12 Top Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you’re looking for a list of the top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you’re in luck! We’ve spent over 6 months living in Chiang Mai (you can too, learn how to travel full-time) scoping out the coolest or best things to do along with the must see points of interest. This list covers off our 12 favourite Chiang Mai activities we recommend – so read on below to learn what to do, places to visit and things you must see!

Theres loads of activities on offer in Chiang Mai but it’s often a skipped city in Thailand because theres no beach. As you’ll see from our things to do and top things to see lists down the page thats a mistake. Note — If you’re more of a ‘viewer’ than a ‘reader’ we’ve got one core video that discusses all of the best 12 things to do, but below you can also find links directly to each corresponding video individually as well.

The individual videos will be 6+ minutes going through the whole experience first hand. Hopefully this post and our videos are helpful and inspire you to hunt out some new activities or unearth something else to do if you’re traveling to Chiang Mai.

Feel free to ask any questions on YouTube as well – we always respond to comments. Disclaimer — this is our experience, from the list of things we’ve done. There’s plenty of other things to do in Chiang Mai that aren’t on this list, we get that, so don’t hate mmmkkay.


Watch The 12 Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai

1) The Best Thing To Do In Chiang Mai


This deserves it’s own video! If you’re visiting Chiang Mai you have to go to an Elephant Sanctuary. We loved it so much that we actually returned in 2018 to experience it again and recreate a better video! The elephants are gentle, happy and friendly and the opportunity to see them in the most natural habitat possible as a tourist was heart warming. Watch the video below and tell us you aren’t amped at the thought of visiting?! We guarantee you will LOVE it ????


What about the other 11 best things to see and do? We got you covered – below we cover the remaining 11 things. Bonus, each of the individual titles are links to a video of our personal experience, so you can click through and see first hand if it’s a place to visit for your preference.


2-4 Things To See In Chiang Mai


2) The Local Markets

Markets in Chiang Mai are amazing. You can find some of the cheapest and tastiest food in town, hand made local knick knacks, local performances, art, jewellery, cheap massages or just pull up a spot to drink a beer and watch the world go by.

3) Old Town Streets

The Old Town has a very different feel to Nimmanhaemin road, something you really need to see in person. If you’re looking to walk around aimlessly you really should put either of these places on your things to see list.

4) Golden Doi Suthep Hillside Temple

This stunning temple is situated on the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai, highly recommend you take a trip up there and scope out the temple and see the view back down over the city.

5-12 Top Things To Do In Chiang Mai


5) The Mae Sa / Samoeng Loop

Possibly one of our favourite things to do in Chiang Mai is hire a scooter and get lost! If you prefer a bit more of a pre-planned mission then take a look into the Mae Sa or Samoeng loops, not a super well known attraction but a trip that is all about the journey.

6) Zip Line In The Jungle

The jungles of Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand are a draw card for a lot of visitors to the area, as a standalone thing a mission North to the jungles of Pai alone is worth it! If staying in CM is your goal and you’ve got a bit of an adventurous side then you need to go zip lining. Now.

7) Eat Khao Soi Noodle Soup

Ahhh how we miss eating Khao Soi – one of the tastiest street foods we’ve ever eaten!

8) Scope Out Coffee Shops

There are dope coffee shops all over the city, what’s even better is the quality and price.

9) Shop At The Malls

Not really our vibe, but maybe it’s yours?

10) Take A Thai Cooking Class

Check the link above to view our cooking class – we met one of the nicest ladies of all time, May! She instantly became one of our favourite people and we really hope you get the chance to take her class and say hi from us.

11) Drive To Mon Jam / Mon Cham

An awesome adventure up into the strawberry fields! Ideally check the strawberry season and go up at that time of year, be prepared to taste the sweetest fruit of your life.

12) Swim At The Grand Canyon

They take safety pretty seriously here, but you really to have to drive out there and see why! This was one of the most random things we did in Chiang Mai, but if we had the chance we’d be back there in a second.

And thats our list of the 12 Top Things To Do In Chiang Mai!



Before You Visit


We recently visited Budapest (another favourite city!) and mentioned in this post here some great deals for you to use on your travels to save some dollars.

Apartments — Sign up to Airbnb here and receive $40 USD off your first stay, we use these guys all over the world and highly recommend the service.

Hotels — Get $25 USD off your hotel stay here.

Insurance — Do not leave home without Travel Insurance! We wrote an entire post on the importance of travel insurance (check it out here) but if you just want to jump in and get an instant online quote you can do so here. 

That’s it from us, enjoy your trip!

Dane & Stacey



We’re Dane and Stacey – full-time travellers, Digital Nomads, YouTubers and travel content creators from New Zealand. We explore the world with the purpose of showcasing new countries, unearthing amazing experiences and sharing the honest costs of travelling full-time.

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