Chiang Mai

The largest city in northern Thailand

Chiang Mai is the largest city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious centre. Chiang Mai is most famous for its beautiful ancient temples, though there is much more to see and do. The striking mountainous landscape around the city provides a lot of wonderful natural attractions and is home to two tribal villages.


The best things to do in Chiang Mai include visiting some of the city’s beautiful temples and unique sites. The historical capital of the old Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai is rich in culture. The Old City – an attraction in itself – hosts most of the best temples, museums and other interesting sites, with many more just outside the ancient city walls and moat. If you’re willing to travel a little further afield, you’ll find that Chiang Mai is ringed with outstanding, unique places to see and things to do. There’s Thailand’s tallest mountain nearby, as well as two different tribal villages and various national parks. Check out our pick of the best attractions in Chiang Mai to make sure that you don’t miss the most important sites and experiences in this outstanding part of Thailand.


Doi Suthep

Gleaming like a northern star from the heights of Doi Suthep (the regal mountain overlooking the city from the northwest) is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep


Chiang Mai Night Safari Hang Dong

Modeled after a similar attraction in Singapore, Chiang Mai Night Safari features three animal zones – Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl, Jaguar Trail


Wat Chedi Luang

Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market


Wiang Kum Kam

ocated in attractive countryside about 5 km south of Chiang Mai along the Ping River, Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient city dating back to the eighth-century Haripunchai Kingdom


Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai was among the first of the new breed of elephant attractions in Thailand which prioritise the welfare of the animals


Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand, rises 2,565 metres above sea level. Known as a sanctuary for a wide range of animal species


Karen Long Neck Tribe & Chiang Dao Cave

At Chiang Dao cave, the caverns stretch many kilometres into the mountain yet only a small part of the complex is possible to explore


Doi Pui Tribal Village and National Park

Doi Pui, at 1,685 metres above sea level, is the highest peak in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. It is famous for its beautiful waterfalls which are easily reached from the main road


Bo Sang Handicraft Village

The handcrafting of umbrellas and parasols in Bo Sang Village is known throughout the country and even abroad


Lanna Folklife Museum

The Lanna Folklife Museum is an interesting museum full of exhibitions about the lives, history and culture of the Lanna people of northern Thailand


Transportation costs – The most common way to get around Chiang Mai is by songthaew (covered pick-up trucks that are shared taxis). The regular fare should be around 20 THB (30 THB at night) for trips around town. Tuk-tuks are also an option and rides should range around 50-100 THB.

Likewise at least six trains daily from Chiang Mai to Bangkok from 6.30am till 9.00pm. Journey times vary from 12 to 15 hours depending on the number of stops.Train fares vary from as cheap as 300THB for a 3rd class upright seat up to 1700THB for a first class sleeper, with various levels in between.