Attractions/Things to Do in Chiang Mai


The night bazaar is a must for bargain hunters. Stalls are set up at sunset, about 6pm, and close around midnight. The selection of goods on sale is vast. Clothes, leather goods, shoes, Thai silk, watches, house wares ,handicrafts, art, jewelery and much more .A lot of stalls sell the same things so be patient and look around and be prepared to haggle. Probably one of the best buys are hand tailored Thai silk clothes. If buying designer labels or DVD's beware of fakes. Equally popular is the Sunday Weekend Walking Street market. What makes this market so popular is that it also serves as a venue for local activities such as pageants, recitals and dances with stages and performance areas.

There are literally hundreds of temples in Chiang Mai and impossible to see them all. The most important ones are:

Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

Wat Prathat Doi Suthep

This is one of Thailand's most famous temples, overlooking the city from its spectacular mountain location. The winding road up to the temple passes a couple of nice waterfalls and the view from the temple platform is impressive.

The site dates from 1386 and is revered among Thais as one of the country's most important religious sites. With its distinctive gilded chedi and marble-floored courtyard, the temple is full of symbolism and is usually busy. If the 300 steps leading up to the temple are too much for you, a lift offers a quick shortcut.

Wat Chedi Luang

This is perhaps Chiang Mai's most striking relic and was once the most important in the Lanna capital. Dating from 1441, the 91-metre high pagoda was felled to half that height in an earthquake in the late 16th century. To this day the partially renovated chedi remains the tallest structure in the old city and the main attraction.

Mae Khampong and zipline

This eco village, and the pristine Mae Takhrai National Park in which it is nestled, is best seen from the tree tops which is why most the visitors are part of the Flight of the Gibbon experience. This is the original zip line in Chiang Mai and the most professionally run a thrilling adventure 50m above ground on more than 25 lines. It takes several hours to negotiate the sky bridges, abseiling obstacles and canopy. You might even spot gibbons in the wild. Mae Khampong, where it's based, is a pretty little village perched besides a mountain stream. It's a refreshing escape from the tourist trail. 

Chiang Mai Aquarium

Surprisingly, landlocked Chiang Mai now boasts the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia (opened in November, 2008). It's located inside the zoo and has an 8,000 cubic-litre tank that includes the world's longest aquarium tunnel (at 133m). More than 8,000 aquatic species, including 250 fresh water varieties, are found here.

Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre

Elaphants in Chiang Mai Mae Sa offers elephant shows, bathing elephants and elephant rides. Located about an hour's drive into the Mae Sa Valley, this is a great outing for the whole family. There's even a bamboo rafting centre. It's one of several camps in the area, with the rival Mae Taman camp in Mae Tang operated by the estranged wife of this camp's owner.

Moon On Caves

About 30 kilometres beyond the village of San Khampaeng, are the San Khampaeng Hot Springs. However just before the springs it is worth taking the turning to the left to visit the Moon On caves. At the foot of the hill is an attractive Chinese Temple. The road then climbs much higher up the hill to the caves. A visit to the Moon On caves is only for the fit. Firstly there is a long climb up a Naga staircase from the car park, before reaching the entrance to the caves. The caves are well lit and there are young guides available to point out the major sites, which are also Buddhist shrines. However to reach the famous stalagmite it is necessary to climb down a long concrete staircase, which means it is along climb back up to exit the caves

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