Chiang Mai Photo Spots
Located in Northern Thailand, just a short flight from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a popular destination for many travellers visiting South East Asia. With all it has to offer, it’s easy to understand why—from visiting elephant sanctuaries to shopping at vibrant night markets, to exploring Thailand’s beautiful nature, Chiang Mai is full of unique experiences. With such variety, there are many great places to take photos in Chiang Mai.
Here at Flytographer, we easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. Today, we asked our local photographers to show us all the very best places to take photos in Chiang Mai. 🇹🇭
- Old Town of Chiang Mai: Visit the cultural heart of Chiang Mai within its ancient walled city.
- Chiang Mai University area: Immerse yourself in Chiang Mai’s stunning nature at Doi Suthep Mountain, located alongside one of Thailand’s top universities.
- Wat Phra Singh: Take time to tap into your spirituality at one of Thailand’s most revered temples.
- Iron Bridge: Enjoy the magnetic energy of night markets and hip eateries along the postcard-perfect Ping River.
- Grand Pavilion: Learn the history of the Lanna Kingdom at this cultural museum housed in a former palace.
1. Old Chiang Mai
The Old Town of Chiang Mai is the cultural heart of the city with a rich heritage, stunning ancient temples, and a charming historical atmosphere. Founded in 1296, the Old Town of Chiang Mai is located in the city centre, surrounded by a picturesque moat and reconstructed walls. 🌊
The Old Town is full of life—mouth-watering scents wafting from street-food stalls, sounds of songthaew and motorcycles passing by, and people wandering through winding alleyways and exploring temples. It’s truly a feast for the senses! 🤩
One of the most iconic temples of the Old Town of Chiang Mai is Wat Chedi Luang. Standing tall and proud, the temple rests atop an impressive Lanna-style chedi. Golden Buddha statues and stone elephant sculptures line the exterior of the temple, while lush trees and other temple buildings surround the area—a picture-perfect scene! 📸
For the ideal day of exploring, start with a refreshing drink at one of the area’s many local coffee shops, continue by visiting beautiful temples and strolling along the famous, pedestrian-only, Tha Phae Street, then finish off your day by buying dinner from the night markets.
Old Chiang Mai is a place where tradition and modernity blend seamlessly, offering visitors a chance to step back in time. Its timeless charm, warm hospitality, and fascinating heritage make it a must-visit destination while in Chiang Mai.
🗺️ Travel tip: The Old Town is home to many tour operators that can help you book experiences including elephant sanctuary visits, trekking tours, and day trips to other popular spots like Pai and Doi Inthanon National Park.
2. Chiang Mai University
Chiang Mai University is a prestigious educational institution located in the northwest region of Chiang Mai. Established in 1964, the university has become one of the leading universities in Thailand, known for its academic excellence and stunning campus grounds. 🎓
Located at the foot of the majestic Doi Suthep Mountain—or Ang Keaw, as referred to by locals—the university has a serene backdrop and an overall atmosphere of tranquility. Doi Suthep, with its lush forests and a sacred temple perched atop its summit, is a significant part of the Chiang Mai landscape.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep—also known as Doi Suthep Temple—is one of the most visited sites in Chiang Mai. It is an awe-inspiring sight, with a golden exterior and a 360° panoramic view of Chiang Mai. This is one of the best places to take photos in Chiang Mai!
For those looking to explore an off-the-beaten-path, this is the place to be! Doi Suthep Mountain has a variety of hiking trails leading to picturesque waterfalls and a sparkling lake. A wonderful place to spend the afternoon trekking!
📸Photo tip: Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in the early morning to take advantage of fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and the golden-hour glow! 💫
3. Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Singh, located in the heart of Old Town of Chiang Mai, is one of the most revered Buddhist temples in Northern Thailand. With its ornate architecture, historical importance, and spiritual significance, Wat Phra Singh attracts visitors from all over the world. 🌏
The temple’s full name is Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan, which translates to “The Monastery of the Lion Buddha.” It was built in the 14th century and houses Phra Buddha Sihing, a Buddha statue considered one of Thailand’s most sacred. The statue, believed to be over 1,500 years old, plays a central role in religious ceremonies and processions.
Wat Phra Singh is a visual masterpiece! Intricate detailing, golden accents, and Lanna-style architecture all come together in one seriously stunning sight. 😍 The surrounding pagodas have elaborate murals inspired by Buddhist mythology. With so much beauty, Wat Phra Singh is definitely one of the best places to take photos in Chiang Mai!
Peaceful courtyards and gardens can be found throughout the temple complex. The tranquil atmosphere encourages visitors to connect with their spirituality, so be sure to enjoy a mindful moment in this beautiful setting before making your way to other Chiang Mai attractions, like the nearby Wat Chiang Man and Tha Phae Gate.
4. Iron Bridge
The Iron Bridge—also known as Sapaan Lek—is an iconic Chiang Mai landmark. The bridge not only serves as a means of crossing Ping River but also serves as a symbol of Chiang Mai’s rich history and connection with its waterways.
The area surrounding the Iron Bridge is a vibrant hub of activity, especially at night. On the eastern side of the bridge, you’ll find Warorot Market, a bustling marketplace where both locals and tourists come to shop for fresh produce and a variety of local delicacies. 🥭 Be sure to try the local dish, Khao Soi, a delicious coconut curry noodle soup you don’t want to miss out on!
Just a short walk from the bridge lies the popular Night Bazaar, a vibrant evening market that comes alive with an assortment of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to artwork and souvenirs. The perfect place for souvenir shopping! 🛍️
The Iron Bridge area is also minutes from the Old Town of Chiang Mai. Many hip restaurants and bars line the bank of the Ping River, making it the ideal place to settle in for a relaxing meal after exploring the historic city centre. Visit at sunset to see Chiang Mai bathed in a golden glow, and when the sun goes down, watch the sparkling city lights shine down on the Ping River—an unforgettable evening!
5. Grand Pavilion
Located in the southwest area of Chiang Mai, the Grand Pavilion—or Hor Kham Luang—is a magnificent palace situated at the base of the Doi Suthep Mountain. It served as the ceremonial hall of the Lanna Kingdom’s rulers and showcases the elegance of traditional Thai architecture.
Constructed in the late 19th century, the Grand Pavilion features ornate wood carvings and a gilded exterior. It blends Lanna and Burmese architectural influences, resulting in a unique architectural style. The Grand Pavilion’s interior is equally stunning, featuring polished teakwood floors, carved columns, and vibrant murals of historical scenes. 🖼️
Today, the Grand Pavilion serves as a cultural museum and a venue for special events and exhibitions. It showcases a collection of artifacts, artworks, and historical objects that highlight Chiang Mai’s history. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the Lanna Kingdom’s royal heritage and the cultural significance of the region.
Surrounding the Grand Pavilion is a beautifully landscaped garden. 🌳 The well-manicured grounds feature lush greenery, traditional sculptures, and peaceful walkways—a wonderful way to appreciate the splendor of the Grand Pavilion!
Capturing Memories in Chiang Mai
With its magnetic energy, amazing street food, and welcoming people, Chiang Mai is a magical destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Connect with a local photographer to capture your experience in Chiang Mai with gorgeous photos—the perfect souvenir! ✨
“Mint has an amazing eye for capturing beauty! Very subtle while taking photos and makes you feel comfortable and natural. We appreciated the guidance and prompting and we were able to capture so many amazing shots! We love every single photo that was taken of us!”
“Terry was great! It was a wonderful experience walking around Old Chiang Mai with him, having pictures taken, and seeing the sites. He was accommodating to everything my mom and I wanted to do and was friendly and professional. The pictures are beautiful and he did a great job capturing a variety of moments and styles with different backdrops! Towards the end, we kept talking about being hungry so he offered to drive us to this delicious lunch spot (which was one of the food highlights of my trip)! I would definitely recommend booking a photography session with him!”
“Mint is amazing, we had such a fun time with her. Apart from being an amazing photographer we had a great conversation and had a lot of fun during the shoot. She helped us feel comfortable in front of the camera and I do believe the reason we look so relaxed and natural is because she made us feel secure. She provided great pointers and direction in terms of posing and knew the best places to take the best pictures. We are grateful for the great memories and amazing pictures.”