Chiang Mai is known for its fascinating Buddhist culture, mouthwatering cuisine, and thriving digital nomad scene. In addition to its hundreds of temples and other attractions located within the city, Chiang Mai has some breathtaking opportunities for fun just beyond its borders. Next time you visit, make sure to find a car rental in Chiang Mai so you don’t miss out on these nine amazing natural attractions.
1. Bua Thong Waterfalls
Perhaps the most beautiful natural area surrounding Chiang Mai is the Bua Thong waterfalls. More than just waterfalls, this area offers a beautiful forest, crystal clear pools of water to swim in, easy rock climbing, and a quiet place to relax in nature. When in Chiang Mai, you simply must visit.
2. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
When you think of Thailand, one animal in particular surely comes to mind: the Asian elephant. The chance to encounter elephants up close should not be missed, but it’s important to support an organization which caters to the elephants well-being. Elephant Rescue Park is one of the best.
3. Huay Tung Tao Lake
A day trip to Huay Tung Tao Lake is the perfect excuse to get out of the city for a much needed break. You’ll find people fishing, relaxing, and indulging in some great food.
4. Baan Phor Liang Meun
One of the most fascinating aspects of Thailand is its ancient culture and one way to discover more of it is by visiting Baan Phor Liang Meun. This garden showcases Thai tradition through sculptural work while providing visitors with shaded surroundings, perfect for escaping the afternoon heat.
5. Mae Sa Waterfall
The Mae Sa waterfalls are not only beautiful but offer some of the best hiking in the area. The trails include seven different levels and lakes to swim in along the way.
6. Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden
When you want to take a stroll in the great outdoors and you don’t want to embark on anything too challenging, the Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden is just what you’re looking for. This is an easy to drive using a car rental in Chiang Mai, and it offers flat terrain, perfect for the whole family.
7. Mae Ping River
Just north of the city, the scenic Mae Ping river awaits you. Your journey here will bring you from the city to more traditional and rural surroundings, offering tranquility at its finest. This river offers everything from bamboo river rafting to the perfect spot for a picnic.
8. Ziplining in the Jungle
If you seek nature and thrill all packed into one, flying along a zipline through lush jungle wildlife should leave you feeling pretty satisfied. Check out Dragon flight as they are highly rated and closer to the city.
9. Mork fa Waterfalls
As you can probably tell, Chiang Mai is surrounded by waterfalls, and this list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Mork Fa. This twin waterfall is a stunning place to take a swim, as well as walk around. You can even find a cave after crossing a picturesque bamboo bridge.
10. Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
This renowned national park is well known for its gorgeous evergreen foliage, cooler temperatures, and very tall peaks, the highest reaching 1685 meters! This protected natural landscape also contains the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Buddhist temple as well as Bhubing Palace where King Bhumibol Adulyadej stays during the winter.