Buddhist Monuments

Chiang Mai is a temple town, and the historic centre is studded with some of Thailand's most spectacular wát, founded in the city's medieval heyday.

Wat Phra Singh The grandest wát in the old city, and home to the revered Lion Buddha idol.

Wat Chedi Luang The ruined chedi at this imposing downtown wát was the tallest building in medieval Chiang Mai.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Chiang Mai's signature temple, soaring above the city on the jungle-cloaked Doi Suthep mountain.

Wat Phra That Doi Kham Inspiring city views and graceful golden stupas, rising above the forest southwest of the centre.

History

The capital of the Thai north has a rich and varied history, best explored in ancient ruins and the city's excellent museums.

Lanna Folklife Museum The best of the city's museums, with the back story of Chiang Mai's palaces.

Chiang Mai Historical Centre Delve into Chiang Mai Province history, from the teak concessions to the Burmese occupation.

Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre Walk through a mock-up Lanna village in this museum set in the former Provincial Hall.

Wiang Kum Kam The ruins of the first city at Chiang Mai are scattered along southern outskirt lanes.

Fabulous Food

Any time is dinner time in the foodie capital of northern Thailand; graze all day then learn to cook the same dishes on a Chiang Mai cooking course.

SP Chicken Chiang Mai's tastiest chicken comes with spicy dipping sauces at this legendary hole-in-the-wall.

Lert Ros Simply perfect grilled talapia served with spicy papaya salad is a not-to-miss taste experience.

Huen Phen Northern-style village cooking goes upmarket in this popular restaurant, decked out with Lanna antiques and bric-a-brac.

Khao Soi Lam Duan Fah Ham Our pick for kôw soy, the city's famous soup of noodles, spices and coconut milk.

Talat Pratu Chiang Mai It's a feast every night at Chiang Mai's liveliest night market at the southern city gate.

Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School One of the city's longest-established schools, with a menu created by TV chef Sompon Nabnian.

Jungle Encounters

Untamed nature is just a rót daang ride away in Chiang Mai, with jungle-covered mountains rising right outside the city limits.

Elephant Nature Park Elephant welfare takes centre stage at this elephant sanctuary in Mae Taeng.

Nam Tok Mae Sa The most inviting of the many waterfalls churning from the jungle around Chiang Mai.

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is just one reason to visit the mountains above Chiang Mai.

Rabeang Pasak Tree House Stay á la Tarzan in these eclectic tree houses in the jungle near the city.

Markets

Chiang Mai is one enormous marketplace, with eager traders hawking everything from hill-tribe crafts to fabulous street food.

Talat Warorot Chiang Mai's oldest and busiest market is a hive of activity and commerce.

Saturday Walking Street & Sunday Walking Street Chiang Mai transforms into one enormous street market each weekend.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar A carnival atmosphere pervades at the nocturnal souvenir markets along Th Chang Khlan.

Talat Muang Mai The city's wholesale fruit market is the place to come for any tropical fruit.

Thrills & Spills

Chiang Mai is northern Thailand's adventure capital, and adrenaline junkies can turn up the thrills to 11 on rafting trips, mountain-bike trails and ziplines through the jungle.

Flight of the Gibbon The zipline pioneer in Chiang Mai, with a spiderweb of cables in the canopy.

Chiang Mai Mountain Biking & Kayaking Adrenaline-charged descents through the jungles of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

Siam River Adventures Proper white-water rafting on the rivers around Chiang Mai, with support from experienced safety crews.

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Rock climbing ascents of the Crazy Horse Buttress, rising from the jungle.

Green Trails Trek through the wild mountains on eco- and socio-responsible day or multi-day adventures.