There is no need to feel blue if it rains whilst you are in Chiang Mai. Although many people visit the region to enjoy the many outdoor delights there are still plenty of things to do if the skies start rumbling ominously overhead. Whether you want to learn a new skill at cooking class, relax and forget about the rain outside or even get arty painting an elephant statue at the Elephant House, there are plenty of things to do indoors that mean you don’t have to waste one of your precious holiday days. We have put together a list of our five top things to do when it rains in Chaing Mai – none of them more than fifteen minutes from the Old Town.
- Wat Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill-Tribe Village
- Doi Inthanon National Park Tour
- Ping River Dinner Cruise
- Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Dance Performance
- Old City Half-Day Bike Tour
- Flight of the Gibbon™ Zipline Tour
- 2-Day Whitewater Rafting & Ziplining
- Full-Day Countryside Bike Tour with Lunch
- Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School & Market Tour
- Full-Day Excursion to Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
If you are a fan of Thai cuisine then why not give it a go yourself. There is nothing better than taking a home a new skill that is sure to impress your friends. At Baan Hongnual Cooking School you can spend either half a day learning four dishes or the whole day and get to grips with six. Depending on the day you visit you will get to master traditional dishes such as spring rolls, red curry or hot and sour prawn soup. One of the most enjoyable things to do here is learning how to carve fruit and vegetables to decorate your plate and table. Teachers speak good English and the classes start at either 09:00 or 16:00. Pick up from your hotel is included in the tour price.
Spend an Afternoon at the Spa
Getting some great value pampering at one of the spas in Chiang Mai is a must-do irrespective of the weather, but as soon as visitors see clouds looming they rush to book in for treatments. Two of our favourite spas in Chiang Mai are The Oasis Spa and Fah Lanna Spa. Both are in the Old Town and both offer a pick up service to guests who are getting treatments there. If the weather is miserable it is worth considering a full package which includes, scrubs, massages, wraps and facials that will leave you feeling completely relaxed. Another treatment worth considering is Tok Sen, a northern Thai massage therapy, when a wooden hammer is used to release internal blockages – don’t worry, it isn’t as painful as it sounds!
Visit Central Plaza Shopping Mall
Given the rustic feel of Chiang Mai, this four floor shopping mall near the airport is impressively well-equipped with great range of shops and decent food options. When it is raining it’s the perfect place for families, with enough to entertain all ages. The range of activities include a cinema playing English language movies, spas, beauty salons or even karaoke! The added bonus here is the Northern Village where you can pick up high quality craft products at competitive prices. International shops include Apple, Samsung, Nike and Asia Books. Central Plaza is located at the corner of Mahidol and Hang Dong and it will cost around 30 baht per person in a Songtaew to get there.
- Address: Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50300
- Tel: +66 53 224 999
Paint an Elephant at the Elephant House
Elephants are a big draw in Chiang Mai, but if it’s pouring outside then trudging through the mud on one of these beautiful creatures is no fun. Another way to support them and learn more about them is to visit the Elephant House, a 100 baht and ten minute taxi ride from the Old City. Here you can get creative and paint your very own miniature elephant, either inspired by the elephant statues downstairs or of your own creation. In-house artists are on hand to help you create your vision and the resin elephants come in two sizes: 10cm tall (600 baht) or 15cm tall (1000 baht). They take around three hours to paint and there is a play area for smaller children upstairs.
- Address: 20/1 Chiang Mai Land Village, T.Changklan A.Muang Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0)53 279816
Grab a second hand novel and enjoy it with cake at W by Wanlamun
If you’ve been trekking or even out exploring temples there is nothing better than enjoying some great cakes and a bit of downtime. Gekko and Backstreet Books are located only a quick dash away from the amazing patisseries and delicious food of W by Wanlamun. I am always amazed by the breadth and depth of the books on offer at these amazing second-hand shops, whether you are looking for thrillers, chick-lit or unusual non-fiction. Even better, a five minute walk away is W by Wanlamun, where you can sit on their covered terrace, in the dining room or even the glasshouse in the pretty garden and enjoy éclairs, tarts, and chocolate domes.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 until 22:00 with lunch 11:30 until 2:30 and dinner from 18:30 until 22:00
- Address: 1 Chang Moi rd. Soi 2, Amphoe Muang, Chiang Mai Thailand 50300
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 232328