Top 10 things to do with kids in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a colorful city, loved by all the travelers especially by those who look for a gateway to the northern Thailand. From 1296 to 1558, the city was known as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. It’s a tourist place now but still the city is quite calm and charming which attracts a lot of tourists to have a gala time. The city is a mix of scenic natural beauty, wildlife, history, religion and adventure. There are ample of places to cater the interest of kids while visiting the heritage place of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai can be an alternative place to visit than Bangkok. Away from the bustling noise of vehicles, people find it more alluring to visit the picture square downtown which can easily be explored on foot while enjoying the clean & fresh air with a cool climate. One can also roam around on short bikes or go for a scooter ride to the waterfalls by crossing the densely rainforest across the town.
The local airport got renovated and upgraded in 2014, after which more flights are heading towards the city which makes it easier and cheaper for the tourists. Not only here, you will find various places to visit, but you will also get amazing local cuisines to taste. For non-veg lovers, it’s like heaven. Try out the Bare-bones eateries which are serving the northern dishes but in their own style to make it even better and tastier. Though people love pace in their lives, Chiang Mai is the place to enjoy at a leisurely pace.
Let’s find out and discuss the places we ought to visit with our children in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Wat Phra Singh dates back to the 14th century and is considered one of the most beautiful and revered temples in the walled city. The temple houses a couple of medieval Buddha statues that attracts thousands of visitors every year. The monastery is very well maintained and has undergone renovations a number of times to keep it at its glorious best. Wat Phra Singh’s origins can be traced to 1345 when the temple was built by Pha Yu, a king who built it for his father. The temple is known locally as the Lion Buddha temple, mostly owing to the magnificent Buddha image
- Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai
While exploring the city, do not miss out the magnificent Wat Chedi Luang. The name denotes Temple of the big stupa. Located in the heart of the city, this grandiose ruined temple was set up possibly in the 14th century. As per historians, the temple was set up by Monarch Saen Muang Ma in 1391. His successors expanded the edifice and it reached the final form around 1475. For a brief period, the temple housed the iconic Emerald Buddha- Thailand’s holiest religious statue. The temple was later ravaged by a quake and Burmese invasion of Thailand.
- Wat Suan Dok
This temple lies on the West of Chiang Mai and is one of the oldest temples in the history of mankind. It is famous for its numerous pagodas or white chedis. Wat Suan Dok simply means ‘flower garden temple’. This temple was once used as a royal flower garden by the many rulers of the city. Its name is derived from the place it was built. According to historians, this temple was built in the late 14th century to house a sacred Buddha relic that was believed to be the shoulder bone of Lord Buddha himself.
- Elephant Nature Park
Beyond the concrete jungle of high rise buildings lies a beautiful lush green jungle that is home to a number of animals and birds. Within this beautiful forest is Chiang Mai’s Elephant Nature Park – a tranquil and serene camp where you can interact with the majestic elephants in their own habitat. Elephant Nature Park was founded way back in 1995 by a humanitarian and animal lover-Sangduen “Lek” Chailert. The park is an initiative to provide a home to these abused elephants that have spent a majority of their lives in the illegal logging industry. A visit to this park creates a feeling of adventure in kids. They are thrilled to see the animals, especially the elephants in all sizes.
- Bua Thong waterfalls
Bua Thong waterfalls is an ideal destination. This lovely waterfall attracts a huge number of tourists and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Chiang Mai. Located in Sri Lanna National Forest, the waterfall is thronged by both nature lovers and adventure seeking tourists. Bua Thong is one of the rarest of waterfalls in the world where you can climb up the rocks, as cascading streams of water flow beneath your feet. The children love it there. Picnics can be planned to make your day and visit more enjoyable.
- The Chiang Mai Zoo
This zoo is located just a few miles west of Chiang Mai University and it is the first commercial zoo in all of Northern Thailand. A perfect visit for the kids. It was established back in 1977 and as of today, it is spread across a surface area of about 200 acres. As you would expect to see in a zoo, there are plenty of animals for your viewing pleasure including, but not limited to tigers, rare serow, giant mae Khong catfish (southeast Asian species which have remained largely uninvolved for the last 7 million years) and also animals from all over the world such as giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, dingoes and scoops owls.
- Tiger Kingdom
The Tiger Kingdom offers a wildlife excursion and close encounter with endangered tigers. If you are visiting Chiang Mai with kids, this is the first place you should add to your itinerary. It is a fantastic wildlife preservation effort where proceeds from the tourists are spent towards the breeding of tigers which have been termed as ‘endangered’ by IUCN. The Tiger Kingdom is a one of its kind sanctuary where you can enter the tiger enclosure and take photographs with these majestic beasts. It simply can’t get better than this. The enclosures are categorized as big, medium, small and smallest according to the age and size.
- Chiang Mai Market
Chiang Mai is a historic and beautiful city in Northern Thailand that is famous for its numerous Buddhist temple and places of natural splendor. However, the city is also home to several regional markets. To experience the culture of the place, you should explore some of these markets while you can buy souvenirs from the city markets do not miss out the Chiang Mai gate food market. You will simply enjoy the sumptuous regional delicacies served piping hot at bargain prices. There are two market fairs that take place at the Chiang Mai Gate- the morning market and the night food market. Foodies ought to head for the latter. The night market opens in the early hours of the evening and vendors start preparations around 5 pm. You are sure to be impressed with the variety of food and beverages available at this night food market.
- Eakachai Houseboat
Eakachai Houseboat at Mae Ngat Dam gives the tourists unique sights and experiences. It make exotic holidays memorable, and Thailand offers a platter of such unique sights and experiences. Apart from the alluring mysticism of ancient temples and the intriguing relics of history in the old city of Chiang Mai, there are the floating houses that ooze beauty and serenity. The Eakachai floating house in Mae Ngat Dam offers you a different and unique experience of staying in Thailand. The Mae Ngat Dam is a freshwater lake in northern Thailand and is situated at about a distance of 60 km from Chiang Mai. Eakachai is a Thai style floating bungalow in this lake. Once you are there you can enjoy every moment of your stay.
- The Lanna Folk life Museum, Chiang Mai
This museum is one such destination that tourists ought to have on their list especially the kids before going to the old city. The museum itself is a piece of historic relic that has been renovated by the Chiang Mai municipality. It is a two-storey building that used to house the Municipal Court way back in the 1935s. Lanna Folk life Museum is just opposite the three kings’ monument at the center of the old city. Opened in recent years, the imposing exterior of the white colonial-style building has some intriguing store of information about life in the old city in those days of the kingdom.
The beautiful city of Chiang Mai has so much to offer to tourists of all ages. For those who are travelling with kids can opt for special packages which will include several kid friendly places. The children get to educate themselves on nature, history, wildlife along with having fun. What better way would it be to learn new things while on vacation. Chiang Mai gives the tourist kids this lifetime opportunity.