Explore Chiang Mai: Top Attractions And Must-See Places In Thailand’s Cultural Capital

From the magnificent Buddhist temples to nature's wonders like the sticky waterfall, here's all you need to explore in Chiang Mai.

Published On May 30, 2024 | Updated On May 30, 2024


Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. Located in the north of the country, it is famous for its historical temples, picturesque mountains, cool weather and scenic views. It's a great destination for outdoorsy couples who thrive on adventure. It is home to more than a hundred Buddhist temples, the most prominent ones include Wat Phra Singh Woramahawiha, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, offering you an incredible spiritual experience like no other. Being tough enough, you can also go on the trek to  Doi Suthep or if you are in love with animals, visit Elephant Nature Park or Doi Inthanon National Park. Here, you can explore these living creatures very closely. These are some of the best things to do in Chiang  Mai. Apart from these you can also explore waterfalls, and night markets, and enjoy yummy Thai Food. At the end, say bye to all the tiredness with an authentic Thai massage.


When visiting Chiang Mai, not having a temple in your itinerary list is just next to impossible. What is challenging is! to choose a few temples from a number of vibrant and spectacular temples in Chiang Mai, the capital of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Wat Phra Singh Woramahawiha is one of the highlights in the core zone of the Chiang Mai UNESCO World Heritage project. The main temple building is the star of the show, featuring those iconic slanted Lanna-style roofs and an intricately decorated façade that shines brightly in the sunlight. The Viharn Lai Khammain is the most famous structure of Wat Phra Singh, the murals over here get you a glimpse of the life and customs of the people of Chiang Mai.
Here, you can also explore the second most important Buddha image in Thailand i.e.The Phra Buddha (Phuttha) Sihing, making it one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai, especially if you are keen to dive into Chiang Mai’s rich culture and heritage. Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan temple is one of the prominent Chiang Mai, Thailand attractions.

Location: 2 Samlarn Rd, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50280, Thailand
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm


Whether you are in love with nature's tranquillity or simply an adventure enthusiast, visiting Doi Suthep is something you can't skip. If you are looking for the best things to do in Chiang Mai, you must bookmark exploring Doi Suthep. It is a mountain in the northern part of Chiang Mai province, a mixed bag offering plenty of things. Most visited place over here is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the holiest temple in northern Thailand. To reach the top of Wat Doi Suthep Temple, you must climb the 306 elegant steps of the Naga Staircase, making you workout without going to the gym. There is another option too, you can take a funicular cable car to take you to the top, and the fare is 20 baht. Here you can offer prayers, seek blessings from monks, enjoy the panoramic views of Chiang Mai and soak yourself into the spiritual ambience like no other. Doi Suthep is also home to some nice waterfalls like Monthathan Waterfall and Huay Kaew Waterfall, letting you refresh with their cool water and serene atmosphere. If you want to explore the lifestyle of indigenous, just stop by the Doi Pui Hmong village, where you can also buy handicrafts as a souvenir. Apart from the above-mentioned places, there is a lot to discover here, making a visit to Doi Suthep one of the top 10 things to do in Chiang Mai.

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand


If you love animals and particularly elephants, Elephant Nature Park won't be less than a paradise for you. Visiting Elephant Nature Park is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, offering a unique experience. Here you can accomplish all your wishes which every animal lover hopes for. Located in Northern Thailand, Elephant Nature Park is a leading elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre. The herds include blind, crippled, orphaned, and senior elephants who have been given the opportunity to live freely in natural surroundings, where they are treated with love and respect. Not only elephants, the park also houses hundreds of other rescued animals such as dogs, cats, horses, buffalo, cows, pigs, birds, goats, and more. The best part is, that you get an incredible opportunity to prepare food and get to know more about the elephants while feeding them, watching them foraging on native plants, taking a mud bath and scratching their bodies against trees, letting you explore them so closely. You can also take a stroll in the beautiful forest. So, if you are looking for places to visit in Chiang Mai, visit  Elephant Nature Park for an unforgettable experience. Here, you can also book private tours from half-day to overnight packages, according to your own suitability.

Location: 1 Ratchamanka Rd, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Timings: 7 am to 5 pm


Located in the Sri Lanna National Forest (pronounced See Lanna), the Sticky Waterfalls has its own special wonder making it one of the most popular places. Have you ever wondered how to climb like Spider-Man? Sounds childish, but here you can make this true. You can actually climb this waterfall, owing to the mineral deposit that is incredibly grippy, the rocks are callous and even slightly prickly to the touch, and no algae or slime adheres to the rocks, here you would genuinely feel like a Spider-Man. But if you plan to climb this waterfall, make sure you are strong enough and get ready for a good workout. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai City, giving you a pleasant escape from the city's heat. The water is crystal clear and cool on the backdrop of the dark green forest. It is one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai, whether you have come with family or friends. It's a great destination for picnics too, you can either try drinks and light snacks for sale on the premises or you can get to a small outdoor market with several open-aired restaurants, just a five-minute drive before arriving at the park. The Sticky Waterfall promises you an exciting and joyful experience.
Location: At National park in Mae Ho Phra, Thailand (Mae Ho Phra, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150)
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm


Doi Inthanon National Park is one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai. Whether you are a nature lover, bird watcher, adventure enthusiast or simply a person seeking a one-day escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Doi Inthanon National Park is picture-perfect. It offers you a plethora of activities in a single place, making a visit  at Doi Inthanon National Park one of the the best things to do in Chiang Mai. Firstly, explore the park's trails, including the trek to the summit of Doi Inthanon, which boasts the highest peak in Thailand. Playing with water is always fun, no matter whether you have come with family or your friends, just take a dip into the cool water of the waterfalls, like Mae Ya Waterfall and Wachirathan Waterfall for an awesome refreshing experience. Doi Inthanon National Park is a haven for bird watchers, home to more than 500 species of birds. Must not forget to take a camera along with you,  to capture the park's breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and cultural landmarks. If you are interested in knowing more about Chiang Mai's culture, you just can't skip visiting the Twin Pagodas and hill tribe villages. You can also have a picnic amidst nature or do overnight camping at your own convenience.

Location: 119 Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm

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