Chiang Mai Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Chiang Mai, Thailand)

Photo of the entrance to the Zoo and ArboretumThere are tourist attractions for everyone in the Chiang Mai area, and then some. Many people visiting Chiang Mai enjoy taking a guided tour of the city, a trip aboard the three-wheeler tuk tuk, or trekking into the mountains, passing hill tribes, while for others, the many attractions lining the banks of the Mae Ping are best viewed aboard a pleasure boat cruise.

Traditional Thai boxing is extremely popular in the city and regular boxing matches take place at the Gawila Boxing Stadium. For many tourists, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, the elephant shows and rides, the numerous tenpin bowling complexes, and the exciting adventure sports and attractions, including white-water rafting and bungee jumping, make for a perfect holiday. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Chiang Mai suitable for families, with the city's zoo being especially popular and full of exotic animals.

Walking Tours / Guided Tours / Trekking

Various tours of the city and surrounding area are available and can be booked by your hotel or at a nearby travel agency. Mountain treks are especially popular and are a good way to get up close with native wildlife, with attractions including flowering native orchids and lush forests. Various vantage points are located en route, offering superb views across Chiang Mai's cityscape and beyond. Those simply looking to sightsee within the city itself will be sure to enjoy the informative temple tours within the Old Town area.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Admission: charge

Picture of Giant Pandas at the city's Zoo and Arboretum

Chiang Mai Zoo and Arboretum

Address: 100 Huay Kaew Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 221 179
Lying on the western side of the city, Chiang Mai Zoo covers a vast area and is home to literally thousands of animal attractions, many of which are part of successful breeding programmes. The only zoo in the whole of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai Zoo was founded in 1974 by the Zoological Park Organisation and stands at the base of the Doi Suthep mountain, being surrounded by natural scenery, waterfalls and valleys. Expect to find walk-through aviaries with parrots, freshwater aquariums, elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, gibbons, deer, tapirs and even Humboldt penguins.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, concessions for children

View of boats


A good choice of river cruises can be found within Chiang Mai, allowing you to sit back, enjoy the sunshine and sightsee without even moving from your seat. Pleasure boats regularly travel on the Mae Ping River and pass many waterfront attractions along the way, such as lush jungles, historic buildings and even hill tribe settlements. Most cruises last between one and three hours, with many departing from the local pier on the Mae Nam Ping, close to Wat Chaimongkhon and within the Night Bazaar area. Cruises to nearby Chiang Rai are especially popular, as are evening dinner cruises and those stopping at a nearby fruit farm.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 18:30
Admission: charge, concessions

Bully Sky Ice

Address: 99 / 4 Huay Kaew Road, Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 224 444
Opened in 2000 and located on the top floor of the Kad Suan Kaew (KSK) shopping complex, Chiang Mai's first ice skating rink covers an area of some 1,300 square metres / 14,000 square feet. Skates can be hired upon arrival and refreshments are available for the spectators.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: charge

Picture of an elephant ride

Elephant Shows and Elephant Rides

Anything to do with elephants is always popular in Thailand and Chiang Mai is no exception to this. Elephant shows regularly take place early in the morning at several centres and during the afternoon in peak seasons, being followed by elephant rides after the show itself. Whilst these are generally gentle creatures, they are extremely strong and should always be treated with complete respect. The main elephant centres within the region are shown below and often a short drive from the city itself.

Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Chiang Mai Sky Adventure

Address: 143 M.6 T. Cherngdoi, Doisaket, Chiang Mai, 50220, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 868 460
Perhaps the most memorable way to view the city and its many historic attractions, the Chiang Mai Sky Adventure features small microlight planes and superb views. Endless photo opportunities will present themselves during the flights, although wing-tip cameras are also available. Flights last for 15 or 30 minutes and during this time you are able to communicate with the pilot via an intercom system.
Open hours: daily - 06:00 to 12:00, 15:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge

Chiang Mai Speedway

Address: 254 Moo 8, Chiangmai-Hang Dong Road, Chiang Mai, 50230, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 430 059
Those with a taste for speed will enjoy racing around the 500-metre / 1,640-foot track at the Chiang Mai Speedway. With a hairpin bend and long straights where you can really get up speed, a number of championship races take place here every year. Other attractions at the speedway include both jeeps and motorcycles, which can be hired.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 18:30
Admission: charge, concessions

Gawila Boxing Stadium

Address: Gongzai Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 098 526 947
Traditional Thai boxing regularly takes place at the Gawila Boxing Stadium, being known locally in Chiang Mai as 'Muay Thai' and developed from the ancient art of 'Muay Boran'. This exciting martial art has become Thailand's national sport and uses both kicking and punching techniques within the ring. Boxing nights regularly take place at the stadium and the atmosphere can be quite intense, particularly as the evening progresses.
Open hours: fight nights (Fridays and also often on Tuesday and Saturday) - 19:30 to 01:00
Admission: charge

Adventure Activities

Thrill seekers will find plenty of exciting attractions to occupy their days when visiting Chiang Mai. The area has many fast flowing rivers located within this province, such as the Mae Tang river, and white-water rafting is especially popular, particularly following the rainy season. Also available are hot-air balloon rides, mountain biking, kayaking, horse riding, bungee jumping and even rock climbing, particularly at the Peak Rock-Climbing Plaza off Th Chang Khlan, which is the biggest rock-climbing wall of its kind in the whole of south-east Asia.
Open hours: daily, seasonal variations
Admission: charge