's hidden gems is to rent a personal vehicle and tour the area. One will be better able to comprehend the province's culture, cuisine, and customs, and even find some interesting mementos. Some of the more well-known tribal villages that one could visit include the Lahu village, the Karen tribe village, the Hmong village, and the Mien village. Some of these tribal villagers are skilled artisans, and you can buy their goods there. For instance, the wooden carvings from Baan Tawai Village are well known in Thailand.


Trek through the Chiang Mai Mountains

Trekking in thailand

In comparison to other Thai provinces, Chiang Mai is a highland. Parts of the Himalayas continue in this area. Hiking and trekking are among the top things to do in Chiang Mai thanks to the mountains' lush forests, majestic waterfalls, gorgeous hot springs, and panoramic views. Because these mountains are located within national parks, there is a high likelihood that you will see animals and birds there. These mountains are perfect for hiking, camping, and jungle excursions. Doi Inathon, Doi Mon Chong, Pha Ngaaem, and numerous other mountains are among the well-known mountains in Chiang Mai.  

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