Chiang Mai Travel Guide | What to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

by - January 15, 2023

Heading to Chiang Mai soon? Check out my 3-day Chiang Mai itinerary + guide is full of the best places to stay, how to get around, the best food and so much more! 

Chiang Mai is hands down my newest favorite city in Thailand. With beautiful mountains and colorful hill tribes, a laid-back vibe, and awesome FOOD, it’s hard not to love Chiang Mai, if only I could spend here time it would be lovely but nevertheless, I'm really excited to share how I've utilized my 3 days Chiang Mai trip. 


Getting around Chiang Mai 

I recommend Grab car for those who are touring in the city, rides are around 80-90 bhat per trip to get around in town but renting a car would be a great idea if you're planning to visit more places out of town, now you won't be limited to where you can go and definitely could experience a lil bit more which is exactly what I plan to do on my next visit. 



Hotel

As I planned my entire trip in the old town, I've chosen a luxury bed and breakfast awarded by the Siam Architect - Villa Duang Champa . With only 10 rooms available and each was designed beautifully, it was spacious and I can't emphasize how much I loved the bathtub and the small balcony so we could chill at night as the weather turns cooler. Overall the hotel was wonderful, I can't wait to come back the staffs were really friendly and helpful and I really enjoyed how clean it was. 


Day One - Chiang Mai Old City



We landed by late noon, direct flights are rather difficult to find so we had to stop in Bangkok for a transit. We were taking it easy on the first day by strolling around places nearby the hotel, visiting Chiang Mai Old City Wall Gates which is one of the most famous landmarks in Chiang Mai, and along the way from the hotel, stopped by a few temples as Chiang Mai is known for having lots of temples, there are more than 300 temples around the city. 


Found a beautiful bar & restaurant by the riverside for dinner, Sai Ping Bar & Restaurant is frequented by the locals, the setting was fabulous, with great live music, and the food was pretty good too, unfortunately, the waiters weren't good with English but the dishes recommended by them were great and best of all they have an amazing selection of beer & wines, this is definitely a place to come to for a great night out. 


Day Two - Chiang Rai Full-Day Tour 



The Chiang Rai Full Day trip is one you must experience once in a lifetime, prebook it a day before because it starts early in the morning, we've gotten ours for 1500 bhat per person to visit the premier attractions like Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Wat Rong Suea (Blue Temple) and Baan Dam Museum (Art gallery). The trip starts at 7am and ends around 6pm with a simple lunch included. 


The white temple was simply stunning, I was really amazed by how beautiful it looked. As we walked towards the temple our tour explained the path that we will be taking, we will cross the bridge of "The Cycle of Rebirth", basically passing through hell before we arrive at the "Gate of Heaven" which is after crossing the bridge.  


Once we were done with White Temple, we visited the Blue Temple also known as Wat Rong Suea Ten which translates to “House of the dancing tiger”. While you're here don't forget to try the blue-colored coconut ice cream with glutinous rice. 



The last stop of our tour was spent at Baan Dam Museum (Black Art Museum) an art gallery by the late Thawan Duchanee who was a renowned Thai contemporary painter, architect, and sculptor with an international reputation. 



We head back into the city and tried out one of the best Italian Restaurants in town, Piccola Roma Palace. The food was exceptional, I would highly recommend this spot if you've gotten tired of Thai food but you'll love something more delicate, we had the Spinach with Butter and Parmesan Cheese, Sautee King Prawns with Port Wine & Cream, Steamed Sea Bass & Spaghetti Piccola Roma with seafood. Their pastas are made fresh daily, and the portion served was generous which caught me by surprise, at the end of the meal I was so full I didn't have room for dessert. 


Day 3 - JingJai Farmer's Market Chiang Mai & Lanna International Exotic Plant Show & Sale 



If you're in Chiang Mai for the weekend JingJai Farmer's Market Chiang Mai is a farmers & artisan market you wouldn't want to miss, it takes place every Saturday & Sunday from 630am to 1pm, and I highly recommend dropping by early before it gets too hot. 



This artisan market has everything you'll be looking for, from street food to unique crafts by the locals. I had a great time trying out the Thai breakfast before I started shopping, the fashion stores were pretty pricy but definitely worth what you're paying for and the cutesy crafts just won my heart, I lost count of how much I spent at the market. 


One of the highlights that made me come to Chiang Mai was because of the 1st Lanna International Exotic Plant Show & Sale which is a magnificent plant event for plant lovers. The amount of rare plants that are available here is just awesome! If only I could bring these back to Malaysia. 



We enjoyed our dinner at a Northern Thai Restaurant Wanlamun Rim Nam, got ourselves a spot on the outdoor terrace by the riverside if you're looking for a romantic dinner in Chiang Mai to try this out, the food was great along with the great ambiance. 

Here's what we had for the night, we ordered the sharing platter as our appetizer, along with dishes spicy soup with crispy fish, stir-fried garlic chives with shrimp, river prawns in garlic pepper coriander root paste, and glass noodles with salted egg & shrimp. 


 Hope you found my Chiang Mai getaway itinerary helpful? 

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