Tourist Spots

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

This temple is one of the most famous Buddhist shrines in the region. A visit is a must for all Buddhists who come to Chiang Mai. Legend has it that an especially holy relic was brought to Chiang Mai in 1371. To decide where it should be enshrined, it was placed on the back of an elephant, which promptly set out to climb the mountain. It finally came to rest and there the relic was buried. The first chedi was built over it and the temple has been continually expanded and embellished ever since.

Doi Suthep is a short seventeen kilometre drive from the city up a road that was first built in 1935. You then have to climb some two hundred steps up the naga stairway, or take a small tram to the temple. The view across Chiang Mai City and the river Ping valley is breathtaking and makes the exhausting climb worthwhile.

And then there is the temple itself. Cloisters painted with bright murals depicting the previous lives of the Buddha and filled with Buddha statues, enclose a marble floored area in the middle of which rises up a glorious golden chedi. The chedi is surrounded with a railing and at the four points of the compass are places where people can offer flowers, light joss sticks and apply small squares of gold leaf as they pray and make their wishes.

Doi Suthep can be seen from everywhere in Chiang Mai, it is a potent and powerful presence to which people often lift up their eyes for consolation in trouble or gratitude in happiness. You can take songteaw taxis up the mountain or join a tour.

Wat Chiang Man

The oldest temple in Chiang Mai town, Wat Chiang Man was built in 1296 by King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai. The temple is famous for its Lanna-style chedi supported by rows of elephant-shaped buttresses and an ancient and invaluable Buddha image named Phra Kaeo Khao. Wat Chiang Man is situated off of Ratchapakhinai Road in the northeast corner of the old city.

Phra Mahathat Napha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Phumisiri

Phra Mahathat Napha Methanidon and Phra Mahathat Naphaphon Phumisiri, twin pagodas located at Km. 41.5, were built to commemorate the fifth cycle birthdays of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. Both pagodas share the similar bases as well as a two-level walking path that surrounds them. The pagodas enshrine Lord Buddha’s ashes and Buddha images, and overlook the magnificent scenery of Doi Inthanon.

Kilometre 41.5 A.Chomthong, Chiang Mai

Bhubing Palace

Bhubing Palace is located on the same road, 4 kilometres beyond Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, on Doi Buak Ha. The royal winter palace was built in 1961. The palace is also the royal guesthouse for prominent State visitors from abroad. The lavishly landscaped gardens and grounds are open to the general public everyday from 8.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m. Tickets are sold until 3.30 p.m. The palace is closed when the Royal Family is in residence.

Far from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep around 4 kilometers

Mae Ya Waterfall

Mae Ya is one of the most beautiful cascades in Chiang Mai. Water flows from a 280-metre steep cliff onto different rock formations in a lower basin like drapes. The well-managed waterfall is teeming with verdant forests and is best for recreation. It is located 1 kilometre from Highway No. 1009 junction, turn left for 14 kilometres and then take a 200-metre walk.

located 1 kilometre from Highway No. 1009 junction, turn left for 14 kilometres and then take a 200-metre walk.

Ratchaphruek Royal Garden

Ratchaphruek Garden is situated 10km southwest of Chiang Mai, in Mae Hia sub-district. Nestled in a lush mountain landscape, this 400 rai (240,000m2) of land is indeed a picturesque setting -- not only the garden itself with its many plant and flower species -- but also its unique and delicate artwork and architecture which enriches the minds of its visitors with its seductive natural beauty.

The area was the site for the Royal Flora Expo 2006, the world most beautiful international horticultural exposition. This exhibition commemorated the auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary of the crowning of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Association of International Horticultural Producers (AIPH) gave the expo A1 status, its highest honor. Ratchaphruek Garden is truly the fruit of this special event. The garden has been carefully maintained and developed, and is a splendid resource for agrotourism, as well as being a learning and research centre for the public and a meeting-place for farmers to share knowledge.

Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai Zoo is located next to Huay Kaew Arboretum. It is a well-managed large zoo, which occupies the lower forested slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain. The zoo contains more than 200 types of Asian and African mammals and birds. The most popular star here is a couple of panda, the friendship Chinese ambassador. The zoo provide mono-rail service within the area of 2 kms. Additional, the twilight zoo is open 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. The newly aquarium on its area 10 rais, which housed the longest underwater automatic tunnel of Asia with 133 meters, and will accommodate both sea and river fish and animal from various areas; such as the upper mountain ranges of Northern Region, Khong River Basin, Amazon River Basin, the plain land of mangrove and from the underwater world. Moreover, the Nakhon Ping Bird Aviary, a large bird aviary with an area of 6 rai that is also the largest one of its kind in Thailand. This offers an opportunity to see and study about the nature of more than 132 local and international species of bird in the midst of a natural environment with a waterfall.

Chiang Mai Night Safari

Chiang Mai Night Safari is located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Tambon Mae Hia and Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai and Tambon Nong Khwai, Amphoe Hang Dong, covering an overall area of approximately 819 rai. This is an abundant night safari. Visitors can see various kinds of animals such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, Asiatic black bears, tigers, hyenas, crocodiles, etc. by open-air tram. There is also a trekking route to see the wild animals surrounded by a beautiful atmosphere on the lake’s bank that is full of various trees. To get there: It is 10 kilometres from Chiang Mai. Go along Huai Kaeo Road, turn left into Highway No. 121 toward Amphoe Hang Dong for around 10 kilometres, then turn right and continue for 2 kilometres. Operation hours: day time from Mon.-Fri. between 1.00 p.m.-4.00 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. between 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m., night time daily between 6.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m. Tickets for adults are 500 baht and 300 baht for children

Ob-Luang National Park

Ob-Luang National Park is part of Tanon Tong Chai mountain range, thus the forest is still quite rich. This is the origin of the Mae Jam River and the lower Ping River, Ob-Luang used to be an abundant habitat of pre-historic people. Usually Ob-Luang visitors are tourists who stop by on the way to or from Mae Hong Son using the Chiang Mai-Hod road, or those who visit Doi Inthanon and pass Mae Jam district to Chiang Mai. From Mae Jam they take Highway 1088 to Hod and pay a fun and enjoyable visit to Ob-Luang and its hot spring, its color-changing forest, the historical site, and the exciting rafting before heading back to Chiang Mai.

Doi Inthanon Peak

Doi Inthanon Peak has a cool climate all year round. The Air Force Radar Station and King Inthawichayanon’s stupa located on the mountaintop. King Inthawichayanon, the last king of Chiang Mai, was concerned about the importance of forests and wanted to preserve the forests for future generations. He was so familiar with Doi Inthanon that he asked that part of his ashes be kept here.