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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 12, 2020
Headline for The Best 10 Things to Do in Chiang Mai – The Spiritual Centre of Thailand
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Joanna James Joanna James
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The Best 10 Things to Do in Chiang Mai – The Spiritual Centre of Thailand

Known as the 'Rose of the North' the city is home to beautiful temples and incredible wildlife. The city is a must-visit attraction for those seeking something special.

1

Doi Inthanon

This is the highest peak in Thailand and the region has been made a national park. It is a major draw for its natural beauty; the mountain can be reached by trekking, hiring a car or motor-bike. Its environs include waterfalls and hillside villages waiting to be explored.

2

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

The most famous attractions in Chiang Mai; Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple atop a granite mountain. The central shrine contains a revered statue of the seated Buddha and a gallery of statues depicting him. The mountain can be reached by foot, bicycle, car or motorbike, or on a songthaew.

3

Wat Chedi Luang

Constructed in 1401, this impressive Buddhist temple is partially damaged due to an earthquake but remains carefully preserved to this day. There is exquisite sculpture such as massive elephants and serpents on its walls. The temple is an exceptionally beautiful sight by night with lights decorating the structure.

4

Elephant Nature Park

Unlike places that exploit elephants for commercial and tourist purposes, this park is an elephant rescue and orphanage. The park cares for abused and neglected elephants. Visitors are encouraged to volunteer so you can help to feed and bathe these gentle giants. The cost of volunteering goes into the care of the resident elephants.

5

Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls

These sticky waterfalls are located in a serene woodland area. Climbing these waterfalls made of limestone is sure to be a fun-filled experience. The waterfalls remain sticky despite water running through it, you can climb them as many times as you please and cool off in its pristine waters.

6

Gate Market

The best place to explore the street food scene in Chiang Mai. The market is held daily every night at the Chiang Mai Gate. Vendors from all over the city gather to sell a variety of traditional foods and desserts such as Mango Sticky rice and Pad Thai.

7

Sunday walking street

This is another interesting food market located just behind Thapae Gate and located in the courtyard of a temple. Indulge in authentic Thai street food favourites such as Pad Thai, samosas, fried bananas, and dumplings.

8

Doi Piu

At 1685 meters this is the highest peak in Doi Suthep National Park. The park with its thick foliage and beautiful waterfalls, the forest teems with wildlife. You can also visit tribal villages and experience how their lives unfold in these beautiful settings. From Chiang Mai, you can visit the Golden Triangle and immerse in ancient villages bordering the Mekong River. The likes of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is one of many Chiang Saen hotels to consider which is located in close proximity to this attraction.

9

Grand Canyon

Visit Chiang Mai's 'Grand Canyon' Hang Dong. This used to be an old quarry surrounded by a moat and off the beaten tourist track. Jumping into the waters from the cliffs used to be a popular activity for those who visited it. Now there are platforms and water toys afoot and sure to a day of fun.

10

Wing Kum Kam

Located 5km south of Chiang Mai, this ancient city dates back to the 8th century. Discover interesting antiquities such as stone tablets, sculptures, earthenware, jewellery, and fascinating ruins.