Attractions Nearby Chiang Mai, Day Trips and Excursions

(Chiang Mai, Thailand)

Picture of Ao Nang BeachEndless exiting attractions lie outside of Chiang Mai and day excursions to many of these neighbouring locations are extremely popular. Tourists often choose to head to the Doi Suthep, a tall mountain peak, where the main attractions include stunning views across Chiang Mai, and also the historic Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple.

Family attractions are plentiful around nearby Mae Sa, where you will find a number of elephant camps, monkey farms and botanical gardens, while thrill seekers will be drawn to the bungee jumping in the scenic Mae Sa Valley. Other attractions close to Chiang Mai include the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, the sacred Chiang Dao Cave, and the rather unique Umbrella Village of Bo Sang.

Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep can be found just 16 km / 10 miles to the north-west of Chiang Mai and is a dramatic mountain peak, dominating the area at almost 1,700 metres / 1,056 feet in height. Apart from the awesome views across the Chiang Mai cityscape on a clear day, other attractions include the 14th-century Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple, the royal Phra Tamnak Phu Winter Palace and gardens, the breathtaking Nam Tok Monthathon waterfalls, and the Doi Pui National Park, which boasts many hiking trails, wildlife attractions and scenic picnic spots.

Bo Sang / Umbrella Village

Around 9 km / 6 miles east of Chiang Mai, Bo Sang often goes by the name of the Umbrella Village, due to its high concentration of umbrella manufacturers. The whole village is filled with craft shops selling an array of hand-painted umbrellas, detailed paper parasols, fans, jewellery and similar attractions. If you are lucky enough to visit the Bo Sang Umbrella Village in January, you may get to experience the exciting annual Umbrella Festival.

San Kamphaeng

San Kamphaeng lies some 15 km / 9 miles east of Chiang Mai. The main attractions here revolve around the thriving silk and cotton weaving industries, with many small shops lining much of the main street offering an array of colourful silk products, including scarves. Buses regularly travel between Chiang Mai and San Kamphaeng.

Hang Dong / San Pa Thong

Located a mere 15 km / 9 miles south of Chiang Mai and brimming with antiques shops and similar attractions, the Hang Dong area has also become known for its woodcarving and beautiful ceramics. Prices are generally extremely low and so this is a great place to pick up some holiday gifts and souvenirs. Nearby you will find the weekly water buffalo and cattle market in San Pa Thong, which may be of interest if you have time.

Mae Sa / Samoeng

Directly north-west of Chiang Mai you will discover the forested loop that is the Mae Sa area. A popular day trip, this spot contains a surprising selection of appealing tourist attractions, which are scattered around and include botanical gardens, butterfly parks, snake farms and a number of elephant camps, where you are able to get up close to these magnificent creatures and even feed them a bunch of bananas.

Chom Thong / Doi Inthanon

Those using public transport to travel between Doi Inthanon and Chiang Mai will no doubt stop at Chom Thong. The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong temple is worth a look here, while nearby, the Doi Inthanon National Park is home to the country's highest peak and a number of spectacular natural attractions, including three waterfalls and a total of around 400 different bird species.

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is a historic city, founded in 1262. Today, Chiang Rai has a population of roughly 60,000 people and is just over 180 km / 111 miles north of Chiang Mai. By car, this journey lasts around three hours. Often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Golden Triangle' or 'Siang Hai', Chiang Rai's main attractions include its wealth of historic Buddhist temples, such as the Wat Phra Kaew, the Wat Jet Yot, the Wat Phra Singh, and the Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong. Various other attractions can be found surrounding the city, such as mountain trekking and rock climbing, which can be booked at the 20+ travel agencies.