3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary. Photo by Tim Durgan.

3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary

3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary

Wat Chiang Man - 3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary
Wat Chiang Man


Chiang Mai, nestled in the mountainous region of northern Thailand, is renowned for its rich history, stunning temples, and vibrant cultural scene. This three-day itinerary will guide you through the must-see attractions and hidden gems, ensuring you experience the best of what this enchanting city has to offer.

Places to Visit:

  1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: A sacred temple located on Doi Suthep mountain, offering panoramic views of Chiang Mai.
  2. Old City Temples: Including Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Chiang Man.
  3. Elephant Nature Park: A sanctuary for rescued elephants.
  4. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar: A bustling market with local crafts, food, and entertainment.
  5. Doi Inthanon National Park: Home to Thailand’s highest peak and beautiful waterfalls.
  6. Bua Thong Waterfalls: Also known as the “Sticky Waterfalls,” where you can climb up the falls.
  7. Art in Paradise: An interactive 3D art museum.
  8. Chiang Mai Zoo: Featuring a variety of animals and a panda exhibit.
  9. Tha Pae Gate: The historic entrance to the Old City.
  10. Mae Sa Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall in the Mae Sa Valley.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - 3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Cultural Exploration

  • Morning: Start your day with a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Enjoy the scenic drive up the mountain and explore the temple grounds.
  • Mid-Morning: Head to the Old City and visit Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Chiang Man. Take your time to admire the architecture and learn about their history.
  • Afternoon: Have lunch at a local restaurant in the Old City. Afterward, visit the Art in Paradise museum for a fun and interactive experience.
  • Evening: Explore the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Shop for souvenirs, enjoy street food, and experience the lively atmosphere.
Wat Chedi Luang - 3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary
Wat Chedi Luang

Day 2: Nature and Wildlife

  • Morning: Take a day trip to Doi Inthanon National Park. Visit the Twin Pagodas, hike to waterfalls, and enjoy the cooler mountain air.
  • Mid-Morning: Continue your exploration of the park. Visit a hill tribe village and learn about their culture.
  • Afternoon: Have lunch at a local restaurant within the park. Head back to Chiang Mai and visit the Elephant Nature Park. Spend time with the elephants and learn about their conservation efforts.
  • Evening: Return to the city and have dinner at a riverside restaurant.

Day 3: Adventure and Relaxation

  • Morning: Start your day with a visit to the Bua Thong Waterfalls. Climb the unique “Sticky Waterfalls” and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Mid-Morning: Head to Mae Sa Waterfall for a more tranquil experience. Enjoy a picnic and the serene surroundings.
  • Afternoon: Return to Chiang Mai and visit the Chiang Mai Zoo. Spend a few hours exploring the various exhibits and seeing the animals.
  • Evening: End your trip with a visit to Tha Pae Gate. Take a leisurely stroll through the area and enjoy a farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.
See Itinerary Map (Includes Places to Visit and Accommodations)

Best Time To Go:

  • The best time to visit Chiang Mai is during the cool season from November to February. The weather is pleasant, with cooler temperatures and less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The city also hosts several festivals during this period, including the famous Yi Peng Lantern Festival.

Activities To Do:

  • Temple Visits: Explore the many temples in and around Chiang Mai to appreciate their history and architecture.
  • Night Markets: Visit the various night markets for shopping, food, and entertainment.
  • Cooking Classes: Take a Thai cooking class to learn how to prepare authentic Thai dishes.
  • Elephant Sanctuaries: Spend a day at an elephant sanctuary to learn about elephant conservation and interact with the gentle giants.
  • Adventure Activities: Try activities like zip-lining, white-water rafting, and mountain biking.
Wat Rong Khun - 3-Day Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Itinerary
Wat Rong Khun


Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Tamarind Village Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tamarind Village Hotel
  • 137 Pillars House: A historic hotel offering a blend of colonial and contemporary design.
137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand
137 Pillars House
Rimping Village Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Rimping Village Hotel
Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Akyra Manor Chiang Mai

Transportation Options:

  • Songthaews: Red trucks that operate as shared taxis, covering most parts of the city.
  • Tuk-tuks: A fun and convenient way to get around the city for short distances.
  • Motorbike Rentals: Rent a motorbike for flexibility and ease of travel within and around Chiang Mai.
  • Bicycles: Many hotels and guesthouses offer bicycle rentals for exploring the city.
  • Private Taxis: Available for hire through apps or directly from taxi stands.
  • Car Rentals: Available for those looking to explore areas outside of Chiang Mai.


  • Dress Modestly: When visiting temples, dress modestly with covered shoulders and knees.
  • Bargain at Markets: Don’t be afraid to bargain when shopping at markets for the best prices.
  • Hydrate: Stay hydrated, especially during the warmer months.
  • Local Etiquette: Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially in religious sites.
  • Early Starts: Start your day early to avoid crowds at popular tourist spots and to make the most of your time.


This detailed itinerary ensures you make the most of your three days in Chiang Mai, experiencing its rich culture, natural beauty, and vibrant city life.

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