Chiang Mai

Immersed by spectacular mountains and the northern Thai countryside, Chiang Mai offers spectacular sceneries and beautiful ancient temples. Chiang Mai has become an increasingly popular destination and a favourite with many people. Even though being the second largest city in Thailand, there are only 250,000 people living here. The city is small and intimate, and almost everything is within walking distance. But do not be fooled, in this area there is much to see.

Do & See

Rich in both history and culture, Chiang Mai is a city full of things to do and to see. Here you can find over 300 Buddhist temples, great shopping, an abundance of markets, tasty Thai food and numerous outings. Chiang Mai truly has something to offer for everyone!

Top attractions in Chiang Mai

See all tours & things to do in Chiang Mai

Top 6 things to do in Chiang Mai

Whether seeking adventure or something a little more spiritual, Thailand’s second city is a great place to start. Chiang Mai means “new city,” yet teems with historic, cultural, and natural monuments, each more breathtaking than the last! Here are a few.

• Wat Chedi Luang

This 15-century temple lasted barely 150 years before suffering serious earthquake damage. What survives provides a striking image, made all the more marvelous lit up at night!

• Elephant Nature Park

Of Chiang Mai’s many elephant camps this is by far the most humane. The animals have mostly been rescued from poor captivity conditions and visitors are encouraged to help feeding!

• Wat Prathat Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep mountain boasts more than just flora and fauna. The elaborate temple’s revered seated Buddha statue is a coveted sight for pilgrims and sightseers alike.

• Wat Umong

There are two Wat Umong’s in town. Be sure you’re going to the one dedicated to the clairvoyant monk Thera Jan, in order to explore this iconic forest-temple’s ancient tunnels.

• Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

You’ll likely find Chiang Mai’s sacred peaks rather overcast, but it’s precisely the cloudy conditions that have blessed Doi Suthep and Doi Pui with such rich plant- and bird-life.

• Wat Chiang Man

Established by Chiang Mai’s founder, Phaya Mengrai, towards the end of the 13th century, Chiang Man is the city’s oldest temple and a sightseeing essential.

Planning Your Chiang Mai Visit

When to visit?

March, April, and May are Chiang Mai’s hottest months, with November to January seeing the city’s coolest temperatures. May to September is the rainy season, but despite its threatening name, is considered by some to be the best time to visit. If you can handle the odd, refreshing shower, you’ll be rewarded with smaller crowds, greener countryside, and more active wildlife.

How many days?

Chiang Mai is cheap to visit and boasts plenty to do. You’ll want to spend at least four or five full days there.

Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is famous for its cooking classes, so seize the opportunity to learn how to cook real Thai food from the experts while you are here.

What people are saying about Chiang Mai

★★★★★ Wonderful experience! My guide was the best!

I experienced and learned so much in a short time! It began with getting to the market on a “red truck” which I had no previous knowledge of how to use! That has been a valuable learning! At the market my guide took the time to educate me on the different fruits, veggies, herbs, and anything else that I had questions about. We walked through all the beautiful flowers and to the temple. I appreciated the history of Buddhism explained to me and the opportunity to give alms and receive a blessing. The longboat ride on the river was relaxing as we enjoyed pleasant conversation. The farm was educational and quite beautiful. The food was delicious! All my questions were patiently answered. Our time ended with being taken back to my hotel. I very much appreciated being safely accompanied into the lobby. My guide really cared about giving me a good experience. I would highly recommend this tour!

★★★★★ Excellent arrangement and good chef on lesson

A very enjoyable morning following the chef to market and then to the cooking school. The environment is good and very serious to cook the dishes of Thai food! Certainly will recommend friends to join such! Such a good experience!

★★★★★ Well organised and time-efficient excursion to rewarding places.

The excursion to Doi Inthanon was well organised, time-efficient and led to many of the most rewarding places. The guide was a broadly read person with a wide personal horizon and a very good english.

★★★★★ We had a great time and felt safe on the rafting and trekking tour.

The trekking guide (Moss?) was very informative and taught us about the local plants. Rafting rescue guide Tom was very safe and funny, was nice to be able to communicate English very well.

★★★★★ great experience which really seems ethically correct

overwhelmed by the amount of elephant sanctuaries & trips there in Chiang Mai we settled for Lanna Kingdom and couldn”t have been more happy. The day was an amazing experience for us and as far as you can tell the elephants seem to have found a good home there & to be treated quite well.

Official BVR Phuket website. The management (Italian/Thai "Paolo & Team") has returned. We are looking forward to see you. Thank YOU.