Temple in gold lit up at night time
Temple in Chiang Mai

45 Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are loads of things to do in Chiang Mai. So much in fact that you could visit the city many times over the last decade (like I have) and still not have seen and done everything on offer.

Chiang Mai is the main city in the North of Thailand and it is the antithesis of Bangkok. Unlike the capital with its noisy, hectic-ness, Chiang Mai is a welcome relief with a much calmer vibe. The city is nestled in the hilly terrain of the North and it is not too far from Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon.

Chiang Mai is one of those cities than can feel just as chilled out as it can busy. Take a wander through the old city and you can end up on a quiet soi (side street) with nobody around. Then visit the Nimmanhaemin Road to hang out with the hipsters at all of the cool coffee shops.

As chilled out as Chiang Mai can be compared to Bangkok, don’t be deceived! There are loads of things to do in Chiang Mai.

So if you are planning a visit the northern city, here is a list of 45 things you could add to your itinerary.

Hope it helps inspire you!

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1. Elephant Nature Park – my review here 

ALSO READ: Why You Should NOT Ride Elephants On Your Holiday

2. Cooking Class  on my last trip I went with Chiang Mai Cookery School

3. Temples – my favourite temples are Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang Worewhian, Wat Suan Dok

4. Monk Chat – some temples have a dedicated time you can pop by and chat to the monks

5. Doi Suthep – the famous temple on top of the hill overlooking Chiang Mai.

6. Chiang Mai Zoo

7. Flight of the Gibbon

8. Cabaret at the Night Bazaar

9. Muay Thai Show

10. Chiang Mai Museums – I like the Lanna Folklife Museum, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre, Art in Paradise,

11. Watch 4D Movie at Central Festival Mall

12. Royal Park Rajapruek 

13. Wander around the Somphet Food Market 

14. Shop at the malls

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15. Massage at the Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institute – go early to get a slot, and weekends are busy

16. Spa Day – there are so many spas in to choose from in Chiang Mai

17. Foot Massage – you can barely walk 100m in Chiang Mai without seeing somewhere offering a foot massage

18. Meditation Retreat – spend 24 hours or even 10 days at a silent retreat with the monks – long retreat here, short retreat here

19. Spend the day at Huay Tung Tao Lake – we spent the afternoon on my birthday there a few years ago

20. Expat Meet-up – there’s a large expat population in Chiang Mai, join a Facebook group or meetup

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21. Hike up one of the mountains

22. Go on a jungle trek – choose one of the guided treks from the many travel agents in Chiang Mai

23. Camping in the mountains

24. Hang out at Chiang Mai Quarry (Hang Do)

25. Muay Thai Training – pick one here

26. Hilltribe trek / visit – the Northern region of Thailand is home to 7 hill tribes.

27. Take a bicycle tour around the city and beyond

28. Take a guided walking tour around the old city

29. Hire a moped – but make sure you’re insured first!

30. Wander around Nimmanhaemin Road – this area is hip, cool, and full of great coffee shops and eateries

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31. Eat street food – it’s everywhere!

32. Nibble you way around the Night Bazaar

33. Sunday Walking Market – my favourite market in Chiang Mai, located from Wat Phra Singh down to Taepae Gate

34. Drink Fruit Smoothies

35. Eat Chiang Mai Noodles – we love Kao Soy Nimman located on soi 7

36. Drink and Dance with the hipsters – we love Warm Up Cafe

37. Eat Thai BBQ (aka Moogata)

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38. Hang out at the Pha Chor ‘Grand’ Canyon

39. Visit the Sticky Waterfalls – Bua Thong

40. Visit the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon

41. Day trip to Chiang Rai, a city further North

42. Short Trip to Chiang Dao, sleepy Thai town

43. Short Trip to Pai, small town in the mountains

44. Drive the Mae Hong Son Loop – an infamous multi-day roadtrip route through the hills, this is a great guide

45. Visit the Mae Wang Waterfalls and National Park

Temple in gold lit up at night time
Temple in Chiang Mai

I hope you have a great time in Chiang Mai! And let me know if there’s anything else you would add to this things to do in Chiang Mai list.