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Chiang Mai, nestled in the picturesque mountains of Northern Thailand, is a city that effortlessly combines ancient traditions with modern charm. From its historic temples to lush jungles and vibrant night markets, this city offers a plethora of experiences for travelers. For those seeking to explore the heart of Chiang Mai, we’ve made a Mad Monkey-approved list of the best tours that promise adventure, cultural immersion, and unforgettable memories.


Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Chiang Mai is renowned for its ethical elephant sanctuaries, and the Phupa Elephant Sanctuary stands out as a must-visit. They are passionate about elephant welfare and conservation, and provide a safe haven for rescued elephants, where they can thrive in their natural habitat, allowing travelers to observe and interact with these gentle giants in a responsible manner. Visitors can participate in feeding, bathing, and learning about the elephants’ natural behaviors, fostering a deeper understanding of their importance in Thai culture. This is definitely one of the best tours in Chiang Mai!

By booking your Elephant Sanctuary Tour with Madventures, you contribute to their well-being and support our mission to protect these gentle giants.

Phupa Elephant Sanctuary tour with Madventures

Doi Suthep Temple and Hill Tribe Village Tour

Perched atop Doi Suthep Mountain, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of Chiang Mai’s most sacred temples, offering panoramic views of the city below. Many tours include a visit to this iconic site, followed by a trip to a traditional hill tribe village. This excursion provides insight into the indigenous cultures of Northern Thailand, allowing travelers to interact with locals and learn about their unique customs and crafts.

Close-up of Doi Suthep Temple, photo courtesy of Kamil Molendys

Chiang Mai Old City Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in Chiang Mai’s rich history with a guided walking tour through the Old City. Explore ancient temples like Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh, marvel at the intricate architecture, and discover the fascinating stories behind these cultural landmarks. Along the way, indulge in local street food and browse through bustling markets, experiencing the city like a true local.

Exterior of Wat Chedi Luang, photo courtesy of Yuya Uzu

Grand Canyon Waterpark

For a day filled with excitement and water-based fun, the Grand Canyon Waterpark in Chiang Mai is a fantastic choice. Experience thrilling water slides, relaxing lazy rivers, and adrenaline-pumping activities, making it an ideal destination for families, friends, and adventure enthusiasts alike.

Book your Grand Canyon Tour with Madventures and create lasting memories together in one of Thailand’s most exciting water parks.

Grand Canyon Waterpark tour with Madventures

Thai Cooking Classes

Thai cuisine is renowned worldwide for its bold flavors and aromatic spices. Enroll in a cooking class to learn the art of preparing authentic Thai dishes. From fragrant curries to flavorful stir-fries, these classes often include a visit to local markets, where participants can pick fresh ingredients before honing their culinary skills under the guidance of expert chefs. This is one of the best tours in Chiang Mai to bring a piece of the city home with you.

A Thai cooking class, photo courtesy of Yoav Aziz

Adventure in Doi Inthanon National Park

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, a tour of Doi Inthanon National Park is a must. Known as the “Roof of Thailand,” this park is home to Thailand’s highest peak, diverse flora and fauna, and stunning waterfalls. Trek through lush rainforests, visit the park’s twin pagodas, and take a refreshing dip in the cascading waters of Wachirathan Falls. The park also offers opportunities for bird watching, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts.

Aerial view of Doi Inthanon National Park, photo courtesy of Bharath Mohan

Sticky Waterfalls

A unique natural wonder, the Sticky Waterfalls, or Bua Thong Waterfalls, is a must-visit attraction near Chiang Mai. Unlike traditional waterfalls, these limestone falls have a naturally grippy texture, allowing visitors to climb them effortlessly. It’s an excellent opportunity for a memorable adventure and stunning photo opportunities amidst the lush jungle surroundings.

Book your Sticky Waterfalls Tour with Madventures and discover a unique natural wonder that will leave you amazed and invigorated.

Sticky waterfalls tour with Madventures

Chiang Mai Pub Crawl

Experience Chiang Mai’s vibrant nightlife with a Pub Crawl tour. Explore the city’s best bars, clubs, and nightspots, meeting fellow travelers and locals alike. Join our Guest Experience Team for a night to remember (or not). Start off with some drinks at Mad Monkey and then head out on the town! Sing away the legendary Karaoke Bar and dance the night away to absolutely bangers! As one of the best tours in Chiang Mai, you don’t want to miss this!

Book our infamous Pub Crawl and get the full nightlife experience!

Bottom’s up at Mad Monkey’s Pub Crawl

Best Tours in Chiang Mai: Final Thoughts

Chiang Mai’s charm lies not only in its scenic beauty but also in the authentic experiences it offers. These handpicked tours allow travelers to delve into the city’s soul, creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re interacting with elephants ethically, exploring ancient temples, savoring local delicacies, embarking on thrilling adventures, or immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife, Chiang Mai has something for every traveler. So, gear up, embark on these tours, and let the enchanting city of Chiang Mai captivate your heart and soul.

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About the Author

Nicole Basri is the Junior Marketing Assistant at Mad Monkey Hostels. When she's not working, you'll find her buried in a good book, or on a hunt for the perfect Matcha Latte.