What to do in Chiang Mai in 3 days and my MEGA guide to visiting!

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Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

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If there’s ever a spot that perfectly blends the old with the new, tradition with the modern, all snuggled under an umbrella of culture, it’s Chiang Mai. With over 300 temples inside its ancient city walls, an abundance of delicious restaurants and boutiques popping up and luscious forests surrounding it all, it’s easy to see why it’s loved among travellers. Exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days is a challenge but if you’re short on time then it’s definitely doable!

This was my second time visiting Chiang Mai and I was so glad I did. On my previous visit, I was really dragging my feet with exploring new places and just felt completely burnt out. This time, however, was different. I approached my time here with fresh eyes and a keenness to find see everything I had missed out on, which turned out to be a hell of a lot! So much so that Tom and I very nearly overstayed our Thai visas which were the far less fun and more panic-stricken of our days in Chiang Mai.

But the rest of them were filled with incredible food, exploring some of the best markets I’ve ever been to and visiting the most incredible temples. So if you’re keen to explore this beautiful city in northern Thailand, here’s everything you need to know and what to do in Chiang Mai in 3 days.

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But first, check out my Chiang Mai vlog to see more of what’s to come!

How to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

The route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is well established so you have a number of travel options to choose from. Depending on your budget and time scale you might prefer one over the others more but all the below ways are pretty easy to navigate.

Catch the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Catching an overnight train in Southeast Asia is sort of a right of passage and I actually find them to be a fantastic way to travel long distances in Thailand. Trains depart Bangkok’s main train station Hua Lamphong to Chiang Mai multiple times a day meaning you could travel in the day time if you would prefer. The advantage of travelling overnight is that you have your transport and nights accommodation all rolled into one, therefore saving you money.

The overnight trains I’ve taken have always been clean and tidy, have a toilet on board and are well organised. The beds are bunk beds and a staff member comes around to set them up and provide blankets, making the whole thing super easy. The beds even have curtains for privacy.

I highly recommend you book your train tickets in advance as they often get booked up. I always use a website called 12Go.Asia which makes it so easy to choose the date, time and also your seat/bed. You simply pay through the website and print off the ticket.

Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus

As with the train, you can take a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai either in the day or overnight. The option to book these tickets is also available on 12Go.Asia and what’s really useful is you can see reviews of the buses and different companies available. Travelling by bus is definitely the cheapest way to get to Chiang Mai but I really recommend taking note of the reviews as you don’t want to end up on a bus without air conditioning! The good thing about buses though is that they have so many departing a day, you won’t need to worry about booking days in advance.

Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Bangkok sees a number of flights depart daily to Chiang Mai so if you’re short on time or just don’t want to spend 11 hours travelling, you do have this option available. Flying is often the most expensive way to travel in Thailand but cheap flights can be snapped up! I always go to Skyscanner.com as they compare prices and flight times across heaps of airlines and I was actually able to grab a flight from Chiang Rai back to Bangkok for a tiny $11! Just remember that Bangkok actually has 2 airports so make sure you know which one you’re going to.

What to pack for 3 days in Chiang Mai

Clothes

  • Foldable waterproof jacket: Ok, so this doesn’t sound cool, but trust me when I tell you, one of these babies will save your bacon! Slip one of these in your day bag and you won’t be finding yourself drenched.
  • Comfy shoes: As Chiang Mai is a fantastic city to explore on foot, be sure to have something comfy on your feet. I brought a lightweight pair of Nike trainers with me as well as a comfy pair of Havaianas and a cute pair of sandals so I was covered for all occasions as well.
  • Long skirt or trousers: It’s so important to dress respectfully in Thailand. You will see lots of tourists walking around in shorts and vests but in all honesty, the Thai people will have a lot more time for you if you cover up a bit. Additionally, in Chiang Mai with over 300 temples, you simply have to have some temple appropriate outfits to cover your knees and shoulders. I lived in my long skirts in Thailand and Tom made sure he had one lightweight longer trouser to wear when needed.
  • Singlet/t-shirts x 6: I like to have a few t-shirts in different colours that I can mix and match with both my shorts and skirts to maximise the number of outfits I can make. I also like them to be cotton so they are nice and breathable in the hot Thai weather. Boohoo.com has a huge selection of tees to choose from ranging from basic styles to quirky patterns.
  • A more dressy dress: Chiang Mai has some great nightlife, and while dressing up really isn’t essential, it’s kinda nice, right?  I always love the dresses in H&M as they are affordable, really pretty and they have a great sustainable policy.

Toiletries

  • Full-sized travel towel: These babies are super lightweight, fast drying and fold up nice and small, perfect if you’re packing light. This Rainleaf Microfibre towel is a great option and comes in a range of sizes and colours as well (because we all know the colour is the most important decision here really).
  • Bug repellent: It’s so important to have a decent bug repellent throughout the whole of Southeast Asia. Tropical illnesses like yellow fever a more common so it’s important to protect yourself against nasties like this. I like to use a spray repellent without DEET as I find it pretty harsh on my skin, and generally like to go down the more natural root as I have to use so much. A spray like this Medella Naturals All Natural spray is perfect
  • Medicine supplies: There are plenty of pharmacies all over Chiang Mai but if you have any brands that you have a lot of trust in, I would advise bringing a supply out with you. I always carry plasters, Immodium for upset stomachs, ibuprofen, paracetamol, re-hydration salts, antihistamines and travel sickness tablets
  • Hand sanitiser: Just for when soap isn’t available and general use
  • Feminine supplies: Tampons are pretty expensive in Thailand so I would advise you to bring these items with you if you need them.
  • High factor sunscreen: Chiang Mai isn’t as hot as places in Thailand like Bangkok and the Thai islands but the sun can still be pretty fierce. Be sure to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high factor to protect your skin and reapply regularly. I love Nivea sunscreens as they’re non-greasy and doesn’t sweat off really waterproof.

Other essentials

  • Reusable bag: With some of the best markets around, you’re bound to pick up some treats as you travel. Make sure you have one of these reusable and foldable shopping bags in your day bag rather than getting a plastic bag.
  • Reusable cutlery set: One thing that you’ll sadly see all over Thailand is plastic straws and cutlery all over the place. An easy way to do your bit for the environment is to say no to straws and also to carry a small cutlery set that you can reuse during your trip.
  • Travel adapter: Long gone are the days of needing loads of different adapters for different countries. This travel adapter is an all-in-one device so it’s the only plug you’ll need to carry. It also has USB ports to make charging really easy.
  • Camera: Chiang Mai is unbelievably photogenic and after spending 8 months travelling with a pretty shoddy camera, I do recommend splashing out on something decent. I absolutely LOVE my Sony a6000 as it’s easy to use, small and lightweight making it great for carrying around.
  • Power bank: There’s a lot to explore in Chiang Mai so if you want to keep your devices charged up throughout the day, make sure you have a power bank to hand.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Best budget-friendly places to stay in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a rather unusual city in terms of its layout so it can be tricky to decide where to stay. There’s the Old City which is everywhere inside of the old city walls, and there is the area outside this, with the most popular being near the famous Night Bazaar. As I was there for a good few days, I actually stayed in 2 basic but decent accommodations that I would recommend.

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Where to stay near the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai

The Night Bazaar is definitely somewhere you have to visit when you’re in Chiang Mai but what you might not realise is that it’s a little out of town. To make it easier to experience this part of Chiang Mai, I recommend staying at The Grace House. It’s a small guesthouse with a great cafe attached to it offering decent sized private rooms for a great price. The owner is lovely and Tom and I were able to leave our backpacks with her after arriving early in the morning from our overnight train.

Where to stay in Chiang Mai Old City

We stumbled across Tommy Huts when we were walking around the Old City and thought they looked great. They’re brand new, tucked down off the main street and literally around the corner from Chiang Mai’s other famous market, the Sunday Walking Street (more about that in a bit). This guesthouse is made up up about 6 individual huts with their own bathrooms and a small courtyard. It’s small but a great place to stay if you prefer a quieter spot.

How to get around Chiang Mai

Walk

For all you frugal travellers out there, you’ll be pleased to know that Chiang Mai Old City is incredibly walkable. Right from the entrance, you’ll find yourself easily wandering from temple to monument, cafe to bar and before you know it you’ve covered loads. It’s great and on foot is always the best way to explore.

Red Songthaew

Alternatively, all over Chiang Mai, you will see hundreds of these quirky red buses driving around. These are called Songthaews and they can be a saviour when you’re tired of the heat. Using them can be a bit confusing at first but all you need to do is flag one down, tell the driver where you are looking to go and he will either say yes or no. I recommend having a map on your phone to show the driver if you’re looking to go somewhere specific like your accommodation just to help bridge the language barrier. A ride to anywhere within the city should be about 30 baht per person. If you want to go further than that you will need to negotiate.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Grab taxi

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get from A to B then be sure to get the Grab app on your phone. It’s Asia’s answer to Uber and sometimes a nice air-conditioned taxi is what you need. Tom and I would usually order a Grab when we arrive somewhere after a long journey just to take the hassle out of finding our accommodation.

Must-try street food in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a haven for foodies! If it’s not the many restaurants it’s the night markets, if it’s not the night markets then it’s the weekend markets. And if it’s not the weekend markets then it’s a lone person selling something incredible from a tiny stove on wheels on the corner of the road. Food is everywhere here. Throughout much of Thailand, you’ll see the same delicious bites being served up such as mango sticky rice, Pad Thai and heaps of smoothies, but North Thailand also has some dishes of its own that you have to try.

Khao Soi is hands down my favourite dish from Thailand and I feel it really encapsulates everything about Thai flavours all in one dish. It’s a sort of noodle soup in a creamy, spicy curry sauce mixed in with meat or seafood, veggies and topped with some super crunchy noodles. You can sometimes add your own sugar, salt and chillies to taste.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

One thing you might be surprised to learn is that Chiang Mai has it’s very own sausage. Sai Oua, or the Chiang Mai sausage gives what many of us know to be a good old fashioned staple, a real Thai twist. It’s made from pork but is also infused with kefir limes, lemongrass and chilli. It’s delicious and you’ll find it all over Chiang Mai.

If you like a sweet treat then you need to try Roti. You might be familiar with this flatbread from Indian cuisine but here in Thailand, you’ll find it being served up with things like Nutella, chocolate sauce and fruit. It’s delicious so be prepared to live in elasticated waistbands!

Where to find the best food in Chiang Mai

Street food is king in Thailand and there is no end of it all over Chiang Mai. Here are a few of my favourite spots where you can snap up a delicious local meal for a bargain price. There are some incredible food tours you can go on (and to be honest, I wish I had) but if you simply want to taste it then you’ll find some fantastic spots all over the city.

The Night Bazaar

This market is one of the biggest attractions in Chiang Mai and it’s a fabulous spot to pick up souvenirs as well as a bite to eat. Whether you want to grab something as you walk around or sit down and tuck into a meal, you have plenty of options here.

Kalare Night Bazaar

Pretty close to the main Night Bazaar you’ll find the Kalare `night Bazaar. We actually stumbled into this thinking it was the main night bazaar but there are still plenty of food options here. This is where I first tried Khao Soi (it was amazing, by the way) but there are heaps of food to choose from. They have an awesome selection of seafood to choose from too.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Ploen Ruedee Night Market

This gem of a place is opposite the Kalare Night Bazaar and although it serves up more western food, it’s a great place to go for entertainment. This market is uncovered and has more of an industrial vibe to it but on the night I visited, there were traditional dancers performing which was great to see, especially as it was free!

Saturday and Sunday walking street market

The weekend markets in Chiang Mai are huge, insane and some of the best I have ever been to. Along with hundreds of stalls selling everything you could ever think of, there is a wealth of street food. The best thing about trying food this way is that you can watch it being cooked right in front of you and enjoy it straight from the pan. There isn’t really the best section to head to for food as you’ll find it down every part you walk through.

Saturday and Sunday walking street market The weekend markets in Chiang Mai are huge, insane and some of the best I have ever been to. Along with hundreds of stalls selling everything you could ever think of, there is a wealth of street food. The best thing about trying food this way is that you can watch it being cooked right in front of you and enjoy it straight from the pan. There isn't really the best section to head to for food as you'll find it down every part you walk through.

Chang Puak Gate (North Gate) – cowboy lady

If you’re looking for the typical Asian street food experience of sitting on plastic chairs in a busy roadside tucking into some of the best food there is, then you’ll love this place. Just outside North Gate, you’ll find a cluster of street food stalls that churning out some incredible traditional food. I stuffed myself with mango sticky rice, curry and also pork and rice. If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain and have seen his Chiang Mai films, this spot is where you’ll find the famous cowboy lady.

Restaurants around Wat Prasat

If you want to get away from the tourists and eat with local people then check out the restaurants next to Wat Prasat. I don’t know what they are called but the food here was delicious and leaned more towards Chinese cuisine. Be prepared for lots of shouting, swift service and no messing around – in a friendly but efficient way though!

3 days in Chiang Mai itinerary

Day 1 in Chaing Mai

Morning – Temple hopping

Make your way into the Old City through the famous Tha Phae Gate. The ancient wall here was once a fortress for the Old City and has been beautifully preserved to visit today. As soon as you walk through the gates you will find yourself surrounded by plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy. Make your way up Rachadamneon Street and grab some breakfast for a busy day of temple hopping.

With over 300 temples in Chiang Mai you really get the chance to experience and learn about Buddhism and the culture that is truly rooted in the city. No matter what direction you walk in, you will find the most incredible temples and the variety might surprise you. You’ll find the most opulent temples covered in gold leaf, intricately carved wooden temples and the most fascinating ruins providing an insight into bygone eras.

Pro Tip: It’s so important that you are dressed correctly when visiting temples in Thailand. This means that shoulders, chest and knees should be covered for women and shoulders and knees for men. My go-to outfits are a high neck t-shirt and knee-length skirt as it’s still nice and cool, and Tom wears a t-shirt and knee length shorts. 

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

I don’t believe there’s a right way to go about visiting these temples- if you want to go in one then simply go in. However, there are some temples that I think you simply can’t miss out on. They hold a lot of cultural significance to Chiang Mai and, to put it simply, are stunning! Take your time as you explore the temples and soak it all in and be sure to grab a bite to eat along the way.

Here’s a map of some of the top temples to visit in Chiang Mai to help you navigate:

Wat Phan On

This temple is located right on Rachadamneon Street so you really can’t miss it. It’s always quite a busy spot and on Sunday it becomes part of the Walking Street. It’s one of the smaller temples inside with Old City walls but the buildings are so intricately decorated with gold, white and red that you have to take a look around.

Wat Phan Tao

Just a little further on from Wat Pahn on Prapokkloa Rd you’ll find the impressive wooden Wat Phan Tao. This temple is made from teak and I personally feel it has quite a cosy feel to it. Inside you’ll find the large the hall with mosaics, colourful hangings and impressive teak beams supporting the structure. Behind it you’ll also find a gold Chedi. It’s not the most popular temple to visit but I think it’s well worth a visit just to see its unique style.

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Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Wat Chedi Luang

This is one of the biggest and busiest temples in Chiang Mai Old City and one of the oldest. Wat Chedi Luang is a temple ruin but is seriously impressive. Its huge towering structure is beautiful in its own right and is one of the most important. It originally housed the Emerald Buddha, the most important Buddha image in Thailand but this is now found in Bangkok’s Grand Palace.

Wat Pra Singh

The large golden Chedi’s guarded by golden elephants make this temple one of the most memorable. It houses Chiang Mai’s most important Buddha image, the Lion Buddha which makes it an incredibly popular temple to visit. The whole complex is beautiful and the assembly hall inside has a really life-like statue of elderly Monks.

Afternoon – more temple hopping

Although these temples are close together, time flies and the Thai heat can be exhausting. make your way towards Wat Inthakin on Intrawarorot Road where you’ll find some local restaurants just on the corner. It will probably be super busy, loud and full of local people getting their lunch. The service may be slightly on the abrupt side but the food is delicious!

Wat Inthakin

As I ended up eating at the little restaurants I mentioned above quite a bit (because the food really is that good) I wanted to include Wat Inthakin in this list. This striking black temple is certainly different. Additionally, rather than a complex, this temple is literally on the side of the road so you can’t miss it.

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and is known as the ‘elephant temple’ due to the 15 elephants that surround its base. It was built by the city’s founder in 1297 and over time, more has been added to the complex. The assembly halls within the complex are beautifully decorated in red and gold and are incredibly ornate.

Wat Lok Molee

Tom and I stumbled across this temple but it is actually one of my favourites. Located north of the city just outside the city walls across the moat, Wat Lok Molee is a bit of a hidden gem. In the courtyard out the front you’ll see 2 wishing trees full of hanging gold and silver leaves with writing on before you reach the wooden hall. Around the back there is a huge red brick chedi which has a pulley system allowing people to provide offerings to the Buddha at the top.

Evening – Night Bazaar

After a long day of exploring the temples, a good meal will be much needed! Make your way over to the Night Bazaar, Kalare Night Bazaar and Ploen Ruedee Night Market. They are close together and you’ll find tonnes of food stalls and street food to tuck in to. This is where I tried my very first Khao Soi and I felt like my life changed for the better. You gotta try it guys!

The bazaars and markets here are a great place to get lost and pick up some souvenirs too. Don’t be shy to haggle if you want something and shop around for a good price. When you’ve finished with all of this, make your way over to Ploen Ruedee Night Market to have a couple of cold Changs and watch the entertainment.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Day 2 in Chiang Mai

Morning – Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Perched high on top of the mountain is a temple with the most incredible views. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is simply one of a kind. It’s one of Northern Thailand’s most sacred temples and something that cannot be missed when in Chiang Mai. Popular legend says that the shoulder bone of Buddha is said to be buried here after being carried up the mountain by an elephant and this spot is now where the temple stands.

When you first arrive at the base of the temple you’ll see lots of souvenir stalls which is the start of the 306 steps up to the temple entrance. The staircase is guarded by beautiful jewelled Naga and it’s a great spot to get some photos. When you reach the top you will need to buy a ticket to enter and then you can go through.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

The complex is pretty big so you should allow for a good couple of hours exploring. You will be given a map when you arrive so it’s easy to visit all the different areas. The main temple is incredible and always busy with both visitors and people praying and the views over Chiang Mai from up here are fantastic.

If you’re feeling a little worn out then why not catch the cable car down and take in the last of the views along the way?

How to get to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

For the cheapest and most fun way to get to this temple, I recommend taking a public Songthaew. Head to the bus stop just outside the North Gate and speak to the drivers there. It can be a bit of a waiting game as they only leave when there are 8-10 passengers ready to go but that’s all part of it. You can also try and negotiate a price with the number of people available as well.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Afternoon – Saturday night market

Every Saturday, Chaing Mai’s walking street comes to life from about 4 pm and takes over Wualia road in the Old City. This market is smaller than the Sunday night market but still a fantastic thing to explore. A huge variety of stalls set up here so if you’re looking for something, you’re bound to find it. The easiest way to reach it is to walk 10-15 minutes from the Pae Gate or catch a tuk-tuk to the south side of Old City.

Evening – North Gate

I would usually recommend eating at markets as the street food in Chiang Mai is out of this world, but tonight you should escape the hustle and bustle and make you’re way outside the North Gate. Just across the moat you’ll see a little cluster of food stalls and a whole load of people tucking in. This is where you need to go. The famous cowboy lady serving up the most tender pork and rice is here, as well as stalls making fragrant curries, delicious mango sticky rice, roti and deep fried everything. It’s all delicious, really cheap and where not only tourists but also locals go for food.

After you’ve made your way around all the street food, it’s time for something a bit different and perhaps unexpected for Thailand. Just back inside the North Gate, you’ll find the North Gate Jazz Co-Op. That’s right, a live jazz venue! This little gem of a spot will most likely be packed out but in a good way, full of people having a couple of drinks and really enjoying the music.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Day 3 in Chiang Mai

Morning – massage

It’s been a busy couple of days in Chaing Mai, so it’s about time to get a little R&R. Thailand is known for its massages but here in Chiang Mai, they have gone a step further. The city is the location of a female prison and one of the programmes they offer is for the women to train and practice massage as a way of helping them integrate into society. The Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution Vocational Training Center is a great place to go to if you’ve been craving a massage and want a bit of a different experience. The treatment rooms look the same as normal treatment rooms but there will be a guard there just to keep a watch over things. It may seem a little daunting to be going into a prison but personally, I love the mission behind the programme and feel it’s a great way to help the inmates.

Afternoon – Shopping

Chaing Mai is fast becoming a haven for independent boutiques so if you’re looking for something unique to take home then Chaing Mai is a great place to shop. You will find them as you meander down the many roads inside the Old City but one area that is attracting more independent stalls is Nimmanhaemin Road, to the west of the Old City. It has more of a hipster vibe and you’ll find some great items of clothes, shoes and trinkets to take away with you.

Planning a trip to Chiang Mai and don't know where to start? I've got you covered! In my 3 day Chaing Mai itinerary I'll take you through everything you need to know about how to get to Chaing Mai, how to get around Chiang Mai and my ultimate itinerary for exploring Chiang Mai in 3 days. Click here to read it all! #chiangmai #chaingmaithailnd #chaignmaiitinerary #chaingmaiguide #3daysinchiangmai #norththailand

Evening – Sunday Night Market

The Sunday night market is the big sister to the Saturday one. This one stretches across the centre of the Old City so it’s absolutely massive. You’ll find arts, crafts, handmade goods, souvenirs, musicians and plenty of food. The market does get busy but there is a steady flow that allows you to stop when you want and carry on again easily.

What I love most about the street food at markets is that you can try a little bit of a lot of things and really get a taste for all the dishes Thailand has to offer. Tuck into whatever takes your fancy and enjoy watching it be cooked right in front of you. No matter which branch of the market you turn down you’ll easily find something fantastic being cooked up.

Khao Soi.jpg Night market.jpg Sunday walking street food.jpg

Phew, well that’s what to do in Chiang Mai in 3 days all wrapped up! I hope Chiang Mai is a place you grow to love as much as I do! 

If you’re planning a trip to here, which part are you most looking forward to? The culture? Temples? Eating your body weight in delicious Khao Soi? Don’t forget about the Nutella Roti though… those things are what dreams are made of!

By the way, if you’re planning on hopping around more of Thailand, take a look at my other guides that I think will be great for you. Happy Thai travels!

2 Comments

  1. Hi Laura,

    What a brilliant informative guide this is! We are visiting Thailand next year and I can’t wait to follow some of this info you’ve provided! I must say I’m intrigued to try the overnight trains, I can’t imagine how one gets any sleep but I can’t wait to test them! I can’t wait to embrace myself in the culture and visit the ancient temples! The food equally looks delicious, thank you for this guide, I’ll definitely be saving it to refer back to nearer our visit hopefully in 2020!

    Alicia

    • Thanks so much Alicia! Honestly, you’re going to love it. It’s a breath of fresh air from busy places like Bangkok. The night train is great and I actually get some sleep haha. Have an amazing trip next year and let me know if you want any more tips!

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