Home Activities Chiang Mai, Thailand: Temples, Adventures, and Water-Drenching Festivals

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Temples, Adventures, and Water-Drenching Festivals

by Sara Duncan

Chiang Mai is a big city in Thailand with the feeling of a small town. Despite its 600,000 inhabitants, visitors feel more as if moving from one charming village to another rather than navigating a large city. There are ultimately not many places in Thailand as capable of depicting the country’s cultural heritage as Chiang Mai. Wandering through the city and unveiling its treasures is a great way to discover a piece of Thailand in its entire splendor.

Things to See and Do in Chiang Mai

A Day With the Elephants

For an unforgettable experience, visit the Patara Elephant Farm. Here you can enjoy a day like no other by embracing the “Elephant Owner for a Day” event. Learn how to take care of and interact with these gentle giants. Feed the elephants, give them a bath in the river, ride them, and learn how to effectively communicate with them. You will be touched by this very special, sacred animal, as you get a step closer to their special world.

Patara Elephant Farm

299/22 Siwalee Rachapreuk MaeHea,

Chiangmai, Thailand

Phone number: +66 819 92 25 51 • +66 816 71 09 58

Songkran, Thailand’s New Year

If you happen to visit Chiang Mai in spring, beware of Songkran. Every year from April 13 through April 15, the Thai New Year festivity takes place. While New Year’s Day is celebrated in most parts of the world on January 1 with a big firework display, people from Thailand celebrate it in April with a water festival meant to wash away bad luck. Be prepared for inevitable showers; water is the undisputed star of the event. Expect to be drenched with just about anything capable of spreading water: hoses, water balloons, water guns, hydrants, and even elephants spraying water through their trunks! With an almost entire population of 600,000 residents involved in this frenzy, there is ultimately little room for escape; you will get wet! Just make sure to dress in the right attire and keep your camera safely stored. Luckily, the Songkran festivity falls during the hottest time of the year and lasts only a couple of days.

Rock Climbing Adventures

Chiang Mai has a lot to offer when it comes to admiring the great outdoors for those who have a sense of adventure. Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures is the place to go for both novice and intermediate climbers. The company has received an “Excellent” score from the Thailand Authority of Tourism. Touring the caves of Crazy Horse surrounded by its beautiful limestone landscape will provide an unforgettable experience, especially when paired with the exhilarating feeling of achievement once you have reached the top!

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures

55/3 Ratchapakhinai Road

T.Phra Singh A.Muang

Chiang Mai Thailand

Phone number: 66 (0) 53 207 102

Flight of the Gibbon

If you have had enough of rock climbing and seeing elephants, perhaps you may be looking forward to seeing magnificent Thailand from a different angle. How about going on a thrilling voyage and soaring through the rain forest in an adventure like no other? Try zip-lining, where you get to fly like a bird while enjoying the beautiful scenery. The company makes safety a top priority so you can enjoy the world below without worrying about the heights.

Flight of the Gibbon

112 / 9 Tasala, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand

Phone number: +66 899 70 55 11

Chiang Mai Temples

Chiang Mai boasts about 300 temples, leaving visitors with quite a vast array of choices. Unlike Bangkok’s temples, which are mostly a bit more than 200 years old, Chiang Mai’s temples are for the most part at least 700 years old. Worth mentioning is the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple, which, perched atop the mountainside, boasts splendid views below, and the Chedi Luang Wat temple, which offers the perfect glimpse into the spiritual Thai culture. Please remember to dress respectfully when visiting Chiang Mai’s temples.

Where to Eat

Dash Restaurant and Bar boasts traditional Thai dishes for those interested in going on a gourmet culinary adventure. This restaurant also offers a taste of Western comfort food for those nostalgic for familiar meals comprising hamburgers, fries, and pasta. Owner and gourmet chef Noi Trevis shares her passion with diners in an intimate Thai-style lodge.

Dash Restaurant and Bar

38/2 Moon Muang, Soi 2 Prasing subdistrict,

Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone number: +66 853 47 74 45

Where to Stay

Secret Garden of Chang Mai has obtained astounding reviews year after year. Inspired by the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this retreat boasts secretive bungalows surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. This location is a wonderful place to relax and unwind after a long day spent shopping and touring the city.

Secret Garden

54/1 Moo 5, T. Mae Kue, A. Doi Saket

Chiang Mai 50220, Thailand

Phone number: (66-53) 339 502

How to Reach Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is home to an international airport that welcomes about 2 million visitors a year. The airport is about a 10-minute car drive from Chiang Mai’s city center.

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, Chang Mai will touch your heart and soul in so many different ways. Chang Mai in Thai means “new city,” and even though the city was founded in 1296, you will see drastic contrasts between ancient and new. Take some time to marvel at several archeological artifacts, enjoy the great outdoors, and relax at the spa.

Regardless of what you do, rest assured; Chiang Mai and its Thai ambiance will leave an everlasting impression that will accompany you back home and endure for many years to come.