Chiang Mai Three Day Itinerary

You’re heading to Chiang Mai and need a little inspiration on how to spend your time there. We’ve created a three day Chaing Mai itinerary for you to get the most out of your holiday. With over 300 Wats, beautiful landscapes surrounding the city, and amazing street food, you don’t want to miss any of the excitement Chiang Mai offers. If you’re not into following itineraries, take this as a highlight reel for things you won’t want to miss. We hope you all enjoy mopeding around, sipping on your coffee, and experiencing the Thai culture. We wish we could be there with you!

Chiang Mai, Long Neck Tribe, Thailand, arboursabroad
 

DAY ONE: ARRIVE TO CHIANG MAI 


If you followed our Bangkok Itinerary, you will arrive to Chiang Mai around 7:00am on the overnight train. Head straight to ZZ House – about a 1 mile walk from the train station. 7:00am is too early to check in, but you can drop off your bags and talk with Boyd (the host) — have him arrange a moped for you for the day (200 baht for 24 hours). While he’s arranging the moped (which will be dropped off at the guesthouse that day) you can head just down the road to grab some delicious iced coffee and breakfast at Khualek Café and Restaurant.

{Traveler’s Tip… You will want to book your elephant tour today for day six of your trip. We went with Loolu Tours (2,500 baht), but have heard great reviews of visiting the Elephant Nature Park as well (6,000 baht). Regardless of the company you choose, be sure they are good to the elephants; some companies abuse the elephants, and you definitely don’t want to support that! You can check out our elephant tour experience here.}

 

You then can either moped around town to the different Wats, or take your time walking to them. (Boyd will give you a map of the Wats to see… Do the ones within the Old City today, you can moped to the outer Wats tomorrow.)

 

After you’ve seen all the Wats you can, grab some lunch, then head out to the Grand Canyon of Thailand. It’s about a 25 minute moped ride out of town and has a 50 baht entrance fee. Here you can swim, nap on the bamboo decks, and mingle with other travelers.




{Traveler’s Tip… At the Grand Canyon of Thailand, they check your bags and make you throw away any food or drinks that you’re trying to bring in. There’s a restaurant on site with decent prices, or you can just keep some food in your moped compartment and walk back to your moped for snacks! Want more info on the Grand Canyon? Head here.}

 

Once you’re done soaking in the sun, you’ll be well past the time of check in back at ZZ House. Head back to your room, take a refreshing shower, and relax for a bit before leaving yet again. You’ll be heading out to grab dinner and go to the Sunday Night Market. Try and get to this market early, as it gets full of tourist later in the evening and can be not as enjoyable. Eat your way through the night market (5-40 baht per dish/treat), buy your touristy pants (100 baht) and other souvenirs, and head out of the market before the crowds of tourist rush in!

 

DAY TWO: WATS, WATERFALLS, AND LADY BOYS 


As if you didn’t have enough fun yesterday scooting around on a moped, you’re doing it again today! Wake up with a relaxed breakfast and coffee at Khualek Café and Restaurant (this was one of our favorite things to do in the mornings!) Take the map Boyd gave you, and moped to the different Wats on the outskirts of the Old City. Get lost mopeding around in the surrounding mountain roads of Chiang Mai. Grab lunch at whatever village you fancy most, find one of the many waterfalls in the area to refresh in, and seriously just drive around enjoying the scenery. Don’t worry about using too much gas… At about 2 USD for a full tank, you’ll be able to moped around for nearly nothing!

{Traveler’s Tip… Don’t actually get lost… Download maps.me, a free offline map app, to help you get around!}

 

Locals say, “You don’t know Chiang Mai until you go to Doi Suthep,” so today you’re heading up there. Doi Suthep is a temple on the hill overlooking Chiang Mai. With a 30 baht entrance fee and amazing views of the city, it’s definitely worth the ride up the curvy mountain road. What makes the trip even more special is the sunset point found about another 15 minutes past the temple. Explore the temple for a bit, grab some street food to hold you over till dinner, and take your moped up another 5 miles to an amazing sunset point. You’ll be surrounded with loads of locals and nearly no tourists at all!

{Traveler’s Tip… Make sure your lights work on your moped before taking off today. You’ll definitely want them on your ride back to town!}

{Traveler’s Tip... The sunset point is labeled as a viewpoint on maps.me. Just find Dio Suthep and find the viewpoint near the mountain peak!} 

 

After sunset, drop the moped back off at ZZ House, and recoup before heading out to the local market for dinner and a Lady Boy Show (9:00pm, 250 baht including peanuts and a drink). (Again, Boyd will point out where to see the Lady Boy Show on your map, but all the locals will point the way as well!)

{Traveler’s Tip… When you get back to ZZ House, be sure to charge up your camera for tomorrow! You will want a full battery and lots of space for photos and videos with the elephants tomorrow!}




DAY THREE: FULL DAY ELEPHANT TOUR 


Hooray!! You’re going on a Full Day Elephant Tour today!! You’ll want to bring some snacks, a change of clothes, towel, swimsuit, and water with you today! If you don’t know how to swim, or are not comfortable rafting in rapids, skip out on the rafting part of your tour. Your safety is more important than rafting down the river.

{Traveler’s Tip… We went with Loolu Tours and had a great time. Want to know what to expect on your tour?! Head here!} 

 

You will be exhausted after your full day adventure, so stay close for dinner tonight. Head to the market across from Wat San Pa Khoi on your maps.me app and eat with the locals (40 baht). Spend your evening relaxing at the guesthouse, or if you have anything left in you and you’re into photography, head to one of the corners of the wall around the Old City to get some sweet night reflection shots!

 





 

Three days in Chiang Mai will allow you to see a lot of the area. Chiang Mai was our favorite area in Thailand, so if you have more time, you may want to stay longer. It’s really a hub for all things outdoors of Thailand, and is quite an easy place to spend a lot of time in! There are loads of things to do surrounding Chiang Mai. We recommend heading to Pai (check out our Pai itinerary here) or up to Chiang Rai or Dio Inthanon National Park just south of Chiang Mai.

 


 

If you want more tips on the area, or are interested in more of Thailand, please don’t hesitate to send us your questions and comments! Helping make your traveling easy is what we’re here for, and if we can assist in anyway we would love to!

 


 

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