We went on a trip in December 2017 to discover great places that would satisfy our appetite for real, authentic and romantic experiences in Thailand…
And Lampang and Lamphun was the answer.
Quiet, quaint and very local, Lampang and Lamphun are 2 neighbouring provinces to Chiang Mai that offers many one-of-a-kind experiences. (Lampang is a mere 1.5 hours drive from Chiang Mai, while Lamphun is 41mins drive from Chiang Mai.)
It’s a truly lovely travel destination for adventurous couples looking for the next unique and offbeat location to explore – coupled with tons of beautiful sights, great food, and lovely stays.
To make full use of your vacation time and to enjoy the best of both worlds, we highly recommend combining a visit to Lampang & Lamphun, with a visit to Chiang Mai!
PS: Make travel easy and convenient with Klook services like airport transfers, private car charter, city-to-city transfers – or even enjoy a custom Lampang or Lamphun tour!
This itinerary will cover the best of Chiang Mai, Lampang & Lamphun within 5 days
Getting there and around
From Singapore, Scoot Tiger Air and SilkAir offers direct flights to Chiang Mai (CNX) from SGD $295 (round-trip).
From Malaysia, AirAsia offers direct flights from MYR 569 (round-trip).
How to get around Chiang Mai, Lampang & Lamphun?
To fully enjoy Chiang Mai, Lampang & Lamphun, you should definitely look into hiring a car to get around. Whether you would rather have a private chartered car or prefer driving around yourself (only if you’re confident on foreign and mountainous roads) – getting around can be simple!
a. Private car with driver (From SGD $58.85 / approx. 1400 Baht for per day)
Klook makes it simple with this competitive service that not only includes a private chartered car service that’s affordable, it comes with a local driver that’ll help with your itinerary while making getting around extremely convenient and comfortable.
b. Car rental without driver (From SGD $46 / approx. 1127 Baht per day)
If you enjoy driving around personally and are confident on unfamiliar roads, you might want to consider renting a car from Europcar Thailand, or Sixt. It’s tried and tested! (Prices vary depending on the car model chosen.)
c. Airport and City Transfers (From SGD $12 / approx. 288 Baht)
If you’re not keen on hiring a car to get around and only require a private airport transfer, city transfer or even custom Lampang or Lamphun tour – the simplest way to do it would be via Klook.
PS: You’ll also need a local Sim Card to get around, whether it’s to use Google Maps for directions, or to Instagram your holiday away! (From SGD $6.30 / approx. 148 Baht)
Enjoy a romantic wintery night & a good ol’ night market stroll + shopping – Chiangmai > Lampang
The most affordable flight to Chiang Mai is Scoot (from SGD $295 for a round trip), and you’ll reach Chiang Mai at 4.15pm.
Once you’ve reached Chiang Mai, you’ll likely be hungry and we highly recommend grabbing some food at the airport, before heading to Lampang.
PS: We recommend planning to arrive in Chiang Mai on a Friday, so you can check out the weekend activities in Lampang. (This itinerary is planned starting from arrival on a Friday.)
Take it easy and check into your stay to put down the bags, and get refreshed with a quick wash up before heading to the night market!
We stayed here ourselves, and the rooms are pretty standard, modern without any excessive furnishings.
It was an extremely comfortable sleep, and we got a pretty good view out from our balconies, making the door frame look like an oversized painting. In the mornings, you might even catch the soft morning mist over the fields.
This is a warm family-run hotel that is a 3-storey building with no elevator.
It is a little more out of the way, so you may require a taxi or a rented car. They have a car park right in front of the hotel so it’s pretty perfect for roadtrippers.
PS: Breakfast was lovely, and the hotel owners were very welcoming!
It’s a Friday affair of arts, culture and food! – Tha Mai Lampang Cultural Road (ถนนสายวัฒนธรรม ท่ามะโอ)
The flurry of activity on the streets will have you reeling from wonder.
From performances to the lights and wares of the market, you’ll be that starry-eyed travelling couple taking it all in – your first Thai night market of the trip!
Dig into local snacks you can’t find elsewhere and indulge the the culture of the locals, untouched by tourism or commercialisation. This, as one visitor gushed, is the real Thailand.
Photo Via Superutz
Once you’re done at the night market, head back for a good night’s rest – and don’t forget to enjoy the lovely night views and chilly winter temperatures from your stay! There’s nothing quite like a romantic winter night in. 😛
Visit the magical sky temple, enjoy a Dragon Kiln tour & more night market shopping – Lampang
Fill up on the delicious breakfast buffet at Lampang Vintage before heading out by 9am!
Note: Klook’s Chiang Mai car charter can bring you to Lampang, inclusive of additional surcharges – you can also choose to book a dedicated 1-day Lampang car charter. Whichever you choose, travelling around will be extremely convenient – especially since you’ll be able to leave your shopping and baggage on the car when you head out to explore!
Temples dotting the mountain, making for a magical view – Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn (2 hrs)
Have a romantic hike to this magical temple in the sky where you can take in the mythical views. (The hike is not hard, and there were even kids and a pregnant lady on the trail when we were there.)
Ring the gongs for good luck, or just drink in the views and dedication of those who built the temples. Make sure you take a few snaps before leaving, to commemorate your time at this Studio Ghibli-worthy temple in the sky!
Photo Via Storyofsage
If you’re anything like the couples we know, you’ll love a good foodie adventure. So when in Lampang, you’ve gotta try what Thais from all over the country come here to eat!
Dig into the local favourite, Khao Soi, the Northern Thai-style Chicken Curry – this is recommended.
If you’re not feeling like noodles however, there are other dishes on the menu too.
Photo Via Niceittisoonthon
Have a fun cultural tour around this museum (and shop too!) – Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum, พิพิธภัณฑ์เซรามิคธนบดี (1 hr)
From exploring the generations’ old Dragon Kiln, to buying travel memorabilia in the form of practical homewares, Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum is a must-go.
Originally founded by a family who immigrated from China, the art has been handed down generations… And you can be a part of it too!
Pick up one of these bowls whose ancient designs have lasted the test of time – or try your hand at painting one Chicken bowl of your very own. Stroll through the museum to see the history of the Chicken bowl and Dhanabadee, and watch the artists at work too.
Our friends (husband+wife) even bought a huge Chicken Bowl basin that they’ve since installed in their master bedroom toilet at home!
The prices are actually really good, and these are all handmade.
Photo Via TripCanvas
Take a sweet break (literally) and have another small foodie adventure. Pronounced ‘cow than’, this is a local sweet that is popular in Chiang Mai but originated from here.
Watch the desserts being made – these candies/crackers are a mixture of watermelon juice, peanuts, raisins, palm sugar, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and sesame seeds.
It’s an interesting mix of flavours and you guys should definitely buy some for your family and friends back home.
Photo Via Bushaustin
Vintage, art, culture and shopping lovers will love this – Kad Kunta Walking Street, กาดกองต้า ถนนคนเดิน (2-3 hrs)
Enjoy dinner and shopping as you have a romantic stroll through the lovely Kad Kunta Walking Street.
Speaking from experience, this market is just as large and has as many things as the one in Chiang Mai, but it’s quieter with hardly any crowds compared to the ones in Chiang Mai, and lower prices. (This is one out of many reasons we recommend exploring Lampang and Lamphun before heading to Chiang Mai.)
There are different kinds of local food for you to sample, like this turnip cake in a bowl. You will also be able to pick up one of those Chicken bowls that Lampang is famous for here.
You will see an interesting blend of Thai, Myanmar, Chinese and European architecture and people. A Chinese tribesman playing native music, a Caucasian and his puppet.
Note: As this night market is quite huge, you’ll be able to spend 2-3 hours simply on walking and shopping alone. We recommend taking your time to explore the market’s roads before heading back for a good night’s rest!
Explore tribal culture, terracotta art, beautiful farm dining and night markets! – Lampang > Lamphun > Chiang Mai
Don’t miss out on your last breakfast buffet at Lampang Vintage (it’s so simple but so good) before heading out by 9am! You’ll spend most of today exploring Lamphun before heading back to Chiang Mai for dinner.
Also make sure to get some snacks from 7-11 for the road, before making your way to Baan Huay Hom as you’ll be having a slightly late lunch.
Note: Klook’s Chiang Mai car charter covers places in Lamphun (with an additional surcharge) too. You also have the option of utilising their 1-day Lamphun car charter. Feel free to leave your snacks, shopping and baggage in the car when you explore various places, its one of our favourite things about travelling via car charter!
You have to experience something of the local tribes before heading back to Chiang Mai. If you’re looking to treat your partner to something special, you can get each other some fine silver jewelry handmade by the locals here!
At Baan Huay Hom, take a peek behind the scenes at how the tribes-people weave their wares, and craft their silver at this locally-known secret tucked away in Lamphun. It’s also humbling to see how the local people live.
Find yourself something handwoven as a souvenir, and take your pick from wallets, sarongs, bags and many more at Baan Huay Hom.
Photo Via Triptravelgang
Indulge in this unique traditional noodles for lunch – Longan Noodles, ร้านก๋วยเตี๋ยวลำไย เวียงยอง จ.ลำพูน (1.5 hrs)
We tried this local dish and it remained one of our favourite dishes throughout the entire 3 week trip in Thailand! You simply MUST try it.
It’s basically braised pork noodles with longan noodles in the soup, and here’s a couple challenge for you – You’ll love it so much, you’ll want to try recreating it back home in your own kitchen!
With a rich and flavourful pork broth, the longan added not only sweetens but made the soup more complex with different notes hitting your palate. There are dimsum and other desserts here too.
PS: When you’re done with your meal, you can hop on down the road to a cute shopping street (Bridge Market) not even five minutes away. (We bought curtains, peasant tops and other small trinkets here.)
Established years ago in 1982, you might feel like you’ve wandered into a lost world, frozen in time, but it is in fact an exhibition and factory all at the same time.
Have a drink in the shade or take a stroll around the garden filled with clay wonders. You might even be able to catch a sculptor in the act of creating his next masterpiece.
The terracotta statues displayed in their sister-shop in Clay Studio Coffee In the Garden, Chiang Mai, all originates from here.
Photo Via Philippe Monin
Now that you’re back in Chiang Mai, it’s time to have dinner, and there’s no better place than Ohkajhu Organic Farm. Huge tasty portions, organically produced fruits and vegetables from their farm – and harmonious dishes where flavours blend exquisitely.
You guys might want to take notes of certain juice recipes on the menu, to recreate them back home when you miss your sweet moments in Chiang Mai/Rai!
Not to mention, there’s a glittering view of the farm too!
Photo Via TripCanvas
Make sure you’re around for one weekend to check out Chiang Mai’s famous walking streets. Whether it’s Wualai on Saturday, or Thapae on Sunday – both will give you tons to discover.
Also make full use of the affordable massage services available at the markets! You two will go home full with new experiences, and feeling fully relaxed!
PS: Free Gua sha services available at Wualai Walking Street. TRUE STORY, I had really bad back pains throughout our trip, but that Gua sha Master really helped with it. Of course, it’d be good to remunerate them with a sum you feel good about after.
Photo Via TripCanvas
From the nostalgic tiles to the impeccable design touches running through the hotel/bed and breakfast, you know that Sridonchai is something special.
Recently opened by a family, everything is new, and oozes old time elegance at a truly affordable rate. Perfect for the couple with a discerning eye for unique stays to make beautiful memories at.
Climb a sticky waterfall, soak in hotsprings, and have a food adventure – Chiang Mai
Get your day started and enjoy breakfast together amidst the blooms at the hillside Galae Restaurant. With a photo-worthy floral backdrop accompanying your romantic meal, it’s a lovely place to start your day at. Don’t forget to snap some selfies together!
Photo Via Swimut
Ever thought you’d get to climb a waterfall? We didn’t either. It’s easier than it looks since the rocks are really quite ‘sticky’, due to naturally occurring sediment that has given the rocks its ‘sticky’ texture.
It’ll be like you two are kids again, having some unexpectedly fun bonding moments at this interesting waterfall! (In case you’re worried, it’s not challenging at all, even kids are able to climb up and down this waterfall, FYI.)
Photo Via Mercedesmsantana
After the past few days of adventure and travel, I’m sure you’ll be feeling slightly tired by now…We highly recommend indulging in a hot spring soak (at least a foot soak!) to rejuvenate you.
We bought a basket of eggs (comes with soy sauce) to cook in the hotsprings, and some Burmese pumice stones that were on sale near the entrance, and had an enjoyable and really relaxing time. #highlyrecommend!
Editor’s Note: This was towards the tail end of our month long trip and we were quite travel weary. The hotspring foot soak did wonders for our tired feet!
Photo Via TripCanvas
On the way back to central Chiang Mai, you’ll stumble into this cute strawberry farm with its colourful umbrellas and straw haystacks to sit on.
Take a sweet break, and munch into the sweetest strawberries ever, while taking photos with the quaint backdrop. There’s concentrated strawberry juice and preserved strawberries (quite delicious!) available too.
Photo Via TripCanvas
Before you leave Chiang Mai, you need to try authentic Northern Thailand cuisine. At Huen Muan Jai Chiang, you’ll be able to taste just how spicy Northern Thai food can get.
Our absolute favourite was their Red Pork Curry, followed by the Khao Soi. Both are must-try local dishes wherever you are in Northern Thailand.
PS: If you’re feeling adventurous and really want to challenge each other, try the sampler dish! Fried pork skin, red pork curry, famous Northern Thai sausages (delicious too by the way)…. And the best? An innocent looking bowl of green seeded slime that’s really, really spicy (said by an Indian – someone who handle really spicy food – apparently not anymore).
Photo Via Dr.yok, _praew.w_
Take your own sweet time to walk, talk and shop the night away – Night Bazaar, Anusarn Market (2-4 hrs)
Ceramics for your home, artworks, cheap massages (150 baht for 1 hour full body massage) and so much more. Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar / Anusarn Market area has a lot to offer, and they’re both in the vicinity – walkable distance from each other.
All you two lovebirds need to do is to explore the area and choose what you’d like to do. Shop, massage or supper!
Photo Via TripCanvas
Once you’re done shopping and exploring, head back to the hotel for your last night in Chiang Mai!
End it with colourful cuisine, fun discoveries and a mermaid lagoon – Chiang Mai > Home
The earliest and most affordable Scoot flight from Chiang Mai is at 4.55pm. This means you do have a few hours to make the most of your remaining time in Chiang Mai before heading to the airport!
Walking into this restaurant feels a little like you’re walking into a mysterious jungle cafe, with it’s gorgeous natural settings. It’s perfect for your first lunch date in Chiang Mai!
Applying traditional Thai colouring to different types of rice, and using colourful fruits and vegetables in the menu – the food is both delicious, and highly instagrammable.
Photo Via Khun_ying_cocos, Witchong_
Nimmanhaemin Road is famous for its cafes, boutique shops and fun discoveries. Strolling around this area is something relaxing to do, with different discoveries waiting.
If you’re looking to shop, Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center might interest you with its plethora of shops ranging from affordable boutiques to designer Thai brands.
Otherwise, a slightly quirkier non-shopping option might be the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders! It’s a quaint and unique private museum filled with natural discoveries that’ll intrigue most.
Photo Via TripCanvas
PS: Not keen on shopping? How about indulging in one last massage before you leave the land of good and incredibly affordable massages? If you’re not too sure which massage place to head to… Let’s Relax Spa is well known and recommended for their consistent quality massage treatments. (From SGD $23 / 550 Baht for 1 hour Thai Massage via Klook!)
Photo Via Wiliamchen2018, Kao_funkyp
If you’re looking for a place to have lunch at, or possibly a late lunch before you fly, head over to Chom Cafe.
It looks like the real life version of Peter Pan’s mermaid lagoon. What could be more romantic than ending your trip by dining in an evergreen Disney film right?