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17 Best Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2023

Seeing the golden temples and towers of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

There are countless things to do in Chiang Mai. The city is Thailand’s rose of the north and is a huge draw for travelers. Packed with delicious food, hundreds of temples and buzzing with Thai culture, Chiang Mai is a city where it’s impossible to be bored.

I spent quite a while there during my big backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. It quickly became one of my favorite cities in Thailand. I found countless things to see in Chiang Mai, and I had a real adventure when I rode a motorbike from there to Pai.

Chiang Mai is located in the mountainous north of the country, where the weather is cooler, the jungles are thicker and the rivers are stronger. All of this makes the area around the city an adventurer’s playground with a never ending list of things to do in Chiang Mai. Leave the “beachy” things to do in Koh Phangan and other Thai islands behind, and make your way to the mountains of Thailand, you won’t regret it!

This post was updated in 2023 to include even more amazing things to do in Chiang Mai.

17 Best Things to Do in Chiang Mai

If trekking the jungles or riding the rapids is not your thing, Chiang Mai itself is throbbing with enough activities and sights to steal your heart. Here is my list of just a few of the incredible things to do in Chiang Mai – it’s definitely one of the top places to visit in Thailand.

Have a read about what to do in Chiang Mai and start planning your next adventure.

1. Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

One of the top things to do in Chiang Mai is to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. This beautiful golden temple sits atop of Doi Suthep mountain and is located 12 kilometers from the city. As well as being the most sacred place in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is also one of the most sacred temples in the whole of Thailand.

Along with some spectacular views, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which is an incredible 13th century golden temple, also houses a beautiful white elephant shrine and an impressive replica of the Emerald Buddha.

When you are in the city, every taxi driver and travel agent will ask to take you to see the temple. However, this is not necessary as Doi Suthep is very easy to reach. The simplest option to reach the top of the mountain is by Songthaew, one of the converted pick-ups which you will see whizzing about the city. These hop on hop off “buses” are the best way to get about Chiang Mai. Don’t miss this temple when backpacking…

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