There is something magical about Chiang Mai. Vibrant local markets, majestic temples, and one-of-a-kind experiences make it one of the best places to find things to do in Thailand.

Even if you only have twenty-four hours, the largest city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, is worth the visit. Keep reading to find out the best ways to spend your time while you’re here.

1. Chef Leez Thai Cooking School

Chez Leez Thai Cooking School is located in Bangkok making it a great place to start your travels and one of the best things to do in Thailand. You will be provided with all the materials you need to create twelve different Thai dishes.

With an average class size of fewer than eight people, you will receive personalized instruction as you learn the steps to make each of the dishes. You will also be given access to online recipes and tutorial videos with the cost of your class so that you can refresh your new skills when you get back home.

With over a thousand positive reviews on TripAdvisor, the Chef Leez Cooking School is sure to be a great time.

2. Visit Local Temples

There are more than 300 temples in the greater Chiang Mai area that you can visit. Each of them is breathtaking, but one of the best has to be the Wat Inthkin. This beautiful temple is right next door to a monastery.

It also offers you the opportunity to participate in a Buddhist ritual, making a wish on a Pagoda. Although the custom originated in Korea, the practice of tapdori is common. People circle a pagoda and pray for their families to be peaceful and happy.

3. Tour the Thai Market

Thai street food is known around the world for its decadent flavor and incredible scent. That makes walking through a market one of the best things to do in Thailand.

From fruits and vegetables to large fish and live chickens, the market has something for everyone. It is a great place to go to get a handle on the local cuisine. It is easy to move from booth to booth sampling dishes until you lock on to something you like.

There are several companies that offer market tours to help direct you where to look. Some of the markets in Thailand are very big and it is impossible to see everything. With a guide, you will be sure that you have made the most of your time.

4. Take a Thai Boxing Lesson

When you take a trip to Thailand, you will most likely be on a plane for many hours. This is a necessary, but frustrating experience. Boxing is a great form of exercise for getting rid of stress.

It also is a great activity to do as a family. It can be a fun way to connect with your kids and help get their pent up energy out so that you can have a more relaxing trip.

Boxing is also a great way to get more involved in the Thai culture. It is one of the most popular things to do in Thailand.

Boxing lessons typically last about an hour and will teach you some of the basics. Most of the classes are conducted outdoors, so you should go in the morning or evening to avoid the heat and humidity during the day.

5. Check Out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

If you thought you had seen it all at the day markets, you will be surprised to find that the night bazaar is an entirely different experience. It is a kilometer long and stands as the go-to place for tourist shopping.

When you visit you will haggle with sellers of beautiful clothing and jewelry. Your kids will enjoy being able to choose souvenirs to bring home with them and graze on all the sweets sold by the food vendors.

If you decide to visit the night bazaar, you will need to get cash before you go. Credit and debit cards are not accepted. Luckily, there are lots of ATMs nearby to help if you need them.

6. Escape to Phi Phi Island

If you have seen the movie, The Beach, with Leonardo DiCaprio, then you are familiar with Phi Phi Island. That is the place where the movie was filmed back in 2000.

Since then, the island has seen a big rise in tourism. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Enjoy abundant coral reefs, sheer cliffs, and long beaches with white sand.

It is important to know that if you go to the island there is no public transportation. You will need to either work with a tour company or stay near the area where the ferry drops you off.

7. Take a Day Trip to Chiang Rai

From Chiang Mai, there are tours offered to Chiang Rai for the day. You will be picked up at your hotel and taken in an air-conditioned minivan to the province. On the way, your guide will make a stop at Mae Khachan Hot Springs to give you a very relaxing break.

Then you will visit Wat Ring Khun, a privately owned white temple that is admired for its unique glasswork and murals designed by the best Thai artists.

Finding Other Things to Do in Thailand

If you are looking for more things to do in Thailand, you won’t have to go far. There are tours and vendors located in most major towns that will be happy to direct you towards fun activities.

Another great way to find quality activities is through TripAdvisor. They have reviews from verified customers who have participated in all types of things to do in Thailand.

Where to Stay for Your Vacay

If you are visiting the Chiang Mai area of Thailand and want to stay in luxury, then there is no better place than Lana Thai Villa. Located just thirty minutes north of the city, it makes for an easy ride from the airport.

Between our manicured gardens and beautiful architecture, we offer a unique space for travelers looking for the best experience. Contact us for reservations today.