Add dates

Things to do in Chiang Dao

Our most recommended things to do in Chiang Dao

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

1. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center and head off on a day trip to Chiang Dao. Begin with a visit to the Chiang Dao Cave (Wat Tham Chiang Dao), which is without a doubt one of the area's most fascinating sites. Five limestone caverns invite visitors to uncover the beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, Buddha statues, and offerings from faithful pilgrims. After paying a small entrance fee, the tour begins through a system of interconnected caverns extending over seven miles into the heart of the mountain. Expect cooler air in here, although hot days may create humid conditions at times. Some of the caves are illuminated by electric lights. Here you'll find Buddha statues, including a 13-foot reclining one. Don’t miss the row of five seated Buddhas in the first cavern, which many travelers find particularly impressive. After the cave adventure, the next stop is the Chiang Dao market to gorge on delicious local meals before heading to the Buatong Sticky Waterfall, one of the most unique waterfalls in Thailand. One impressive feature of this natural wonder is the sticky mineral deposits that allow visitors to actually climb up the waterfall without falling off, with the help of a safety rope. This is definitely a great way to cool off after a long day of your trip. Afterward, relax on a complimentary transfer back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city.

Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

2. Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

Drive high up into the Northern Thai Jungle, to the Chiang Dao Valley, and to the Mae Ping River. This creek-like river winds itself through the bamboo jungle and gives an intimate view of the Northern Thai wilderness.  Then, embark on a kayaking trip, where undisturbed woods, overgrown banks with fallen trees, and the shade from overhanging trees provide a unique environment as you navigate the task at hand. Abundant bird life, jumping fish and mysterious sounds from the forest accompany the journey. To complete this wonderful kayaking experience, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant or riverside.  Next, tackle Chiang Dao Cave, the most prominent cave system in Northern Thailand. Spend an hour following a local guide through the side arms with headlamps and flashlights until joining the main route into well-lit caverns. Marvel at the Buddhist shrines covering the entrance to the cave.

Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

3. Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

Don't miss this exclusive nature and cultural tour from Chiang Mai. Your tour starts at Chiang Dao Cave, which will take approximately 1.5 hours to reach on a route that goes through beautiful rolling hillsides. As you approach the caves, you'll see the scenic Doi Chiang Dao mountain range. The cave itself was the place where the Bermese soldiers rested before attacking Chiang Mai in the mid 1400s AD. Explore inside its complex of 5 public caves and see the the natural forms of their stalagmites and stalactites. Then, descend into a large cavern to see Burmese-style images of the Buddha and many shrines. You can freely explore two of the caves by yourself, as they are lit with electric lights! Continue on to Den Sali Teak Wood Temple, located north of the city. This is one of Chiang Mai's most remarkable temples - the complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn (retreat house), a meditation hall, the kuti (monks' living quarters), a drum hall, and several other buildings, which are all built in a gorgeous traditional architecture. Finish the tour at Bautong Sticky Waterfall, where you can climb on the limestone rocks of the waterfall, and enjoy your time bathing in the cool waters of the pool below. The Sticky Waterfalls are an impressive sight - the rocks are cream-colored and bulbous, almost cartoonish, and contrast beautifully with the dark green forest. The multi-tiered waterfalls are also stunning - don't forget to bring your camera! If you don't plan on getting wet in order to see the rocks, there are a couple hundred steep stairs you could take instead to see the various levels of the waterfalls. In the evening, head back to Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

4. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Chiang Mai, and then take in stunning views of the countryside as you make your way towards the Chiang Dao mountain and Ping River. Gear up with the provided kayak gear upon arrival, and get basic tuition from an instructor about how to handle the boat on the water. Then, paddle on clear spring waters through the valley, and learn a few new tricks as you are greeted with beautiful vistas at almost every bend in the river. Soak up the relaxed pace of life as you encounter locals making a living by fishing and farming the land on the side of the river. Head back to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chiang Dao

Want to discover all there is to do in Chiang Dao? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chiang Dao

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 111 reviews

This was a very unique experience that I would highly recommend. The cave trek was interesting (you pay to have a guide take you deep within the cave) and it was really cool. It can be hard to climb especially with some parts of the cave having very steep steps, so be mindful when crouching and climbing around. The sticky water falls were wonderful. The way the rocks are formed allow you to grip them easily without slipping. There are small rocks and twigs throughout the falls, so I would wear shoes/swimming shoes next time. There are some slippery parts as well because of the moss that grows, so you’d have to be careful. Our guide Tai was very kind and helpful throughout the whole experience.

I had a blast doing this tour, we paid extra for a guide to bring us through another unlit area of the cave and it was so worth it. I wouldn't recommend it if you're on the larger side or have knee trouble bending down, certainly not if you're claustrophobic cos to experience it requires you to crawl through some holes that might be a tight fit. It was my second time to the waterfall and I would recommend going up and down at least twice to really appreciate it. Bring water booties if you have sensitive feet (there are many small rocks/mud at some points) My guide was Jackie and he was very friendly and incredibly thorough with his explanations of everything. 10/10 would recommend this tour

we appreciated Tiks intimate view on the culture and heritage around Chiang Dao and the surrounding area. He accompanied us on our cave tour and explained some of the history behind each cavern. we then had plenty of time to climb the Bua Thong sticky falls. Highly recommended!!!

Firstly our guide Sunny was beyond amazing. Knowledgeable, attentive, with high English skills. Secondly the tour is very beautiful and fun for all ages. Thirdly we were lucky and it was just three of us. Almost individual tour!

The cave was interesting and climbing the waterfall was great. Our guide Jackie was really helpful.