Located in a mountainous area of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai was first founded in 1296. Part of the more modern city is Nimmanhaemin Road, an ideal stroll with its many boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes, where the traditional Khantoke dinners can be enjoyed. The older part of the city still retains the ruins of moats and walls from its past history as a religious and cultural center. There are hundreds of picturesque Buddhist temples throughout the city including Wat Phra Singh, dating from the 14th century and the elaborate Wat Chedi Luang from the 15th century, which is decorated with many carved serpents. Take in all the attractions of this historic city and its surroundings by participating in some of the top day tours in Chiang Mai, Thailand, listed below.
This day tour allows visitors to spend time with rescued elephants. There is no set itinerary – visitors follow in the elephants’ footsteps during the visit as they enjoy their day, bathing, playing in the mud and eating local fruits. As you observe their behavior, an experienced guide explains the animals’ behavior and how they are properly cared for. You even help prepare healthy treats and food for the elephants and feed it directly to them, with much enjoyment on both sides. The surrounding scenery is beautiful and part of the tour includes a traditional Thai buffet lunch.
Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park
Duration: 5 to 9 hour
This full day tour allows you to visit the Hill Tribe Villages and experience the culture of the Karen Hill Tribe. The tour is done in a non-intrusive way and there is no guarantee what you will actually experience. However, you will be invited into a Hill Tribe family home to learn about their lifestyle, while enjoying the beautiful and lush countryside in the Chiang Mai area. There is a choice of cooking lunch together with the host family in the village, or you can head to a local restaurant to enjoy local dishes.
Chiang Mai: Full-Day Hill Tribe Countryside Villages Tour
Duration: 8 hour
Chiang Mai is a city of beautiful temples and this day tour takes you to four of the best ancient temples in Chiang Mai. First, you visit the 14th-century Wat Chediluang, which is located in the heart of the old city. This is followed by a visit to the city’s most venerated temples, Wat Phra Sing with its beautiful Lanna architecture. Next, you head to Wat Chiang Man, built by King Mangrai. Take a break and enjoy an authentic Thai lunch before heading to the last temple on the list, Doi Suthep Temple, which is located on a mountaintop towering 3,520 ft above sea level. Then it’s off to the Sankampaeng handicraft center, to view beautiful lacquerware, silverware, jewelry, and ceramics factories and watch workers weaving silk.
Chiang Mai Top Temples & Handicraft Center Private Day Tour
Duration: 8 hour
For those with adventure in their souls, this white-water rafting adventure on the Mae Taeng River is a lot of fun. It also allows you to get back into nature in the jungles of Northern Thailand along the way. After heading to the base camp, you get a safety briefing from your certified guides. You then climb on board for the challenge of heading down class III and IV white water rapids on the Mae Taeng River. Head through the jungle and take a break, before heading back to base camp on a section of class III rapids.
Chiang Mai: Mae Taeng River White Water Rafting
Duration: 7 hour
With this tour, you can once again experience adventure in Chiang Mai, enjoying the beauty of the countryside. First stop is a colorful orchid and butterfly farm, where you will learn about the various species, as well as the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Then you head off on a zipline experience through the jungle, via 19 platforms, giving a real adrenaline rush. After lunch, climb into an ATV and drive through the countryside before enjoying a white water rafting experience on the rivers.
Chiang Mai Adventure and Orchid Farm Day Tour
Duration: 7 Hrs 30 Min Duration
Head out from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, to visit one of the most beautiful temples – the famous White Temple and Blue Temple. First of all, stop off at the hot springs at Wat Rong Khun and visit the beautiful White Temple, with its unusual design. Then head to the newer temple of Wat Rong Sua Ten. Stop for a delicious authentic Thai lunch before visiting the fascinating Black House Museum (Baan Si Dum) to view a fascinating collection of artifacts created by Thawan Duchanee, a famous Thai artist. Finish off by visiting Singha Park and view the beautiful tea plantations on the way back to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Rai: White Temple & Black House Small Group Tour
Duration: 12 hour
This adventure tour takes you into the Northern Thai Jungle, where you head to Chiang Dao Valley and the Mae Ping River. Climb into a kayak and head through the bamboo jungle with overgrown banks and shaded by overhanging trees. Enjoy watching the fish jumping in the river and the beautiful bird life, all accompanied by mysterious jungle sounds. After a relaxing lunch at the riverside, head to the Chiang Dao Cave and spend around an hour exploring with a local guide. View Buddhist shrines, hidden away in the caves, while watching the bats that live there.
Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking
Duration: 1 day
Head through pure and beautiful nature in the Doi Inthanon National Park, surrounded by beauty. Visit the Wachiritharn Waterfall then head to the King and Queen’s chedis (Buddhist stupas) to enjoy amazing panoramic views over the park. Head to the top of Thailand’s highest peak to view the forests and greenery below and learn about the flora on the Angkha Nature Walk. Also, visit the Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon during your visit.
Doi Inthanon National Park Day Tour
Start your day in Chiang Mai with a beautiful sunrise hot air balloon flight over the rice paddies and forests. Enjoy aerial views of the countryside before touching down for a Champagne toast and breakfast buffet. Next stop is a spa in the city, where you will enjoy personal service, a spa consultation, and massage. Then head for a delicious lunch in the cafe at the spa, with vegetarian options available.
Chiang Mai Sunrise Balloon Flight and Luxury Spa Day
Duration: 6 to 7 hours
Start your enjoyable trek at Mon Tha Than Waterfall, while heading through Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Here you can experience the beauty and grandeur of the trail while trekking through tall hardwoods, bamboo forests and many beautiful, colorful flowers. There is also a diverse bird population to spot. Along the way, cool off in the pools of the many waterfalls. The trek ends at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most sacred temple, with panoramic views over the Ping Valley and Chiang Mai.
From Chiang Mai: Full-Day Doi Suthep Trekking Tour
Duration: 7 hour
Experience Chiang Mai and its beautiful surroundings
Get a real feel of the country by meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine, exploring beautiful temples and engaging in adventure sport, while enjoying some of the top day tours in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.