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Chiang Mai tours and excursions

Chiang Mai tours

Bicycle tours

Click & Travel runs half-day cycle tours of Chiang Mai, while Chiang Mai Mountain Biking operates more rugged mountain-biking trips.

Tel: +66 53 281 553; +66 081 024 7046.

Adventure tours

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures organises thrilling caving and climbing trips around the limestone cliffs east of Chiang Mai. Other adventure tour options include white-water rafting trips with Siam River Adventures. These include jungle homestay, hill tribe trekking excursions, elephant treks, canyoning, full moon rafting and multi-sport trips.

Tel: +66 53 207 102 ; +66 89 515 1917.

Chiang Mai excursions

The Mae Sa and Mae Tang Valleys

Deeper into the hills north of Chiang Mai, the Mae Sa and Mae Taeng valleys are famous for their elephant camps, hill tribe villages, scenic waterfalls and plantations of exotic flowers. Many people visit on organised tours, but it’s easy to explore the area with a rented car or motorcycle.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The most popular excursion around Chiang Mai is the ascent of Doi Suthep Mountain, 16km (10 miles) northwest of the city, which is cloaked in jungle foliage and crowned by the most sacred temple in northern Thailand. Reached via a 306-step, naga-lined staircase, or an easy tram ride, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was founded in 1383, and its courtyard is dominated by a famous gold-plated chedi. There are fabulous views across the hills and the city on clear days.

For a quieter alternative, head 5km (3 miles) southeast of the city to the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the original settlement at Chiang Mai, which was abandoned in the 16th century and still sees relatively few visitors today.

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Featured Hotels


Riverside House

Spacious, air-conditioned and simply furnished rooms are set in three blocks, and there's a small swimming pool in the garden too. Breakfast is free, and there's also a small cafe serving meals. Set along the Ping River near Saphan Lek (Iron Bridge), the hotel is also five minutes' from the night market.

Varada Place

Set on a quiet side street, this hotel offers excellent value. The simple, spacious rooms all have balconies and are furnished with small fridges, microwaves and balconies. Breakfast isn't offered, but there are plenty of options nearby.

Galare Guest House

The riverside setting is the big draw at this long-established, family-run guesthouse. Upmarket, comfortable rooms with air conditioning and hot water overlook a shady, peaceful lawn that leads down to an appealing covered restaurant on the banks of the River Ping.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi

A few kilometres east of the city centre, the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is a stunning mock-up of a traditional Lanna village, with elegant stucco and mahogany villas and pavilions dotted around a vast garden of rice fields, palm trees and pools. Additional features include a spa, a themed swimming pool and three restaurants. One of the best hotels in Chiang Mai.

Gap's House

Centred on a leafy courtyard, this comfy hotel in Chiang Mai is crammed with antiques and northern Thai bric-a-brac, and the tasteful rooms have air conditioning and hot showers. The restaurant serves a popular evening vegetarian buffet, and the owners run a Thai cooking course in their village home. No advance reservations are taken.

Julie Guesthouse

The most popular backpacker haunt in Chiang Mai, this agreeable guesthouse has a relaxing garden full of exotic plants, a roof terrace full of hammocks, a popular travel agency offering adventure tours, and a terrace restaurant that is always full of travellers swapping stories.