Chiang Mai is a beautiful valley city surrounded by mountains, including Doi Inthanon which is the highest peak in Thailand. Chiang Mai has amazing ancient temples, mountain retreats, hiking trails and offers a uniquely captivating side of Thailand. Chiang Mai was the capital and cultural heart of Lanna Kingdom for almost 500 years, after which it merged into the Thai Kingdom and later became a strategic city along major trade routes in South East Asia. This means Chiang Mai has one of most unique mix of culture, arts, music and cuisine in Thailand.
The city is busy with hikers, backpackers and digital nomads who give the city an international flavour. With nature all around, mountains, forests, lakes and waterfalls, hikers can choose treks, some with beautiful sunrise and sunset viewpoints.
Chiang Mai’s famous night markets, like the Night Bazaar in Chang Klan Road, and weekend markets near Tha Pae Gate and Wua Lai road offer many budget-friendly souvenir-hunting options. You can taste the best Thai street food and Chiang Mai’s famous local delicacies in the night markets and the Old City area. Families love the Chiang Mai night safari, a relaxing evening on Huay Tueng Thao Lake, or a fun evening in Art in Paradise.
The city has many temples and places of worship which offer you an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful centuries-old architecture, rituals and even participate in activities like meditation and take part in festivals. The hundreds of years old tunnels of Wat Umang, the sunset views of Doi Suthep temple, the glistening golden pagodas of Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, Loi Krathong festival surely must be on your bucket list of temples here.
- Chiang Mai At Night
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Chiang Mai At Night
- 1- Visit Doi Suthep Temple For Sunset Views
- 2- Eat Street Food At Chiang Mai Night Markets
- 3- See The Animals At Chiang Mai Night Safari
- 4- Explore The Old City After Sunset
- 5- Experience Tranquility At Wat Chedi Luang And Wat Phra Singh
- 6- Take A Nighttime Guided Tram Tour Of The City
- 7- Attend A Cabaret Show
- 8- Go On A Dinner Cruise On Ping River
- 9- Experience a Traditional Khantoke Dinner
- 10- Take A Food Tour Or A Cooking Class
- 11- Enjoy Live Music In A Reggae Bar Or Jazz Club
- 12- Absorb The Excitement Of A Muay Thai Fight
- 13- Take A Stroll Along Trendy Nimmanhaemin Road
- 14- Spend An Evening At Huay Tueng Thao Lake
- 15- Enjoy A Traditional Thai Massage
- 16- Join A Bar Hop
- 17- Have Fun In Art In Paradise
- 18- Explore the Tunnels in Wat Umong
- 19- Go For A Sunset Hike
- 20- Go Night Kayaking On The Ping River
Chiang Mai At Night
- Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep and Wat Umong – enchanting evening tour of magical temples.
- Chiang Mai’s Highlights: Sightseeing Night Bike Tour – explore the highlights at night and get some exercise.
- Chiang Mai: Evening Local Street Food Market Tour – discover the best eight dishes in the city.
20 Things To Do In Chiang Mai At Night
1- Visit Doi Suthep Temple For Sunset Views
A spiritually significant landmark in Chiang Mai that is not only an important temple for its Lanna architecture but also has one of the best sunset views of the city is the popular Wat Phra temple on Doi Suthep mountain.
The temple grounds are a popular spot among tourists for the intricate carvings and a calm and serene natural setting.
As the sun sets, the temple’s gold stupa and pagodas start gleaming in the evening light, creating an beautiful contrast against the deepening purples and reds of the sky.
The experience of watching Chiang Mai from high in the mountain while the sun sets, and the temple’s monks engaging in evening prayers with soft chants will definitely make you feel a profound connection to the world around you.
The city’s lights in the dark from high above are equally ethereal to watch after sunset.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep and Wat Umong Enchanting Evening Tour
2- Eat Street Food At Chiang Mai Night Markets
If you are looking to shop for souvenirs and also want to taste the best street food in the city, check out the night markets in Chiang Mai.
The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar in Chang Klan Road is one of the most famous night markets in Chiang Mai having countless stalls offering everything from clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs to electronics and a variety of street food.
The Saturday Night Market in Wua Lai road is open from Saturday evening till Sunday mornings, and is popular for its silversmith shops, handmade crafts, art, clothing and delectable street food.
The Sunday Walking street is open only on Sunday evenings and stretches from Tha Pae Gate to the Wat Phra Singh temple, where you can pick up unique souvenirs based on local art and crafts and also enjoy the lively ambiance of music and street performances.
Near the north gate of the old city, Chang Phueak Gate Night Market is the best place to try local street food including local delicacies like khao soi (curried noodle soup) and Sai ua (Northern Thai sausage).
3- See The Animals At Chiang Mai Night Safari
Chiang Mai Night Safari, inspired by the Singapore Night Safari, is spread over 300 acres (121 ha) that has a number of animal related activities after sunset.
You can take the Safari Tram that takes you through the habitats of wild animals, enjoy the Tiger Show, Night Predator Show and even go on a Jaguar Trail.
You can watch many wild animals like tigers, jaguars, zebras, bears, flamingos, elephants, and emus up close, hand-feed some of the animals and even pet the newborn tiger cubs.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even stand near a wild animal and get a photograph taken.
A lot of animals are nocturnal making an evening trip the best time to see many of them up close.
Kids will surely love the Fountain Light Show where the rhythms of water dance to the beats of music under colorful lights.
4- Explore The Old City After Sunset
Right in the heart of Chiang Mai lies the Old City, an area home to many temples, markets, museums, trendy cafes and boutique hotels, while being surrounded on four sides by walls and a moat.
You can find the famous Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang temples’ golden stupas and pagodas glowing beautifully in the night, and gently lit historic structures, temples and narrow lanes offering opportunities for nighttime photography.
The Sunday Walking Street inside the Old City is famous for local artisans showcasing their art, musicians and street performers performing live, and food vendors offering their own versions of local dishes.
If you are in the mood for a Thai massage, drop into one of the authentic old massage parlours.
The Old City also has a thriving nightlife with many bars open well into the night.
Some art spaces within the Old City have late-night workshops, where you can try your hand at traditional crafts like umbrella painting or lantern-making.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai’s Highlights: Sightseeing Night Bike Tour
5- Experience Tranquility At Wat Chedi Luang And Wat Phra Singh
If you want to learn more about Chiang Mai’s history and architecture, visit the Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh in the centre of the Old City.
Both the temples are on the central road from the The Phae Gate, close to the Sunday Night Market.
Once evening sets in, the temples’ golden stupas start glowing bright orange and welcome you even from a distance.
Take a break from exploring the Old City and step into these temples for a dose of calmness and spirituality.
During the ancient Loi Krathong festival, Wat Phra Singh becomes the epicenter of celebrations in Chiang Mai with illuminated krathongs and floating lanterns all around the temples at night creating an amazing ambiance.
You can even watch parades, traditional performances, fireworks and lot more street food stalls during festivals near these temples making them even more festive.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Tuk-Tuk Night Tour with Temples and Street Foods
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6- Take A Nighttime Guided Tram Tour Of The City
To get a real taste of Chiang Mai at night, take the Nighttime Tram Tour of the city.
Modern trams, equipped with soft lighting and guided commentaries, meander through the city, showcasing Chiang Mai’s beauty under the moonlight.
A guided tram tour will take you through iconic landmarks, temples, riversides, markets and even stop to take pictures and taste local street food.
You can also try the Nighttime Bike Tour or a Tuk-Tuk Tour for a more personalized experience.
Most of the areas become less crowded after dark, and more relaxed to explore while the tour guide explains the city’s history.
7- Attend A Cabaret Show
Siam Dragon and Miracle Cabaret are two of Chiang Mai’s prime cabaret establishments where you can watch a glitzy and glamorous cabaret performance.
Siam Dragon is famous for its large-scale, extravagant costumes and grand stage with a focus on traditional Thai dance with contemporary music.
Miracle Cabaret has dynamic and intricate set designs and focuses more on the diverse cultures of Thailand from ethnic Lanna dances to the southern rhythms, giving a taste of Thailand’s diverse cultural heritage.
Cabarets feature talented transgender and drag artists and feature family friendly shows.
There are also a few other venues throughout the city where you can enjoy different ambiance and different style of performances, so you can choose what you like.
Recommended: Chiang Mai: Miracle Cabaret Show
8- Go On A Dinner Cruise On Ping River
The calm and serene Ping River that meanders through the city is ideal to go on a dinner cruise and enjoy the city lights from a different perspective.
The shimmering temples are a sight to watch, while rustic wooden houses and age old Mai Yai trees remind you of Chiang Mai’s historical past and deep-rooted connection to nature.
Dinner is when you’ll really enjoy the cruise as you can enjoy a mix of traditional Northern Thai (Lanna) dishes and other Thai specialties.
Many cruises have a tour guide on-board and entertainment options like music and dance performances, while some are more intimate and offer a cozy ambiance while you have dinner with your loved ones.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Ping River Night Kayaking Trip
9- Experience a Traditional Khantoke Dinner
A must-try experience in Chiang Mai is the traditional Northern Thai (Lanna) Khantoke Dinner.
What’s unique about the dinner is that you’ll be seated and served dinner on a low, round table called Khantoke in a spacious, open pavilion surrounded by traditional Lanna decor, lanterns, and other cultural paraphernalia.
While you’re savouring authentic Northern Thai delicacies like Sai ua, Nam Prik Ong, Kaeng Hang Lei, you’ll be treated to dances like the graceful ‘Fon Lep’ (fingernail dance) and ‘Ram Dab’ (sword dance) where performers in traditional costumes, tell tales of the Lanna kingdom’s folklore, traditions and history.
Chiang Mai’s traditional Khantoke dinner is a cultural celebration of northern Thailand and a memorable experience.
10- Take A Food Tour Or A Cooking Class
Thai cuisine is famous around the world for its pad thai, tom yum goong, thai green/red curries, mango sticky rice and so many others.
If you love Thai food and want to explore and learn more about its delicious cuisine, ingredients, and take a piece of Chiang Mai’s culinary expertise home, the best ways are to go on a food tour or take a Thai cooking class.
You can go on a guided food tour to explore the famous markets like Warorot and Somphet and learn about local ingredients, spices, dishes and taste famous dishes from the best local stalls that’ll surely expand your knowledge about Thai cuisine.
A step further is a cooking class where the guide/chef would teach you how to make Thai classics, your favourite Thai dish, and even suggest recipes and dishes that are tailored to your tastes.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Evening Cooking Class, Visit Local Market
11- Enjoy Live Music In A Reggae Bar Or Jazz Club
If you are looking to enjoy an evening of music, a reggae bar or a jazz club will perfectly suit your mood.
From soothing saxophone melodies to upbeat bebop, jazz clubs in Chiang Mai offer a spectrum of jazz sub-genres performed by local and international artists, often in an intimate, dimly lit setting with soft plush seating that perfectly matches the mood.
Live bands playing reggae versions of popular songs, with a crowd that’s a mix of locals, expats, students and backpackers will surely make your evening peppier.
You can count on Boy Blues Band in the Night Bazaar and The North Gate Jazz Co-op which play regularly for an evening of jazz music.
Zoe in Yellow, one of Chiang Mai’s most well-known nightlife spots, and Taphae East frequently plays reggae music in a lively atmosphere.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai Bar Hopping Guided Night Tour
12- Absorb The Excitement Of A Muay Thai Fight
Thailand’s national sport , Muay Thai, is often referred as the ‘Dance of the eight limbs’.
If you’re in the mood for something entertaining that also exciting and tense, watch a Muay Thai match.
Chiang Mai being one of Thailand’s major cities, has several stadiums and arenas that host this cultural martial art with matches running regularly.
Depending on your mood and budget, you can select from a range of experiences including VIP Ringside seats, themed nights, open-air experiences, and even take special packages in some arenas where you can train for a few hours under a professional fighter and then enjoy watching the pros in action later in the evening.
Grab a drink or a bite before you go for the fight as some of these matches can go late into the night.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Muay Thai Boxing Experience
13- Take A Stroll Along Trendy Nimmanhaemin Road
The trendy Nimmanhaemin Road, colloquially known as Nimman, is the modern heart of Chiang Mai.
You will find sleek coffee shops and restaurants, boutique handicraft shops and art galleries, many spas and wellness centres, and a range of stay options from hip hostels to star hotels.
There are many co-working spaces here where you’ll find people from around the world staying long term in Chiang Mai and working digitally, and a good place to make friends.
The area also has some of the best pubs and nightclubs in Chiang Mai, and if you venture off the main road, you’ll discover serene sois or alleys lined with quaint cafés, peaceful gardens, and a slower pace, away from the main hustle.
14- Spend An Evening At Huay Tueng Thao Lake
Huay Tueng Thao lake is a short distance from Chiang Mai where you can spend a few hours near the calm waters and perfect to eat freshly caught fish, order a drink, relax and spend time doing one of the many activities here.
The lake offers a beautiful backdrop of the Doi Suthep mountains that look beautiful around sunset, and grass huts peppered along the landscape with a range of activities and dining options.
You can swim in the lake, enjoying boating, get on the two-lane jogging track, rent a quad-bike and even do bird watching.
Visit the sculpture park for a unique twist on animal sculptures which are made using straws, which feel quite realistic especially after sunset!
15- Enjoy A Traditional Thai Massage
An inexpensive, relaxing way to spend an evening is to go for a traditional Thai massage.
Thai Massage has its roots in the ancient Indian principles of Ayurvedic healing with the purpose of improved blood circulation, increased body flexibility and relaxation, and is perfect after a busy day of sight-seeing.
From small parlors in the markets to lavish wellness spas in large hotels, you can find a wide range of massage parlors.
While Thai massage is Thailand’s most famous massage, you can also find other massages like foot massages (reflexology), coconut oil massages, and the Northern Thailand’s Tok Sen massage, each having its own purpose.
Note that a Thai massage is different from Swedish massage.
You’ll remain clothed in a comfortable attire and lay down on the floor in a Thai massage with therapists using their hands, elbows, knees and feet to apply a combination of acupressure, assisted yoga postures, and stretching.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Massage Treatments at Luxury Spa
16- Join A Bar Hop
As the evening arrives in Chiang Mai, the city’s nightlife comes alive with a range of bars and lounges opening their doors to visitors.
Based on your preferences and budget, you can step into a chic bar serving international beverages, a live music venue serving food and drinks, a cocktail lounge on a rooftop, or drop into a street side bar serving local drinks along with street food.
From the modern and trendy Nimmanhaemin Road, the relaxed Riverside area, the traditional Old City and the Phae Gate areas, or the popular Loi Kroh Road, there are many areas where you can hop through bars.
You can explore the local nightlife with a guide who will take you to the best joints, or take a stroll by yourself through one of the streets and drop in and out of whichever local bars catch your attention.
17- Have Fun In Art In Paradise
An interesting and fun to spend an evening is to visit the interactive 3D art museum – Art In Paradise.
The museums is a lot of fun for kids and adults alike, and has various themed zones, 3D art and sculptures, and even a Augmented Reality section.
There are various vantage points from where a photograph can be taken where you can give an appropriate pose that would seem like the artwork is coming to life.
The museum also has a 2D art cafe that literally looks like it is taken out of a children’s drawing book. Reserve your entry tickets here.
18- Explore the Tunnels in Wat Umong
An interesting and unique thing to do in Chiang Mai is to explore the underground tunnel complex in Wat Umong temple after sunset.
The 13th century temple is in a forest close to the Doi Suthep mountain with ancient tunnels having intricate Buddhist murals and inscriptions.
The tunnels were built to provide an environment for meditation, allowing monks to practice in solitude away from the distractions of the outside world.
The temple has a lots of visitors during the day but as the evening sets and crowd lessens, exploring the dimly lit tunnels becomes an exciting adventure.
The faint glow from flickering candles creates exciting patterns on the ancient wall paintings, making them seem as if they’re whispering stories from the past.
Even the temple grounds also become more surreal after dark, especially the moon-lit stupa and the standing stones that are scattered around the grounds.
19- Go For A Sunset Hike
Chiang Mai’s proximity to the mountains makes it a
very popular starting point for hiking and trekking trails.
There are numerous places and view-points where you can enjoy the sunset, either during the trail or at the end of the trail.
The iconic Doi Suthep mountain has various hiking trails.
Starting from the base and hiking up towards the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple can be a great way to catch the sunset over the city.
The adjacent Doi Pui mountain is the highest point in the Suthep-Pui National Park also has beautiful sunset views.
Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand offers a cooler climate and several hiking trails with amazing sunset views.
20- Go Night Kayaking On The Ping River
If you are up for a bit of adventure, a night kayaking trip on Ping River is a great way to explore the city after sunset.
You will be accompanied by an experienced tour guide who will provide all the safety equipment, tips and details of your surroundings.
It’s a great way to relax and enjoy Chiang Mai’s city lights, sights and sounds after sunset like the colorful temples, buildings, restaurants and the large Mai Yai trees which grow on the riverbank while occasionally paddling under the bridges.
The trip is along the quiet and still Ping River and can be done by beginners.
Recommended tour: Chiang Mai: Ping River Night Kayaking Trip
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