The rising stars of international tourism, located in the southeastern part of Asia are the sister cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Both are like Yin and Yang! Both beautifully opposite in nature, are no longer the less trodden tourist path. They are quickly building up their tourist database and are becoming one of the major tourist destinations in the whole wide world.
Chiang Mai is like an extrovert sibling. It has some of the most beautiful landscapes one has ever seen. Chiang Mai is like the epicenter of fun activities and entertainment. Like the saying goes “Big surprises come in Small Packages”, this small city is packed with a lot of wonderful elements and unique experiences. Chiang Mai is one of the best-suited cities for all types of people and all types of budgets with a lot of things to do.
Historically the capital of Lanna and Mengrai Dynasties still strongly upholds its rich traditional and cultural values. Apart from mesmerizing sceneries, museums, temples, clubs Chiang Mai is a place for raw adventures.
We have picked out a few of the best outdoor adventure activities that can be experienced in Chiang Mai.
Go for it!
1. Scenic Hiking and Trekking:
Walking in itself is a very calming and relaxing exercise. And especially if you have a path through dense forest, gushing waterfalls, and surreal natural views, what else will a person want?
Hiking and trekking are the best adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai. There are many beautiful and strenuous tours which can be arranged along with a guide.
The trails Chiang Mai offers are nothing but stunning and a delight to nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts equally. The paths will take you through some of the most breathtaking sceneries, and different village tribes. The best time to trek or hike is between November and March.
Best trekking destinations:
- Mae Tang and Chiang Dao districts
- Doi Luang Chiang
- Doi Suthep National Park
- Huay Kukap & Tad Mok Waterfall
- Mae Wang
- Samoeng Area
- Comfortable clothes and proper shoes are a must. Preferably full arm shirts and full pants as you will come across thorns and insects on your trail
- Mosquito repellent and sunscreen lotion are advised
- You will come across hill tribes during your hike; however, beware of treks and hikes which solely concentrate on sighting these tribes as it might just be a hoax and they might be set up to earn monetary gains
PS: Depending on the number of days and the place of the trek, the price varies from 5,700 INR to 9,000 INR
2. Spend time with Majestic Elephants:
Elephants are the most humble animals there can be. These humongous herbivores are extremely friendly beings who yearn love and attention. Thailand itself is a land of elephants and Chiang Mai is no exception. They have a lot of conservation and protection programs to support and promote elephant care as well as elephant tourism.
You can observe their daily life activities from close quarters. They also allow you to feed them, bath them, care for them, trek along with them along the jungle trail. They strictly don’t allow tourists to ride on the elephants. This is one of the most favorite adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai for everyone.
Some of the most famous elephant camps with their approximate price ranges have been given below,
- Elephant Nature Park – 6,000 INR per adult 3,000 INR per child (2-11 Years)
- Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary & Trekking:
- Half-day package – 3,000 INR for adult and 3,000 INR per child (age 4-10)
- Full day package – 6,000 INR per adult and 3,000 INR per child
- You can even walk the elephants, stay overnight, or volunteer with the elephants. The cost varies accordingly.
- Hug Elephant Sanctuary – 9,500 INR for 6 hours and 5,000 INR for 9 hrs
- Chai Lai Orchid Elephant Camp – 7,600 INR per person for a private tour
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
- Carry medicines and a small first aid kit
- Carry an extra pair of clothes
- Sunscreen lotion and water bottle is a must
An extremely fun and adrenaline-pumping adventurous thing to do in Chiang Mai is Zip Lining. Feel like a bird and zoom right through the dense forests of Chiang Mai. Ziplining in Chiang Mai is one of the most sought after adventurous activities owing to the rich and abundant lush forests.
An extremely dangerous but exciting way to explore the jungles, it usually takes place in the thick rainforests of Doi Saket.
The best and recommended zipline operators with their approximate price ranges are given below –
- The Flying Gibbon – 8,700 INR per person
- Eagle Track Zipline – 3,500 INR per person
- Flying squirrels – 9,000 INR per person
- Dragon Flight Ziplines – 3,500 INR per person
Each of the Ziplines in Chiang Mai provides you with different packages. Depending on the number of trials, a number of zipline courses, and many other additional adventurous activities like walkways, bridges, nets, etc they might have built to provide more entertainment. However, all the packages are inclusive of food and transport unless you opt-out of it personally.
Below are some of the most important pointers you need to be mindful of, to participate in Ziplining.
- Wear comfortable clothes, proper shoes and do not let your hair loose
- Carry your medicines and a first aid kit with you
- Not recommended for travelers who are pregnant, with back problems, and medical conditions such as
- Heart problems, high BP, etc.
- Maximum weight allowed is 120 kg
- Please listen to all the instructions carefully and do check all the gears before starting off
4. Mysterious Caving and Kayaking:
Nature has poured its blessings on Chiang Mai. From plush green hills and jungles to untamed rivers, streams, and abundant flora and fauna. This makes way for great natural adventure experiences. You can paddle across bubbling streams and clear rivers, explore some mysterious underground temple and every green jungle.
Chiang Mai houses some of the most gorgeous rivers and tributaries. These water bodies make way for some of the most beautiful and adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai. However good care has been taken to not harm the ecosystem. The most important rivers of Chiang Mai are;
- Mae Ping River
- Mae Taeng River
There are many tours that can be arranged along these rivers like river cruises, kayaking, bat cave exploring, bird watching, jungle tours, visiting the Buddhist shrine of the Chiang Dao Cave, and many more.
- No need of prior experience in kayaking required, you will be provided some basic kayaking theory lessons before taking up the tour
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
- Carry a water bottle and an extra pair of clothes
- Sunscreen lotion and a medical kit is an absolute must
- Depending on the distance, the cost ranges from 4,000 INR to 5,000 INR for Kayaking; per person
- Kayaking and Cave exploration together works out to 5,200 INR per person
Chiang Mai packages in your budget
5. Mesmerizing Hot Air Balloon Ride:
One of the most romantic and adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai is the Hot Air Balloon ride. Float in one of the most gorgeous and colorful gigantic balloons over the city’s most historical and scenic areas getting a bird’s-eye view.
A once in a lifetime experience, Hot air balloon Ride in Chiang Mai is one of the most sought after tours. The tour can be customized according to your needs. Either just a sun-rise tour, or a half a day tour, or an even more romantic tour along with some champagne and breakfast and many such options. Most of the balloons take the route which floats upon the plush 100 acres of Tweechol Botanical gardens, the scenic San Sai district, the historic temple of Wat Lok Molee perched on top of the magnificent Chiang Mai hills.
- The flying tour solely depends on the weather and the final call is in the hands of the pilot
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes which will protect you from the heat of the sun and the balloon
- Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, and binoculars
- Pregnant women are not allowed to fly
6. Blissful Bicycling:
Bicycling is not only for exercising but it is also one of the greatest ways of recreation. Especially when you are in a city as beautiful as Chiang Mai, it is almost like a mandatory activity. A great mode of sightseeing, especially in beautiful cities.
Pedal away and create great and unique memories! As one of the best adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai, there are many kinds of cycling tours available. You can choose to go on a city tour or a nature-oriented tour.
Depending on what you choose the timings are different as well.
Renting a cycle depends on the type of cycle and costs start from about 120 INR for 24 hours. A security deposit of about 2,000 INR has to be paid initially.
Some of the most popular tours are,
- Early morning Chiang Mai city tour
- Chiang Mai History tour
- Chiang Mai Night Cycling tour
- Nature tour of Doi Suthep Road
- Mae Sa Valley
- Sri Lanna
- Chiang Dao
- Carry medicine and First Aid Kit
- Dress in comfortable clothes and proper shoes
- Check and make sure if the provided cycle is technically sound (break, bell, etc)
- Do check and wear cycling gears before you begin(helmet, knee pads, etc)
7. White Water Rafting:
Taking adventurous things to do in Chiang Mai a notch higher by gliding across rigorous water currents on the Mae Tang river is one of the perfect dates for an adrenaline junkie. Get ready for one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life.
The most popular site for white water rafting in Chiang Mai is the gorgeous Mae Taeng River bouncing and flowing across remote hill tribes and tranquil rice terraces. There are many operators providing good packages but there are few major notes to be made before you set off!
This adventurous activity solely depends on the water levels and the current and hence the best time to go on river water rafting tours is between the months of June and January.
- Please be careful of the gears and check them thoroughly before starting off
- Dress comfortably in proper shoes and also carry an additional pair of clothes
- Carry medicines and first aid kit
Cost starts from about 3,400 INR per person
Chiang Mai is a little piece of heaven packed with some of the most interesting and marvelous places to visit and enjoy the best of experiences. Thailand is the best vacation destination well suited for families and honeymooners with its own adventure activities.
Have a wonderful time with your loved ones without any worry by leaving all the scheduling with us!