What should I do in Chiang Mai?

What should I do in Chiang Mai? Here are some great tips for planning your itinerary including the city highlights, and nearby regions.

The must-see highlights of Chiang Mai

Even if you have a very limited amount of time in Chiang Mai, here are the top three attractions:

  • Wat Prathat Doi Suthep - a stunningly beautiful temple overlooking Chiang Mai city
  • Chiang Mai Old City - whether you decide to take a tour, or simply walk from you hotel, all visitors should see the old city walls/moat, and visit the main temples including Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang
  • Elephant Camps - there are many options for interacting with these majestic creatures.

Do your homework

You will almost certainly want to see more that the highlights listed above. As you look through the tour options we have available, consider what you and your travel companions really want to experience on your vacation.

Do you have children who love animals? Consider taking them to an elephant rescue sanctuary for a day, and visiting Chiang Mai Night Safari. On the other hand if you have an interest in horticulture, you will be more interested in Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, Royal Flora Ratchapruek, Doi Mon Jam, and the gardens at the royal pagodas in Doi Inthanon National Park.

If our suggested tours are not exactly what you want, please feel free to request a custom itinerary - we are more than happy to customize your tour at no extra charge.

Schedule time for relaxation

 If you are staying in the night bazaar area or in the old city, there will be plenty to see and do within walking distance of your hotel. Make sure you allow some time to explore the night markets, the food markets & noodle shops, and the many temples of Chiang Mai. Even if you decide to take the Chiang Mai city tour, there is always more to see in the city if you have the time to immerse yourself.

Discover the Local Food

Some people manage to visit Thailand without trying Thai food beyond what is available at home (fried rice, curry puffs, curries with a lot of sugar and coconut milk). Even more so, many people come to Chiang Mai and do not even realize that Northern Thailand has its own distinct cuisine developed over hundreds of years with influences from Myanmar, Laos, and Yunnan province China. Whether you want to try Thai, European, Northern Thai, Chinese, Korean or Japanese food, we can help with restaurant recommendations, and arrange bookings for you.

Other Provinces

If you have five days or less to spend in Chiang Mai, we do not recommend travel to neighboring provinces. You could easily spend weeks just exploring Chiang Mai - a rushed trip to the Golden Triangle will probably not make your vacation more enjoyable.

If you do have the time to explore further afield, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son provinces are right next to Chiang Mai, and we can help you put together a great itinerary based on your own interests and budget.

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Olsen Tours Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Itinerary

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