21 AWESOME Tours in Chiang Mai [Hidden Gems!]

Chiang Mai is located in the mountainous region of northern Thailand. Steeped in history and stunning scenery, this city has a lot to offer tourists. Chiang Mai tours are a great way to see, learn, and experience all that this beautiful city has to offer!

Whether you’re interested in an adventurous outing, an authentic Thai cooking class, or Chiang Mai day trips to neighboring villages, we’ve got you covered! Here are the top 21 Chiang Mai excursions that are sure to make your trip to this Thai city as epic as possible!

• The 21 Best Tours in Chiang Mai •

#1 – Elephant Sanctuary Small Group Ethical Tour

Elephant Sanctuary Small Group Ethical Tour
Perfect for animal lovers
  • $$$
  • 5 – 8.5-hours
  • Interact with elephants up close
  • Feed the elephants and help give them a bath

Connect with rescued elephants up-close at an ethical Elephant Sanctuary. Learn about the elephant conservation program and help care for them during your visit. Give them a hug, feed them, and help bathe them in the river!

Learn how to make herbal vitamin balls for the elephants and interact with these gentle giants on a personal level. This is one of the most unique Chiang Mai day tours you can take!

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#2 – Authentic Thai Cooking Class & Local Market Tour

Authentic Thai Cooking Class & Local Market Tour
Indulge in the local cuisine
  • $
  • 6-hours
  • Prepare a 4-course Thai meal to enjoy
  • Visit a local market with a chef and learn about Thai cuisine

Start this tour with a trip to a local Thai market to pick up the ingredients you’ll need for cooking. Continue onto your cooking school where you can select the dishes you’d like to prepare.

You’ll have a private cooking station to prepare your meals under the instruction of a Thai chef! Create tasty soups, delicious main dishes, and a scrumptious dessert. Enjoy the dishes you’ve prepared and leave with a cooking booklet to recreate your meals!

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#3 – Bike Tour of Chiang Mai’s Historic Old City

Bike Tour of Chiang Mai’s Historic Old City
A fun activity for the whole family
  • $$
  • 3.5-hours
  • Slow and leisurely 12-kilometer bike ride
  • Suitable for families with children

Discover the back-lanes and alleyways of Chiang Mai’s Old City with a leisurely bike ride. Visit some of the city’s oldest temples, including the “Temple of the City Navel”. Learn about Chiang Mai’s history as a trading hub as you peddle past the city’s iconic landmarks!

Enjoy a stop at the Somphet Market where you can walk around and taste a few of the local fruits and sweets.

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#4 – High Mountain Day Trek from Chiang Mai

High Mountain Day Trek from Chiang Mai
An ideal outing for the adventurous traveler
  • $$
  • 9-hours
  • Full-day mountain trek
  • Hike the jungles and forests of Northern Thailand

Depart Chiang Mai and travel 1-hour to the wilds of northern Thailand. Experience one of Thailand’s pristine forests up-close as you hike through local trails with your expert tour guide. Learn about the jungles flora and fauna as you hike through valleys, streams and ridges!

Stop to enjoy a local-style Thai lunch along the way. You’ll encounter friendly locals and hill tribes and get a glimpse into their everyday lives.

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#5 – Chiang Mai Top Temples and Handicraft Center Private Tour

Chiang Mai Top Temples and Handicraft Center Private Tour
A great cultural experience in Chiang Mai
  • $$$
  • 8-hours
  • Visit 4 most sacred temples in Chiang Mai
  • Air-conditioned private transportation

Experience the rich history of Chiang Mai with a private tour of the city’s most sacred temples. Sit-back and relax as your local tour guides drives you through the city. Visit a 14th-century temple and a temple perched on a mountaintop 3,520-feet above sea-level!

Enjoy an authentic Thai meal for lunch before heading to Chiang Mai’s handicraft factory center to watch craftsmen at work. See silk weaving and visit silverware, lacquerware, ceramics and jewelry factories.

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#6 – Chiang Mai Segway Tour

Chiang Mai Segway Tour
An exciting way to see the city!
  • $$$
  • 2-hours
  • A fantastic way to see the highlights of the city
  • Helmets and training session is included

Whiz through the streets of Chiang Mai with a fun and exciting Segway Tour! Cover more of the city in a shorter amount of time. You’ll visit Wat Phra Singh, Wat Pan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang, the Three Gates, and much more!

Stop for photo opportunities along the way and enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks. This tour is kept to a maximum of 7 people to ensure you receive a more personalized experience.

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Chiang Mai has tons to do! But don’t forget you can take day trips around Chiang Mai too!

#7 – Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour

Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour
A truly unique tour for aquatic enthusiasts
  • $$$
  • 8-hours
  • Climb-up Thailand’s famous Bua Tong “sticky” waterfall
  • Transport by private air-conditioned vehicle

Start this tour with a visit to Doi Suthep – Pui National Park to see a temple that sits 1,100 meters above sea level! Once at the top you’ll have the opportunity to receive a holy blessing from a Buddhist monk.

Afterward, climb the Bua Tong “sticky” waterfalls; a truly unique experience. The limestone particles in the water make it so the rocks aren’t slippery, enabling you to climb right up! Finish with a nice relaxing swim in the pristine warm lake waters.

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#8 – White Temple and Golden Triangle Day Trip

White Temple and Golden Triangle Day Trip
A great day tour from Chiang Mai
  • $$
  • 13-hours
  • Transportation by an air-conditioned van with an experienced driver
  • Take a boat trip along the Mekong River and admire the stunning scenery

This Chiang Mai temple tour is perfect for those wanting to explore some of Thailand’s iconic attractions outside of Chiang Mai. Travel to the White Temple in Chiang Rai and admire the beauty of this famous temple. Visit the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet!

Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the Mekong River. You’ll Stop for lunch at a local Thai restaurant and break for coffee or tea in Mae Suay or Wiang Pa Pao district.

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#9 – ATV Countryside Adventure Tour

ATV Countryside Adventure Tour
The perfect fun-filled adventure
  • $$$$
  • 6-hours
  • Enjoy a fun 25-mile ATV ride
  • On-road and off-road jungle terrain driving

Explore the local Chiang Mai countryside with a fun-filled ATV drive! After your morning pick-up, you’ll drive 1.5-hours to reach the adventure base camp. Spend approximately 3-hours following your guide as you explore the jungle terrain!

Go off-road and see if you can spot the natural wildlife. Lunch and drinks are provided. If you’re looking for an adventurous experience, this Chiangmai tour is for you!

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#10 – Evening Local Street Food Market Tour

Evening Local Street Food Market Tour
A great way to explore Thailand’s food scene
  • $
  • 2.5-hours
  • Visit at least 2 evening street food markets
  • Small group tour with a maximum of 8 people

Treat your tastebuds with an evening food market tour. Sample a minimum of 8 famous Thai dishes as you visit 2 of Chiang Mai’s food markets. Your guide will teach you some basic Thai phrases so you can practice ordering dishes in Thai yourself!

This tour has a small group setting, so you to ask your tour guide as many questions as you’d like and get to know the fellow foodies in your group.

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Want to learn more about Phuket? These are the most AMAZING tours in Phuket!

# 11 – Mae Taeng River White Water Rafting

Mae Taeng River White Water Rafting
An enthralling outdoor activity!
  • $$$$
  • 7-hours
  • 6-mile route of the Mae Taeng River
  • Certified high-quality equipment included

Depart Chiang Mai and relax on a 1.5-hour air-conditioned car ride to the base camp. After a safety briefing, your adventure will begin! Raft the white water rapids of the Mae Taeng River in the jungles of northern Thailand!

Experience the exhilarating rush of white water rafting class III and IV rapids with this Chiang Mai tour. Finish your trip with a well-deserved meal and drink!

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Chiang Mai is great! Chiang Mai’s hostels are great too!

#12 – Boat Trip on the Mae Ping River

Boat Trip on the Mae Ping River
An enjoyable experience for couples and families!
  • $
  • 2.5-hours
  • See Chiang Mai from the water
  • Learn insightful local knowledge on farming

Enjoy a leisurely 45-minute riverboat cruise through the Mae Ping River. Witness the lifestyle of the local people whose traditional wooden homes line the riverbank.

You’ll stop at a farm and learn about the medical and culinary uses of traditional Thai herbs. Sample a selection of seasonal fruit and enjoy a farmhouse lunch of khao soi, a delicious noodle soup in a spicy curry broth!

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#13 – Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village Tour

Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village Tour
A great cultural experience
  • $
  • 4-hours
  • Visit the Hmong hill tribe village
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned minivan

This tour provides guests the unique opportunity to learn about Thailand’s Hmong culture. Start your tour by traveling to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, on the Doi Suthep mountain. Climb up 309 steps to the hilltop for spectacular panoramic views of Chiang Mai!

Next, visit the village of the Hmong hill tribe. Learn more about the life, customs, and traditions of this unique tribe, known for their colorful costumes and handicraft traditions.

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#14 – Van Service with Professional Driver

Van Service with Professional Driver
Perfect for travelers pressed for time
  • $$$
  • 8-hours
  • Enjoy the ability to customize your Chiang Mai tour
  • This private tour is operated with just your party (up to 9 people)

Tour Chiang Mai with the convenience of a personal air-conditioned van and a local tour guide! See the sights you want to see in Chiang Mai and surrounding provinces. Enjoy the full flexibility of customize your itinerary and spend the day however you’d like!

Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, shopping, or an exciting day trip just outside the city, your driver will take you wherever you’d like to go!

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#15 – Araksa Tea Plantation Tour and Tea Tasting

Araksa Tea Plantation Tour and Tea Tasting
Perfect for tea drinkers
  • $
  • 2-hours
  • Learn about the process of making tea
  • Enjoy a cup of tea with a delicious Thai snack

Experience Thailand’s tea culture with a tea-tour and tasting! Start by going into the fields and plucking tea leaves while learning the different processes and methods used to cultivate tea plants.

Next, you’ll go to the roasting station and watch the staff demonstrate the art of making tea by hand. When the roasting is done, you’ll enjoy a fresh cup of tea and a tasty Thai snack! Learn the whole process of making tea, from plucking to pouring!

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#16 – Traditional Khan Toke Meal & Cultural Performance

Traditional Khan Toke Meal & Cultural Performance
Dinner and a show!
  • $$
  • 3.5-hours
  • Enjoy cultural performances by five local tribes
  • Indulge in a traditional northern Thai dinner

This activity takes place at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. For dinner, you’ll Indulge in the traditional northern Thai cuisine. Enjoy sticky rice, fried pork skin, northern chili paste, pork curry, sweet crispy rice, and deep-fried bananas; drinks are also included!

Witness live performances, including traditional finger dance, sword and candle dances! Partake in a fun Ramwong dance, where all guests are encouraged to participate.

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#17 – Inthanon National Park Group Tour

Inthanon National Park Group Tour
The ideal day trip for nature-lovers
  • $$
  • 9-hours
  • Visit the stunning Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Go to the top of the highest mountain peak of Thailand

Explore the picturesque mountains of northern Thailand with this full-day tour. Travel to the tropical forests of  Doi Inthanon National Park and enjoy the view from the top of Thailand’s highest mountain peak!

See the Vachiratharn Waterfall and hike along the Angkha Nature Trail. Visit the local market of the Hmong hill tribe and the Karen hill tribe. For fans of the great outdoors, this is one of the best day trips from Chiang Mai you can take!

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#18 – Cultural & Mindfulness Small Group Walking Tour

Cultural & Mindfulness Small Group Walking Tour
For the spiritual soul
  • $$
  • 4-hours
  • Experience traditions and customs at the heart of Thai culture
  • Gain a rare insight into the Thai Buddhist culture

On this small-group tour, you’ll learn about the local Buddhist culture! Visit Wat U-Mong, a 600-year-old temple. Experience the unique opportunity of interacting with monks at Wat Suan Dok temple. Learn about their everyday routines, including meditation practices and rituals.

Partake in the centuries-old tradition of offering alms to Monks. Enjoy peace and serenity with this spiritual Chiang Mai day trip!

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#19 – Hike and Zipline Tour

Hike and Zipline Tour
Perfect day trip for the adventure junkie!
  • $$$
  • 9-hours
  • Enjoy the adrenaline rush of jungle walkways and ziplines
  • Trek through the Thai rainforest

Start this tour with a hike through the unspoiled Thai jungle as your experienced tour guide leads the way. Learn about the native plant-life and local customs. Experience the adrenaline thrills of soaring over the jungle on a series of 9 different zip lines and two abseils.

Climb across a bamboo bridge, a sky bridge, and spiral staircase! For the adventurous traveler, this is one of the best tours Chiang Mai has to offer!

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#20 – Bike and Kayak Tour

Bike and Kayak Tour
Explore Chiang Mai by land and by water
  • $$
  • 4-hours
  • Cycle and kayak through the rural Thai countryside
  • End your tour with a delicious local Thai lunch

Soak up the scenic Thai landscape with this bike and kayak combo tour. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the surrounding villages of Chiang Mai. Peddle pass open rice fields and quaint Thai villages!

Make your way to the Mae Taeng Jungle Reserve and get ready for your kayak ride. With peaceful currents, you’ll paddle gently down the river. Listen to the playful chirping of birds and keep an eye out for wildlife along the shores.

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#21 – Maeping River Experience

Maeping River Experience
The perfect Chiang Mai city tour!
  • $$
  • 4-hours
  • Explore the highlights of the city by land and by sea
  • Enjoy lunch at a local farmer’s house

This small-group tour begins by exploring the Warorot Market. Pick up all your Thailand souvenirs here, you’ll find everything from clothing, to food, to crafts! Next, visit the Ton Lam Yai Flower Market, overflowing with colorful flowers!

Visit a Buddhist temple and mingle with the local monks. Afterward, enjoy a cruise through the Mae Ping River. Sit-back, relax, and listen as your tour guide offering insight into the local community.

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FAQs about Chiang Mai Tours

To help make the booking process even easier, we thought we’d finish up by answering a few common questions people have when booking a Chiang Mai tour package!

How do I book a Chiang Mai tour?

Chiang Mai tourism is a thriving aspect of the city. A tour will ensure you make the most of your trip to Chiang Mai. GetYourGuide is an online platform that specializes in tours. They make booking a tour easy and convenient and layout your trip right in front of you so you know exactly what you’re getting!

What should I pack for a tour in Chiang Mai?

The weather in Chiang Mai is warm and mostly sunny year-round. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and breathable clothing. A comfortable pair of walking shoes are also recommended for outdoor tours.

If you plan to visit the temples in Chiang Mai, you need to dress modestly, knees and shoulders must be covered.

How much do tours in Chiang Mai typically cost?

Chiang Mai is a touristy city with lots of tour options. The range in tour prices varies based on inclusions and length of time.

All tours include a local guide to ensure you make the most out of your excursion and get the most bang for your buck!

How long do tours in Chiang Mai last?

There are many Chiang Mai tours to choose from, covering a wide range of time options. An all-day tour will last anywhere from 9 to 12-hours. A half-day tour that will last between 4 – 6-hours. Or, if you’re short on time, you can also book a 2-3-hour tour.

Conclusion

Thailand is an amazing country to visit, and Chiang Mai is one of its most happening cities. With enjoyable weather year-round, there’s never a bad time to plan a Chiang Mai trip! You’ll find activities to suit every type of tourist.

The rugged mountains, jungle terrain, and endless rivers make this the ideal vacation destination for nature-lovers. The local Buddhist culture and sacred temples will provide a relaxing and spiritual space, and the renowned Thai cuisine is a real treat! By booking one of these hassle-free tours you’ll be able to fully relax and enjoy your Chiang Mai vacation!

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Aiden Higgins

Aiden travels for two things - food and sports! An avid football-fanatic, Aiden eats his way through Europe while catching every football he can manage! When he is not chasing matches around the continent, Aiden lives in Birmingham, UK.

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