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Northern Thailand

Food & drinks

Our most recommended Northern Thailand Food & Drinks

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.

Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

2. Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Meet elephants on this guided day trip from Chiang Mia to the Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary, located in the middle of a lush national park. Here the elephants are able to roam freely in a large green space. Keep your clothes clean by wearing local clothes and boots. Feed and interact with rescued elephants before sitting down to freshly cooked lunch.  Depart Chiang Mai aboard an air conditioned van and journey into the mountains of northern Thailand to visit the ethical Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary (approximately 1-hour drive from the city center). Upon arrival, learn about the elephant conservation program and benefit from an introductory talk, and the chance to interact with the rescued animals. Get the chance to give them a hug and discover how to prepare a healthy meal to feed them. Go for a walk around the sanctuary with the elephants and stop to give them a mud bath to keep their body temperature down and protect them from parasites. Feed them before enjoying a homemade lunch at a restaurant inside the sanctuary.

From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

3. From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

Uncover the secrets of Thailand's famed Golden Triangle on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Travel aboard an air conditioned van from a centrally-located meeting point. Visit the Mae Kachan hot springs and the White Temple.  Explore the Mekong river on a longtail boat and enjoy a tasty lunch. Enjoy a pickup in central Chiang Mai, depart for Chiang Rai, stopping for a short break at Mae Kachan hot springs. Visit Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, before continuing to the Golden Triangle area. Go to Wat Phra That Chedi Luang (limited access). See the Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar borders from the Golden Triangle viewpoint. Stop for lunch before spending time at House of Opium. Enjoy a long-tail boat trip on the mighty Mekong River. On the way back to Chiang Mai, take a break to stretch your legs in Mae Suay or Wiang Pa Pao district and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. The estimated arrival time in Chiang Mai city is 8:30 PM. 

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.

Ethical Elephant Caretaker & Doi Suthep Temple Private Tour

5. Ethical Elephant Caretaker & Doi Suthep Temple Private Tour

Begin your private experience with a pick-up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city and take a scenic journey to a private elephant estate where you will be their caretaker for half a day. Upon arrival, Walk to the main base camp, located up the hill, get changed into an elephant caretaker outfit and prepare yourself for a day of fun. Learn about Asian Elephants' long and fascinating history as you learn to cook healthy herbal treats for them to eat for a snack. Afterward, feed the handmade treats to them and walk along their side through the beautiful lush forest. Continue with elephant bathing in the river and say a farewell to your new, big friends as you set off on the next part of your tour. Take some time out of your day to enjoy a delicious Tha lunch, eating dishes with rice and finishing off your meal with a selection of fresh tropical fruits. Then, visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple that is situated on the top of a mountain. You can reach the top by walking up or using the elevator. At the very top, there is a golden chedi and terrace adorned with small shrines, breadfruit trees, rock gardens and, an Emerald Buddha statue. From the mountain top you will be treated to breathtaking views of the lush greenery below.

Full Day Hike & Bike at Doi Suthep Mountain National Park

6. Full Day Hike & Bike at Doi Suthep Mountain National Park

At 9:00 AM, begin the day with a hotel pick-up and ride to the base. Once arrived, you'll have your safety briefing and be kitted out in safety gear. Then you can begin the hike up to the old Hmong Hill Tribe Village at the summit of Doi Pui National Park. The trek takes you through a stunning highland jungle, filled with huge indigenous Mai Yai trees. After about 3 hours of steady walking, you'll reach your destination: the summit of the National Park, reaching an elevation of 1400m. At the peak, your bikes and gear will be waiting for you in the nearby village. After a well-earned lunch break, begin your descent through the National Park on your mountain bike toward Lake Huay Tung Tao, an approximately 2-hour ride away. In contrast to the hike up, gravity rewards you now with a cool ride downhill with views of the beautiful Mae Ping Valley.  Awaiting you lakeside is a proper late lunch with cool drinks. Take a dip before it’s time to jump back in the truck and head out of the National Park. After a fun day out, you will be delivered back to your hotel around 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM.

Private Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour

7. Private Doi Suthep Temple and Sticky Waterfall Tour

Get picked up from your hotel or accommodation in Chiang Mai and drive up the curvy mountain roads to Doi Suthep - Pui National Park. You will visit the most important temple here. Walk up 306 steps (or, if you prefer an easier method, take a funicular ride) to the temple, which sits at 1,100 meters above sea level. The famous golden pagoda is stunning and the temple contains the relic of the Lord Buddha. Here, you'll also have the chance to get a holy blessing from a Buddhist monk and participate in a wrist tiding ceremony. From the balcony, enjoy a panoramic view of Chiang Mai. Next, you'll continue to Bua Tong waterfalls. Swim around the clear water or climb the "sticky" limestone and enjoy the gorgeous natural scenery.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Trip

8. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Trip

Soak in the waters of the Mae Kajan hot springs and visit the White Temple on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Ride in an air-conditioned coach or van. Savor and authentic Thai lunch, tasty snacks, and fresh fruits. Go to a market on Don Sao Island, the Opium House Museum, and the Long Neck tribe. Depart Chiang Mai and journey towards Chiang Rai, stopping at the hot springs of Mae Kajan to soak your feet in the healing waters. Then, visit the temple of Wat Rong Khun and marvel at is white exterior inlaid with mirrored glass. Enter the "Golden Triangle" to see the city of Chiang Saen. Enjoy lunch at a famous restaurant before climbing aboard a boat for a ride along the Mekong River (optional). Cross into Laos and go to the market at Don Sao Island. Visit the Opium House Museum to learn more about opium and why it was once as expensive as gold.  Get the chance to stop at a hill tribe village en route back to Chiang Mai and meet the people of the Long Neck tribes.

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

9. 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: Half-Day Old Town Cycling Tour

10. Chiang Mai: Half-Day Old Town Cycling Tour

Spend a fun morning or afternoon biking around Chiang Mai to see the city in a unique way. After pickup from your accommodation, you’ll head to Trailhead shop in the old town for a delicious cup of complimentary coffee and to prepare your bike and cycling gear.   Once the tour starts, you’ll head off around the old town and beyond with a professional and knowledgeable guide. Riding at a comfortable pace, this tour is perfect for groups with multiple fitness levels. Stop off at multiple attractions including Warorot market, beautiful off-the-beaten-track temples, and a blacksmith community. You’ll be given plenty of time for photos and to chat to the friendly locals. Once at the market, you’ll get a chance to wander the myriad of alleys and small shops, and to purchase any souvenirs if desired.   Along the way, you can try some delicious snacks and beverages for refreshment. A light lunch is also provided towards the end of the tour. Finish the tour with transportation back to your accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about Northern Thailand Food & Drinks

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Other Sightseeing Options in Northern Thailand

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What people are saying about Northern Thailand

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 16 reviews

One of my favourite activities in all of Thailand (that and Ayutthaya) and this was my highlight in Chiang Rai (from Chiang Mai). This place is a must-see for any tourist visit Thailand, especially if you are in Chiang Mai. The modern artwork inside the temple is also quite interesting because it combines Buddhism and modernity. The Golden Triangle boat ride is also worthwhile to know about the history/geography of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.

We had 5 elephants for 20 ish people in our group, which is definitely plenty of elephants. We got to feed them an entire bag full of bananas which lasted relatively long. The mud bath was super fun as was the bathing, the mahouts and the elephants were both super careful, so at no point did i feel like it was dangerous. The showers were spacious and clean, and towels were provided. Lunch was delicious as well

This is a unique experience that differs from any other tour or day trip because it gives you the chance to have direct contact with wildlife. I was apprehensive at first, not knowing how safe the activity is but as I got there, I quickly realized how fun and educational caring for elephants really is.

We had a brilliant private tour, the temples and waterfalls were incredible! The experience was made however by our fantastic tour guide Mona, who took amazing care of us all day long and was fantastic company. Highly recommend this private tour.

If you are looking for an ethical sanctuary where the elephants are truly happy, this is it! We had the best experience with our guide Poo. He was very knowledgeable and took great photos! Overall a great adventure that I highly recommend!