10 essential places to see in Chiang Mai


This list of places to see in Chiang Mai It will help you not to miss anything from one of the most incredible cities in northern Thailand that we are sure, will not leave you indifferent.

And it is that in Chiang Mai you can run out of breath in one of the treks that are made by its great natural environment of high mountains and waterfalls, know its great cultural heritage, in which its beautiful temples stand out, get lost in its endless markets or enjoy of one of the best gastronomies in the world, are just some of the Top things to do in Chiang Mai.

To reach Chiang Mai from Bangkok, located 700 kilometers away, you can choose the plane or take a train and bus route, stopping in the impressive historical cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
In case of opting for the bus in any of the routes, we advise you to book it in advance on the 12Go platform to secure the place in the day and time you need.

Based on the experience of the time we spent in the city during our trip to Thailand for free and the six days we spent in the city, on our last trip, during which we wrote this travel guide to Thailand, we have prepared this list of what we think are the 10 essential places to visit in Chiang Mai. We start!

1. Historic center

The ancient city, located in a square area of ​​2 × 2 km long and surrounded by a wall with a large water moat, is one of the most essential places to see in Chiang Mai. Its narrow streets full of restaurants, massage and yoga centers, clothing and souvenir shops, designer cafes and accommodations for all budgets, can be explored perfectly on foot or by bike.
Also among its walls are some of the most important temples of the city such as the ancient Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, which you can not miss, as they are a symbol of the city.
One of the special moments of the ancient city is on Sunday afternoons, when on Ratchadamnoen street and its adjacent ones they close to traffic to set up a huge night market, full of local craft and food stalls.

2. Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, located on the mountain of Doi Suthep, is one of the most revered places to visit in Thailand and one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centers.
To get to the temple, one of the Top things to do in Chiang Mai, you will have to climb the 309 steps of a huge staircase flanked by two sacred snakes. Once you reach the top you will see the figure of a white elephant that has a great legend behind, several buildings and temples, Buddhist statues, prayer bells and a terrace with good views of Chiang Mai and surroundings.
Do not forget that to enter the most sacred part of the temple, where there is an impressive gold-plated chedi, you will have to take off your shoes.

Other places that are close to Doi Suthep and worth seeing are the Wat Pha Lat temple surrounded by a magnificent natural landscape, the Bhubing Palace gardens and the Huay Kaew waterfall.
To get to Doi Suthep, if you don't want to rent a motorcycle, you can take a Songthaew, a kind of van that acts as a shared taxi, for about 80 baths per person from the walled area of ​​Chiang Mai.
Another more comfortable option is to book this tour that includes a visit to a village of the Hmong tribe.

Wachirathan waterfall in Doi Inthanon

Map of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai

If you feel like helping us complete the list of the 10 places to see in Chiang Mai essential, add yours in the comments.