The 2 Best Day Trips in Chiang Mai

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, then Chiang Mai should definitely be on your travel list! This city located in the northern region of Thailand has a lot to offer, from incredible temples and markets to outstanding natural attractions. But what if you want to escape the city for a day? That’s where this post comes in handy! We have researched and compiled a list of the best day trips from Chiang Mai that will help you explore the surrounding areas and experience the diversity of the region. Whether you’re interested in culture, adventure, or simply relaxing, you’re sure to find something on this list that catches your interest. So, let’s get started and discover the best day trips in Chiang Mai!

The 2 Best Day Trips in Chiang Mai

  1. Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle in a Day
  2. Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Tour from Chiang Mai

The 2 Best Day Trips in Chiang Mai

1. Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle in a Day

Go on a full-day tour from Chiang Mai and explore the White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, in Chiang Rai. Experience a brief stop at the Hot Springs Maekasa on the way and visit the Baandam Museum to marvel at the work of proficient Thai artists. Your informed guide will offer insightful commentary throughout the tour. Afterward, head to the Khong River viewpoint, where the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand converge. Complete your day trip by returning to Chiang Mai. Enjoy a complimentary lunch at a local restaurant and feel free to grab a boat ride across the Mae Khong River. Roundtrip transportation to and from Chiang Mai hotels is included, and gratuities and beverages are available. The tour starts at 07:00 AM, and pickup is available from all Chiang Mai city hotels. This tour is an excellent option for a Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle tour in one day. Don’t miss visiting the northernmost point of Thailand.

2. Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Tour from Chiang Mai

Take a fascinating day excursion to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle from Chiang Mai, where the borders of Thailand, Burma, and Laos converge. The trip starts at 7:00 AM with pickup from your Chiang Mai city hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle. A local guide accompanies you on the journey, offering plenty of fascinating commentary along the way.

Drive across the picturesque countryside, passing through lovely landscapes, and making stops at local hill tribe villages such as the Akha and Yao. Relax and unwind in the Mae Ka Chan hot springs, and enjoy breathtaking views over the Mekong River as you learn about the region’s notorious opium trade.

Do not miss your chance to visit the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), regarded as one of the highlights of the trip. It would help if you marveled at this impressive work of art, richly embellished with designs and ornaments that represent myths, beliefs, and legends.

This full Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle day tour from Chiang Mai also includes a delicious lunch, which is a great chance to sample regional delicacies, and gratuities are taken care of, so you do not have to worry about anything. After the tour, you will be dropped back at your hotel in Chiang Mai, concluding your day trip.

Top Frequently Asked Questions About Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a city located in Northern Thailand, known for its rich culture, ancient temples, picturesque natural landscapes, and bustling night markets. Thousands of tourists flock here each year to experience its unique charm and attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Chiang Mai, you may have some questions about what to expect. Here are the top frequently asked questions by tourists:

1. What’s the Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai?

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is during the cool season, which runs from November to February. The weather is milder, and the skies are clear, making it perfect for outdoor activities like sightseeing, trekking, and exploring the local markets. The hot season is from March to June, and the rainy season lasts from July to October. During the rainy season, it can rain heavily for days, making some tourist attractions inaccessible.

2. Do I Need a Visa to Visit Chiang Mai?

If you’re a citizen of one of the 64 countries that have signed a visa exemption agreement with Thailand, you can stay in the country for up to 30 days without a visa. However, if you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you need to apply for a tourist visa before you arrive in Thailand. You can check if your country is eligible for a visa exemption on the Royal Thai Embassy’s website.

3. What Should I Wear When Visiting Temples in Chiang Mai?

Temples in Chiang Mai are sacred places, and visitors are expected to dress appropriately out of respect. Make sure to cover your shoulders and knees, and avoid wearing revealing or tight-fitting clothes. It’s also customary to remove your shoes before entering a temple or someone’s home. If you’re unsure what to wear, most temples have sarongs or shawls available for visitors to use.

4. Is it Safe to Eat Street Food in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai is famous for its street food, and many tourists enjoy trying the local delicacies. While street food can be safe to eat, it’s essential to take some precautions to avoid getting sick. Look for vendors with a high turnover of customers, which ensures that the food is fresh. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat and seafood, and make sure to wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer before eating.

5. What Are the Must-See Attractions in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai has a vast array of attractions, and what you choose to see depends on your interests. Some of the must-see attractions include:

  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, situated atop a mountain overlooking the city.
  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, a bustling market filled with vendors selling everything from street food to handicrafts.
  • Elephant Nature Park, an ethical sanctuary for rescued elephants where visitors can feed and bathe them.
  • Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand’s highest mountain and a spectacular waterfall.

6. Can I Visit Chiang Mai on a Budget?

Yes, Chiang Mai is a budget-friendly destination, and there are plenty of inexpensive ways to explore the city. Cheap accommodation options include hostels and guesthouses, and street food is affordable and delicious. Many of the cultural attractions are also free to visit, including some temples and museums. Tuk-tuks and songthaews (shared taxis) are inexpensive ways to get around the city.

7. How Do I Get to Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai is easily accessible by plane, train or bus. The city’s airport has several daily flights from Bangkok and other major cities in Thailand. The train is another popular option, with daily overnight services from Bangkok. Buses also run frequently between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and other destinations in Thailand.

How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Chiang Mai

Are you planning to visit Chiang Mai soon but not sure what to do there? Worry no more! Chiang Mai is a beautiful destination in Thailand with plenty of exciting activities and places to explore. In this guide, we will take you through a step-by-step plan on how to spend your time as a tourist in Chiang Mai.

1. Explore the Old City

Your trip to Chiang Mai is incomplete without exploring the historic center of the city, the Old City. It is surrounded by a moat and contains the remains of the city’s walls, which date back to the 13th century. The Old City also boasts over 300 temples, including the most famous one, Wat Phra Singh.Make sure to take a stroll in the evening when the temperature is pleasant, and the street vendors are selling delicious Thai food. You can also hire bicycles or take a tuk-tuk ride to explore the place more efficiently.

2. Visit Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep is another must-visit spot in Chiang Mai. This Buddhist temple is situated on a mountain that overlooks the city. It’s a great place to take in the panoramic views of Chiang Mai and to see the revered golden stupa, which is believed to contain relics of the Buddha himself.To get to the temple, you need to climb the 306 steps or take a cable car, and you will find yourself surrounded by the lush greenery of the mountain.

3. Join a Thai Cooking Class

Thai cuisine is famous worldwide, and what better place to learn about it than Thailand itself. Chiang Mai has some of the best cooking schools in the country. Join a Thai cooking class and discover the flavors of traditional Thai dishes. After the class, you can enjoy the food you cooked.

4. Experience Thai Massages

When in Thailand, get a Thai massage! Chiang Mai is known for its many massage and spa centers that offer authentic Thai massages. A Thai massage is a relaxing experience that can help improve circulation and flexibility.

5. Visit Elephant Nature Park

Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary for elephants that have been rescued from abusive industries such as logging and tourism. The park provides a safe and natural environment for the elephants to live freely. You can book a tour or stay overnight to observe and interact with the elephants.

6. Get Adventurous

If you are up for some adventure, there are plenty of activities to indulge in. Go trekking in the jungle, zip-lining, white water rafting, or even rock climbing. Chiang Mai has it all!

7. Sunday Night Market

The Sunday Night Market is a vibrant and colorful bazaar that takes place in the heart of the Old City. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, try delicious Thai street food, or watch street performers. Make sure to head there in the late afternoon to make the most of the event.

8. Visit Chiang Mai Night Safari

Chiang Mai Night Safari is a unique wildlife experience where you can observe nocturnal animals in their natural habitat. You can take a safari tour on a tram or walk through the park to see the animals up close.

9. Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park is home to the highest mountain in Thailand and offers some breathtaking viewpoints. If you are a nature lover, don’t miss out on visiting the park, where you can trek through the forest, visit waterfalls, and see the flora and fauna unique to the region.

10. Attend a Festival

Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of Northern Thailand and has several festivals throughout the year. The most famous of these is the Yi Peng festival, also known as the Lantern Festival, held every November. It’s a magical time to be in Chiang Mai as thousands of lanterns light up the sky.


Chiang Mai is a fascinating city that has something for everyone. From the historic Old City to outdoor adventures, culinary delights to cultural festivals, you will not regret visiting. We hope this guide has helped you plan your itinerary for your trip to Chiang Mai. Don’t forget to use this guide as a checklist and have the best time exploring this Northern Thai gem.

The 2 Best Day Trips in Chiang Mai