The PERFECT 3 Days in Chiang Mai Itinerary (2021 Update)

The PERFECT 3 Days in Chiang Mai Itinerary (2021 Replace)

Journey suggestions, recommendation and the right itinerary for spending 3 days in Chiang Mai.

No journey round Thailand could be full with out stopping in Chiang Mai.

Positioned within the north of the nation, Chiang Mai reveals genuine Thai tradition and historical past however nonetheless manages to have a thriving and fashionable leisure scene.

It’s extra relaxed than the capital metropolis of Bangkok, however nonetheless full of issues to do.


This humble but thriving metropolis dates again to the thirteenth Century, and the square-shaped “Previous Metropolis” remains to be surrounded by a moat with 4 bridges guarded by gates that used to attach folks to the skin world.

Most of Chiang Mai’s points of interest lie inside the Previous Metropolis, so that is the place travellers are inclined to congregate.

There are a good few vacationers within the Previous Metropolis of Chiang Mai, nevertheless it nonetheless retains a laid again ambiance.

Gorgeous Buddhist temples and Thai therapeutic massage centres are scattered all around the metropolis, beckoning travellers to come back to loosen up and soak within the tradition.

On the similar time, bustling road markets, drag exhibits and Muay Thai boxing matches happen each evening, the place locals and travellers alike can indulge within the sensory explosions of Chiang Mai’s nightlife.

To essentially take in all of the attraction of the world, all you want is 3 excellent days in Chiang Mai.

This offers you adequate time to discover town, try the nightlife, and even take a day journey into the encircling nature.

This Chiang Mai 3 day itinerary will define the most effective issues to do within the space and embody some recommendations on the place to remain, the place to eat, when to go, and get round.

READ MORE: Take a look at our superior travelling in Thailand information!

Learn how to Spend a Excellent 3 Days in Chiang Mai Itinerary

There are many issues to do in Chiang Mai! So get able to spend your three days exploring the most effective elements of town!

Day 1 – Morning

To get acquainted with town, spend your first morning exploring Chiang Mai on foot.

With over 300 Buddhist temples and plenty of distinctive native retailers, you possibly can take pleasure in a beautiful introduction to the native tradition and way of life with somewhat sightseeing.

Discover the Temples and Outlets

There are too many retailers and boutiques in Chiang Mai to checklist, however simply wandering round you’ll positively encounter just a few little shops run by smiling locals.

Frequent finds in Chiang Mai’s retailers embody ceramics and sculptures, work and artwork, and exquisite jewelry and garments.

Elephants encourage a lot of collectible figurines and artwork, and also you’ll additionally discover a lot of well being shops promoting pure magnificence merchandise infused with coconut, rice, ginger, lemongrass, and different sorts of traditional Thai substances.

Along with Chiang Mai’s charming retailers, you’ll positively see a lot of spectacular and ornamented Buddhist temples.

Most temples are open from 6 am till 9 pm, and you have to put on acceptable garments that cowl the shoulders and knees and take away your footwear earlier than coming into.

Additionally, be sure you double-check that images is allowed inside on the temple earlier than snapping pictures.

Just a few noteworthy temples in Chiang Mai embody:

  • Wat Chiang Man: the oldest temple in Chiang Mai
  • Location: 171 Ratchaphakhinai Highway
  • Wat Sri Suphan
  • Location: 100 Wua Lai Highway
  • Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phan Tao: Proper subsequent to one another
  • Location: proper subsequent to one another on the crossing of Ratchadamnoen and Prapokkloa Roads.
  • Wat Phra Singh: The hottest temple in Chiang Mai and residential to the well-known “Lion Buddha” picture.
  • Location: 2 Samlarn Highway
  • Price: 20 Baht (The one temple within the Previous Metropolis with an entrance price, all of the others are free!)

READ MORE: Right here’s our information to the most effective spots to go to in Thailand!

Day 1 – Afternoon

Thai meals has grow to be a worldwide phenomenon, with spring rolls, inexperienced curries and pad thai is available all around the globe.

Whereas visiting Chiang Mai, take a cooking class to study extra about this wholesome and flavorful delicacies on the supply.

Take a Thai Cooking Class

There are many respected cooking faculties all around the metropolis and most are very moderately priced (~USD$25-30).

Nearly all cooking faculties take you on a tour by means of the native market to purchase the substances for the day.

You’ll study concerning the staple substances and flavours of Thai delicacies, similar to garlic, chilli, ginger, Thai basil, turmeric, shallots, peanuts, oyster sauce, fish sauce, coconut milk and coriander.

After this temporary schooling, the remainder of the day consists of cooking and consuming.

Fashionable dishes to prepare dinner in a category embody pad thai, spicy tom yum soup, cashew stir fry, coconut soup, papaya salad, mango and sticky rice, Thai iced tea, and curry utilizing your personal, hand-ground curry paste.

Ensure you arrive at your cooking class with an empty abdomen since you’ll have an abundance of meals to attempt.

An assortment of contemporary native substances that you could be use throughout a Thai cooking class

Day 1 – Night

Spend one evening of your 3 days in Chiang Mai watching Thailand’s favorite sport, Muay Thai boxing.

Muay Thai Boxing Match

This fight sport advanced from combating methods in the course of the Siamese empire and the athletes are fast and agile.

Muay Thai boxing may be very fast-paced and thrilling to observe, so purchase your self a ticket and go cheer among the many locals.

There are three predominant boxing stadiums in Chiang Mai:

Thaphae Boxing Stadium

The preferred stadium amongst vacationers

  • Price: 500 Baht for the standard ticket
  • Hours: The matches normally run from 9 pm till midnight each evening besides Sunday
  • Location: 319 Moon Muang Highway close to the Thapae Gate of the Previous Metropolis.

Exterior the Previous Metropolis, there are two extra boxing stadiums the place you’ll discover extra locals and fewer vacationers.

Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium
  • Price: 600, 1000, or 1500 Baht relying on the standard of seat you need
  • Hours: Fights run from 8:30pm till 11:30pm, on daily basis besides Sundays
  • Location: 177 Chang Phuak Highway
Loi Kroh Boxing Stadium
  • Price: Tickets starting from 400 to 600 Baht
  • Hours: Fights run from 8:45 pm till midnight, Tuesday by means of Saturday
  • Location: 96/98 Loi Kroh Highway

Day 2 – Morning and Afternoon

You’ve made it to day 2 of your 3-day itinerary in Chiang Mai, and at the moment I like to recommend you head out of town to take a look at one of many metropolis’s most lovely pure wonders.

Stick Waterfalls Day Journey

One among northern Thailand’s coolest points of interest is the sticky waterfalls, positioned about 50 km from Chiang Mai within the Jedsee Fountain Forest Park.

That is a straightforward and reasonably priced day journey from town and it’s excellent for anybody who loves nature and a little bit of journey.

Formally often called the Bua Tong Waterfall, the sticky waterfalls are so particular as a result of you possibly can climb them!

Although the falls are fairly steep, the rocks are lined with mineral deposits that create friction and make the rocks straightforward to seize on to.

You don’t want any gear and even any footwear. Simply throw on a washing swimsuit and begin climbing like Spiderman.

There are just a few ropes that will help you up within the steeper elements, however total climbing the waterfalls is simple and enjoyable, and it’s a good way to chill down within the warmth of the day.

From the highest of the falls, you’ve an incredible view of the plush inexperienced jungle.

And on the backside of the falls, there are huge swimming pools for swimming.

There is no such thing as a entrance price, however convey your personal drinks and snacks as there are not any retailers on this distant space.

To achieve the sticky waterfalls from Chiang Mai, you possibly can take a songtaew with different vacationers.

Simply ask at your lodging’s reception the place to seek out the songtaews, they usually’ll level you to the closest pickup spot.

The worth of the journey will depend upon how many individuals are splitting the price, although a method the full price is normally about 1,000 Baht.

READ MORE: Searching for extra Chiang Mai points of interest to fill your itinerary?

Day 2 – Night

After an adventurous day on the Sticky Waterfalls, loosen up for a few hours if you arrive again in Chiang Mai to arrange for a enjoyable night.

Go to the Ladyboy Cabaret

Any Chiang Mai 3 day itinerary should embody a ladyboy present, as that is an incredible type of native leisure in Thailand.

Ladyboys (kathoey, in Thai) are males who seem like girls.

Whether or not they’re precise transgenders or simply dressing in drag, the ladyboys in Thailand are extremely female and exquisite.

Ladyboys are a really well-accepted a part of Thai society and face little discrimination, so that they host wildly entertaining exhibits and cabarets across the nation.

Chiang Mai has a beautiful Ladyboy Cabaret on the Chiang Mai Cabaret venue positioned within the Anusarn Market part of the Night time Bazaar.

It is a 15-minute stroll outdoors the Previous Metropolis, however you possibly can all the time take a tuk-tuk for comfort.

Seize some dinner on the Night time Bazaar, which opens at 5 pm and is filled with eating places, meals courts and road meals stalls, then head over to the Chiang Mai Cabaret for the present.

Put together to be dazzled as you enter the venue, for the Ladyboys placed on an extravagant efficiency.

There can be singing, dancing, lip-syncing, video games with the viewers and fabulous costumes, so you’ll undoubtedly really feel impressed by the attractive Thai ladyboys.

Day 3 – Morning

I hope you didn’t have too many drinks on the Ladyboy Cabaret final evening, as a result of we’ve got one other nice day lined up at the moment!

Go to the Hilltop Temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

One among Chiang Mai’s most spectacular temples lies simply outdoors town atop a big hill.

Many individuals check with the temple as simply “Doi Suthep”, although its full identify is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and “Doi Suthep” simply refers back to the identify of the mountain it sits on.

To achieve Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, take a songtaew from the Previous Metropolis for about 80 Baht a method and journey for 45 minutes outdoors town.

You’ll should pay a 20 Baht entrance price and climb a monstrous staircase of 306 steps to succeed in the temple, however the views on the prime make the climb very a lot price it.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is really gorgeous, with towering pagodas, glittering temples and Buddha statues bathed in gold.

You’ll be able to simply spend a few hours right here admiring all of the detailed and charming non secular paintings and structure.

There may be additionally a close-by viewpoint the place you possibly can gaze over Chiang Mai from above, and throughout from the temple lies a Jade manufacturing facility specializing in jewellery and trinkets made out of the attractive inexperienced mineral.

That is additionally an awesome place to check out a Vipassana course in Chiang Mai.

Wat Doi Suthep
The shimmering golden pagodas and temples of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Day 3 – Afternoon

Head on again to city after your go to to the Doi Suthep, and deal with your self!

Get a Thai Therapeutic massage

Thai therapeutic massage is an historic follow that may be a bit completely different from the extra well-known sorts of therapeutic massage.

Relatively than simply mendacity down flat and having fun with a relaxed, soothing therapeutic massage, Thai therapeutic massage is extra energetic.

The skilled masseuses stretch and bend your physique into completely different shapes and positions that should heal and strengthen the physique, and also you normally preserve your garments on.

For a first-timer, Thai therapeutic massage can appear fairly intense and chances are you’ll really feel like a contortionist as you twist and switch on the mercy of the Thai masseuses.

However contemplate it a distinctive, cultural expertise that may profit the physique and has been practised in Thailand for hundreds of years.

One of the well-known locations to get a Thai therapeutic massage in Chiang Mai is the Ladies’s Therapeutic massage Heart by Ex-Prisoners.

Precisely because it sounds, this group helps enhance the lives of former prisoners by using them as skilled masseuses.

A therapeutic massage right here prices 250 baht for one hour, the power is positioned at 35/1 Jahban Highway and is open day by day from 9 am to 9 pm.

All through Chiang Mai, there are many different conventional Thai therapeutic massage facilities and spas starting from low cost to costly.

An affordable Thai therapeutic massage is normally carried out in a communal area so the ambiance is much less non-public.

Day 3 – Night

Are you feeling hungry? Good! As a result of it’s time to discover the markets and eat your weight in scrumptious Thai meals.

Discover the Avenue Markets

Avenue markets are a vital side of Southeast Asian tradition.

They showcase all the most effective meals, artwork and native crafts at very low cost costs, so finances vacationers could be sensible to do most of their consuming and purchasing within the streets.

Chiang Mai is loaded with road markets, some huge and a few small.

The most important markets happen on Saturday and Sunday nights, so positively cease by these markets if you happen to’re visiting Chiang Mai on a weekend.

  • Saturday Strolling Avenue Market
  • Location: Wua Lai road on the southern fringe of the Previous Metropolis
  • Hours: 5 pm till 10 pm
  • Sunday Night time Market
  • The most important market in Chiang Mai
  • Location: Fills your entire centrally positioned Rachadamnoen Highway
  • Hours: 5 pm till Midnight

Each markets have an enormous assortment of meals and crafts on show.

You’ll see lovely work, sculptures, jewellery, pottery, handmade dreamcatchers and garments, Buddha collectible figurines, and extra conventional handicrafts.

Between the lengthy rows of stalls, the road performers, the meals carts, and all of the vacationers, chances are you’ll really feel a bit overwhelmed and even claustrophobic at these markets.

However they’re an unimaginable illustration of the tradition so it’s positively price braving the crowds.

In the event you aren’t in Chiang Mai on a weekend, the Night time Bazaar is open day by day and is nice for purchasing for souvenirs.

One other dependable road market that makes a speciality of meals is the Chang Phuak Gate Night time Market which is positioned on Manee Nopparat Highway and opens at 5 pm.

That is the right spot to attempt traditional Thai road meals for affordable, similar to dumplings, pad thai, candy Thai pancakes and crepes, spring rolls, fried banana and pumpkin, a lot of meat and rice dishes, and contemporary fruit smoothies.

This place is a meals lover’s heaven!

Durian, A Popular Tropical Fruit Of Southeast Asia, On Sale At A Street Market
Durian, a preferred tropical fruit of Southeast Asia, on sale at a road market

Are there just a few issues on my Chiang Mai itinerary that you simply really feel like won’t be your scene, or have additional days up your sleeve?

Then try these bonus actions to refill your time!

Go to Elephant Nature Park

Thailand has a big elephant inhabitants, nonetheless many of those lovely creatures are sometimes exploited for tourism.

You will notice loads of commercials for elephant driving round Chiang Mai. DO NOT RIDE AN ELEPHANT!

The entire follow of driving an elephant is extraordinarily horrible for the animal and causes immense ache and stress on them.

If you wish to spend time with an elephant although, you are able to do so ethically by visiting Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.

The proprietor Lek rescues elephants from numerous firms and mahouts round Southeast Asia and brings them to her attractive property to allow them to reside out their lives in peace.

As a customer, you possibly can watch these lovely animals wander round fortunately the way in which nature supposed, and with a choose few, you possibly can even stand up near them.

It’s not the most affordable elephant go to in Chiang Mai, nevertheless it’s by far essentially the most accountable and moral.

Get a Sak Yant Tattoo

You in all probability have seen these superb Buddhist tattoos performed by monks across the place (Angelina Jolie famously received one), and you may get one your self in Chiang Mai!

For extra on this, try our devoted weblog submit on getting a standard Sak Yant tattoo in Chiang Mai.

Elephant Nature Park
An exquisite ele at Elephant Nature Park.

Chiang Mai Itinerary Journey Information

Now that you already know what to do throughout your 3 day Chiang Mai itinerary listed here are some highlights that will help you plan when to go to, the place to remain, what to eat, and get across the metropolis.

When to Go to Chiang Mai

There is no such thing as a dangerous time to go to Chiang Mai.

Thailand is scorching all yr spherical and has principally two seasons: wet season and dry season.

October by means of April is dry season and has the most effective climate, with sunny days and little rain. However it’s peak vacationer season so the entire nation will get extra crowded.

Could by means of September is the wet season, so the climate is hotter, extra humid, and it rains extra regularly.

However even in the course of the wet season, it normally solely rains within the afternoon so you possibly can nonetheless get day of exploring. Flights to Thailand additionally are usually cheaper in the course of the wet season.

If you wish to witness the well-known Chiang Mai Lantern Competition, go to from mid-October to mid-November.

Chiang Mai was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, and the Lantern Competition is a cherished Lanna custom the place locals launch lanterns fabricated from rice paper into the sky, in hopes of acquiring luck.

This lantern pageant, domestically often called Yi Peng, is to not be confused with the Loy Krathong, an analogous pageant the place folks launch floating baskets fabricated from banana leaves adorned with candles, incense, flowers into the water.

Each festivals are lovely to observe, although the precise dates change yearly as a result of they depend upon the lunar cycles of the Lanna calendar.

Double-check the dates earlier than you go, however the festivals normally happen in October or November.

The Floating Rice Paper Lanterns Of The Yi Peng Festival
The floating rice paper lanterns of the Yi Peng Competition

Getting Round Chiang Mai

It is vitally straightforward to have 3 excellent days in Chiang Mai itinerary as a result of a lot of the points of interest are inside or close to the Previous Metropolis.


The sq. of the Previous Metropolis is roughly 1.5km on all sides, so it’s fast and simple to stroll in every single place inside the surrounding moat.

You’ll be able to even stroll to most points of interest outdoors the Previous Metropolis, such because the bustling indoor market corridor often called the Night time Bazaar. Strolling is free, nice train, and the easiest way to catch all the small print of Chiang Mai.

Tuk Tuks

If you wish to save time, take a tuk-tuk across the metropolis. These little three-wheeled, open-air taxis are tremendous low cost and handy for whizzing across the metropolis.

Rides inside the Previous Metropolis normally price round 100 baht, however you attempt negotiating the value down a bit.


In the event you’re taking a day journey outdoors Chiang Mai, the most effective and least expensive type of transport is a songtaew.

These are crimson pick-up vans that act as shared taxis, so you possibly can look forward to the truck mattress to refill and break up the price of the journey between everybody.

The utmost capability is generally 10 folks.

Avenue Instructions

One other tip to bear in mind when studying instructions in Thailand: “Soi” means “aspect road.”

So a road deal with will typically have “Soi” with a quantity earlier than the primary highway, indicating the aspect road that branches off from the primary road.

Tuk Tuks
Tuk Tuks are a fast, low cost straightforward technique to get round Chiang Mai

The place to Keep in Chiang Mai

To simply see Chiang Mai in 3 days, keep inside the Previous Metropolis.

All the most effective issues to see in Chiang Mai are set inside this sq., and there are numerous lodging and meals choices right here that swimsuit each finances.

All points of interest are accessible on foot, and it by no means feels too crowded or overly touristy although that is the place most vacationers keep.

As a result of Chiang Mai is rising as a preferred vacationer vacation spot in Thailand, it’s crawling with fantastic backpacker hostels, guesthouses and Airbnbs, and good inns.

Listed below are just a few top-rated lodging that swimsuit finances, mid-range, and luxurious journey types.

Price range: Le Loftel Hostel

Positioned proper in the midst of the Previous Metropolis, Le Loftel Hostel is cozy, welcoming, and most significantly, low cost.

Dorm beds price solely 230 Baht per evening, and all 63 critiques on Hostelworld gave this place 10 out of 10 stars.

Mid-Vary: Artwork Home

This guesthouse is laid again and run by an area household devoted to wonderful customer support. It feels homey however has all of the facilities of a pleasant resort.

Positioned at 11/2 Soi 7, Moon Muang Highway, Arte Home is a superb place to remain within the metropolis.

Luxurious: Chala Quantity 6

For these wanting the deal with themselves to the most effective, most luxurious lodging for 3 days in Chiang Mai, keep at this five-star resort positioned at 6/6 Prapokkloa Highway.

Full with a health middle, spa, pool and scorching tub, and restaurant with free breakfast for visitors, Chala Quantity 6 has every part you might need on a trip.

Finest Locations to Eat in Chiang Mai

Complement your Thai cooking class and native road market tastings with high-quality meals at a few of Chiang Mai’s greatest eating places.

Meals in Thailand is extraordinarily reasonably priced, so even the costly meals at good eating places gained’t break the financial institution.

Price range: Khao Soi Khun Yai

Khao Soi Khun Yai is a small native restaurant excellent for attempting the traditional northern Thai dish of egg noodles and pork in a spicy, creamy curry broth, often called Khao Soi.

  • Location: 8 Sri Poom Highway close to the Chang Phuak Gate
  • Hours: Open from 10 am to 2 pm and closed on Sundays.

Mid-Vary: Sprint Teakhouse

This restaurant has peaceable out of doors seating and rustic structure and is a superb place to attempt conventional Thai dishes like spring rolls and contemporary papaya salad.

  • Location: 83/2 Moon Muang Highway
  • Hours: Open day by day from 10am to 10 pm.

Luxurious: Ginger & Kafe

This fashionable bistro places a singular and fashionable twist on Thai delicacies.

The restaurant is a part of the entire Home by Ginger institution, which mixes Ginger & Kafe with a snazzy cocktail bar and eclectic house items and furnishings retailer.

The glamorous but quirky ambiance of this place turns a easy meal into a classy expertise.

  • Location: 199 Mun Mueang Rd
  • Hours: Open day by day from 10am to 11pm
Pad Thai, A Classic Thai Dish Of Stir-Fried Noodles, Peanuts, Bean Sprouts, Scrambled Eggs, And Either Meat, Seafood Or Tofu.
Pad Thai, a traditional Thai dish of stir-fried noodles, peanuts, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, and both meat, seafood or tofu.

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