Chiang Mai’s Countryside Place guide

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s Countryside

Exploring Chiang Mai’s Countryside on Motorbikes

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Not everyone wants to travel in a crowd and stick to structured itineraries in popular attractions. Each person has their own idea of how to explore unfamiliar territory, and this page talks about experiencing the region of Chiang Mai away from the street markets and crowded temples. 

Biking: Take on the streets of this northern region on two wheels with a Chiang Mai Countryside Bike Tour. With the roads beneath you and sounds of rural life around, nothing beats the freedom of touring the dirt roads on a trusty bicycle. 

  • For first time riders, Chiang Mai has a lot of agencies and guides that allow you to visit attractions on a rented bicycle or motorbike. Some tours may last for just a day, while others can begin and end within a week. 

  • If you are planning to ride with a company or rent your own, make sure the bikes are durable and suited to the terrain. 

Huay Teung Thao Reservoir: Locals love lounging by the water at this sizable reservoir at the northwestern foot of Doi Suthep-Pui Park. The banks of the “lake” are dotted with floating bamboo huts, where Thais snack on fried bugs (yum!), share whisky and perfect the art of chilling. If the day gets hot, jump into the water from your own dock – you can also go fishing if you want to try your luck at catching your own lunch! If not, there are a couple of small restaurants nearby that prepare dancing shrimp (a local specialty). 

  • The reservoir can be reached by driving some 12km northwest of the city

  • If you want to bike there, it takes an hour to cycle from the northwestern corner of the moat. Take the Th Klorng Chonprathan Road (Klorng Road) 

Muang On Cave: For those who love a good cave exploration, head to Muang On 35km-45km east of Chiang Mai. The place fronts a rock climbing and abseiling paradise, set among an impressive set of limestone cliffs. Find the latter behind “Tham Meuang On”, near Sankamphaeng, 45km east of the city. If you decide to ascend, you’ll be rewarded with pastoral views (maybe not quite like Krabi’s seaside cliffs, but beautiful all the same). 

  • Other sights: Down the road are the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, the best spot to sit down and chat with the locals. 

  • Climbing courses: Try Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures or Peak to guide you through the iconic Crazy Horse Buttress

Trekking: Head into the green slopes close to the Burmese and Laoatian border for “hill-tribe treks” to see mountain scenery, interact with local tribes and greet elephants at their sanctuaries! 

White-water rafting: Paddle through the Mae Taeng River north of Chiang Mai, carving a path through the Doi Chiang Dao National Park and Huai Nam Dang National Park. The river’s 10km route is wild and frothy for nine months of the year (July to March), dropping almost 60 meters in just 1.5km at one part!

Tours near Chiang Mai’s Countryside

Doi Inthanon National Park Tour – Full Day

7.5hs4.6

Doi Inthanon National Park Tour – Full Day

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$38/person

Chiang Rai Temples Tour: White Temple, Blue Temple & More

12hs4.6

Chiang Rai Temples Tour: White Temple, Blue Temple & More

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$45/person

Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Tour – Half Day

5.0hs4.8

Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Tour – Half Day

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$29/person

Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Temples Evening Tour – Half Day

4.5hs4.6

Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Temples Evening Tour – Half Day

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$20/person

Chiang Mai Old City & Temples Guided Walking Tour – 3 Hrs

3hs4.7

Chiang Mai Old City & Temples Guided Walking Tour – 3 Hrs

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$15/person

Chiang Mai Michelin Food Walking Tour – 2.5 Hours

2.5hs4.6

Chiang Mai Michelin Food Walking Tour – 2.5 Hours

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$15/person

Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Tour – Full Day

8.5hs4.9

Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Tour – Full Day

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$30/person

Chiang Mai Tuk Tuk Tour – Half Day

4.0hs4.7

Chiang Mai Tuk Tuk Tour – Half Day

Chiang Mai, Thailand

from

$38/person

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