Want to add Chiang Mai on your Thailand itinerary? But not sure how many days in Chiang Mai you should spend? Well, first of all, it totally depends on the length of your trip as well as the purpose of your visit to Thailand. But whatever your reason is, we are here to help you. But before that let’s know what Chiang Mia city is all about.
The city of Chiang Mai was founded in the 13th century. Located amidst the surreal beauty of majestic mountains, Chiang Mai served as the capital of the Lanna Dynasty for a long time. Till today, this place holds a huge historical and cultural significance for all those who wish to know about the Lanna Kingdom. Be it nature or religion or culture, the city of Chiang Mai is dotted with all. If you are wondering why go to Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai how many days? Well, there are centuries-old Buddhist temples in the city as well as national parks in its suburbs, fascinating museums depicting history and culture, night market, and much more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Visit Chiang Mai?
- 2 Is Chiang Mai Really Worth Visiting?
- 3 How Long to Spend in Chiang Mai?
- 4 Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai
- 5 Where to Stay in Chiang Mai?
- 6 Getting to Chiang Mai
- 7 Getting Around in Chiang Mai
- 8 Getting to Chiang Rai From Chiang Mai
- 9 Getting to Pai From Chiang Mai
- 10 Getting to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary From Chiang Mai
- 11 Create Your Own Itinerary
Why Visit Chiang Mai?
Just to let you know, Chiang Mai is quite a big city situated in the mountains of northern Thailand. Despite having a huge religious, cultural, and historical significance, the city is also a popular hideout for digital nomads. Yes, you can expect to find nomads everywhere in Chiang Mai Thai. In the city, there are numerous cafes and restaurants that offer internet facilities for nomads to work digitally. But when it comes to why visit Chiang Mai on your Thailand trip, well, there are a number of specific reasons. These are:
- A popular spot for hiking and chasing waterfalls
- You can spend a day with elephants caring, feeding, and bathing them.
- There are plenty of exquisitely built temples that are centuries old.
- The city hosts the famous Loi Krathong and Lantern Festival.
- There are a number of amazing day trips from Chiang Mai
All these are just a few things that lure a huge crowd of tourists to Chiang Mai. There are many more things to do in Chiang Mai that you would love to be part of on your vacation to Thailand. There are markets, amazing food, surreal nature, cafes, restaurants, and much more.
Is Chiang Mai Really Worth Visiting?
If you still have a doubt about whether or not it is worth it to visit Chiang Mai, well, the answer is an absolute yes. Chiang Mai is probably the best part of North Thailand. If you have included a trip to Laos, then it would be easy for you to explore Chiang Mai as it is a popular spot along the way to Laos.
How Long to Spend in Chiang Mai?
Now comes the question – how many days in Chiang Mai you should spend? Well, whether you are planning a long vacation to Thailand or it’s just a short vacation, I would personally recommend that you should visit Chiang Mai in any case. Ideally, 2-3 days are more than enough to explore the city of Chiang Mai. However, if you want to explore more places in Northern Thailand, then make an itinerary for a week. However, if your northern Thailand trip is just restricted to Chiang Mai, then make a 3 day Chiang Mai itinerary. If you are a digital nomad, then you can even consider staying in Chiang Mai for a few weeks or even a month.
Now that you have got an idea about how long to stay in Chiang Mai on your Thailand vacation, let’s understand more about the city for a hassle-free and indelible time in Chiang Mai.
Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai
In order to know about the best time to visit Chiang Mai, it is important to first understand the different weather in the city. Chiang Mai witnessed three different weather – summer, rainy, and cool. The summer season begins from the month of March and continues until May. During these months, the weather in Chiang Mai, Thailand remains hot and humid with no rain. Besides, the temperature during the summer season goes as much as 42°C.
From the month of June, the rainy season begins in Chiang Mai. The season continues until the month of October. It is considered to be the wettest season in the city. This is also an ideal time to visit Chiang Mai as the temperature during these months remains lower than in summer months that make these months favorable for tourism.
The best time to explore Chiang Mai is months of cool-season that starts from November and ends in February. During these months, the weather remains all in favor of tourism and a lot of tourists visit Chiang Mai during this time. In the cool season, the temperature in Chiang Mai goes as low as 12°C. If you want to make the most of your Chiang Mai trip, then consider the months from November to February the best time to visit the city.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai?
Talking about where to stay in Chiang Mai, well, almost every part of the city is dotted with a good number of accommodation options. However, if you want to ask what is the best area to stay in Chiang Mai? Undoubtedly, it’s the old city area that gives you access to all the major tourist attractions in Chiang Mai with just a short walk. Another popular place to book your stay in the Nimman area. In the near proximity, there are also markets where you can go for a shopping tour. In the Nimman area, there are also modern hotels, cafes, and restaurants. You can also expect to find a large number of ex-pats in this region as Chiang Mai is also known to serve a popular hideout for digital nomads.
Getting to Chiang Mai
Getting around in the city is no big deal on your Chiang Mai travel tour. Chiang Mai has its own international airport that allows tourists to reach the city from any part of the country. Such is the transport connectivity of the country that you can get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, Pattaya, or Phuket without any hassle. The Chiang Mai airport is not just well-connected with domestic cities, but also international destinations like Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, and more. In addition, rail is another popular option that offers great connectivity with Chiang Mai city. It allows tourists to reach Chiang Mai from any part of the country, even from the countryside.
Getting Around in Chiang Mai
Talking about how to get around Chiang Mai, well, the city offers good connectivity with almost all the major cities in Thailand. When it comes to transportation in Chiang Mai, well, there are good options available in the city to get around. You can choose to get around in the city via taxi if your budget allows you. There are Uber and Grab – two popular taxi booking apps through which you can book a taxi while vacationing in Chiang Mai. However, you can also explore the city of Chiang Mai through a bicycle. You can rent a bicycle and travel within the city according to your own preference. If you are traveling in a group, then you can have a car rental in Chiang Mai. Besides, tourists also love to travel via tuk-tuk and scooters are the prime means of traveling within Chiang Mai.
Since Chiang Mai is also referred to as the gateway to many other popular destinations like Chiang Rai and Pai, people love to travel to these places from the city of Chiang Mai.
Getting to Chiang Rai From Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai is located at a distance of just 3-4 hours drive from Chiang Mai. Thus, you can either plan to explore the city of Chiang Rai for a few days or can also plan a day trip from Chiang Mai (that could be a little tiring). Whatever your itinerary is, the way to get there remains the same. The best way to get to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai is through a drive. You can also choose to travel with a scooter but that won’t be an ideal option as most of the time, there’s a lot of construction on the way.
Getting to Pai From Chiang Mai
The distance between Chiang Mai and Pai is just 130 km and it takes 2-3 hours to reach there. If you are looking for the best option to reach Pai from Chiang Mai, then you must travel via road. There are buses that operate on a daily basis until 4:00 PM from the Arcade Bus Station in Chiang Mai. The ticket price of the air-conditioned minivan is just 160 Baht that takes 3 hours to reach the city. However, local buses also run on the route that costs 90 Baht and the journey takes 5 hours to complete.
Getting to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary From Chiang Mai
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is another popular day trip from Chiang Mai that is explored by a large number of tourists. Visiting this sanctuary is considered to be one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai. Reaching to this popular tourist destination from Chiang Mai is quite easy. You can either hire a taxi or can choose to drive by yourself. However, the best way is to book a taxi.
Create Your Own Itinerary
It’s not always that we can give your perfect itinerary especially when we don’t know what your taste and preferences are. So, here we give you a chance to create your own itinerary by letting you know all about the types of attractions in Chiang Mai to help you create your own itinerary.
Just to let you know, the city of Chiang Mai is home to a number of amazing museums. Whether you have an interest in history, culture, religion, art, or politics, there are museums for you considering your interest. Some of the most popular museums in Chiang Mai are Tribal Museum of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai National Museum, Dara Phirom Museum, Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, The 3D Art Museum, Chiang Mai Airforce Museum, Dolls Museum, and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum.
Tourism in Chiang Mai is incomplete without the mention of all those pristine, historical temples. Visiting these temples is considered to be one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai considering the historical and sacred significance. Some of the temples even date back to the time of the Lanna Kingdom. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Phra That Doi Kham, Wat Sri Suphan, and Wat Lok Molee are some popular temples to visit in Chiang Mai.
Shopping in Chiang Mai is an unavoidable activity for all the tourists. The most popular market in the city is Night Bazaar. It includes street-side stalls selling a wide variety of products ranging from jewelry to unique crafts. Along with that, there are also walking streets in the city that also serve as popular shopping destinations for tourists. When it comes to Chiang Mai shopping, there is much more to experience and enjoy that you can even imagine.
You would be amazed to know that the city of Chiang Mai also offers some great opportunities for tourists to indulge in amazing walking tours by yourself. These walking tours give you a chance to not just indulge in nature but adventure and food as well.
Yes, Ping River also offers some amazing experiences to relish for all tourists. If you are staying for a good amount of time in Chiang Mai, then you can indulge in a river cruise experience or can go for dining on the river bank.
Ideally, 3 days in Chiang Mai are enough to explore amazing Chiang Mai. However, it’s up to you; if you have enough time, you can even consider stretching your Chiang Mai vacation to a week or 10 days. The city is indeed a treat for travelers who are looking to quench their wanderlust. Be it history, culture, religion, nature, or adventure, the city has everything for every taste of the traveler. We hope this post helps you figure out how many days to visit Chiang Mai.
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