Chiang Mai Feature

Do Not Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying…

Chiang Mia is a city in north of Thailand. Tucked away in the lush mountains, this city full of temples is a gateway to unusual and fun activities. Don’t leave Chiang Mai without trying these  5 unique things to do in Chiang Mai.

5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai

#1 The Night Market Bazaar

Chiang Mai’s Night Market Bazaar is streets of stalls selling a whole manner of tat. Get your souvenirs, presents, genuine fakes and replenish those clothes here.

  • Address: Tha Phae Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Night Market I Don't Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying I5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai#2 Chiang Mai Cooking Classes

There are several Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai. I went with Basil Cooking School which  picks you up at your hotel and drops you back off. In between those times you visit a local market and are taught (and expected to eat!) a seven course meal including. The menu includes a spring roll type starter, two curry/soup mains and my favourite – mango and sticky coconut rice. I was ready to burst! The class takes place in a house and after each meal is cooked you dine with the other chefs at a sit down meal. Delicious! I’m salivating at the thought of it. Thai food is a party in your mouth all over the country. Check out this article on where to go in Thailand.

Thai Cooking Classes I Don't Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying I 5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai

#3 Elephant Nature Park – Elephant Sanctuary

Take an hour drive trip out of Chiang Mai to the home of The Elephant Whisperer, Lek, or “Tiny” Sangduen Chailert, and her herd of elephants. On the way there you will see tourists sit on top of elephants for a trek, you may (like us) think this is pretty normal behaviour. However, on the drive home you will be very disappointed in them. During the day you feed the elephants, feed yourself and also wash the beautiful beasts. There are lots of dogs at the sanctuary, one of which put an entertaining display on during the documentary feature. It’s a day well spent – turns out you don’t feed elephants by putting fruit up their trunks, who knew?…

Don't Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying I Elephant Nature Park I 5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai

Elephant Nature Park I Don't Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying I 5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai

  • Address: Elephant Nature Park Office, Tambon Kuet Chang, Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Going to Chiang Mai? Hover and pin to Thailand Pinterest board

5 unique things to do in Chiang Mai - the gateway to adventure. Elephants, massages, and mopeds. Do not leave Chiang Mai without trying...


#4 Massage by Thai Prisoners

I exaggerate! Lila Thai Massage is a professionally run beauty therapy house, the beauty therapists just happen to be prisoners who are near the end of their term and have been trained in the art of massage. It’s a dry massage so no need to get naked, appropriate clothing is provided. For more information see things to do in Chiang Mai. Best massage I’ve had (and I’ve had heaps).

5 Unique Things to do in Chiang Mai

  • Address: 37 Rachadamnoen Rd Soi 7, พระสิงห์ เมือง Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

#5 Hire a moped and Head North to Pai

Not quite Chiang Mai, as you need to leave but we did hire the moped from the city. Drive 3-5 hours through the mountains, stopping off at waterfalls and hot springs before you reach the small, relaxed town of hippy Pai. Be prepared to meet hippies who moved there decades ago and never left. Craig’s #1 trip from our South East Asia tour (mines was trekking in Sapa Valley, Vietnam).

Hot springs | Pai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is more than just temples and parties. Elephants, mopeds, and massages – a perfect holiday retreat!

I’m just scratching the surface here, check out more things to do in Chiang Mai!

What have we missed out?

Market Bazaar image ckmck (Flickr 2.0)

22 thoughts on “Do Not Leave Chiang Mai Without Trying…

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Excellent Gemma and Craig! Chiang Mai is one of our fave spots on earth. We hit the night market all the time and the mango with sticky rice is to do for. We’ve spent some 10 months there over the past 46 months. We live in the Southwest corner of the city, a bit of a distance away from the Gate. A lady on Chiang Mai Lamphun road sells THE BEST mango with sticky rice for like 60 Baht. This is Thai neighborhood so even the farang pay Thai prices 😉

    Thanks for the share guys and keep up the great work!


    1. TwoScotsAbroad

      Personally I’m not sure if I could live there but Ryan and Jeremy from the travel community (comments below) may beg to differ! More information about our stay here. Have you stayed anywhere in Thailand or South East Asia before? That’s exciting.

    1. TwoScotsAbroad

      It was fun! We had to take a number and wait about an hour so set aside some time – it’s well worth it. First ‘dry’ massage and best I’ve had (I had many in Thailand!)

      You must go to Pai though, serious big love for that place! Have a ball.

  2. Crystal Chabassol

    Great post. Going this May and will stop in for the dry Massage. I like the idea of mopeding it up to Pai. How was the driving? Did you drive back or just one way? You mentioned some stops on the way are they well marked? Thanks so much.

    1. TwoScotsAbroad

      Glad to be of help Crystal! We drove both ways, I was on the back. Craig found it easy. The waterfall and hot springs are well signposted, just keep a look out for them – they are before you get to Pai. You are going to have a ball – this was a highlight of the trip.

  3. Elisa Zen

    AMAZING! I can’t wait until I can get to Thailand. I have this feeling that once I see Chiang Mai I won’t want to leave!

  4. Julian

    Nice list! I would also add the Doi Inthanon park & Doi Suthep, great places and definitely worth a visit! Thanks a lot for those inspirations, time to get back there again.

  5. extreme boobs

    You are so cool! I do not believe I have read through anything like this before. So wonderful to find someone with a few original thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!


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