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Chiang Mai

Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Chiang Mai Meet the Locals

Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

1. Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

Meet and feed elephants on this elephant sanctuary tour from Chiang Mai. Watch these majestic creatures up close and learn about them from specialists. Sit down to an authentic Thai lunch and stay hydrated with complimentary water. Start your journey in the morning with a hotel pickup from Chiang Mai city center. Take the 1-hour ride to the countryside of Mae Tang district. Get changed into the local clothes and be ready for the fun activities. The experienced guide will provide information about the elephants' behavior and how to provide proper care for them. Then, prepare food and healthy treats for the elephants and feed them afterward. After that, you and the elephants will walk to play in the mud and sand spa. During this time, you will have a chance to observe their behavior, in beautiful natural surroundings. After your time with the elephants, change your clothes, shower, and then enjoy a delicious traditional Thai buffet lunch, which is suitable for vegetarians. After lunch, relax on the 1-hour journey back to the city and will be transferred back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center.

Doi Inthanon National Park Small Group Full Day Tour

2. Doi Inthanon National Park Small Group Full Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center for a day to explore one of Thailand’s original national parks and highest mountain, Doi Inthanon.  Perfect for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike, this tour will feature picturesque landscapes, remote villages, and incredible viewpoints. The first stop is one of the largest and the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, the Wachirathan Waterfall. Over 80 meters high, the power of this waterfall creates a refreshing mist that feeds the surrounding vegetation.  Next, stop at the stunning 50-meter cascade, Sirithan Waterfall, which is fed by the Mae Klong River.  Then, stop at the famous twin pagodas: the Napamatanee Don and Napaphon Bhumisiri. Built for the Royal King and Queen, they are located at the highest point in Thailand.  Round out the tour with a visit to the Karen Tribe locale. Learn a bit about the hill tribes people’s culture and way of life in their village of Sobhad.

From Chiang Mai: Inthanon National Park 9-Hour Group Tour

3. From Chiang Mai: Inthanon National Park 9-Hour Group Tour

Depart Chiang Mai for Doi Inthanon National Park to see Thailand’s highest mountain in the tropical forests south of the city. Go to the highest peak for a panoramic view and pay your respects at the shrine of King Intharawichayanont. Next, enjoy a short hike along the Angkha Natural Trail. See the twin stupas that commemorate the birthday of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. Go to a local market of the Hmong hill tribe before visiting the Royal Agricultural Research Center, set up to support local projects in place of opium farming. After lunch at a local restaurant, explore the Karen hill tribe village of Mae Klang Luang and get a stunning view of the Vachiratharn Waterfall.

Chiang Mai: Authentic Thai Cooking Class and Farm Visit

4. Chiang Mai: Authentic Thai Cooking Class and Farm Visit

Learn how to make authentic Thai dishes with this fun, small-group cooking class in Chiang Mai as you prepare classic dishes using ingredients from a local market. Choose between a half-day class during the morning or the evening and cook five dishes, or go for the full-day class to cook an extra two courses! Get picked up at your hotel within Chiang Mai, then meet up with the rest of your group and choose what you want to cook from the menu. Visit a local market and buy the necessary ingredients, and tour an organic farm filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Once you're done, head to the classroom and prepare your individual cooking stations for the lesson. Follow the instructions of your professional English-speaking guide as you cook a variety of authentic Thai dishes such as mango sticky rice, pad thai, and curry, and make curry paste with your own two hands! Enjoy the fruits of your labor by sharing a meal with your group. Exchange stories as you sample each others' cooking before you head back to your accommodation.

4-Hour Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village from Chiang Mai

5. 4-Hour Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe Village from Chiang Mai

Depart Chiang Mai and travel to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep on Doi Suthep mountain. Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who climb up 309 steps to the stupa on the hilltop. Get spectacular views of Chiang Mai city and its surroundings. Then, visit a village and museum of the ethnic Hmong hill tribe, located inside the boundaries of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Learn more about the life of the tribe, known for their colorful costumes and handicraft traditions. Return to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Hiking Tour

6. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Hiking Tour

Travel deep into the National Park stopping off at some of the most scenic waterfalls in the region on this one-day Doi Inthanon hiking tour. Experience a gentle 4km hike along a nature trail and learn about the flora and fauna along the way and enjoy the highest point in Thailand. The tour begins with a visit to the summit of Doi Inthanon – the highest spot in Thailand and an area rich in biodiversity and unique flora and fauna. Walk along a short hiking trail on the summit before heading to the start of the main hike. A local guide will take you through a pine restoration area, deep into a wooded valley, and into farmland before reaching the Karen hill tribe village, which was founded 150 years ago. You will get the chance to cool off in a refreshing natural swimming pool along the trail and get the chance to spot snakes, lizards, and if you’re very lucky one of the resident gibbons! Upon reaching the village you will enjoy a local lunch and try a free coffee that is grown in the region. One final waterfall awaits on the way back to the city, beautiful all year round, and caps off a fun sightseeing day.

Chiang Mai: 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour

7. Chiang Mai: 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour

Be picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center and go on a short drive to Wat Umong temple in the late afternoon. At this time of day, the crowds are few and views are prime. Upon arrival, explore the underground tunnels, bask in the beauty of the temple, and enjoy the forest surroundings. It is said that the trees in this forest have words of wisdom for those who pass by. After Wat Umong, the next stop is Doi Suthep temple. At this ornate structure, which is reached by a 306-step staircase, enjoy a beautiful sunset that lights up the golden temple. Also, take in the spectacular views of Chiang Mai at night from the summit of the mountain. Join a traditional ceremony performed by the temple's monks at the Golden Pagoda. After an afternoon spent exploring Chiang Mai’s temples and enjoying the sunset over the city, be returned to your hotel.

Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep & Inthanon National Park Day Tour

8. Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep & Inthanon National Park Day Tour

Start your day of adventure at 8:00 AM when your private guide and driver picks you up from your hotel. You'll drive through the west of Chiang Mai to the Doi Suthep Temple, the most famous landmark in Chiang Mai and a sacred site among the locals. Thai people say you haven’t truly been to Chiang Mai if you haven't visited Doi Suthep. At the top of the temple, marvel at the shining gold and jeweled pagoda made in the Lanna architecture style. Listen to the chanting of the monks while you admire the panoramic views of the whole city of Chiang Mai from the viewing platform.  Next, you'll head to Doi Inthanon National Park where Thailand's highest peak is located. The area is covered by lush green preserved forests and has become one of the country's best parks. Stop at the halfway point up to the peak where you can admire the beautiful Wachirathan Waterfall and enjoy the flavors the real Thai food for lunch. After lunch, continue the drive up the mountain and enjoy the amazing views along the way. At the summit, visit the King, and Queen Pagoda and the beautiful surrounding gardens.  On the return trip, you'll make a final stop at a local market on the way down the mountain before heading back to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day + Hike

9. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day + Hike

08.00 a.m. Depart 2 hours from Chiang Mai by driving up to mountain Inthanon National Park, where Thailand’s highest mountain. The first stop at the highest spot rises to 2,565 meters above sea level, then takes a short walk around Angka Nature Trail, the rainforest rich with rare flora, animals and birds. Continue by road to visit two pagodas, built in honor of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand on each of their 60th birthdays. Wander at Hmong Market sells its own products, especially vegetables and seasonal fruits. Lunch at The Royal Project restaurant After that, start a 2-hours trek along the Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail. Hike through shady forests and up and down the scenic jungle. Absorb a panoramic view of the rice terrace with the blue color of the sky, especially Sep - Nov. Continue hike to Karen hill tribe village to learn their way of life and upon arrival, wrap up the trip with savor the freshly ground and brewed coffee. 03.30 p.m. Driving 2 hours for returning to the city and drop off.

Cycle Tour of Mae Ngat Valley from Chiang Mai

10. Cycle Tour of Mae Ngat Valley from Chiang Mai

Pick-up from your Chiang Mai hotel and transfer to the heart of Mae Ngat valley (50 km/1 hour's drive). Meet your guide for a briefing and bike fitting. Your adventure begins with a ride through picturesque countryside where farmers go about their morning routine. You'll make stops at various points of interests and get some insights about local life, and learn about rice cultivation. Take a break for a delicious Thai lunch in a tropical garden. After lunch enjoy more riding, pedalling on paved country roads zig-zagging through the valley, on the edge of the national park. Make a few stops, including a busy local market and a visit to the shimmering Wat Ban Den temple where you can admire the intricate details of this stunning place of worship. After a day of exploring this stunning Mae Ngat valley on two wheels, we drive back to your Chiang Mai (arrival time approximately 17:00). Notes: -Cycling distance today can vary from 20 to 40 kms, all flat, depending of participant's ability. -Participants not wishing to ride the afternoon loop can wait at the restaurant, in the tropical garden.

Frequently asked questions about Chiang Mai Meet the Locals

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What people are saying about Chiang Mai

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 698 reviews

Such an awesome experience in a beautiful national park. At the peak weather was mild but gradually got hotter as we descended through the park past magnificent waterfalls until we got to the rice paddies. Kom and VV were excellent guides and they shot so many photos of the day there are no lack of memories. Highly recommended as an excellent Chiang Mai day trip.

I do not know if I will ever have an experience like this one. The event is very well organized and the elephants are very well cared for. Th3 guides and trainers are funny and friendly. This is something everyone should do at least once in their lives.

Perfect day! Pick-up and drop off from hostel, vegetarian buffet there, and day proceeded with activities as exactly scheduled. Magical experience and elephants couldn’t be treated more ethically. Me and our group of 5 friends 10/10 recommend.

Wonderful experience, great guide, everything as described and happened on time! The weather was not great as we are in the middle of rainy season but we still have seen a lot and learned a lot!

We loved the tour. We had Banana as our guide, he was very charismatic and gave us a very interesting commentary about the area.