SEE: Top 5 Must-Dos In Chiang Mai

G2G stamp logo Chiang Mai FINAL 1Visit as many wats as you can handle, light some incense, donate some coins to a monk, write your name on a golden stupa wrap. It’s all good, and it is all here for you to explore.

G2G SEE Chiang Mai

1. Two wats not to miss: Wat Doi Suthep + Wat Phra Singh

Wat Doi Suthep: Near Sriwicha Alley and Huai Rap Sadet Waterfall in Mueang Chiang Mai District (map)
Wat Phra Singh: Near Intrawarorot Rd and Rachamankha Hotel in Mueang Chiang Mai District (map)
Which wats (aka: temples) should you check out? All of them! There are hundreds of Buddhist wats in and around Chiang Mai, they are all worthy of your attention. Two noteworthy wats are Wat Doi Suthep up on a hill overlooking all of Chiang Mai and Wat Phra Singh which is a large, royal-level wat in the center of Old Town. Both are magnificent and full of good energy.
Wat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai Thailand
Wat Phra Singh Chiang Mai Thailand

2. Get up close and personal with elephants.

A trip to Chiang Mai isn’t complete without getting in touch with some elephant-love! They’re kind, smart and gorgeous creatures. Several training camps and farms are located throughout Chiang Mai and they’re all different. Some have conservation credentials, some are established purely for tourists. You can pick and choose based on your budget and distance. Here are some recs:

Patara Elephant Farm

299/22 Siwalee RachapreukMaeHea, Chiangmai, Thailand (map, website)

Patara Elephant Farm focuses on the health-care and breeding of elephants. You can join their “Elephant Owner for a Day” program during your visit and it allows you to know the elephant’s temperament, feed and check its health, learn about and take care of your own elephant, bathe and brush it in the river, learn how to ride on its neck, and communicate through different spoken commands. An elephant ride is also included through the forest and waterfalls. 

Elephant Life Experience (ELE)

Metropolitan Bar & Grill, Patan, MuangChiang Mai 50300Thailand (map,  website)

ELE is more of a boutique elephant experience, unlike other touristy elephant camps. ELE offer the freedom, flexibility and time you need with their elephants. You can bath the elephants, learn from mahout (an elephant keeper) about training. Elephant rides are included, and you can also visit a mahout’s home to learn about his lifestyle. Depending upon the time of day, you’ll be provided with a meal, picnic style or more formal dining as appropriate to the occasion. This is a great place to visit if you’re with your own group of friends or traveling with kids.  

Maesa Elephant Camp

Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai, Thailand (map, website)

Mainly for tourists and the camp doesn’t have conversation credentials. Elephants will do tricks and there are 30 to 60-minute elephant rides available. 

Elephant Ride Chiang Mai Thailand

3. DO go chasing waterfalls!

Easy day trips can be done in Chiang Mai’s national parks. They’re located in magnificent areas where you are purely surrounded by nature, majestic waterfalls and high mountains. Here are two National Parks we think you should carve out time for:

Doi Inthanon National Park

119, Ban Luang, Chiang Mai, Amphur Chom Thong 50160, Thailand (map, website)

The geographical features of the National Park consists of high mountains, including Doi Inthanon, which is the highest mountaintop in Thailand (2,565 meters above the sea level). To get there, you can either drive yourself, hire a car through your hotel or a travel agent, join an organized minibus tour. It takes 2-3 hours to get there. You’ll encounter the Vatchirathan/Wachirathan waterfall and Mae Ya Waterfall in the park. 

Doi Innonon Chiang Mai waterfall

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand (map, website)

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park includes Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple, and Bhubing Palace, the winter residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and family. If you truly want to understand everything at the temple, getting a guide is highly recommended.

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Chiang Mai Thailand


4. Get a Thai Massage

Prapokklao Road Soi 7, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand (map, website)
How can you go to Thailand without experiencing one of its famous massages? If you’re not looking for a luxury hotel’s spa experience, a nice alternative is at Lila Thai Massage. There are 5 or 6 branches of these massage shops all over Chiang Mai, and they offer up all kinds of massages in a creepy-free, highly professional environment at wonderful prices.  1-hour foot massages can be had here for 200 baht, the equivalent of about USD $7. Foot massages are a great way to wind up a day’s activities in Chiang Mai.
Lila Thai Massage Chiang Mai

5. Sip on coffee and watch the world go by

9/1 Soi 3 Hussadhisewee Rd, Mata Apartment, Chang PhueakChiang Mai 50300Thailand (mapwebsite)
What people don’t really talk about is the fabulousity of coffee in Thailand, and you must try! Akha Ama is what you’ll need to look for. By far, these places serve up the strongest and tastiest coffee in Chiang Mai. The original location is on Hatsadhisawee Road but you gotta look for it. Once you find it, it’s an oasis of caffeine and calm. The sleeker location is in Old Town on Ratchadamnoen Road near the Wat Phra Singh. Enjoy the delicious creamy lattes at either location!

Ahka Ama Coffee Chiang Mai Thailand


An ideal day trip to Sukhothai

Sukhothai is situated four hours (by car) south of Chiang Mai. This is the site of ruins from the ancient capital of Siam, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To make a perfect day trip, we highly recommend driving down early in the morning, strolling through the site for a few hours, lunch there, then drive back to Chiang Mai in time for dinner. Some folks don’t like so much driving in one day and choose to spend the night in Sukhothai City, which is a great option too. Either way, this is a fabulous place to visit with lots of giant stone Buddhas sitting in the open air surrounded by crumbling walls of old wats and stupas. Get down there, you will love it. Sukhothai Thailand


EAT: Top 5 Places To Get Your Grub On In Chiang Mai

DRINK: Top 5 Bars And Live Music Venues In Chiang Mai

SHOP: The Best Local Boutiques In Chiang Mai

STAY: Top 5 Hotels To Rest and Relax In Chiang Mai


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