Thai Cookimg Classes
There are many places in Chiang Mai offering Thai cooking classes and the standard is mostly very good, with people finding them informative and fun.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
The days of Elephant rides in Northern Thailand are fading quickly into the past. Many places now offer a chance to just spend some time with some elephants instead. The programmes usually include bathing the elephants and going for a walk with these fantastic beasts. These are extremely popular, and do seem to be a much kinder way to treat these animals.
Chiang Mai has a reputation for delivering high quality Spa experiences. While not cheap many find them extremely relaxing and invigorating way to spend a few hours. No longer the sole domain of women, they are increasingly set up for men to enjoy too.
Around Chiang Mai there is some stunning countryside, relatively quiet roads (in places!), and numerous mountains and hills, making great cycling territory.
Whether you are into road or off-road cycling, arranged tours or independent pedalling, there are plenty of options to choose from.
There are quite a few ziplining operations around Chiang Mai, and it can be exhilarating whizzing down the wires through pristine forests. However there have been a number of accidents over the years, so best to do some homework before plumping for this adventure sport.
Bungy Jumping is also available at the X-Center in Mae Rim.
Bars and Clubs
Chiang Mai is not exactly reknowned for it's nightlife but while the number of later night options are limited, early evening bars are plentiful and varied.
There are a plethora of mountain trails all over Northern Thailand. Whether you go with a guide or do it independently it can be hugely rewarding. There are also some Facebook / Meetup groups who arrange hikes that welcome casual joiners.
The Mae Ngat Dam reservoir is a lovely place to spend some time even if you are just going for a boat trip and something to eat. Kayaking to the houseboats is a great way to enjoy this stretch of water. Usually arranged in advance with a tour company in Chiang Mai, but sometimes possible to just turn up.
White Water Rafting
At it's fastest and most dangerous towards the end of the rainy season, whitewater rafting in Sop Gai has been established for many years now. There are a number of operators but again it is best to do some research to find the most reputable.
There are only a few climbing tour operators in Northern Thailand but they are well established and have a very good safety record.
There is also an indoor climbing wall.
These are very touristy affairs, but usually enjoyable enough. They follow the format of dining (usually Northern Thai specialities) while watching various dances and cultural performances by Lanna and hilltribe performers. There are a few places offering these dinners in Chiang Mai.
There are many, mostly small, art galleries dotted around Chiang Mai. Some are more interesting than others but that's personal opinion, and also the beauty of visiing these places.
Northern Thailand has a number of very good birdwatching spots. Doi Inthanon, Doi Angkhang, Doi Lang and Doi Chiang Dao to name but three. These three are good, unsurprisingly, for seeing montane birds. All of these are some distance from Chiang Mai and involve staying overnight nearby, but all are worth it.
Closer to Chiang Mai: Doi Pui, Huay Tung Tao and Mae Hia Agricultural College can all be fruitful.
Again there are options of indepently touring or going with a guide around the rewarding, winding mountain roads of Northern Thailand.
You can rent bikes of all sizes in Chiang Mai.
4WD / ATV / Off-road Buggies
Petrolheads will enjoy getting out onto muddy lanes in small, nimble off-road vehicles. There are a number of different operations offering these thrills, although they may not let you do all the tricks, jumps and stunts that you hoped for!