Hidden Thailand: Unique Spots to Visit in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand is an undoubtedly beautiful place to visit. We help you to discover the best places to visit in Chiang Mai.

Characterized by unique temples, intriguing cultures, and breathtaking landscapes, there is no shortage of things to do and see there. But maybe you’ve already had the “tourist” experience in Chiang Mai? Perhaps you’re looking to take a trip which is a little more out of the box? That is certainly a trip that can be taken in the city. There are plenty of unique and oft-forgotten things to partake in.

Here are some unique spots to visit in Chiang Mai.

  1. Chiang Mai Grand Canyon

A former quarry, the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon is frequented by travelers who are trying to have a more authentic Chiang Mai experience.

This “canyon” features a 50-foot cliff, off of which the more adventurous travelers like to jump into the waters below. There are also smaller cliffs available for those who want to partake without having to do anything too crazy.

Located about 45 minutes from the city center, it can be one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai.

  1. Women’s Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners

One of the most unique places to visit in Chiang Mai is the Women’s Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners.

At this place, you can get a foot massage from former female prisoners who are trying to work their way back into society. These are not serious offenders, but women who have committed minor crimes.

There’s usually around an hour wait to get your massage, but you can tide yourself over with the cafes and outdoor patios which are on site.

  1. Sticky Waterfall

Located approximately an hour outside of Chiang Mai’s city center is Bua Tong, or the Sticky Waterfall.

While there are waterfalls located all over and around Chiang Mai, the Sticky Falls are ones which you’ll especially want to see and experience. Unlike other falls in the city, these falls allow you to walk on the rocks over which they cascade.

You can quite literally walk up the falls while water rushes down toward you. There’s nothing quite like it.

  1. Ladyboy Cabaret Show

You may or may not have heard of Chiang Mai’s legendary ladyboy shows. These shows are essentially transvestite cabarets, featuring men who have become women performing on stage.

Known as katoeys, these ladyboys are a vital part of Thailand’s culture.

If you’re interested in seeing a ladyboy show, your best bet is to check out Chiang Mai Ladyboy Cabaret Show. It’s lauded by many as the best such production in town.

  1. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Looking to get up close and personal with elephants or other exotic animals? If so, there are plenty of places in Chiang Mai to do so.

If you’re looking to interact with elephants specifically, the best place to do so is at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Located around 60 kilometers outside of Chiang Mai, it’s a place in which you can view and even bathe elephants.

It’s a great place to visit in Chiang Mai if you’re taking a fairly long trip. Check out more elephant sanctuaries here.

  1. Erotic Garden

If you’re into art and nature, you have to make a stop at the Chiang Mai Erotic Garden. This unique location is characterized by sexual artwork, often manifesting itself as phallic statues and similar such structures.

But erotic artwork isn’t the only thing you’ll find in the garden. You’ll also find beautiful plants, trees, and shrubbery.

It all comes together to create a pleasant and wistful atmosphere.

  1. Sunday Market

Perhaps nothing better sums up the culture of Chiang Mai better than the Sunday Market. The Sunday Market is filled with vendors of all kinds, selling everything from clothing, to food, to knick-knacks, and otherwise.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you might consider imbibing some insects. While eating insects sounds disgusting to many westerners, it’s a very common practice in Thailand.

In short, a trip to Chiang Mai without a visit to the Sunday Market is a trip which is missing something.

  1. Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School

Something fun and fulfilling for tourists to do while visiting Chiang Mai is to take part in a cooking class. Learning how to make authentic Thai cuisine really helps to immerse yourself in the culture.

If you’re interested in taking a cooking class, one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai is Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School.

You can take either half-day or full-day cooking courses there. It will give you a terrific understanding of Thai food, providing you knowledge on where it comes from and how exactly it is prepared.

  1. Wat Chedi Luang

Have you ever wanted to chat with a monk? If so, you can make it happen in Chiang Mai.

Temples all around Chiang Mai have schedule times in which visitors and citizens can speak one on one with monks. This is a really great way for you to get an understanding of religion in Thailand.

If you’re interested in a “monk chat,” your best bet is to go to one at Wat Chedi Luang. They allow chats from 9 am to 6 pm every single day.

  1. Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)

While it’s a trek from Chiang Mai’s city center (around a 3-hour drive), Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, is one of the most unique places in or around Chiang Mai.

This temple is aptly called the White Temple because it is, in fact, entirely white. An extraordinary model of Thai architecture, it’s like no other building or structure currently existing on the planet.

While it looks like a temple, it is actually used as an art exhibit. Though it’s not free to get into, it is very inexpensive.

Looking for More Places to Visit in Chiang Mai?

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai? Looking for places to go while you’re there? If so, Howie’s HomeStay is a good place to start.

Howie’s HomeStay is a luxury boutique hotel located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We pride ourselves on giving our guests a safe, secure, and private home base to come back to while they’re visiting Chiang Mai.

Make a reservation today!