Hours away from the bustling capital Bangkok, the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai offers quality time with the whole family with its calm and serene atmosphere. As an ancient city, Chiang Mai is engulfed by the old-world quality of hundreds of temples scattered all over it.
On the other hand, it satisfies outgoing and nature-loving families with enough outdoor adventures in its mountainous landscape and many nature parks. Chiang Mai is a great place to nurture a love for nature and animals, especially in children.
If you’re looking for real family bonding, head to Chiang Mai and be sure to add these experiences to your itinerary!
Chiang Mai Zoo
Chiang Mai Zoo has been operating since the 1950s, making it one of the oldest zoos in Thailand. Situated at the base of Doi Suthep mountain, where the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep can be found, the zoo is a great destination for families with small kids.
Spanning 200 acres, it is home to 400 endemic and international species of animals, including pandas, elephants, tigers, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, koalas, and penguins. Chiang Mai Zoo also boasts a 133-m tunnel aquarium, one of the world’s longest.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple Visit
Being in Chiang Mai is the perfect opportunity to acquaint kids with the beautiful heritage of Thailand through its temples. Among the many temples in the city, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep should not be missed.
If the whole family is up for some legwork, you can hike from Monk’s Trail located a few minutes from Chiang Mai Zoo, and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the temple. You can stop midway at another temple Wat Pha Lat and admire the jungle surroundings.
If you’d rather skip the hike and head straight to the temple, you can also book a guided Wat Phra That Doi Suthep tour with pickup and dropoff service.
Chiang Mai Night Safari
Dubbed as one of the biggest night safaris in Asia, Chiang Mai Night Safari houses over 130 species of animals from around the world. Many of them are nocturnal creatures you don’t usually see — at least not in action — in other zoos during the daytime.
The park is divided into the Savanna Safari Zone featuring grassland animals like zebras, giraffes, and kangaroos, and the Predator Prowl Zone marked by lions, white tigers, wolves, and crocodiles. These areas can be explored on an open-sided tram.
Chiang Mai Night Safari also features musical fountains and safari dancing performances to bring more delight to your nightly escapade.
Elephant Nature Park
A visit to the Elephant Nature Park is not only educational but also heartwarming. It is an ethical sanctuary home to approximately 30 rescued elephants. It promotes hands-off and observation-based activities (no riding!), though you may get a chance to walk with, feed, and take photos next to the elephants.
It’s a great experience to see the elephants thriving and roaming freely in their natural environment. Learn about the park’s rescue and conservation efforts — not only for the elephants but for other animals as well. At the park, you’ll also meet rescued dogs, cats, and horses, among others!
For more outdoor adventures with the fam, Skyline Adventure fills you up with adrenaline with various aerial courses, from zip lines and multiple platforms to rappels and sky bridges.
Most notably, Skyline Adventure is home to one of the longest and highest zip lines, spanning 900 meters! You’ll be gliding over marvelous views of Chiang Mai’s rainforest and rural landscapes!
Tube Trek Water Park
Chiang Mai may be away from the beaches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get wet and wild with the family. Head to Tube Trek Water Park for the most exciting water activities!
Ride the swell at the artificial wave pool, drift by the lazy river on a tube, or conquer all the towering themed slides! There is also a special water playground for kids with smaller slides for the younger ones to enjoy safely.
Art in Paradise
At Art in Paradise, you don’t only get to admire works of art but you can also interact with them! In this 3D art museum, the exhibits pique your imagination and get your creative juices flowing — think of ways you can be a part of every artwork through optical illusion.
There are eight exhibition zones you can explore, from surrealism, classic art, and Thai to animal-themed zones.
Book your travel essentials and find more family-friendly adventures on KKday!