Search
Close this search box.

Share

Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Best Dining, Stays, and Activities

Northern Thailand’s biggest city offers a surprising array of attractions and experiences for families

The entrance to Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection in Chiang Mai
The entrance to Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection in Chiang Mai

Best things to do with kids in Chiang Mai

With amazing food, bustling markets and kid-friendly restaurants, Chiang Mai is a great place for a family holiday. It’s also an excellent base for adventure activities like trekking and white water rafting, as well as cultural experiences like hill tribe visits. Located on the Ping River in the country’s mountainous north, the city was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. A beautiful pavilion showcasing architecture typical of the era can be found in The Royal Park Ratchaphruek, which is a lovely place to while away a few hours. Chiang Mai also boasts some of the most impressive Buddhist temples in the country, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara and Wat Umong.

Elephant encounters with an ethical goal

Elephant Nature Park
Elephant Nature Park

Elephant camps and sanctuaries abound in these parts, but it’s important to ensure you visit one with high ethical standards. Elephant Nature Park, which was founded by animal rights advocate Lek Saengduean Chailert, is home to more than 100 rescued elephants that still bear physical and psychological scars from their previous lives performing in circuses and being mistreated by their handlers when being ridden for tourists.

Ginger Farm: A place for the whole family!

A girl sliding down the mudslide at the Ginger Farm
A girl sliding down the mudslide at the Ginger Farm

Kids will love careening down the mud slide at Ginger Farm, which offers workshops such as rice planting and harvesting for kids, as well as cooking and art classes, which are popular in these parts, with a lovely restaurant serving organic food. They’ll also get a giggle out of POOPOOPAPER Park – an educational theme park where they can learn about eco-friendly paper made out of dung. Illusion art museum Art in Paradise is a fun spot for selfies, with zones dedicated to themes such as wildlife, classical art and ancient Egyptm while Siam Insect Zoo is a great place to learn about bugs, with a large butterfly garden.

If you can, time your visit around an event like the Yipeng Lantern Festival in late November, in which thousands of lanterns are released into the sky.

Family-friendly places to stay in Chiang Mai

Dine beside the pool at Khum Phaya Resort & Spa
Dine beside the pool at Khum Phaya Resort & Spa

Khum Phaya Resort & Spa

The pool access rooms at the boutique Khum Phaya Resort and Spa are sure to be a winner with aqua-loving kids. The Resort’s 85 rooms and villas were designed to reflect the city’s heritage, with strong use of teak and intricate carvings throughout. Only 20 minutes’ drive from Chiang Mai International Airport and 10 minutes from the old town, it has a lagoon-shaped pool and is surrounded by century-old trees and canals.

Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai

Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai has impressive views over the Ping River and Doi Suthep Mountain from floor-to-ceiling windows in its 526 rooms and suites. Located in a lively part of the city, it’s around a 10-15-minute drive to the airport, night bazaar and atmospheric Walking Street markets.

Best family restaurants in Chiang Mai

Kham Saen Restaurant serves northern Thai and international dishes in a tranquil setting beside the pool at Khum Phaya Resort and Spa. River Terrace restaurant, in Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai, also offers a mix of cuisines that can be enjoyed while gazing at the Ping River.

River Terrace at Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai
River Terrace at Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai

Several restaurants in Chiang Mai also have playgrounds, ideal for families with young children. They include Nic’s Restaurant and Playground, which serves Thai and western food, including a kids’ menu offering meals presented in funny shapes with names like Fish Nemo, Captain America and Smiley Pizza. Triplets Eat & Play has a lovely garden and a playground made of bamboo built around a tree, with a menu featuring both Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. The treehouse-style Chamcha at Doi Kham has the novelty factor in spades, as well as a comprehensive playground with climbing ropes, swings and slides.

Triplets Eat & Play in Chiang Mai
Triplets Eat & Play in Chiang Mai

In partnership with Centara Hotels & Resorts

More Information

Share

Vacay Your Way 300x250px (1)
MREC
Winter Whales 300x250px

See Also