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Written by Victor Kang
Co-written by Dawn Pillay
Edited by Candice Neo

You are that person.

The kind of person who would show up in T-shirt and jeans when everyone is in their business jackets and long evening dresses.

The kind who would skip the touristy and conventional locations, in favour of retreating to a secluded beach where you can calmly watch the retreating sea waves – or relaxing in a lush green forest, away from the noises of civilisation.

Also read:

24 unique things to do in and around Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

10 unique hotels in Chiang Mai you never knew existed

19 Unique Cafes and Restaurants in Chiang Mai you never knew existed

Or, you’re the first to discover and adventure through hidden villages, and have a lot of respect for the local arts and culture. And apart from all the cute cafes and boutique guesthouses, Chiang Mai is exactly this sort of place, brimming with adventure, arts and culture.

So if we are speaking to you, heads up – put on your adventure hats because these 13 unique adventurous, cultural and artistic things in Chiang Mai will change your perception about this Thai province!

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1. Indulge in tea, scenery and more in this quaint little Chinese Village – Baan Rai Thai, Mae Hong Son

How would you like to be transported to a lovely Chinese village complete with a signature tea experience during your Chiang Mai trip?

Photo via phumpat_c

Baan Rai Thai is a small village with a population of just around 1,000 who are mainly Chinese-born or Thai-Chinese. With a heavy Chinese influence on its signboards, buildings, and even the local language, Baan Rai is now stealing travellers’ attention with its unique charm, cool weather, Chinese food and locally grown Oolong Tea.

Photo via iiceskate, ramai_kaew

Originated from China, the famous Oolong Tea is grown right in these plantations. You can learn all about its production and harvest, and enjoy a hot cuppa tea yourself, while taking in the tranquil and green surroundings.

Photo via phumpat_c

Photo via unicornjustinwolf, mamyow, folkap

The best time to visit Baan Rai is from October to February, especially in February when an annual Tea Tasting Festival takes place. In addition to a tea-licious holiday, you can also trek, cycle or do horse-riding around the scenic village, while staying at the most popular accommodation, Lee Wine Ruk Thai Resort, for that authentic Baan Rai experience you won’t get elsewhere in Thailand.

Photo via aneanee, Oat R

Photo via beebie_patarin, peamai_jen

Photo via Oat R

Baan Rai Thai, Mae Hong Son (5 hours from Chiang Mai)

Location: Moo 6 Tambon Mog Jum Pae, Amphur Muang, Mae Hong Son, Thailand. Coordinates here.

Lee Wine Ruk Thai Resort

Address: 3 Moo 6 Tambon Mokjampea Amphur Maung, Other, Mae Hong Son, Thailand, 58000. Coordinates here
Phone: +66 89-950-0955, +66 89-262-1335


2. Live on top of the misty mountains of Thailand ― Mong Nuea homestay

Imagine you are among a cluster of wooden huts scattered in a lush green landscape, with breathtaking views from the top, fresh air and chilly weather.

Photo via man_grandiose

Here’s where you can experience the folk life of Thailand’s most mountainous region – Mong Nuea homestay, a perfect welcoming place only a few hours’ drive from Chiang Mai. As this place is not well known, you won’t find many tourists, so you can immerse in the local culture and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Photo via yuiiipairaya

Photo via takatuk_24, jubjang_srisuda, namfonpokudom

Meanwhile, tear yourself away from your gadgets, technology and social media. Mong Neua is about purely experiencing the simple lives that the people lead. Give your mind that much-needed rejuvenation!

Photo via hidek28,-hong_ora,-nuunaarmeen

Photo via gojourneytogether,

Photo via reviewchiangmai,-jsp_may

Mong Nuea

Getting there: Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 84 363 8014


3. Unprecedented location and the most breathtaking temples and pagodas in all of Thailand – Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn, Lampang

Also known by the names Wat Phabatpuphadang, Wat Phrabuddhabat or Wat Doi, these spectacular temples and pagodas are truly one of a kind. Clinging to the jagged cliff face at the top of a mountain, the temples overlook a sheer drop close to 1,000 meters below!

Photo Via Tomyudon

Photo Via Arthur_shooting

An hour’s drive from Lampang deposits you at the first level, where you can wander around the main temple, and meet the monks who live in this area.

Photo Via mira_chomph

The second level is farther up the mountain, and can be accessed by tuk-tuk or on foot. Here you will find the famous footsteps that are believed to belong to Buddha.

Leading to the final level of the temple complex are 800 extremely steep steps that bring you to the most magnificent mountain top in Thailand. This third tier is known as Doi Prat Bet – and here you’ll find the golden pagoda, prayer hall, and many white stupas scattered along the rocky surface of the mountain top.

Photo Via Apichat-pimsoda

The 360 degree views from the summit are incredible; the Thung valley below, the hills in the distance, and the temples surrounding you. Located in the Lampang province (112km from Chiang Mai), this magnificent, 3-level Buddhist tribute may be a little difficult to get to, but more than worth the journey.

Photo Via NeekrungChannel

Video by Jakapong Wattanajahree

Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn (2.5 hours from Chiang Mai)

Price/entrance fees: The entrance fee is 200 Baht. In addition to this, it will cost USD $2.80 / approx. 100 Baht for a round trip tuk-tuk ride from the first to the second level. There is no transportation provided between the second and third level; you will need to climb on your own.
Address:  Mueang Pan, Mueang Pan District, Lampang 52240, Thailand
Getting there: It’s a 3-hour drive from Chiang Mai. Otherwise, the easiest option is to take a domestic flight to Lampang Airport and then take a local bus or shuttle into Chaehom. From here you will need to hire a tuk-tuk or taxi to take you to the temple’s ground level. Coordinate here

4. Enjoy fresh local coffee at Thailand’s highest peak (with local tribes) ― Baan Mae Klang Luang

If you’re a coffee person, you’re gonna love this!

Photo via peat phiriya

In the tiny village of Mae Klang Luang ― just below Thailand’s highest peak, Doi Inthanon National Park ― you’ll find a small and humble stall that brews and serves freshly brewed coffee.

Photo via c_aiew, weeeeon

The Arabica and Robusta coffee beans here are organically grown in these fertile lands. These coffee beans are then handpicked, cleaned and dried, before going through a manual and traditional way of roasting, which involves a lot of stirring over a hot pot and burning fire.

Once they are black enough, the beans are then placed into a wooden strainer and swung in the air. After that, the coffee beans will be ground into fine powder in a traditional grinding machine before finally being boiled and strained into tiny coffee cups.

Photo by roxy.roxy, Kona52, sirikuling, weirdokate

There are very few things in life that are better than sipping freshly brewed coffee in the cool breeze and surrounded by lush greenery. It certainly beats the experience of being in a commercialised coffee shop!

Photos via bennei, nisayb, cutie_wila

If you have a hard time trying to part ways with the addictive smell and taste of the coffee, you can always some to take home with you.

Baan Mae Klang Luang is inhabited by the Karen tribe, an ethnic tribe that migrated from Myanmar to Thailand in the 18th Century.

Photos via sullivanandsullivanphoto, thanphat

Apart from enjoying the magnificent view of paddy fields and exploring the local flora and fauna, you can also learn about the local culture by venturing into the villages. Just remember to hire a local guide.

Photo via anisa_puii

If you want a more immersive experience, why not try out homestay in the area too? It’s perfect if you want to escape from the city and spend a more time in this magical place, where you can smell the trees and watch the stars at night.

Baan Mae Klang Luang

Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 89 952 0983

Visit the Karen Tribe with Klook!

5. Ignite your artistic sense ― Baan Kang Wat artist village

If you love art, you’ve come to the right place!

Photo via cellisboa, 8kkachai

Livened with various cafes and shophouses, and decorated much greenery, the hidden Baan Kang Wat artist village combines modern life with a country lifestyle. There’s even a small organic fruit-and-vegetable garden at the back of the village.

Photo via maillsmilk,-cellisboa

The teak and wood structures of these shops, coupled with the variety of plants, stimulate an artistic energy that is too potent to resist.

Photos via linn_mashannoad,-jjsuree

Many of the shops here sell good quality handmade products that are either organically made or sustainable, and the profits are redistributed to the community in one way or another. That’s not to mention that prices are quite reasonable too!

For instance, in Jibberish, a shop that sells “zakka” products (a Japanese trend that focuses on improving anything and everything about your life, including your home decor, lifestyle and appearance), you can find jewellery, postcards and ceramic items like teapots and cups.

Photo by cellisboa,-bammnts,-larnsong,-bookoostudio

There’s also Pachana ceramic studio, which organises workshops frequently, so you can get crafty and make some ceramic products for yourself and your loved ones!

Photo by pachana_studio

Events and exhibitions are held here regularly too! Do check out their Facebook page for latest update before heading down!

Photo via wrp.spp,-noopangcassanovy

Baan Kang Wat artist village

Address: 191-197 Soi Wat UMong,  Suthep Subdistrict, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Coordinates here. (If your tuk-tuk or songthaew driver is not familiar with this place, let him know that the Wat Ram Poeng temple is opposite the village.)
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10am – 6pm (best visit on weekend)


6. Stay with the isolated Akha tribe ― Baan Huay Kee Lek

Do you love learning about local culture from Thailand’s hill tribes, but don’t want to visit overly commercialised villages?

Baan Huay Kee Lek is an isolated hill tribe that not many tourists know of, though it is one of the six hill tribes that are recognised by the Thai government.

Photo via

When you are here, you will be introduced to their local traditions and lifestyle without disrupting their daily lives. You’ll see women drying beans under the sun, agricultural crops such as rice and vegetables, and livestock such as pigs, cattles and chickens.

Photo via arka tigeroma,

Generally, in Thailand, almost every tribe has its own unique traditional clothes that distinguishes one tribe from another. Akha women are dressed in black clothing with long broad sleeves and caps decorated with silver coins.

Photo via anthu_omar,-missfilatelista

If you want a truly immersive experience, you can even do a homestay with the locals!

Photo via vgab,-jessejourneys,-cbaimai

Photos via la mariposa vagabunda, neunhundertsiebnundneunzig

Baan Huay Kee Lek

Address: Moo 9, Tambon Wawee, Amphor Mae Suay, Chiang Rai Province 57180
Contact: +668 1111 4871

7. Majestic silver temple only for the men ― Wat Sri Suphan

Have you ever seen a shiny and glimmering temple, constructed almost entirely out of silver?

Situated in the famous silver-making Wualai district of Chiang Mai, it is difficult to miss the gleaming Wat Sri Suphan.

Photo by willfearon

Although not every nook and cranny is crafted from silver (certain parts are made from aluminium and tin), you can hardly tell the difference, as the temple glimmers and sparkles brightly like a shining beacon – an interesting spectacular view you can’t find in most temples in the country.

Photo via tum bhakawat

As one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai, there are not many remnants of the original architecture as the temple has been rebuilt a few times over the course of centuries. But you can still see the original boundary markers (sema stones) around the ordination hall.

Photo via khaichalita,-ladycandyko

Photo via pimrock

Your jaw will drop as soon as you step into the interior, which is decorated with murals with an amazing level of intricacy, and most of them tell the stories of the life of Buddha. The sheer amount of details is truly a testament to the excellent craftsmanship put in by the local silversmiths.

Photos by thailandbestshot, a2ndnaturephoto, glhrmbchhl

However, do be mindful that women are not allowed to enter the ordination hall. A sign outside loosely explains why in English, and we quote it word for word here:

“Beneath the base of Ubosotha in the monastic boundary, many precious things, incantations, amulets and other holy objects were buried 500 years ago. Entering inside the place may deteriorated the place or otherwise the lady herself. According to this Lanna Belief, ladies are not allowed to enter the Ubosotha.”

But don’t be disheartened, ladies, you can still admire the majestic structure from the outside, or drop by some of the silver-making workshops nearby, most of which work on the panelling of the temple. Conducting these workshops also help to ensure that the traditional silver-making techniques are passed on from generation to generation.

Photos via shahirah_nasir, kee_thana, kanikobe

Wat Sri Suphan

Address: 100 Wua Lai Road, Tambon Hai Ya, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm
Entrance fee: None

8. Wander into a secret garden ― Terracotta Garden (Baan Phor Liang Meun)

You can walk right past this secret garden if you haven’t heard about it.

The Baan Phor Liang Meun garden, also known as the Terracotta Garden, is often overlooked because its interior is well camouflaged by its surrounding brick walls.

Photo via alanaalovee

As you step in, you’ll instantly feel yourself transported back in time. Amidst the moss and terracotta sculptures, this hidden spot is an abandoned ancient ruin filled with Buddhist and Hindu monuments and sculptures, giving a it a rather mysterious vibe.

Photo via nanpich,-mosshino91

The garden is filled with hundreds of beautiful sculptures, some broken, others decaying, consumed by time – all of which are actually available for sale. Some of the thick-rooted trees here may even remind you of a certain Ta Prohm temple in Angkor.

Photo via viviendodeviaje,-gluhen

Photo via izzahsy,-nabildurand

As you wander around the garden, you’ll find a cosy cafe called ‘Coffee by Clay Studio’, where you can rest your feet and savour the unique ambience. You can even take up sculpting and pottery classes in the garden (advance booking required)!

Photos via yunnara_,-jinkukpark

Photos via wanlissa,, kittykak, bellebear

Terracotta Garden

Address: 36 Prasing Soi 2 Phrapokklao Rd., Muang, Chiang Mai 50100
Coordinates here
Contact: +66 53 278 187


9. Discover 4 exotic hill tribes in Thailand’s “Little Switzerland” ― Doi Ang Khang

Nestled in the midst of incredible mountainous beauty, about 3 hours’ drive northwest of Chiang Mai, you’ll reach a small village named Doi Ang Khang, which is known as the “Little Switzerland” of Thailand.

Photo by vue.du.ciel

True to its name, it bears a resemblance to the Swiss Alps – apart from the fresh air, you’ll see colourful plants along the road up the mountains, and strawberry and apple farms, fruit that can only be grown in a cool climate. While you’re here, go for jungle trekking, bird watching or simply bask in the scenic beauty of the area.

Photo by olga_jezhik

Photos via perrypearpear, olga_jezhik, natnanetta

This little paradise is also where four different hill tribes live – the Musur, Palong, Thai Yai and Jean Hor. Each tribe has its own unique culture and language.

The Musur comprises of six different tribes, and are said to have migrated from Tibet. They cultivate rice and corn, and can be found in the highland area.

The Palong originally migrated from Burma and their livelihood is based on cultivating crops, which include rice, tea, beans and yams. They are usually welcoming to visitors and you can easily find many of their handicraft items by the road.

Photos by iampann, seanleeyang

You’ll also find the Thai Yai (“Big Thai”) people, who are considered to be the indigenous people in Mae Hong Son province. They can also be found in neighbouring countries such as Burma and China (in the south).

Lastly, Jean Hor is also an ethnic group who came from China and follows the strict traditions of their ancestors. They were given political refuge by the Thai government and were important in protecting Thailand from communism when the ideology was spreading to Southeast Asia.

Photos via dadu dadu, yukaf

If you make a visit to the Royal Angkhang Station Project, which provides agricultural support to the local community to plant their crops for extra income, you’ll come across magnificent gardens of beautiful flowers, Bonsai trees, vegetables and fruit too.

Photo via orangetree17

Doi Ang Khang

Address: Mae Sun, Fang District, Chiang Mai 50320, Thailand
Coordinates here.

10. Find wood carvings and ceramic art ― Baan Tawai

Love wooden or ceramic art? Just 30 minutes away from central Chiang Mai stands a huge handicraft village known as Baan Tawai, which is just the place you would want to visit if you love beautiful handmade wooden products!

Photo via ezselena, djarot s_wisnubroto

Famous for wood sculptures, wood carvings and wood-based merchandise, Baan Tawai is one of the cheapest places in Thailand to shop for wood and ceramic souvenirs. Here you can even find authentic wood furniture such as tables and chairs, and decorative items for your home.

Photo via thevariable, benjimolinap, ekapol charoenyudth

Photo via yutiane, mdlii, jackiedaviesbkk, assawakitipong

Be prepared to walk for hours as there are numerous shops around, so bargaining might be your best bet if you like something and want to pay a reasonable price for it.

Photo by hyoi_k,-a_girl_called_sian

Photo via rina kina, modjiz

If you can’t pack that big garden table into your luggage, don’t worry, there are shipping companies among some of the shops if you want to ship your items home.

Photo by ajlogan3, chiangmaimarisa

And when you’re tired of shopping, pop by some of the numerous cafes here and take a break!

Photo via drjames 007

Baan Tawai

Address: Khun Khong, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 5pm


11.  Bring home a special handmade traditional umbrella ― Bo Sang umbrella village

While umbrellas aren’t exactly the usual kind of souvenirs that you would give someone or take home with you, the umbrellas you’ll find in Bo Sang village aren’t your typical ones that will only shield you from rain and sun.

Once you arrive at the village, you’ll immediately be greeted with a wide array of popping umbrellas with bright colours, and busy artisans who are working on bamboo umbrellas ranging from colourful ones to those with unique designs.

Photo via emagasty

These handmade umbrellas are made from bamboo struts, Saa paper (a type of paper made from mulberry), cotton and wood. Some of them are even water-resistant! You can also find fans, lamps, parasols and other locally-made products.

Photo via celia b, the.b.b.c

Curious about how these umbrellas are made? Visit the umbrella factory and watch how these experienced artists transform simple materials into works of art through their craftsmanship and exceptional artistic skills!

Photo via sh918, izatiazlan

Photo via georgeanagodinho

Head on over to the handicraft centre and you’ll be spoilt for choices with the wide selection of designs and colours. Be mindful though, they can be slightly expensive, and you can get better deals at the Chiang Mai market, though they don’t quite offer the same amount of variety.

Photo via redtribeco, linahanson, dita3108

You can also request any artist to paint anything you like, such as your T-shirt, purse, mobile phone, book, shoes or jeans. You can also have the finished umbrellas shipped to your home.

We recommend visiting in January, as there are annual umbrella festivals during the third weekend!

During the festival, local artists compete to create the best umbrella designs, and there’s also a beauty pageant bike parade (when participants will cycle in their traditional clothes), activities and performances.

Photo via umbrella festival via jajar kanjana

Bo Sang umbrella village

Address: Ton Pao, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai, 50130
Getting there: You can get there via tuk-tuks, songthaews, taxis or even via a bus (just remember to negotiate the price). Coordinates here.

12. Marvel at Thailand’s blue temple ― Wat Rong Suea Ten

You may have heard of the striking beauty of the White Temple, Wat Rong Kun, but have you heard of a blue temple that has that same impressive aura?

The hidden temple with blue and gold exterior will immediately stand out as you marvel at the extraordinary colours, dragon sculptures and imposing Buddha statue. The interior is also painted exquisitely in blue, decorated with magnificent Buddhist paintings.

Photo via sandkornthawat

Photo via chanssmile35

Altogether, they create a very different vibe compared to many other temples.

Photo via catherinecv

Photos via Florence-T, clara.change, khanittha_meng

Photo via venikz

Wat Rong Suea Ten is located in Rong Suea Ten, in the district of Rim Kok and alongside the Mae Kok river, which is only a few kilometres outside Chiang Rai.

Guess how the temple got its name? The literal translation of “Rong Suea Ten” means tigers leaping over creeks, because in the past, tigers were prominent in the area.

Wat Rong Suea Ten

Address: Tambon Rimkok, Amphoe Muang Chiang Rai, Changwat Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
Getting there: Take Highway 1 north, cross the Kok River and there will be a sign to the temple on your left, about 350 metres after passing the river. Public transport is not available, so you’ll need to either rent a bicycle for about 50 Baht (USD $1.47)  or get a tuk-tuk, which will cost you around 300 Baht (USD $8.80).
Coordinates here.
Entrance fee: None.

13. Get handmade traditional paper gifts ― Baan Ton Pao paper village

If you can’t get enough of handicraft items, you’re in luck. Near the umbrella village Bo Sang, you’ll find a paper village called Baan Ton Po. Both are located along the San Kamphaeng Road, which is also known as the “handicraft highway”.

Photo by handicrafttourism

The paper village is made up of shops and small factories along one main road, and like Bo Sang, you’ll find a variety of products handmade from saa paper, such as paper cards, gift boxes, and paper albums, among other truckload of products, each with their own special designs.

Photo by dyetonpaosapaper,-handicrafttourism

Photo by tonpaosapaper

To get the best variety of paper products, head on to the preservation house, a large building at the end of the street!

Photo via handicrafttourism

Baan Ton Pao paper village

Address: Ton Pao, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai, 50130
Getting there: From San Kamphaeng Road, take highway No. 1006 to Amphur Muang Loei, for about 8 km. You will see Ban Nong Klong school. Ban Ton Pao is located opposite the school.
Coordinates here.

14. Learn the culinary art of Thai food ― Thai Secret Cooking School, Sammy’s Organic Thai Cooking School, Mama Noi Thai Cookery School

Want to learn how to cook that lovely, savoury spicy Tom Yam soup? Or whip up a steaming comforting plate of Phad Thai?

We’ve selected two cooking schools in Chiang Mai that will take you on a culinary adventure and teach you the art of cooking that delicious Thai meal – a precious skill to bring home!

Thai Secret Cooking School is located in Pa Phai Village, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai, and it offers both half-day and full-day classes.

Thai Secret Cooking School

Thai Secret Cooking School (Photos via moannaphan, coey_smile)

Sammy’s Organic Thai cooking School is located in the San Sai district, also some 20 minutes’ drive away from Chiang Mai and takes place in Sammy’s own organic farm, so you can experience Thailand’s countryside while you cook up a five-course meal!

Sammy’s Organic Thai cooking School (Photos via wecouldgoanywhere, 637emilyf)

Sammy’s Organic Thai cooking School (Photos via ungracefulguide, blue_nurry)

The schedules for both schools are largely the same. First, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the local market, where you’ll learn about the different types of ingredients required, including spices, rice and coconut milk, and scour for fresh ones.

Then, you will head to the cooking school where you will be welcomed with refreshments. After which, it’s time to pick out more fresh ingredients from the schools’ organic farms!

After you select a dish you would like to learn, your instructors will do a demonstration and guide you along as you begin!

Your takeaways? A cookbook, a certificate of completion, and most importantly, cooking skills that are yours to keep and surprise your loved ones with back home!

Photo via pitepatte, thai_secret_cooking_school

Another popular cooking school is Mama Noi’s with the option for half or full day classes. If you’re head over heels in love with Thailand and want to be able to replicate your favourite dishes back home – Mama Noi will give you the perfect recipes and cooking techniques to arm you for life.

Photo via lucasvizioli, salcoliveira, bailinka

First you’ll get to tour the local market and an organic farm/herb garden. Next, customise your cooking class by choosing dishes and recipes from the menu that you want to learn! (You’ll learn 3 dishes/recipes during a half day class and 5 dishes/recipes during a full day class.)

Photo via thewolfismel

Thai Secret Cooking School

Tap to expand for more info

Address: 58 Moo 1, Pa Phai, San Sai District, Chiang Mai 50210, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 83 477 0182
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 7pm
Prices: Full day – 1200 Baht (USD $35.37) per person from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Half day – 900 Baht (USD $26.53) per person from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm


Sammy’s Organic Thai Cooking School

Tap to expand for more info

Address: 65 Moonmuang Road, Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 81- 570 9279, [email protected]
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 7pm
Prices: 1000 Baht (USD $29.47)

Mama Noi Thai Cookery School

Tap to expand for more info

Address: 119/10 Chang klan Muang 50100, Muang Chiang Mai,, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand.
Contact: +66 53 273 415
Opening hours: Morning class: 9am to 1pm, Evening class: 4.30pm to 8.30pm, Full Day: 9am to 3pm
Prices: 630 Baht (USD $19)

Check rate with Klook

15. Spend time with rescued elephants ― Save The Elephant Foundation (Elephant Nature Park)

The Elephant Nature Park is located in the Mae Taeng District of Chiang Mai and provides a sanctuary for elephants that have been brutalised by unethical tourism as well as retired working elephants.

This wonderful park is also a safe haven for many other animals such as dogs, cats, cows and water buffalos. Surrounded by forested mountains and boarded by a river, this is a serene and tranquil environment for you to bond with the animals.

If you love elephants, you can feed these gentle giants, bathe them, walk with them or even volunteer and help out at the foundation!

Photo via judbagues

Like every orphan, every rescued elephant has a story.

Photo via szeway, emilyy

One crushing story tells of an elephant, Jokia, who was blinded by her owners while working in a logging camp. While pulling a log uphill, she suffered a miscarriage, and was not allowed to stop to check on her calf. Saddened and traumatised by her loss, Jokia could not to return to work after, and this angered her owner, who deliberately damaged her eyes as punishment. Jokia was discovered and rescued by Elephant National Park in 1999, and now leads a peaceful life in the park in the company of her new friends.


Save The Elephant Foundation (Elephant Nature Park)

Address: 1 Ratmakka Road, Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Coordinates here.
Contact: +66 53 272855
Opening hours:Daily from 7am to 5pm
Entrance fees: Single day tours from 2,500 Baht (USD $73.68) for adults; 1,250 Baht (USD $49.37) for children 2 to 11 years old.


16. Learn to massage like a pro ― Ong’s Thai Massage school, Sabai De Ka Massage school and Old Medicine Hospital, Chiang Mai

Inspired by how the expert hands of masseuses in Thailand could always ease the knots in your tensed muscles and make your aching body feel so refreshed after?

If you are curious and interested to learn massage, where else can you pick up the skill from than the land of thousand smiles, where the renowned Thai massage was founded more than 2,500 years ago?

For those of you who prefer to learn in a small group, you can try Ong’s Thai Massage School, which offers a wide range of courses ranging from basic to professional massages, with a variety of foot reflexology, Tok Sen (a traditional massage known in Chiang Mai using wooden sticks), Chinese meridians (part of traditional chinese medicine), and other types of massages that you can choose from.

Ong’s Thai Massage School (Photos via atha7053, walterzanca)

Ong’s Thai Massage School (Photo via walterzanca,-nong_mai_jaa)

In Sabai De Ka Massage School, the teachers can converse well in English and often make the classes humourous and entertaining, and you can even combine different courses if you like.

Sabai De Ka Massage School

If you are searching for a more authentic experience, go for Old Medicine School, the oldest massage school in Thailand. Here, you’ll not only get to learn how to do various types of massages, but also about traditional medicine and methods.

Old Medicine School (Photo via nassweet1, ellen_fatsuit)

Old Medicine School (Photos via eshana.alcover, sarahjanedoll, silvia_r_andrade, youngjong_an)

What better gift to reward your loved ones with than your very own personalised home massage?

Ong’s Thai Massage School

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Address: Thailand, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Coordinates here
Contact: +66 86 114 0219


Sabai De Ka Massage School

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Address: 93/3 moon muang road, Sri Phum Muang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Coordinates here
Contact: +66 81 881 3697
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 7pm


Old Medicine Hospital

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Address: 238/1 Wualai Road, Tambon Haiya, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Coordinates here
Contact: +66 53201663


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