It seems like there are still many tourists that think of Thailand only as a place that boasts awe-inspiring temples, pristine beaches, and a crazy night life, but there is much more to the country than only that. There are loads of exotic and fun activities just waiting around every corner, especially in Chiang Mai.
This ancient city is known for having amazing lush green rainforests, rolling hills and valleys, and beautiful rural countryside settings all throughout the city. It truly is the best place to get a bit closer to Mother Nature and take in all that she has to offer.
Here are the absolute best natural wonders of Chiang Mai.
One thing that Northern Thailand has a lot of is waterfalls. These natural wonders make for great day trips that include swimming, relaxing, taking pictures, and having a picnic. Here are some of the best waterfalls in the Chiang Mai Province.
Mae Sa Falls: The largest, and certainly the most amazing waterfalls in all of Chiang Mai, is the Mae Sa Falls located 26km from town. The impressive waterfall cascades down over 8 tiers, and the entire region is heavily covered by trees, making a perfect place to escape the hot sun.
Mae Pan Falls: These are the highest waterfalls in all of Chiang Mai, cascading over a 100 meter cliff. The water eventually accumulates into small ponds good for swimming further down the stream. The falls are located 16km away from the city.
Monthathal Falls: These waterfalls are located closest to the city, and it actually splits into two separate falls- Pha Ngerb and Wang Bua Baan. It is easily accessible from the road, and it is a great place to hang out in the shade enjoying a cold beer. However, due to trash from the villages upstream, it isn’t always the best location for swimming.
Mae Klang falls: These falls are the closest an easiest falls to reach upon entering Doi Inthanon National Park. The waterfall has a massive cascade, and it proves to be very popular for locals to hang out.
Mae Ya Waterfall: Although these falls are in a remote location, it is one of the most remarkable falls in all of Chiang Mai. The main fall has a cascade of around 40 meters which gives it a very intense look.
The Mae Tang River is a hugely popular river in Chiang Mai for the abundance of fun and exciting activities that it has to offer. There is a little bit of something for every type of traveler. Here are the top activities on the Mae Tang River.
Bamboo Rafting: For visitors that are looking to take a peaceful cruise down this beautiful river without any hassle or fuss, this is the perfect activity to try. Sturdy bamboo rafts are gently guided down a tranquil part of the river by experienced guides. The rafts are completely safe, and the entire experience is great for all ages.
White-Water Rafting: For visitors that want a bit more adventure in their lives, white-water rafting will definitely get your adrenaline pumping. Twist and turn over 14 awesome level 4+ rapids over a course of 10km. Experience isn’t required, and rafters can be easily trained by expert guides during an orientation before the journey.
Tubing & Kayaking: There are also various companies that offer other fun activities on the river such as tubing and kayaking. These types of activities are more tamed than white-water rafting, but they can also be quite exciting as well.
For those that are seeking a heart-pumping experience, then Crazy Horse Buttress is the place to go. This is quickly becoming a world-renowned climbing site, drawing in visitors from all over the world. It boasts 16 crags and nearly 200 sport routes with grading ranging from 5.6- 5.13c.
Professional guides, sporting advanced safety gear, are there to help climbers of with any level of experience take on some of the thrilling routes that Crazy Horse Buttress has to offer.
Trekking is extremely popular in Chiang Mai, and there are numerous different tours and activities to go along with the multitude of scenic trails. Travelers can choose easy day trips all the way up to treks that last for days. Many tours include visits to elephant sanctuaries, and trips down the Mae Tang River as well.
This national park is home to the highest mountain in Thailand, 2565 meters to be exact. Besides the waterfalls mentioned above, the park is home to many nature inspired activities. Some of these activities include: birdwatching, caving, hiking, and camping. The park is absolutely jam-packed with striking scenery, loveable animals, and numerous adventures to encounter.