Northern Thailand Small group activities

Our most recommended Northern Thailand Small group activities

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day Tour

1. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park 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. This tour will feature picturesque landscapes, remote villages, and incredible viewpoints. After getting picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai, head to your first stop, one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country, 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.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

2. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

Take a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. Start with a convenient pick-up from your hotel in the city center of Chiang Mai and take a drive to the elephant sanctuary. Learn how to make healthy snacks for elephants and see the rescued animals. Go for a swim at Mae Wang Waterfall. Relax as you are picked up from your city center accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back as you are driven southwest of the city on a scenic 1.5-hour drive. Encounter local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields. Receive a warm welcome when you arrive at the Pupha Elephant Sanctuary. Put on your traditional Karen Hill tribe clothes to look like an elephant caretaker. Listen to a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Gain new knowledge as you are taught how to make healthy snacks for the elephants. Feed the rescued elephants as you walk up a hill in the deep jungle. Watch the elephants foraging for food and see elephant families interacting with one another. Bathe in the river with the elephants and walk them back to the sanctuary, where you will be taught how to make elephant medicine balls. Take a shower and pack up your belongings. Eat a traditional Thai lunch and fresh fruits. Leave the elephant sanctuary and stop at Mae Wang waterfall for a quick swim before transferring back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center. Finally, return to your starting point after the tour.

Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

3. Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Meet elephants on this guided day trip from Chiang Mai 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 a 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.

Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour

4. Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour

Begin your morning tour by climbing the 306 steps up to Doi Suthep Temple with your local guide. Bask in the golden rays of sunrise after conquering the staircase and take photos of the unrivaled view of the city of Chiang Mai.  Then, stand in the shadow of the golden Kruba Srivichai Monument, named after the Thai Buddhist monk and engineer of many temples and roads. Gain an insight into how the monks live and choose to make a merit (offering) with them.  Head to Wat Pha Lat, a hidden temple in the lush jungle. Admire the serene statues, shrines, and surrounding nature.  Wrap up your half-day tour with a stop at Wat Umong, a 700-year old temple built back in 1297. Explore the forest and underground tunnels. Marvel at the architecture of the chedi.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

5. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

Experience Chiang Rai on a full-day trip from Chiang Mai to White Temple, Wat Rong Seua Teb, and Baan Dam Museum. Travel in a comfortable car and choose from a group or private tour. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back and relax on the air conditioned drive. Stop at the Mae Khachan Hot Springs to relax, dip your feet into steaming mineral water, have a snack, or walk around the gardens. Continue to the modern architectural masterpiece known as the White Temple. Explore this fantastical space that was designed and built by a local artist, Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. Head to the Wat Rong Seua Ten (temple of the dancing tiger) to uncover the secrets of this religious site that was built where tigers were said to have leapt over the river. Admire the stunning blue and gold colors of this temple. Make your way to the Baan Dam Museum (Black House Museum). Explore a cluster of nearly 40 shadowy structures exhibiting art dating back to the Ayutthaya period. See preserved animals and a collection of bones. Travel by car back to your accommodation in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: Authentic Thai Cooking Class and Farm Visit

6. 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.

From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

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

8. 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.

Sukhothai: Historical Park & Countryside Cycling Tour

9. Sukhothai: Historical Park & Countryside Cycling Tour

Witness many aspects of rural life in Thailand and explore the famous ruins of Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this full-day guided bike tour. Benefit from included pickup and drop-off within 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) of Sukhothai, and savor an included lunch at a local restaurant. Your experienced English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel at around 8:15 AM. The cycling tour itself starts from a small village on Sukhothai's outskirts known as Ban Khuai. From there, pedal through a quiet village to enjoy the scenery of the beautiful area, then take a dirt road passing through endless rice paddies with beautiful views of the Kao Laung Mountain. As you go, interact with local people, where possible. You may even have the chance to participate in planting next season's crops. Make a stop at the wood furniture factory to see how the local carpenter produces great works before continuing your journey along small irrigation canals (Klong Mae Lampan) that pass through rural villages. Arriving at Sukhothai's Eastern Gate, marvel at the beautiful Buddhist and Hindu architecture, and be exposed to some of the country's most stunning craftsmanship from a period known as Thailand's Golden Era. With your guide, learn about Sukhothai's history and complex architecture, as well as the story of Buddhism in Thailand. Stop for lunch at a local Thai restaurant, then continue your cycling tour to visit the south area before heading back to your hotel.

Chiang Rai: Full-Day Customizable Private Tour

10. Chiang Rai: Full-Day Customizable Private Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your passionate tour guide who will impart tidbits of history and culture on a full-day exploration of Chiang Rai. Enjoy a private tour that allows you to choose the sights and activities you want to experience, without wasting time on those you’d rather skip. Although Chiang Rai is usually overlooked in favor of its sister city Chiang Mai, dig a little deeper and discover a charming town rich in arts and culture. Originally the capital of the Mengrai Dynasty, the city was founded in the late 1200s and retains many of its Lanna influences in architecture, language, and cuisine. Simply indicate the attractions you want to see so that your guide has several options to craft the best schedule for you based on geography and diversity. If you don’t know where to start, a visit to the famous White and Blue Temples is strongly recommended. These are masterpieces in Lanna architecture and art. Also of particular interest is the Golden Triangle – a marked area where the countries of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.

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What people are saying about Northern Thailand

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 22 reviews

Best day in Thailand for me so far, the tour is exactly how described, pick up on time and safe driver, the elephants are so cute and we play with them, bamboo rafting really fun, and we saw speechless landscapes and waterfall! There was plenty of food, fruits and water, and we got even the time to chill for a bit (not like other tours, always in a rush). The cherry on the cake is Mr Boy and all the crew, they made our day and they took lots of pictures to us! Don't miss this tour in Chiang Mai, absolutely worthy!

Since we went really early, before the sunrise, there were just few people around, amazing view from the temple! All the temples were speechless, speacial thanks to the guide Tim which was a good driver with an amazing sense of humour and gave us many tips about Thai culture and temples history!

Well organised tour, with a variety of activities. The guide Tikky was very experienced and knowledgeable. The driver & vehicle were also good. The break for lunch was also good spot to sample Thai cuisine. We got a very good appreciation of Northern Thailand in one day. Strongly recommended!

An excellent day's trip. We especially enjoy visiting the Karen tribe. Our guide Nicky was very courteous.

Very nice, relaxing and fun expierence. Definetely recommended.