Located in Northern Thailand, amidst endless natural beauty,  is the lovely city of Chiang Mai. Filled with vibrant markets, spectacular food stalls, and friendly locals willing to point you in the right direction of what to see, do, and discover while exploring their city, Chiang Mai doesn’t pale in comparison to Thailand’s capital in the South.

If you are planning a trip to Chiang Mai and haven’t planned your days, why not consider our five must-dos in Chiang Mai:

Wander the Many Markets

Chock full of culture and some of the best street food in the world, it’s no wonder that Chiang Mai is famous for its alluring market. If you’re going to be there during the weekend, check out the Saturday Night Market and the Sunday Night Market as they are often considered two of the best throughout all of Thailand. Those in Chiang Mai during the weekdays can spend some time in the massive Night Bazaar open nearly every day of the year! Find a spot to sit, eat, and listen to live music, and experience life in Chiang Mai.

Visit the Temples

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Asia

Wat Phra Singh

Though Thailand as a whole is home to a vast number of temples, there are more than a few in Chiang Mai worth visiting. If you are staying in the town centre,  you’ll find just by wandering the streets, they are many to be discovered and visited. However, if you want to see even more of them, hire a tuk-tuk tour driver for the day who can take you around to more temples on the outskirts of town.

Take a Cooking Class

thai farm cooking school

Once you’ve done your fair share of grazing at the markets and eating out at the many great Thai restaurants in town, it’s about time you learned to cook for yourself. Chiang Mai is one of the best cities to take a cooking class and there are so many awesome ones to choose from. Expect to make your own curries and learn what goes into some of your favourite Thai dishes; sometimes you even get a cookbook to take home! While there are many awesome culinary schools, I’d highly recommend the Thai Farm Cookery School.

Spend a Day with an Elephant

No trip to Chiang Mai is ever complete without this once in a lifetime experience. Though many parts of Thailand offer elephant rides in a very non-holistic way, Chiang Mai is fortunately home to some fantastic organizations who keep the elephants best interest in mind, allowing it to be the best possible place throughout the country for such an experience. Do some research (try Baan Chang Elephant Park) and get ready to spend the entire day learning about the gentle giants, feeding them, practicing commands, riding them, and even bathing them in a pool on site.

Go for a Massage

thai massage chiang mai thailand

After all of that hustle and bustle, there’s a pretty big chance you are going to be quite exhausted. Luckily, Chiang Mai is famous for its many massage places all ready and willing to get you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated before your next adventure! Not to mention Chiang Mai probably affords one of the most value for money massages in your life. Try Green Bamboo Massage or Orn Healing Hands.