15 Places to Visit in Chiang Mai Old City: Tourist Places &

Tourist Places in Chiang Mai Old City

Chiang Mai Art and Cultural Centre, Tha Phae Gate, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang,Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Dao Cave, Lanna Folklife Museum, White Sands of Turtle Island, Wiang Kum Kam, Sompet Market and many more.

Some of the most beautiful places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City include markets, museums, ancient temples and other fascinating cultural, historical and architectural marvels. This walled and moated city is home to many beautiful natural retreats such as the Elephant Conservation Centre - one of the largest in Thailand - and the Doi Inthanon National Park. 

Adventure lovers can also explore many exciting tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City such as  the Tiger Kingdom and Chiang Dao Cave. In fact, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City that is also world-famous is the Bo Sang Umbrella Village. Here you can find a plethora of colourful, hand-crafted cotton and paper umbrellas. History enthusiasts searching for places to see in Chiang Mai Old City can also visit the historical Thapae Gate and the Chiang Mai Art and Cultural Centre.

Here is the list of best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City:

01

Chiang Mai Art and Cultural Centre

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For those who are interested in exploring the colourful history of Chiang Mai, one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City is the Art and Cultural Centre. It is located right in the middle of the district, behind the distinctive Three Kings Monument.

Included in the exhibits at the museum are old scrolls, artefacts, photos and even a small-scale display of a traditional village made out of wood. The museum itself is housed in a restored building from the 1920s, on a sprawling property with stroking architecture.

Location: Prapokklao Road, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Timings: Wednesday to Sunday (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

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02

Wat Phra Singh

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After Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep, one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City and the second most revered temple in the area is Wat Phra Singh. The most striking feature of the temple is the Lai Kam assembly hall that is intricately decorated and is representative of old and traditional Thai architecture.

The temple has typical Lanna-style roofs and walls brimming with ancient murals that depict the daily lives of the locals who lived hundreds of years ago. The temple complex comes alive with lights, flowers and festivities during Songkran, which is the Thai New Year Festival that is celebrated in mid-April.


Location: 2 Samlarn Road, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50280, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
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03

Elephant Conservation Centre

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Established in 1993, the Elephant Conservation Centre is amongst some of the top places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City because of its peaceful atmosphere and the chance to interact with the majestic elephants that are sheltered here. The Conservation Centre acts as a conservation park as well as an educational site, where visitors can learn about the history and habits of elephants.

You can also see the mahouts training the elephants, bathing them and feeding them by hand. The elephants are well-protected and treated ethically. You can even sign up to stay at the Elephant Centre overnight. There are several programmes and events that can help you make the most of your trip to the Elephant Conservation Centre.


Location: 119 10 Thapae Road, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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04

Wiang Kum Kam

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One of the oldest and most fascinating places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City is Wiang Kum Kam – an ancient city built on the banks of the Ping River. The city was built by the rulers of the Hariphunchai Kingdom in the 8th century AD.

It then served as the capital city of the Lanna Kingdom as well, before the capital shifted to Chiang Mai. You can explore this ancient city on foot or by horse-drawn carriage, where you can see stone tablets with ancient scripts, Buddhist relics, temples, pottery and other items that have survived the test of time.


Location: 149, 2 Somphot Chiang Mai 700 Pi Road, Tha Wang Tan, Saraphi District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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05

Kat Rin Kham Night Bazaar

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If you are searching for places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City that will let you properly explore the local culture, there is no better place than this quaint little night market that sits daily in Chiang Mai. The market has several hundred shops that offer a plethora of items including handicraft goods, textiles, jewellery, accessories, décor items and other fascinating local goods at a bargain.

You can also get a tattoo, get a massage and grab a snack at one of the many local food stalls that have set up shop here. The charming market remains open till midnight, and the colourful wares with the range of goods make it an attractive adventure to pursue after hours.


Location: Beside Maya Mall, Nimman Area, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
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06

Doi Inthanon National Park

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Also known as “The Roof of Thailand”, the Doi Inthanon National Parks is one of the best National Parks in the country and also one of the most beautiful tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City. The park is known for its many sunset points, hiking trails, waterfalls and a large number of birds and animals that are found here.

The highest peak inside the park is the Doi Inthanon Mountain that is a part of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges. Wildlife at the park includes deer, serow, wild boards, gibbons and a range of exotic birds that you can see during a birdwatching session here.


Location: Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (5:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
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07

White Sands of Turtle Island

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One of the most beautiful tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City is Turtle Island, also known as Ko Tao Island, located at a short distance from the city. The island is known for its sprawling white sand beaches, the beautiful tropical trees that line the beach, the gentle waters of the ocean and most importantly, the thriving population of turtles that are found here.

You can indulge in snorkelling and even swim with the turtles that are found in abundance in the water and on the beach. It is the perfect getaway for a short and relaxing family vacation when you are in Chiang Mai.


Location: Ko Tao Island, Thailand

Timings: Open 24 hours
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08

Lanna Folklife Museum

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If you are interested in learning about the history of the Lanna people, then one of the best tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City is the Lanna Folklife Museum. The museum is built inside an old, colonial-style building in a striking white colour.

The exhibits in the museum include intricate wax figures dressed in traditional costumes and engaged in simple activities that were a part of the daily life of the Lanna people of the past. There are also small shrines, artefacts and other items on display that makes the museum an interesting visit that gives you a glimpse into the past of the locals.


Location: Prapokklao Road, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Timings: Wednesday to Sunday (8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
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09

Tiger Kingdom

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What could be more thrilling than to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic animals on earth – the tiger? One of the most popular tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City is the Tiger Kingdom, which is home to several big cats and smaller cubs.

They are kept in protected enclosures and are well-trained, so much so that you can pet them, take pictures with them and spend time with them when you are here. You can also see cheetahs and tigers relaxing in their enclosures and avail the photography service that is offered here.


Location: 51/1 Rim Tai, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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10

Tha Phae Gate

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If you are searching for distinctive tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City, there is nothing better than the Tha Phae Gate. The gate is a part of the olden wall that used to be part of the fortification that protected and demarcated the Old City.

The gate is now the epicentre of tourist activity in Chiang Mai Old City and is surrounded by restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes where you can relax in the evenings. There is a sprawling public square in front of the gate where several events take place throughout the year including flower festivals, lantern festivals and much more. There is also a night market that sits in front of the gate that you can explore when you are visiting.


Location: Thapae Road, Chang Khlan Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Timings: Open 24 hours

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11

Chiang Dao Cave

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One of the oldest and most striking tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City is the Chiang Dao Caves, which is a large stretch of limestone caves that were man made thousands of years ago. Apart from the man made marvel, there are several other things that you can explore when you are visiting the cave.

There is an old cave temple that has been well-preserved. The temple also contains several old idols, a fish pond and picturesque gardens that are perfect for peaceful walks. The caves themselves are brimming with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and limestone boulders that you can walk through.


Location: 273, 5 Chiang Dao, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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12

Sompet Market

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One of the most fascinating places to see in Chiang Mai Old City is the Sompet Market, which is a hub for all things local. If you are searching for fresh local fruits and vegetables, fish and spices, there is no place better than this quint market that is completely run by locals, using only the freshest local produce.

There are also regular cooking classes that are held inside the market where you can learn how to use the beautiful ingredients that are found here. Along with fresh food, you can also buy local goods such as textiles and jewellery and even some makeup.


Location: 131/3 Mun Mueang Road, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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13

Wualai Walking Street Market

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Listed amongst some of the essential places to see in Chiang Mai Old City is the Wualai Walking Street Market – a night market that sits every Saturday near the walls of the Old City. This market is a conglomeration of all that is local. Hundreds of local artisans come together here with their wares, which includes things like lanterns, textiles, umbrellas, spices, jewellery and other exotic handicraft items that you can take back home with you.

The colourful lights of the market, together with the night ambience and the beautiful aesthetics of the shops makes this a leisurely place to be when you are in Chiang Mai Old City.


Location: Wua Lai Road, Tambon Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Timings: Saturdays (4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
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14

Wat Chedi Luang

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The Wat Chedi Luang Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple that is one of the most beautiful and historical places to see in Chiang Mai Old City. The pagoda is believed to have been built anywhere between 1385 AD and 1402 AD by King Saen Muang Ma of the Mengrai Dynasty.

The temple is one of the most striking elements on the Chiang Mai skyline, with its peak measuring up to 60 m in height. There is impressive carving work on the body of the temple. Wat Chedi Luang was also once home to the most sacred Buddhist relic in Thailand – the Emerald Buddha.


Location: 103 Prapokklao Road, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
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15

Bo Sang Umbrella Village

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Included amongst some of the must-see places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City is the Bo Sang Umbrella Village, a colourful marketplace that specializes in local handicraft products. In fact, Bo Sang has become synonymous with colourful paper umbrellas that are made by hand and sold here.

These umbrellas are an international symbol for Chiang Mai and the colourful storefronts and artistic umbrellas draw tourists from all over the world. The umbrella is made from the bark of mulberry trees, known as Sa paper and some are even made out of cotton. These delicate accessories are one-of-a-kind and the perfect souvenir to take back home with you from Chiang Mai.  


Location: 1014, Ton Pao, San Kamphaeng District, Chiang Mai 50130, Thailand

Timings: 8:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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People Also Ask About Chiang Mai

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City with family?

    1. Elephant Conservation Centre: One of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City with your family is the Elephant Conservation centre where you can learn about elephants, interact with them, feed them and bathe them and have a wonderfully memorable time with these majestic beasts.

    2. Tiger Kingdom: Some of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City include the Tiger Kingdom, especially if you are travelling with your family. You can interact with the big cats and even cuddle the cubs that have found a home here.

    3. Turtle Island: For a peaceful and relaxing family getaway in Chiang Mai Old City, you can visit Turtle Island with your family where you can swim with the turtles, go snorkelling or simply relax in the sand.

    4. Tha Phae Gate: The Tha Phae Gate is one of the most happening places to visit in Chiang Mai Old City with your family, not only because of its historical significance but also because of the many shops, events and festivals that can be found here.
  2. Which are the best places to visit in Chiang Mai?

    1. Doi Inthanon National Park: One of the most beautiful tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City is the Doi Inthanon National Park which is ideal for sightseeing, treks, hikes and birdwatching. You can watch the cloud-covered peaks of the Himalayan ranges from various viewpoints at this national park.

    2. Bo Sang Umbrella Village: The Bo Sang Umbrella Village is a world-famous umbrella market where handmade umbrellas made out of paper and cotton are sold here by locals. The umbrellas have become synonymous with the life and culture of Chiang Mai, which makes it one of the best tourist places in Chiang Mai Old City. ·

    3. Chiang Dao Cave: These man made limestone caves are also some of the best tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City, where you can walk through gardens, check out an ancient temple and marvel at the genius construction of the cave.

    4. Elephant Conservation Centre: The Elephant Conservation Centre is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Chiang Mai Old City, where you can interact with the majestic animals that are revered and protected in Thailand.
  3. Is 4 days in Chiang Mai enough?

    Yes, 4 days is enough to spend in Chiang Mai and also visit all the places to see in Chiang Mai Old City. After you are done touring the temples, sanctuaries and caves, you can spend the rest of your time exploring the markets and the local culture through the many local cafes and restaurants here.
  4. Is Chiang Mai worth visiting?

    Yes, Chiang Mai is one of the most fascinating places in Thailand, with a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, many beautiful beaches and a fascinating cultural history. It is also home to the famous Bo Sang Umbrella Village and the Tha Phae Gate where culture and history collide.

    Chiang Mai also has several national parks and sanctuaries built for the conservation of the local flora and fauna, and to give visitors the chance to spend time in the tranquillity of nature.
  5. What should I wear in Chiang Mai?

    While you are allowed to wear relaxed and casual clothes in Chiang Mai, it is recommended that you wear decent clothes when you are visiting the temples and pagodas. This includes clothes that cover your knees, midriff, shoulders and cleavage. You could always carry a scarf with you to cover your head and shoulders with.
  6. How far is Chiang Mai from Bangkok?

    Chiang Mai is 680 km from Bangkok, which might seem like a daunting distance, but is very easy to traverse if you plan on visiting.

    The easiest way to go from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and back is via train, which is roughly an 11-hour journey. You can also avail a bus or a flight to travel between the two places.
  7. What is Chiang Mai known for?

    Chiang Mai is known for its stunning mountainous landscape that can be explored in the small villages and the many national parks and sanctuaries in the area. The city is also known for its rich and cultural history and heritage, which are inscribed on the walls of several ancient temples.

    One of the most striking cultural aspects of Chiang Mai is their handicraft and local art and crafts, which is reflected in colourful umbrellas, intricate textiles, delicious local food and jewellery and accessories that make for excellent souvenirs when you are here.

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