Unusual things to to in Chiang Mai
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7 Unusual Things To Do in Chiang Mai

I’d take something unusual and weird over something common any day. Gimme all the weird! Don’t get me wrong, temples are nice, and going for a wander and seeing the everyday stuff is great. I did it. But when I go somewhere, I also like to see if there is something not common, not every day, unusual, weird, something that I can’t really do anywhere else or something that’s rare. Here are the weird things that I did in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Chiang Mai is frequented by tons of tourists every year, it’s one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. I’ve been here many times and even lived here for a few months. I LOVE Chiang Mai, it’s one of my fav cities on earth. This visit, I wanted to see something different.

Without further adieu…I present some unusual things to do in Chiang Mai…

A Thai Massage by an Inmate

No worries, you’re not going to get a rub down by an ax murderer, these women are serving, or just finished serving time for minor offenses, and are now trying to better their lives by taking up a new skill to build up their career. It’s hard to get a job after being incarcerated so the Women’s Correctional Institution trains the women toward the end of their sentence and then employs them at their massage shop. They fill up quick with plenty of people wanting to support the cause, so get there early!

Graffiti hunting

So this isn’t really something to do as much as it will be something you run into. All around Chiang Mai there’s some super sweet graffiti that you can gawk at for a minute before moving on. I have some sweet samples from the NE part of the Old City. Some are cool and some are weird- like the alien with his hands down his pants smoking – my fav (featured pic).

Sticky Waterfall

So I’m super bummed I didn’t make it here due to time and weather issues, but I’m mentioning it because hopefully you’ll have the chance to go. Unlike most waterfalls where you’ll likely plummet to your death if you try climbing it because it’s super slippery, this one is “sticky!” So climb away. I researched it fully and it looks pretty sweet. Please feel free to comment and let me know how it was.

Erotic Garden

Yep, erotic, you read that right. What a cool place! Yes, there are plenty of penises to giggle at and tons of vagina shaped objects such as flowers and a clam, but it’s not all about sex here, as you will find out. The owner, a lovely woman name Katai, will show you around her erotic garden, personally. She will tell you the reasons why she wanted to do this and the deeper meaning behind it. In a nutshell, she believes this garden expresses intimacy, not just in a sexual way. She also wants to show the local people that sex, intimacy, and our bodies, are nothing to be ashamed of. She will tell you all about it over a cup of nice tea that she will brew for you. This isn’t only considered as one of unusual things to do in Chiang Mai, but possibly in the country due to the topic of sex being so taboo.

Quarry / Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon

So this is an odd spot. How many time have you swam or hung out at in an old quarry? I’m willing to bet never. So here’s your chance to do exactly that. Feel free to cliff jump (at your own risk), have a drink, a swim, or just hang out at the restaurant here. It makes for a interesting and pretty afternoon.

Catmosphere Cat Cafe

Yes, need I say more? A cat cafe. Order a cup of coffee or some food and play with kitties for as long as you want. Best. Day. Ever. Meow! Certainly one of the unusual things to do in Chiang Mai and also the cutest. Awesome space kitty theme throughout!

Ladyboy Cabaret

Only in Thailand, right? Going to the Ladyboy Cabaret is a must. Not only is it weird and you’ll likely never ever have the chance to do it again, but it’s also actually quite an entertaining show. Ladyboys of all shapes, sizes, attitudes, pre, and post ops take the stage in a spectacular hour-long performance that will have you laughing your ass off and thoroughly enthralled.

They lip-sync quite well, and if you’re a male and in the front row, be prepared for kisses and possibly an on-stage lap dance.

TIP: 12go.asia is the best way to book ferries, buses, and trains ahead of time in Thailand!

Where will you go after Thailand?

Laos | Malaysia | Singapore | Indonesia | Philippines | Cambodia | Vietnam

What do you think about this list of unusual things to do in Chiang Mai? Got anymore to share?


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  1. Excellent Nina. I have done a few of these things. We were by the Grand Canyon a few months back but never made it there. Noted for a future trip. Pinned and Tweeted.


  2. I haven’t gone to catmosphere cat cafe yet! The last time I went to Chiang Mai we were planning to go there but sadly one of my friends has a cat allergy. Hopefully, I can visit there anytime soon since I’ve been hearing lots of good reviews about this cafe.

    1. I’m allergic to cats too! But I couldn’t resist going. We just quarantined all the clothes immediately and then showered immediately. haha. Worth it!

  3. I didn’t know about the Grand Canyon till I read your post! Looks amazing. Definitely I have to go back.

  4. I love Chiang Mai. Ive been there twice but sadly did not know about the Grand Canyon until I got back…well maybe next time!
    The graffiti-point was surprising….but when I looked at my photo’s I saw that I have some with graffiti as well…

  5. Loving your blog Nina! Me and my partner are just about to embark on our first big adventure together around SE Asia, your blog is coming in handy and am loving reading through the tips, making lots of notes!

    Just wanted to say thanks, and keep it up! 😀

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience in Chiang Mai ! I went in north of thailand with my husband in 2008 and for me, is the better place to visit in this country. But i never heard about Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon ! Thank you for this information !