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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to Do in Chiang Mai – Capital of the Lanna Kingdom
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Do in Chiang Mai – Capital of the Lanna Kingdom

Marvellous experiences await you in Chiang Mai; an ancient city where temples are waiting to be explored and a rich culture to be discovered. Listed are some of the best things to do there.


Explore Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep is an elegant hill, which stands over Chiang Mai; at the summit of this hill is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the nation's most spiritual sites and an iconic attraction in Chiang Mai. The structure dates back almost 700 years and is a perfect example of Lanna culture, reflected in all aspects of the temple. An enchanting and holy place the shrine draws a large number of both locals and visitors to its premises. Easy to reach from your Chiang Mai hotel, the hill and its temple is an hour's drive from Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, ideal for a day out exploring ancient Lanna culture. The temple is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily.


Check Out the Temples in the Old City

The Old City of Chiang Mai is considered a living museum, simply walking along the streets will treat you to views of vintage shop-houses, historical temples and time-honoured complexes. These are all surrounded by the ancient and derelict walls of the old city and moat. Plan a walking tour of the place, as the city, is quite compact and can be easily explored without much effort; besides, it's the best way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and relaxing ambience of the place.


Enjoy the Chiang Mai Night Safari

Very similar to Singapore's popular night safari, the one in Chiang Mai consists of 3 zones. Predator Prowl, Savannah Safari and Jaguar Trail; the tours are conducted in a tram or can be undertaken by foot. The safari is dotted with a range of entertainment too, these, apart from spotting the nocturnal animals, include petting tiger cubs, and even hand-feeding some wild animals.


Discover the Underground Ancient City

This ancient wonder is located about 5kms to the south of the city; it sits along the Ping River and is better known as Wing Kum Kam. This ancient city dates back to the Haripunchai Kingdom and belongs to the 8th century. Culture buffs will be treated to many treasures there, such as stone tablets containing Mon inscriptions, vintage pottery, earthenware and old sculptures. One of the most popular modes of exploring the temple is via a horse-drawn carriage; which many find rather romantic.


Relish the Wonders of the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai was set up to look after the welfare of the gentle mammals. The place serves as a sanctuary to animals, ready to retire, after having served a lifetime of labour in the logging industry. The elephants are kept within a natural sanctuary, and visitors are allowed to interact with the animals, by helping out with bath times etc. Activities such as riding elephants are strictly prohibited.