How many days in Chiang Mai is Enough?

By Alice Ross | ASIA

Jun 21
how many days in Chiang Mai

One of the biggest cities in Thailand, Chiang Mai is known for its luxurious green lawns, wonderful highlands, and remarkable looking grasslands. Located on an amazing plain at the elevation of 316 meters, this is the perfect place if you are looking for a place in Thailand that is way more peaceful than its capital and other biggest cities. But the question is… how many days in Chiang Mai is perfect for you?


First of all, you have to keep in mind that you can’t really get enough of Chiang Mai and spending there for weeks wouldn’t be enough to enjoy everything the city has to offer. However, if you’re asking how many days is enough for you to enjoy a Chiang Mai trip, then 3 days is enough for you.

Having 3 full days in Chiang Mai, you would have a great chance to explore some of the best things to do here. Now, let me give you a sample itinerary you can follow if you decided to explore Chiang Mai for 3 days.

travel chiang mai

Day 1: Explore the Local Culture and Visit Temples


Of course, it’s best to start your day with some good breakfast. And since you are in one of the best culinary places in the world, it’s something you shouldn’t miss.

When you are and happy and full, you can have the Old Town as your starting point. Make sure that you are wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes as you are likely to get lost in the stunning Old Town. If you want to have a more relaxing exploration, then you can also rent a bicycle and ride it around.

old town chiang mai

Here are some spots you can go to at this time of the day.

- Chang Mai National Museum

- Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center

- Chiang Mai Historical Center

- Lanna Folk Life Museum

- Suan Buak Hat Park

- Tapae Gate

- Three Kings Monument

- Wat Chedi Luang

- Wat Chiang Mai

- Wat Chiang Man

- Wat Phan Tao

- Wat Phra Singh

- Watt Bupparam

Wat Phra Singh


You can cover all the places mentioned above the whole morning, and when the afternoon comes, you may want to make sure to check out Terracotta Garden, which is considered as a hidden gem in the city since this secret garden is usually disregarded by travelers who are very fixated on going to beautiful temples.

However, visiting the garden will give you an out-of-this-world vibe, which makes you feel like you’re in a prehistoric place. If you want to escape from the busy streets of Chiang Mai, it’s an even better idea to go there. And while you are already there, you may want to stop at Clay Studio Coffee in The Garden to have some lunch.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar


As the evening comes, visiting the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a must or you know, just any of the night markets. It will be your best chance to buy some souvenirs.

But of course, to make the most of your time, regardless of how many days in Chiang Mai you have, buying some souvenirs are not the only thing you can do in here – you have to see to it that you try some of the best foods the country has to offer. After all, food is one of the reasons why Thailand is worth visiting.

Day 2: Unleash Your Creativity & Sunset In The Mountains


If you want to dig deeper into the country’s culture, then you may want to start your day joining a cooking class! One of the best popular places to join cooking class is on Old Town or you can find a class that takes place on a farm, just a little outside the city, you can check out a traditional market along the way.

On the other hand, if you are someone who is not into cooking, then you may want to try out other classes like jewelry class, Thai massage class, or photography class.  

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep


No matter how many days you have in Chiang Mai, make sure to experience riding local transportations. As the afternoon arrives, ride your bicycle or hop on a shared tuk-tuk going to the mountain about an hour before the sunset and check out the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

You could also stay until after sunset and witness or even be part of the ceremony and watch the monks chanting. A great thing to experience, so you might want to make sure that you stay a little bit longer.


If you want to end your day the best way possible, then you may want to end your day with some amazing Thai massage. You can either enjoy a soothing or hard massage and of course, match it with some amazing Thai food.

amazing Thai food

Day 3: Discover Beyond The City

On your last day, we recommend for you to go out of a city a little. After all, this is where you can find real adventures.

Here are the activities we recommend you to do.

- Get on a tour by hiring a tuk-tuk driver for a day and ask him to take you to places you haven’t been to the previous days

- Visit some Elephant Sanctuaries and play with the gentle giants. Make sure to choose one that actually rescues elephants from their abusive people who train them for tourism purposes.

- Try out some extreme activities such as whitewater rafting, or even rock climbing. You may want to book your trip well in advance but you can also book it on the spot.

Elephant Sanctuaries


On your last night after an exciting day of exploring, you can have another food adventure. Some of our personal favorites are pad Thai, sticky mango, and tom yum soup. You can also have some drink at one of the many rooftop bars in the city.

Alternatively, you can join a street food tour, which usually takes about 2 and a half hours.


Chiang Mai trip

So, there you have it! As you can see, 3 days itinerary is ideal for your Chiang Mai trip and this gives you enough time to truly enjoy what the city to offer. However, how many days in Chiang Mai may vary depending on your interests and preference.

The blend of culture and history, modern life, and super fun outdoor activities, delightful and delightful food, workshops, and amazing views will confidently make you desire to come back to Chiang Mai over and over again.

Hopefully, you find this article helpful for you. If you have other questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to let us know. If you have suggestions that will make this article better, make sure to share that as well!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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