Chiang Dao

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Chiang Dao: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

1. Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall

Don't miss this exclusive nature and cultural tour from Chiang Mai. Your tour starts at Chiang Dao Cave, which will take approximately 1.5 hours to reach on a route that goes through beautiful rolling hillsides. As you approach the caves, you'll see the scenic Doi Chiang Dao mountain range. The cave itself was the place where the Bermese soldiers rested before attacking Chiang Mai in the mid 1400s AD. Explore inside its complex of 5 public caves and see the the natural forms of their stalagmites and stalactites. Then, descend into a large cavern to see Burmese-style images of the Buddha and many shrines. You can freely explore two of the caves by yourself, as they are lit with electric lights! Continue on to Den Sali Teak Wood Temple, located north of the city. This is one of Chiang Mai's most remarkable temples - the complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn (retreat house), a meditation hall, the kuti (monks' living quarters), a drum hall, and several other buildings, which are all built in a gorgeous traditional architecture. Finish the tour at Bautong Sticky Waterfall, where you can climb on the limestone rocks of the waterfall, and enjoy your time bathing in the cool waters of the pool below. The Sticky Waterfalls are an impressive sight - the rocks are cream-colored and bulbous, almost cartoonish, and contrast beautifully with the dark green forest. The multi-tiered waterfalls are also stunning - don't forget to bring your camera! If you don't plan on getting wet in order to see the rocks, there are a couple hundred steep stairs you could take instead to see the various levels of the waterfalls. In the evening, head back to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

2. Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking

Drive high up into the Northern Thai Jungle, to the Chiang Dao Valley and to the Mae Ping river. This creek-like river winds itself through the bamboo jungle and gives an intimate view of Northern Thai wilderness.  Then, embark on a kayaking trip, where undisturbed woods, overgrown banks with fallen trees and the shade from overhanging trees provide a unique environment as you navigate the task at hand. Abundant bird life, jumping fish and mysterious sounds from the forest accompany the journey.To complete this wonderful kayaking experience, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant or riverside.  Next, tackle Chiang Dao Cave, the most prominent cave system in Northern Thailand. Spend approximately 1 hour following a local guide through the side arms with headlamps and flashlights until joining the main route into well-lit caverns. Marvel at the Buddhist shrines and see the numerous bats that make the caves their home. Enjoy kayaking during the trip into the Caves to complete this day perfectly. 

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

3. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center and head off on a day trip to Chiang Dao. Begin with a visit to the Chiang Dao Cave (Wat Tham Chiang Dao), which is without a doubt one of the area's most fascinating sites. Five limestone caverns invite visitors to uncover the beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, Buddha statues, and offerings from faithful pilgrims. After paying a small entrance fee, the tour begins through a system of interconnected caverns extending over seven miles into the heart of the mountain. Expect cooler air in here, although hot days may create humid conditions at times. Some of the caves are illuminated by electric lights. Here you'll find Buddha statues, including a 13-foot reclining one. Don’t miss the row of five seated Buddhas in the first cavern, which many travelers find particularly impressive. After the cave adventure, the next stop is the Chiang Dao market to gorge on delicious local meals before heading to the Buatong Sticky Waterfall, one of the most unique waterfalls in Thailand. One impressive feature of this natural wonder is the sticky mineral deposits that allow visitors to actually climb up the waterfall without falling off, with the help of a safety rope. This is definitely a great way to cool off after a long day of your trip. Afterward, relax on a complimentary transfer back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

4. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Valley Kayaking

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Chiang Mai, and then take in stunning views of the countryside as you make your way towards the Chiang Dao mountain and Ping River. Gear up with the provided kayak gear upon arrival, and get basic tuition from an instructor about how to handle the boat on the water. Then, paddle on clear spring waters through the valley, and learn a few new tricks as you are greeted with beautiful vistas at almost every bend in the river. Soak up the relaxed pace of life as you encounter locals making a living by fishing and farming the land on the side of the river. Head back to Chiang Mai and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Other Sightseeing Options in Chiang Dao

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What people are saying about Chiang Dao

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 55 reviews

This tour exceeded our expectations. the cave was siiiiick - best cave we’ve been in (as city-dwelling singaporeans haha). the sticky waterfall was one of our trip highlights - it was so much fun to play in the falls and climb up like monkeys/spiders, really brought out the inner child in us :) Sam was a wonderful guide, full of information and explanations on what we were doing. Having him around in the market was especially useful to help us better understand the Thai peoples lives through their fresh produce! He even came to meet us after the tour ended to return our portable charger! And for what we enjoyed the most. The entire waterfall experience!, the caves, shopping at the market in the morning, and of course the drive to these places - chiang mai is beautiful so this is expected of course!

My wife and I had such an amazing time. Our tour guide Non, was very friendly, easy to talk to, professional, and big on hand sanitizer. We learned a lot about the people, food, and history of Thailand as well as some Buddhist concepts. We always appreciating learning more about the culture and history of destinations we visit. The temple in the cave was very interesting with all the different statues in different areas of the cave. Our highlight was going down and running up the sticky waterfall. Great way to cool down during the hot day. It was so much fun.

I really I enjoyed the trip. With the cave there are lots of bats and I got to crawl through some small passages. Worth the effort. I took a backpack in a would recommend not doing that as there are spots with a very tight squeeze. The rafting was also good. I was told it was about 6klm, but it felt more like 10+ klm of pleasant paddling and flowing with the current.

We cannot thank guide Anna and driver Mr Pan enough for the most wonderful day out. We all loved the sights, the delicious foods and their informative and friendly company. A very special thank you to Anna for shepherding our two boys up and down the ‘sticky waterfalls’. This was the highlight of our holiday and wish we had spent more time there.

Had a great time! Tas was so informative and interesting. The cave was really neat but those waterfalls... so much fun! We were like kids again. I highly recommend