The 12 best attractions in Chiang Mai

Situated in the Noth of Thailand, Chiang Mai is a charming city with misty mountains, ancient Buddhism temples, a playground for travelers, and a delight for adventurers. 

This lovely city has so much to offer that it is difficult to decide where we should go. No need to worry because Thai Unika has the solution, the list of the 12 best attractions in Chiang Mai. From the famous temples and joyful parks to the old markets and adventurous caves, you can definitely find some interesting attractions to add to your to-do list in Chiang Mai

12 best attractions in Chiang Mai 

1.  Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

2. Wat Chedi Luang

3. Doi Inthanon National Park

4. Chiang Mai Gate Market

5. Talat Warorot

6. Doi Pui

7. Lanna Folklife Museum

8. Wat Phra Singh

9. Bo Sang Handicrafts Centre

10. Elephant Nature Park

11. Chiang Dao Cave

12. Royal Park Rajapruek


1.  Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

As the Thai locals say, if you haven’t been to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep then you haven’t really visited Chiang Mai. 


Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is placed on a mountainside at a height of approximately 1,060 meters. Its name is derived from the name of the mountain. “Doi” means mountain in Thai, and “Suthep” is the mountain’s name. This stunning temple holds a sacred meaning of the legend which attach to the origin of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The story claimed that underneath this temple’s ground is a body of a white elephant and a shoulder bone from the Gautama buddha. 


Located on Mount Doi Suthep is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – a breathtaking Buddhist temple draped in gold. It is the holiest temple in northern Thailand and one of the most sacred temples in Chiang Mai Province. 


Location: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Entrance fee: 30 Baht

Opening hours: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor



Chiang Mai highlight
They say you haven’t visited Chiang Mai unless you come here! It was well worth it. Beautiful and well-kept. Beautiful grounds with stunning views. It’s best to come early in the morning when it’s quiet and you can take in the landscapes. Stepping up with a mask on during the pandemic is killing me. I nearly died! There are approximately 300 steps. The descent was swift.

Visited December 2021 • Traveled solo



Dragon Stairway leading to the Gold Temple on top of the Mountain! Must See!
On a Sunday in December, we arrived at Doi Suthep Temple around 8:30 a.m. The Temple complex is located on the mountainside. The gondola/elevator ride to the top had a short line. When leaving, I recommend taking the gondola up and walking the 306 steps down the Naga Serpent (dragon’s body) staircase. It is unquestionably worthwhile to see. The attention to detail is astounding. The temple is about 15 kilometers from the center of Chiang Mai. On a clear day, the temple offers views of downtown Chiang Mai. When the first stupa was built in 1383, the temple was established.

Many more shrines have been added over time. The road to the temple was built in 1935 and has since been updated. There’s a lot to see here. Inside the main temple, there is a golden spire that decorates the center of the complex. The walls are adorned with historical murals, shrines, and statues. A replica of the Emerald Buddha statue is also on display. There is a lot to see outside of the main center temple, including the Shine of the White Elephant, a viewing terrace, some of the world’s largest gongs, a wall of bells, and much more.

We paid 30 Baht (approximately $1.30CAD) per person. A map of the complex is printed on the back of your ticket (see pictures for map). We stayed for about an hour and a half and didn’t feel rushed. It became very busy around 9 a.m. It was extremely busy as we were leaving. Please remember to dress appropriately or you may be denied entry. While walking around the main temple, you will also be asked to remove your shoes. You can store your shoes on shoe racks or in your backpack.

Visited January 2020


2. Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is one of Chiang Mai’s most important and sacred temples is Wat Chedi Luang, located in the ancient part of the city. 


The name “Temple of the Great Stupa” is also associated with Wat Chedi Luang. Chedi is Thai for stupa, which is a large tower containing holy relics or the ashes of Kings or Queens. It was originally made up of two temples, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin, which were later merged into one. The most popular feature of Wat Chedi Luang is the huge chedi, whose large part was destroyed long ago.


Visitors to Wat Chedi Luang will be able to admire the marks of time on every wall and hear stories about the temple and the land from the monks in the temple.


Location: 103 Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Si Phum,  Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor


no bs yogi

Get Your Temple Fix Here
Everywhere you look in Chiang Mai, there are hundreds of temples.
You can, however, get your temple fix here. Entry fee is 50 THB. For those who aren’t suitably covered, a 100 THB refundable deposit is required to borrow a sarong.
Once inside, it’s a photographer’s dream. There will be many outstanding images created.
The only minor drawback is that women are not permitted to enter the temple.
Overall, it is well worth a visit.

Visited Feb 2023 • Couples


Andy R

Lots to see
There are a number of temples and Buddhas to visit within the temple complex. The men’s temple is actually only one small building with little to see, so there’s not much to miss. The temple felt the most commercialized of the temples we visited, but that could be due to the work being done in some areas. There are plenty of opportunities to speak with a monk, and they are all very friendly. It’s well worth a visit.

Visited Jan 2023


3. Doi Inthanon National Park

If you enjoy spending time in nature, Doi Inthanon Park in Chiang Mai is an excellent choice.


Doi Inthanon Park is one of Thailand’s largest national parks, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. This wonderful park is located on the famous Mount Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak. Doi Inthanon National Park spans 482.4 square kilometers, covering three districts in Chiang Mai’s northern part.


One of the highlights of this National Park is the Twin Royal Pagodas. If you want to find serenity, stop by the Twin Royal Pagodas. These two temples are located on the main road, about 5 kilometers south of the main summit of Doi Inthanon. These two chedis were built on the mountain’s edge and are surrounded by beautiful gardens. Each of the towers was built to celebrate the 60th birthday of the ancient queen and king. 


Other activities in this fantastic park include hiking and waterfall viewing, as well as eating an authentic Thai meal at a local restaurant.


Entrance fee:

300 Baht for adults

150 Baht for children from 3 to 14 years old

Opening hours: 5:30 am to 6:30 pm 



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 


Jessica W

Amazing day trip from Chiang Mai!
This Chiang Mai day trip was fantastic. I could easily have spent a long weekend here seeing more. If you are in the northwestern part of Thailand, it is well worth joining a tour group to see this park. The waterfall, moss forest, and dual temple-like Chedi monuments (one for a Queen and one for a King) are all breathtaking, as is the view of the surrounding area from there.

The tour I was on packed as much as they could into a day trip, including a visit to a Hill Tribe market and trekking through a Hill Tribe coffee producing area with beautiful rice fields and another incredible waterfall. The nearly two-hour drive from Chiang Mai made for a long and fast-paced day, so if you have the opportunity to do it at a slower pace, take it. But even if you only have one day, go ahead and do it! I’m so happy I did.

Visited Oct 2022 • Solo


Tiago C

Beautiful place. Full of green and nature.
We went with our kids and everyone loved it.
Just over 1h40min from Chiang Mai but well worth it.

Visited Oct 2022


4. Chiang Mai Gate Market

Are you a food lover and would like to explore the diverse specialties of Chiang Mai? If the answer is yes then Chiang Mai Gate Market might have what you need.


Chiang Mai Gate Market is a night market located to the south of the old city walls. This is the place where you can find the best street food in Chiang Mai. The street is divided into two sides, each pavement is full of vendors. On one sidewalk, tourists can find numerous food stands selling typical Thai food as well as traditional Northern Thai which you can stop and eat at their tables. 


While on the other sections, the vendors pay more attention to the to-go snacks and drinks such as smoothies, grilled skewers, and Thai rice desserts. This street market will make sure you don’t have to go to bed with an empty stomach. 


Location: 87 Bumrung Buri Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Thailand

Opening Hours: 5:00 pm to 12:00 am



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Great market
In Old City, this is a good smaller night market. Most hotels are within easy walking distance. Gyoza, mango sticky rice, and Roti are all must-order items for me. Roti is fried dough that you fill with toppings. I get a banana, some Nutella, and some milk. The majority of vendors speak English. You can tell if their menus are written in both Thai and English. There are seats available, but they are owned by the vendors, so they will direct you where to sit.

If you want to buy alcohol, go to the 7-11 on Market Street. There is a vendor selling delicious spring rolls and fried chicken on a stick! You must order the Gyoza, which is the name on the stand. I prefer to eat at neighborhood markets. You will need baht; try to pay in smaller amounts as large bills may be difficult to change.

Jan 2023 • Couples


Margaret B

Amazing array
This is a great market, open from early morning until late at night. All kinds of fresh vegetables, fish, meats, as well as an amazing array of prepared foods. Something for every taste.

Feb 2023


5. Talat Warorot

After visiting so many charming temples as well as exciting parks, you might want to spend some time at Talat Warorot, the most ancient market in Chiang Mai. 


The market features a diverse range of resellers that appeal to both tourists and locals. Hand-knotted fishing nets, bags of dried tea leaves, and spicy Thai sausages are available at the stands. Other than the permanent stalls, some vendors navigate the paths through the market with trolleys on wheels, calling out what is for sale to attract attention. 


The market is located next to the Ping River. In fact, From the old time, most of the items sold in Chiang Mai were transported by boat along the Mae Ping river. It’s easy to lose track of time strolling the lined walkways, watching locals browse and haggle for items that have a practical use back home. 


Location: Chalong Rat Expressway, Bangkok 10220, Thailand

Opening Hours: 6 am to 5 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



traditional large food market by the Ping river
If you’re looking for northern specialities like ‘kep Mu’ or special sausages, this is the place. Always crowded – for the produce is fresh.

Visited Dec 2022



Busy market with local flavors
Busy market. Lots to see.especially if you want to buy dried herbal tea. I wish I could bring more back. Many dried fruit and local produce

Visited Dec 2022 • Family


6. Doi Pui

If you are interested in exploring the Thai culture of different ethnicities, visit the Hmong Tribal Village at Doi Pui for a tribal experience.


Doi Pui is the highest peak in the Doi Suthep National Park as we mentioned earlier. Come to this small village, you will have the chance to experience the authentic life of the Hmong people. Tourists can also try on the colorful Hmong’s significant customs to take photos and keep memories. Doi Pui is also a lovely place to find hand-made souvenirs such as hand-woven textiles, handmade jewelry, tea, and other goods with unique Hmong patterns. 


Because Doi Pui is just a few miles from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, it’s a good idea to stop by this lovely village after visiting the famous temple of Chiang Mai. 


Location: Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8 am to 5 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 


Chris F

Very interesting and informative.
This village is made up of many different sub-districts dedicated to various tribes who are mostly in exile from neighboring countries such as Burma (as it was), Nepal, and Cambodia. They are all practicing traditional skills such as weaving, carving, and so on, and their products are all for sale. You can also try your hand at archery with a traditional bow and arrow, and there are fields where farming activities take place.

All of the tribes have different dress styles, colors, jewelry, and so on. Local Thais refer to the ‘long neck’ tribe as stretching their necks with stacked rings around their necks, but the reality is that the shoulders and rib cage are actually pushed down. Overall, it’s a pleasant place to walk around and look at, if a little intrusive at times.

Jan 2020 • Couples


Dr Malik Saeed

Cultural Awakening
Doi Pui Hill tribe, also known as Hmong village, offers a unique cultural experience. A hilly tribe living in their natural habitat. We’d never seen such massive mushrooms before. I purchased macadamia nuts in their natural state. I also bought some medicinal tea made locally. As a doctor, I tried it and found it to be very effective for cough relief. I wish I had purchased more.

Oct 2019 • Couples


7. Lanna Folklife Museum

You are interested in history and the story of Lanna Kingdom seems fascinating? Then Lanna Folklife Museum might be the attraction you want to come to.


The Lanna Folklife Museum, also known as Lanna Heritage Center, is an interesting museum with exhibitions about the lives, history, and culture of the Lanna people. The building has been renovated throughout the years and now resembles a white colonial-style structure. Despite its exterior, the museum contains a wealth of information about the city’s history in English, Thai, and Chinese. 


Location: Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Wednesday to Sunday)



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



So interesting
Chiang Mai has several interesting museums, the best of which is probably the Lanna Folklife Museum.
It’s definitely a good wet weather activity, as we discovered, but it’s definitely worth visiting regardless of the weather.
The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Take your time! Each room contains a wealth of information about Chiang Mai’s history, as well as some very interesting artifacts, photographs, and models.
Expect few interactive displays, but expect to see how the city has evolved over time.
We wandered around for a couple of hours and, to our delight, came across a really interesting little coffee shop and gift shop at the end of our tour.
It comes highly recommended.

Jul 2022 • Couples



Lots of information about buddhism.
The building itself is great. There is lots of information about Buddhism. If one is interested in textiles, there are so much about textiles in the exhibits on the 1st floor. One can also learn about farming tools.

Aug 2020


8. Wat Phra Singh

Another interesting destination that we want to introduce to you is the famous Wat Phra Singh.


Other names for this temple that you might have heard of are “The Monastery of the Lion Buddha” or “The temple of the Lion Buddha”. Wat Phra Singh houses several highly revered and ancient Buddha images. It treasures the most sacred, Chiang sean-style Buddha image in Chiang Mai, Phra Phutthasihing. During the Songkran festival, which takes place from April 13 to 15, Phra Phutthasihing is carried in a chariot and paraded around the town. On the way, the residents sprinkle scented water on the statue, which brings good luck according to local belief.


Wat Phra Singh is a must-visit temple if you happened to come to Chiang Mai in April.

Location: 2 Sam Lan Road Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai

Opening hours: 7 am to 10 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Nice temple within CM walls
A great temple with lots of learnings and history in English for everyone to read (which the smaller temples don’t have).

Feb 2023 • Couples


Sue D

Worth a visit
This is a beautiful temple and worth a visit. The gold stupor with the elephant coming out is extraordinary. Lovely grounds to walk around and many things to see.

Nov 2022 • Friends


9. Bo Sang Handicraft Centre

If you are into traditional art and handicrafts, why not visit Bo Sang Handicraft Center? It is an ideal place to get yourself, or your loved one a handmade gift, a souvenir from Thailand.


Bo Sang Handicraft Centre is a handicraft village located approximately 9 kilometers east of Chiang Mai Old City. The town is known for its paper umbrellas. Bor Sang has become synonymous with the paper-umbrella craft and the umbrella itself, a cultural symbol of Chiang Mai, throughout the country and abroad.


Hand-painted umbrellas, tiny cocktail umbrellas, large parasols for gardens or patios, and other handmade products are in every house here, all made from paper in various designs and at fair prices.


Location: Route 1014, Ton Pao, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai 50130, Thailand

Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Bor Sang Umbrella Village – Near Chiang Mai
This place, while designed for tourists, provides a very pleasant and worthwhile half-day excursion after exhausting the “Wats” of Chiang Mai.
The umbrellas for sale in the shop are really lovely and one-of-a-kind. The surrounding souvenir market is also worth a look.
We used the local pick-up taxi service there and back, which was very cost effective once we figured out where to take it (Starting near the footbridge in front of Wororot Market).

Feb. 2020



Fun and Colorful
During the festival, we spent the morning in Bor Sang. We went to the Umbrella Making Center, which was educational and provided numerous photo opportunities. I had my purse painted, and we bought a phone case to have painted in the gift shop. At the entrance to the festivities, there were many shops, a beautiful ladies bicycle parade, and a free umbrella painting event. There appeared to be a lot of food stalls open at night.
Even if it weren’t for the festival, we would definitely return.

Jan. 2020 • Couples


10. Elephant Nature Park

Chiang Mai is known for its elephants, but if you don’t like to see the elephant being forced to do tricks or being mistreated for entertainment purposes, Elephant Nature Park will be a great choice. 


Most elephants here are rescued from the shows or labor situations. Here, they are protected, safe and they are treated respectfully. Come to Elephant Nature Park of Chiang Mai, visitors are welcome to spend a day with the elephants. If you volunteer, you can have an unforgetful memory of feeding, playing, and bathing the elephant in the rivers. We assure you that those experiences are far more interesting than watching an elephant show. Where else can you find a chance to get that close to a real wild elephant?


Visit Elephant Nature Park’s official site to support the elephants.

Location: 1 Ratchamanka Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Opening Hours: 7 am to 5 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Absolutely fantastic!!!
I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could. This place is fantastic! The most ethically run sanctuary for these lovely animals. There was no washing, riding, or anything else…all of the staff were amazing and so passionate about what they do. Our guide, Chi Chi, was adorable; I will definitely return; there is a volunteer program that, from what I could see, looked fantastic. We also got to see the dog clinic, which has rescued many dogs from the dog meat trade, as well as floods and other natural disasters…all buffalo and cows were rescued from slaughterhouses.

Feb 2023 • Couples


Michelle F

THIS EXCURSION IS TOP NOTCH if you want an interactive and ETHICAL experience at an elephant sanctuary, look no further!!! The elephants were incredibly friendly and entertaining, and our tour guide, Prom, kept us laughing the entire time! Our tour guide also took a lot of photos for us, which he posted on their Facebook page. This is an experience I will never forget, and I can’t wait to return, support their cause, and do it all again!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH, PROM:D

Jan 2023 • Couples


11. Chiang Dao Cave

Chiang Dao Cave is attractive to adventurous people, who want to explore a natural cave with underground passages and carven.


This famous cave system of Chiang Mai is located at the foothill of Doi Luang Chiang Dao, about 70 km to the North of the center of Chiang Mai. Some parts of the cave are illuminated by electrical lights but the other parts stay in the dark. Therefore, visitors can prepare a flashlight or hire a local guide to lead the way with their kerosene lanterns. Besides discovering the path inside Chiang Dao cave, visitors can also admire the spectacular view of stalactites and stalagmites, resulting from centuries of dripping water. 


For more information, visit Chiang Dao Cave’s website 

Location: 5 Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8 am to 5 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Nice cave
A fascinating cave complex. Bring a flashlight or hire a local guide to guide you through with a kerosene lantern. Supporting the local guides is a good idea in any case. There are several large caverns and a few narrow passageways. Even though I am not particularly large, I had some difficulty navigating a few points. Doi Chiang Dao is a worthwhile excursion if you are in the area.

Oct 2022


12. Royal Park Rajapruek

One of the must-see attractions in Chiang Mai is the Royal Park Rajapruek, a gorgeous botanical garden to spend a day surrounded by flowers.


Royal Park Rajapruek Royal is a large public park and agricultural research center with vast green areas, royal exhibitions, and different styles of gardens. Come to this fantastic royal park, visitors can witness the beauty of various flowers since this Thai garden has over 1,900 species of plants. Visit the orchid house for the stunning blossoms or come to admire the delightful bonsai corner. Visitors can also archive knowledge about the circle of life of the butterflies by coming to the butterfly garden. Other exciting areas are Palm Plantation, International Garden, Grape Field, Lotus Garden, and Blessing Garden. 


If the plants seem not interesting to some kids, there is also an extensive playground. 


Location: Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Entrance fee: 

200 baht for adults

150 baht for children

Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm



Tourist’s review from tripadvisor: 



Interesting couple of hours on the bike tour
Very quiet when my daughter and I visited. We rented the bikes which are quite old but got the job done. I would have liked a bit more English sub titles on things so I could appreciate the plants and structures more but it was still very nice. It was obviously off season so a lot of things weren’t in bloom and it was hard to get a taxi when we wanted to leave but we walked out to the main road and found one. The orchid garden was beautiful and definitely my favourite part

Oct 2022 • Friends



Beautiful park with fantastic flower collections.
This flower park features a diverse collection of flowers and plants in a beautifully landscaped setting. It has a large area that can be walked around or taken advantage of the electric cart hop-on/hop-off service. Refreshments are available at various locations. The orchid section is fantastic. There are numerous photo opportunities. The location is close to Night Safari, so both can be enjoyed together.

Nov 2022

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