3 Days in Chiang Mai: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, February 2015

4.5 26 Reviews | Add your review

As the ancient capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is resplendent with temples and historic sites. It may lack the buzz of Bangkok, but it also lacks the traffic jams and pollution and visitors are known to fall in love with Chiang Mai’s laid-back pace of life. Three days is just enough to take in Chiang Mai’s top attractions, though the city has a tendency to charm people into staying longer.
Day One: Old Chiang Mai

Spend your first day in Chiang Mai exploring the historic heart of the city. Within the crumbling old city walls are more than 30 Buddhist temples plus parks, museums, and monuments. Visit the gold-encrusted Wat Phra Singh to see the city’s most revered Buddha statue then Wat Chedi Luang to see the ruins of a 15th stupa carved with stone elephants. If you’re curious about the saffron-robed monks you see on the temple grounds drop by the “Monk Chat” at Wat Suan Dok where novices will happily answer your questions about Buddhism and Thai culture. Don’t miss the Chiang Mai Arts & Cultural Centre, an elegant government building near the Three Kings Monument converted into a history museum.

Day Two: Chiang Mai Thai Food & Shopping

If you love Thai cuisine, why not enroll in a Thai cooking class? There are more than a dozen cooking schools in Chiang Mai where you can learn to make favorites like phat Thai and green curry plus northern Thai specialties like papaya salad and khao soi (noodles in curry soup). Most classes also take you to a traditional market where you will shop for fresh herbs and spices. After slaving away in the kitchen all day, spend the evening souvenir shopping at one of Chiang Mai’s famous markets. If it’s Saturday or Sunday head to one of the walking markets and on any other night you can shop ‘til you drop at the riverside night market. The markets also have a food section where you can feast on delicious street food like spring rolls and spicy grilled sausage.

Day Three: Daytrips from Chiang Mai

After two days in the city it’s time to explore Chiang Mai’s countryside. A popular daytrip is to the top of Doi Suthep mountain to visit the Buddhist temple and enjoy the panoramic views. If you’re in the mood for something more adventurous you can trek to the eight-tiered Mae Sa Waterfall in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park or go elephant riding in the jungle at one of the area’s many elephant camps.

Tours & Tickets

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3-Day Chiang Mai and Golden Triangle Tour Including Doi Mae Salong

Discover the charm of northern Thailand and the notorious Golden Triangle – the meeting point of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) – on this three-day tour ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights

From USD $582.00

2-Night Chiang Mai Tour Including Elephant Nature Park

Feed and bathe rescued elephants at an animal sanctuary and get an insider’s glimpse of the spiritual side of Chiang Mai on this 2-night tour of Thailand’s ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $345.00

Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Day Tour from Chiang Mai

4 star rating: Recommended 35 Reviews

A chance to visit the famous Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet! An early morning drive through beautiful scenery, with a stop ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $94.72

Chiang Mai Rainforest Canopy Zipline Adventure

Soar across the longest zipline cable in Asia on this Flight of the Gibbon treetop adventure from Chiang Mai. Glide through the canopy along 18 ziplines via 33 ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $113.64

Chiang Mai by Night: Private Tour with Candlelit Buddhist Chant, Thai Dinner and Night Market

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

See Chiang Mai come alive at night on this private evening excursion! First, head to one of Chiang Mai’s most magnificent temples to hear monks chant by ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $58.52

Chiang Mai Adventure: Elephant Camp, Zipline, Whitewater Rafting and Long-Neck Hill Tribe

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Take a combo adventure tour and experience the best of rural Chiang Mai’s exciting excursions! You’ll spend the morning at a small elephant camp where you can ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $132.61

Private Tour: Chiang Mai City and Temples

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 16 Reviews

Get an insight into the wealth of beautiful and historic Buddhist Wats temples on this private tour from Chiang Mai.

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $44.20

Viator Exclusive: Elephant Conservation Experience in Chiang Mai

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

If you adore elephants, you’ll love this private full-day tour from Chiang Mai. The day trip focuses on local conservation efforts, and it’s a Viator Exclusive ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.83

Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai

4 star rating: Recommended 38 Reviews

Enjoy an evening out by having a Khantoke Dinner, the customary northern Thai style of eating with food being served in large platters at low tables while you ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $26.64

Tong Bai Foundation Elephant Tour from Chiang Mai

Interact with Asian elephants and learn about their fascinating role in Thai culture at the Tong Bai Foundation on this day trip from Chiang Mai. For ...  Read more

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $161.82

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