6 things to do in Chiang Mai

Sebastien Chaneac

Thailand is blessed with exotic beaches with crystalline waters, lush mountains and flamboyant temples. This country overflows with pieces of paradise and one of them is called Chiang Mai.

This well-preserved city is full of treasures and here are six of the numerous amazing things to see, do and taste in Chiang Mai.

1. Discover the old city

Explore the old City of Chiang Mai
Things to do in Chiang Mai – exploring the old city

Chiang Mai’s famous temples reside in the historic old city. You can spend a day strolling from a temple to another, discovering narrow charming streets, tiny temples, stunning spas, great juice bars…

Our recommendations: Wat Chedi Luang (picture) and Wat Inthakhin Saduemuang. Don’t forget to dress modestly, with covered shoulders and knees.

2. Kiss an elephant

Kiss an elephant
Things to do in Chiang Mai: kiss an elephant

Become a pachyderm devotee and spend a day feeding, washing and brushing an elephant. There are lots of different elephant camps in Chiang Mai’s area where you can take an elephant ride. The chance to get up close and personal with an elephant is a unique experience.

An absolutely must-do for animal lovers, adventure lovers, thrill seekers and just about anyone who isn’t scared of heights.

3. Take a cooking class

Cooking class in Chiang Mai
6 things to do in Chian Mai: a cooking class

The highlight of my trip in Thailand was a cooking class…surprise surprise: a French who loves food.

You start the day at the local market, picking many appetising ingredients with the teacher. Then you discover a beautiful farm in the middle of nowhere where the cooking school is based and cook some amazing flavours you’ve never tasted before.

It was a wonderful day. We cooked many delicious dishes and of course ate them all.

4. Visit the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun

6 things to do in Chiang Mai: exploring the White Temple
6 things to do in Chiang Mai: exploring the White Temple

Spend a day strolling in the garden of the White Temple, visiting each different part and enjoy a green coconut with the view on the temple at sunset.

If you can avoid the tours, it’s much better. All the buses come in the same time. Once they’re gone, you pretty much have the temple for yourself.

And it makes a huge difference.

5. Have a chat with a Monk

6 things to do in Chiang Mai: chatting with a monk
Chatting with a monk in Chiang Mai

How many times in your life you have you had the opportunity to sit and talk with a Monk?

They are keen to practise and improve their English and the tourists are curious about their lifestyle and beliefs

Wat Chedi Luang has a table under a shady tree where monks gather to chat with members of the public from 9am to 6pm daily.

6. Shop at the Sunday Walking Street

6 things to do in Chiang Mai: shopping at a Sunday market
Shopping at a Sunday market in Chiang Mai

Every Sunday, the Sunday Walking Street of Chiang Mai is full of artists, dancers, musicians, masseurs, craftsmen and obviously tourists.

You’ll find everything you need and don’t need here, from delicious street food to really cheap jewellery, creative gifts, and $3 massages.

If you have the chance to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday, it’s a great way to end the day.

Miles of Happiness
Miles of Happiness

Marie Pottiez is the author & illustrator behind Miles of Happiness. Curious of everything, she has an unquenchable thirst for discovery and sharing.

Originally from Provence (France), she lived in Belgium, New Zealand and Indonesia, before settling down in Hong Kong in 2014. She spends as much time as possible traveling throughout Asia, discovering new pieces of paradise all year long.

You can follow her adventures on:

For more, check out our favourite things to do in Chiang Mai and watch our video Thailand travel video and enjoy our underwater adventures as we island hopped through this beautiful country:

This guest post is contributed by Marie, founder of the travel and lifestyle blog Miles of Happiness:

Happy travels are safe travels

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Sebastien Chaneac

Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of nomadicboys.com. He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

2 thoughts on “6 things to do in Chiang Mai”

  1. I went with Basil cooking school in Chiang Mai – it was immense, so much food to eat and it introduced me to palm sugar (LOVE!)

    I would also recommend leaving Chiang Mia – head north to the mountains and chill out in a hammock in Pai.

    • Hi Gemma, thanks for your comment.

      Totally agree leaving Chiang Mai is also great- we had an awesome mountain bike tour in the surrounding mountains (my first time dos scared the S*** right out of me!)

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