Chiang Mai Vacation and Sightseeing Guide

Chiang Mai thrives on tourism, with its 700 years of history and numerous charming cultural sites in the old town and beyond. From the banks and gates of the pretty moat to the ancient ruins of Chedi Luang and lofty heights of Doi Suthep mountain temple, there is plenty of sightseeing to be done in Chiang Mai.

Your vacation in Thailand takes on a more genuine and easy-paced atmosphere when you make Chiang Mai. Soft adventures, such as riding elephants, trekking to hill-tribe villages, or seeking out amazing waterfalls, are part of the experience. Sightseeing in Chiang Mai city is like stepping into a living museum where ancient pagodas pop up around every corner, antique houses line quaint lanes, and a timeless old town is soaked in historic character.


All the best bits of Chiang Mai, including Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, The Zoo and Night Safari, the ruins of Wiang Khum Kam, Elephant Camps and…more

The Old Town

Circumnavigate the famous moat, or get lost exploring the back lanes of this charming 700-Year-Old City, stumbling on hidden temples, ancient chedis or old teak houses and a traditional lifestyle…more

Day Trips

Within an hour of the city are superb waterfalls, Doi Suthep, Hilltop Temples, the Mae Sa Adventure Valley, along with Botanical Gardens, Elephant Camps, Hot Springs and Caves…more

Mae Sa Valley

Chiang Mai’s best loved playground, from amazing Waterfalls to Botanical Gardens, Elephant Rides and Bungy Jumping to Animal Shows and Soft Adventure…more

Northern Thailand

Escape into true rural Asia; trekking in the mountainous frontier, visiting Hill-Tribe Villages, experiencing laid-back Pai, lofty Doi Inthanon or the mystical Golden Triangle…more

National Parks

Within an hour’s drive are several fantastic national parks, showcasing the tropical beauty of Thailand, from mountain tops to towering waterfalls and lush jungle…more

Note: To find the best rate Hotels/Guesthouses in Old City, Chiang Mai, we recommend you look online at They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

Sightseeing Highlights in Chiang Mai

The old city is a virtual archive of ancient Siam, a square mile of lanes dotted with temples dating back to the founding of this Lanna Kingdom capital in the 13th century. Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chiang Man are just some of the important beautiful temples, but there are many more colourful relics and ruins including the gates and corner bastions of the pretty moat.

Aside from the cultural and historic legacy, there are plenty of contemporary and natural attractions to keep you busy for days. Doi Suthep/Pui National Park lies nearby, with its wonderful waterfalls and lush environment, and atop sits the much revered Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which gazes down on the city like a spiritual guardian. The Mae Sa Valley (to the north) has elephant camps, a botanical garden, animals shows, adventure trips, and more.

Chiang Mai vacation and travel guides also recommend the commendable zoo and exciting Night Safari as fun, family attractions, while day trips can be made to hot springs, ruins of the original city settlement, and mountain drives.

Several interesting museums covering the unique cultures and craftsmanship of the north are found in Chiang Mai, along with numerous galleries, pretty parks and some intriguing markets. Perhaps the best sightseeing to be done in Chiang Mai, however, is to simply stroll aimlessly among its old lanes and admire the genuine, timeless Asian life going on all about you. It’s curious, chaotic, and captivating. 


Further reading…