The city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is not just home to beautiful ancient temples – it also has a highly distinct food culture that can be explored on a number of tours.
Set against a striking mountainous landscape, Chiang Mai provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying some of the very best food that Thailand has to offer. Many choose to dip into the city’s rich culinary scene independently, but for a more immersive and in-the-know experience it’s recommended to join a guided tour. To help you pick the right one for you, we’ve selected 6 of the best Chiang Mai food tours currently on offer.
Lunchtime Food Tour
During this 4-hour afternoon tour of Chang Mai’s markets and street eats, you’ll be led around the city by a professional guide aboard a private songtheaw truck, adding fun and adventure to the experience. There’ll be the chance to try more than 15 Northern Thai dishes and snacks, including spatchcocked chicken cooked over hot charcoal, zingy som tum papaya salads, and lemongrass-stuffed sai oua sausages, with sit-down options in local street joins so you can mingle among the natives. During the tour, your guide will be available to provide insights about the city and it’s food culture. The tour concludes in the city’s fashionable Nimmanhaemin district near to the city centre. From $59 per person.
Evening Food Tour
The same as the above, but taking place in the evening instead, this 4-hour tour is for those keen to experience Chang Mai’s unique atmosphere after dark while touring its markets and street food trucks. As you’re navigated around the city by your expert driver and guide aboard a songtheaw truck, you’ll stop off at various points along the way to sample dozens of dishes and typical of northern Thailand. Among them will be creamy khao soi curry with crispy noodles, chili jam, and pickled greens, some of which can be enjoyed among locals at off-the-beaten-track street joints. Throughout the tour, your guide will be on hand to answer questions and share tit-bits about the city and it’s foodie heritage. The tour concludes in the trendy Nimmanhaemin district close to the city centre. From $59 per person.
Fresh Local Market Tour
There’s no better way of getting under the skin of a city than by taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a local market. This 4-hour tour invites you to discover flavourful, fragrant Thai street food by visiting one of Chang Mai’s many markets. During the tour, you knowledgeable guide will explain how to navigate a Thai food market and point you towards lesser-known snacks and treats that you’re unlikely to have considered if visiting independently. A complimentary market handbook is included in the tour price and you can also request a hotel pick-up and drop-off. From $32 per person.
Michelin Recommended Food Guided Walking Tour
This 2-hour guided walking tour takes you to several of the city’s eateries and street food stalls recommended by the prestigious Michelin guide, ensuring you’re treated to some of the best fare Chiang Mai has to offer. With multiple start times available, tours start at the Chansom Memorial Bridge, with your first stop Lung Khajohn Wat Ket, known for its sweet steamed rice skin dumplings stuffed with peanuts. Over the rest of the tour, you’ll visit more foodie hot spots to try other local delicacies including Pa tong go (oddly-shaped but delicious fried dough sticks) and Thai mango sticky rice, as well as check out a colourful flower market. Along the way, your guide will regale you with stories and insights about Chiang Mai’s food scene and history. From $13 per person.
Tuk-Tuk Night Tour with Temples and Street Foods
The tuk-tuk is the quintessential Thai mode of transport and this 4-hour tour combines travelling aboard one of these charming three-wheeled rickshaws with an exploration of Chiang Mai’s vibrant food culture. Departing early evening, you’ll savour the thrill of riding around the city after dark, stopping to visit landmarks such as the Wat Suan Dok temple and Lanna-style Buddhist monastery. Later, you’ll stop again to stroll around the open-air Chang Phuak Gate Market and watch hawkers cooking up local delicacies. Your driver will help you pick out the best dishes for your tastes. Afterwards, you’ll pass by other local markets such as Warorot Market and Ton Lam Yai Flower Market to soak up the night life before your tour comes to an end. From $75 per person (max 2 people.
The Taste of Chiang Mai
This hands-on half-day tour will introduce you to array of authentic Chiang Mai dishes and teach you how to create them for yourself. Starting the day picking your fresh ingredients and learning about local market culture, back in a professional kitchen environment you’ll be tutored through the preparation and cooking process by an expert chef and guide. Later, after you’ve made your dishes, your guide will escort you to a table where your self-made dishes along with a selection of additional traditional Thai treats will be ready to savour, ensuring you leave with a full stomach and long-lasting memories. From $116 per person.