If you are looking for a place to travel with stunning temples, adventure, fabulous shopping, and delicious cuisine, then Chiang Mai is the place for you. It’s difficult to experience the vast amount of activities on offer, so to get the most out of your time, here is an itinerary for three days in Chiang Mai.
A trip to Chiang Mai would be incomplete without a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the Golden Temple just outside the city. This sacred site is reached via a 306-step staircase and draws thousands of visitors so make sure to get here early. Due to this being a sacred area with cultural importance it is imperative you dress respectfully, making sure knees and shoulders are covered.
After all of your exploring, you would have likely built up an appetite. There is a substantial amount of fabulous food to be discovered in the area. Check out one of the countless food tours offered where you can sample all the local delicacies with a guide who can explain exactly what it is you are eating. As you walk, ride a bicycle, or ride in a tuk-tuk around, take in the beauty of the city and the temples just scattered in amongst regular houses and businesses. Some of these tours will even take you into the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar where you can get some shopping done after tasting the cuisine on offer.
Monkeys, tigers, and elephants, Oh My! For this day get out and explore some of the amazing wildlife that lives in Thailand. For this, there are several options depending on how adventurous you want to get.
If you are looking for big thrills, check out Flight of the Gibbons, a company that will take you zip-lining through the jungle and lets you see Gibbons chilling in the trees as you glide past. They also offer the ability to upgrade to a multi-adventure tour, combining zip-lining with white water rafting, cave rappelling, kayaking, or mountain biking.
To see big cats up close, check out the Tiger Kingdom where you can get pictures petting and cuddling up to tigers of all sizes. One of the top attractions in Chiang Mai, few places elsewhere will let you get this up close and personal with these wild beauties.
Finally, for the elephant lover, check out Elephant Nature Park. This park lets you interact with a variety of species including providing opportunities to help with feeding, bathing, and observing the elephants in their natural habitat.
Explore everything the Old City has to offer on day three. There are 30 temples in Chiang Mai’s Old City alone so why not go explore a few.
Top Temples to see in the Old City include:
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chiang Man
Wat Sri Suphan
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Suan Dok
After or during exploring, relax and unwind from your adventures with a massage. These are not hard to find with parlours and spas dotting the city with treatments costing a fraction of what they would cost anywhere else. These are extra plentiful around the night markets which are a must for anyone visiting Chiang Mai. The best day of the week to visit is the Sunday Night Market which sells everything from food to clothes. Therefore, dust off your bargaining skills and go pick up some local artwork or gifts for those back home who couldn’t come on the trip with you.
After three days in Chiang Mai, you will return home with enough adventures to send everyone you know packing their bags to visit.