Chiang Mai has cool climate and attractive terrain that is suitable for all visitors. If young people travel to Chiang Mai, they can explore, learn the nature and culture of people here with trekking activities, boating, swing, … For older people, this is a very suitable place to live slowly with ancient temples, ancient citadel and peaceful old streets.
1. Wat Phra Singh
Location: End of Singharaj and Rajdamnern Road, Mueang Chiang Mai
Wat Phra Singh was built in 1385, which is considered to be Chiang Mai’s most famous temple. The pagoda has many beautiful and unique features such as: Lanna golden-plated frescoes, unique bodhisattva statues, Phrachaotongtip statues, … Among them, the Buddhist scripture store is the most unique place of the temple, where preserves and protects handwritten Buddhist scripture on palm leaves or thin silk sheets, which record outstanding folklore. The Buddhist scripture is protected in a thick stone warehouse. Besides, every year, the pagoda is celebrated on the occasion of the traditional Songkran from April 13 to April 15. On this day, the most sacred statues will be marched around the town of Chiang Mai. Everyone participates in traditional bathing ceremonies. Especially, during the festival people cook traditional dishes and wear colorful costumes, people will splash water on each other with buckets, spray guns, balls … The more people fall into the water the better luck. Visitors buy a ticket of 20 baht to visit the temple.
2. Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man was built in 1292 with the typical Lanna architecture (the ancient Lana state structure that existed from the 13th to the 18th century in northern Thailand). Chedi tower in the temple is surrounded by 15 carved elephants. The architectural sophistication is reflected in the temple roof rings with impressive patterns. Inside the temple, there are two famous Buddha statues and a glass Buddha statue called Pra Seh-Taang Kamaneeee is said to be the Rain god.
3. Wat Chedi Luang
Location: Prapokklao st, Chiang Mai.
Chedi Luang Temple was built in 1401 according to the order of King Saeng Muang Ma. Chedi Luang Temple is not only a great temple but also known as Chiang Mai City Pillar. This temple also features the unique architecture of the Lanna dynasty with elaborate dome, sculpture. Inside the pagoda, there is a large tower resembling the ancient Mayan architecture. Outside the gate of Chedi Luang, there is a delicious mango sticky rice and cafés with peaceful space so you can sit back and enjoy hours of Chiang Mai life.
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm
Besides, near Chedu Luang Temple is Wat Pan Tao Temple, a completely built wooden temple that carries the space of pure and hidden nature that you can also visit easily.
4. Phu Ping Palace
Location: Summer Palace – Phu Ping Palace – Doi Buak Ha – Suthep 50200.
The King’s Summer Palace is located on the top of Doi Buak Ha Mountain, Suthep, so the fresh air is cool all year round. The palace surrounding is impressed by the colorful roses that are planted along the aisles. In addition to many types of roses, the garden is full of flavor such as chrysanthemum, begonia, lapis, … The flowers climb into the truss forming the paths covered with flowers. The flowers here are carefully cared for blooming all year round. The palace is also home to other rare plants. The summer palace is where Thailand’s royal family rest. Thai people highly revere and respect to the Royal Family, they visit the palace with reverence during the holidays.
Ticket: 50 baht for adults, 10 baht for children
5. Mae Sa Elephant Camp
Mae Sa Elephant Camp is located 30 kilometers from Chiang Mai, and the elephant camp is surrounded by lush jungle in a picturesque valley with rivers and mountains. It is home to over 70 domesticated elephants. Everyday, the elephants are bathed in the river at the camp, fed, rehearsed with fun. Elephants at the camp can play football or painting that make visitors very excited. Here you will be riding the elephant around the camp and enjoy the natural scenery of the wild. Besides, if you have a need, you will also learn how to handle the great elephants listening to your commands.
6. Bazaar Night Market
Bazaar Night Market is a place where Thai people make handmade goods and sell products so the products are extremely special. The market is opened from 6:00 p.m to 12:00 p.m every day, but people still go on visiting; although busy buying and selling, the stalls are arranged very orderly, not shabby or noisy. Here you can buy handicrafts, handmade goods from Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand. Not only can buy cheap and beautiful goods but you also meet cute, friendly sellers. In addition, take time to enjoy the delicious food on Chang Klan road, visit a cafeteria or cheap massage shop to relax after a long day. Massage price here is only 200 baht.
7. Grand Canyon
Chiang Mai has a charming natural landscape that perfectly combines the mountains and lakes together to create a beautiful scenery. Part of the beauty of Chiang Mai in the heart of tourists is Grand Canyon. Not only the magnificent scene, the canyon is extremely wild for tourists to explore, swim and watch the sunset. The best time to visit is the afternoon, you can take a bath, swim in the green lake between the cliffs and then watch the sunset.
Ticket price: 50 baht.
8. Chiang Mai Night Safari
Chiang Mai Night Safari is located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Here you can watch animals such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, bear rats, tigers, hyenas, crocodiles, … by tram. Travelling by trams, you can reach the “home” of the animals that is still secure. Time to visit the zoo is all day and all night. If you want to learn about the behavior of the animated species at night, the time from 18:00 to 23:30 is for you to visit the zoo. Otherwise you can also come in day time to enjoy the open space of the zoo with many trees and lakes to breathe fresh air and watch the animal life.
– Daytime: (Monday to Friday) 13:00 – 16:00; (Saturday-Sunday): 10:00 to 16:00
– Nighttime: 18:00 – 23:30
9. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple is located on Doi Suthep Hill, the most sacred place in Chiang Mai, by its former residents who believe their ancestors’ souls live on top of the hill. Thus, Doi Suthep is considered the most sacred temple of Chiang Mai with 600 years of age. The temple is located on the hillside, so visitors have to climb up 309 high stone stairs with the majestic dragon head on both sides. When you conquer the stone stairs, you can feel the dim scene below.
The temple surrounding is quite large and stands out with a tall stupa that is gilded and can be seen from far away with glittering light. If you can not climb nearly 300 stone steps, you can go by cable with only 20 baht. You should begin the journey to visit the temple early in the morning to watch the scene through the peaceful, romantic path leading to Doi Suthep.
Note: When entering the temple you have to dress secretly, if not, you have to rent trousers with 15 bath.
10. Botanic Garden
A cactus garden is no longer so distinctive or unfamiliar, but the cactus nursery in Chiang Mai is quite different with thousands of cacti and diverse plants. Cactus trees live in a transparent glass garden like a miniature world of cactus that makes you feel overwhelmed. There are various types of cactus in the nursery, which are different sizes, shapes and names, especially if you are lucky enough, you can see large cactus blooming. Outside the glass dome is a glass bridge across the peaceful, cool forest. To reach here, find your way to Namprae village (17.5 km from Chiang Mai airport). The garden is open from 8:30 to 17:30 every day.
In addition to attractions in Chiang Mai, you can explore the surrounding areas such as Pai Town, Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle area that also have many interesting things.