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Written by Veronica Law
Edited by Dawn Pillay

If you’re wondering where you can find amazing sights, but you don’t want to stray too far from the comforts of Chiang Mai – here’s a great idea: take day or weekend trips from Chiang Mai!

You can rent a car and see where the road takes you or better yet…

You can take a look at what we’ve found and it may inspire you to finally get off the beaten path and forge your own way.

Read more:

19 Things to do in Lampang and Lamphun, 1.5 hours from Chiang Mai

25 Unique things to do in and around Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

16 Adventurous, cultural, and artistic things to do in and around Chiang Mai

19 Restaurants in Chiang Mai with amazing views you need to visit

11 Must-try local food in Chiang Mai

Sponsored by Klook

Adventures Made Simple with Different Day/Weekend Trips! – Klook

We’ve personally tried Klook’s tours, and DIY itinerary with a private car and driver, and it’s both convenient and value-for-money!

Planning an itinerary from scratch, and researching travel options can be tedious and time-consuming.

Thankfully, Klook’s tours complete with a private chartered car and driver makes travelling simple – and they’re available for different day and weekend trip destinations from Chiang Mai.

If you’re looking to adventure your way through Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and even our favourite Lampang & Lamphun’s hidden gems… Klook-ing your way there would make your holiday more convenient and even sweeter.

With a car and driver picking us up at the hotel, bringing us from place to place, and finally dropping us off at the hotel at the end of the day – it’s a fun and truly fuss-free way to explore destinations.

Find out more Klook

 

Just for our dear readers, get 8% OFF any first-time bookings (capped at S$15). Simply apply the promo code ‘TRIPCANVASTH’ when you check out!

How to get around Northern Thailand

(Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, and Chiang Rai)

Of all the potential day or weekend trip destinations from Chiang Mai, we highly recommend Lampang, Lamphun, and Chiang Rai for starters.

To fully enjoy these places, 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. Klook’s DIY itinerary with private car with driver (From SGD $58 / approx. 1387 Baht per day)

Klook makes it simple with this competitive service that not only includes a private chartered car service that’s affordable… It also comes with a local driver that’ll help with your itinerary, while making getting around extremely convenient and comfortable.

(Taxis can be very expensive, charging up to 500 Baht per one-way trip or more, and travellers might encounter dishonest taxi drivers. With Klook’s DIY itineraries, you can avoid going to all that trouble!)

b. Car rental without driver (From SGD $46.70 / approx. 1091 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. It’s tried and tested! (Prices vary depending on the car model chosen.)

c. Airport and City Transfers (From SGD $12.50 / approx. 299 Baht)

If you’re not keen on hiring a car to get around and only require an airport transfer, or city transfer, the simplest way to do it would be via Klook.

PS: Don’t forget to pick up a local SIM Card (SGD $6.20 / 148 Baht on Klook!) for you to stay connected as you travel around!

 

1. Mae Kampong แม่กำปอง

There’s a special kind of magic here

Logic-defying science and breath-stealing views. This sleepy little town has proven that there is way more than meets the eye.

A rustic collection of wooden cottages gives you access to Mae Kampong Waterfall, a 15 minute walk away.

Filled with that small village charm and wonder you won’t find in cities or towns.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 6 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private chartered car with driver. You can now book online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $58 / 1387 Baht.

a. Have lunch up in an elaborate treehouse – Giant Chiang Mai

Most people (even the locals) go to this cafe in a tree for the views and design, not so much the food. So, don’t be too disappointed when you chow down.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

But it is a great place to chill at, especially in the winter months of Nov to Feb, when the weather is nice and cool.

Photo Via Paikondieow

Giant Chiang Mai

Price: From 70 Baht / USD $2.20
Address: หมู่บ้าน บ้านป๊อก ห้วยแก้ว แม่ออน Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50130, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hourr 16 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 86 776 2946
Opening hours: Tues – Sun from 8:30am to 5pm (Closed on Mondays)


b. Relieve your muscles with some hot water – Sankampang Hot Spring น้ำพุร้อนสันกำแพง

If you’re an egg lover, rejoice because you’re about to have some eggs boiled by hot springs.

You will be spoilt for choice by the numerous hotspring pools available for swimming, or boiling the eggs, or for those who simply want to soak their feet.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

Those after a massage can go to their massage center, but we find that a walk about the park-like resort is relaxing too.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

Sankampang Hot Spring น้ำพุร้อนสันกำแพง

Price: From 20 Baht / USD $0.60 for a basket of 3 eggs
Address: Ban Sa Ha Khon, Mae On District, Chiang Mai 50130, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 48 mins drive (Suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 53 037 101
Opening hours: Daily, 7am to 6pm

Website

c. Special Mention: Nicknamed ‘Sticky Waterfalls’, really something you need to experience for yourself! – Bua Thong Waterfall

We’re including this as a special mention as its not exactly located in Mae Kampoeng, but it’s close enough to be included in a day-trip to the area.

This unique waterfall is a little unnerving – walking up a waterfall because everything about the act screams wrong. Although clear water runs over the rocks, it isn’t slippery at all. Unless you come across of patch of algae, then you should steer clear.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

Other than that, enjoy your trek and make sure to take pictures to show your disbelieving friends

Bua Thong Waterfall

Price: Free!
Address: หมู่ที่ 8 ตำบล แม่หอพระ อำเภอ แม่แตง เชียงใหม่ 50150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 20 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 92 608 6647
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

Website

2. Mae Hong Son

There’s a Chinese village of surprises and a blade that meets the sky

Tucked away by the border, there is a settlement of Chinese that has made a little spot in Mae Hong Son theirs. It is not ideal for a day trip, so be prepared to stay one night or two to properly appreciate the quaint beauty of Mae Hong Son.

Walled in by mountains, it is protected from outside influence and makes for some truly exotic views.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 5 hours 15 min drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)

TRIPCANVAS TIP

Getting there & around: We highly recommend getting a private chartered car with an experienced local driver, as the mountainous roads to Pai & Mae Hong Son can be steep and treacherous. You can now book this private chartered car with driver online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $166.70 / 3987 Baht.

a. Have a $1 bowl of noodles with a million dollar view – Ban Ja Bo Village

One of the top places to see a sea of clouds. Not only will you be greeted by welcoming villagers with a hot bowl of noodles for just a dollar, you will have the best seat in the house.

Photo Via Haekheetiew
Photo Via Nava21, Jib_jibpyjib

Sitting over the ledge as the clouds settle is one of the most magical experiences one can have in their life. Even without the clouds, there’s nothing less breathtaking being so high up.

Ban Ja Bo Village

Price: From 30 Baht / USD $1
Address: Pang Mapha, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 4 hours 17 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, from 7.30am to 4pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

b. Is this China’s Yunnan? Nope, it’s still Thailand! – Baan Rai Thai

Filled with a thousand or so Chinese and Chinese-Thai villagers, you can see their culture seeping into the architecture and signboards. Furthermore, they are becoming increasingly famous for their Oolong tea, a Chinese speciality.

Photo Via Iam_superjack, Beebie_patarin, Boumiisassy
Photo Via Ellyredhead, Folkap, Keangs9

Baan Rai Thai

Address: Moo 6 Tambon Mog Jum Pae, Amphur Muang, Mae Hong Son, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 5 hours 46 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)

c. Take a cruise down a cavernous bat cave – Nam Lod Cave

It’s over 2000 years old and while there’s definitely bats on the ceilings, you won’t be able to see them since it’s such a long way up!

Photo Via Jkilla08

Here’s a little secret though: the river’s not at all that deep… But would you really dare to step into the dark water?

Photo Via John Spies

Note: If you’re interested in checking this out, we highly recommend making it a weekend trip instead.

Nam Lod Cave

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $9.45
Address: Tham Lot, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 4 hr 11 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

Website

3. Lampang

A mythical place of wondrous things like a temple in the sky

Find hidden treasures up in the mountains and be greeted with sights you never thought possible. That is the magic of Lampang.

There is always something surprising waiting just around the corner, like those chicken ceramic bowls!

Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 30 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private car charter with an experienced local driver. You can book this online now with Klook – starting rate from SGD $114.65 / 2742 Baht.

TRIPCANVAS TIP

To make the most of your trip, do a combined weekend trip to both Lampang and Lamphun!

a. If you haven’t heard of this heavenly site, you gotta get out from under your rock – Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn

Poking out of mountaintops are distinguishable Thai Chedis and white domes of the temple.

Photo Via TripCanvas
Photo Via TripCanvas

Aside from the stunning views, I’m sure it must feel splendid worshipping so far removed from civilization and that high up in the skies.

Don’t forget to ring the gongs for good luck!

Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn

Price: The entrance fee is 200 Baht. In addition to this, it will cost USD $2.80 / approx. 100 Baht for a round trip tuk-tuk ride from the first to the second level. There is no transportation provided between the second and third level; you will need to climb on your own.
Address: Thung Tong Village, Wichet Nakhon, Chae Hom District, Lampang (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hr and 30 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

b. Eh? Fancy seeing you here – Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum พิพิธภัณฑ์เซรามิคธนบดี

Chicken ceramic bowls are pretty synonymous with traditional Chinese grandmothers, but they have made their mark in Thailand, specifically in Lampang.

Photo Via TripCanvas

You can participate by painting your own bowl and bringing it home.

Photo Via TripCanvas

One of our editors currently has this monster installed in her bathroom!

PS: There are other gorgeous ceramic products available that’ll make beautiful additions to your home. This editor bought at least 4 pieces alone!

Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum พิพิธภัณฑ์เซรามิคธนบดี

Price: From 100 Baht / USD $3 (for entry to the museum)
Address: 32 ถนนวัดจองคำ พระบาท ซอย 1 ต.พระบาท Amphoe Mueang Lampang, Chang Wat Lampang 52000, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hr 31 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 54 354 011
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 8.30AM to 5.30PM (Closed on Mondays)

Website

c. Cenotes don’t just exist in Mexico, y’know – Lom Poo Keaw หล่มภูเขียว

What’s a cenote you ask? An inspiring sight you can only find in nature. A crater of clear emerald waters and filled with catfish. It is a beautiful spot, especially surrounded by a tropical forest.

Photo Via Mixrinho

The only downside? The lake is considered sacred, therefore, no swimming or fishing is allowed.

Lom Poo Keaw หล่มภูเขียว

Price: Free!
Address: Ban On, Ngao District, Lampang 52110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours 5 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 54 380 593
Opening hours: 24/7

Website

d. Running whites and yolks cooked to the core at hotsprings – Chae Son National Park

Now that’s something you don’t see every day. The hot springs are able to cook the eggs inside out (onsen eggs!) – and you’ll get to taste this rare delicacy by getting yourself a basket of eggs and letting them sit for fifteen minutes.

Photo Via Neeranut.linlin, Stellabee42, Teerawut_to

The park is rather well maintained, keeping to its natural form and not brimming with man made structures.

Chae Son National Park

Price: From 200 Baht / USD $6 for foreigners
Address: ตำบลวังเงิน อำเภอ เมืองลำปาง Lampang 52000, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hours 15 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 93 137 5533
Opening hours: Shops open from 8AM to 5PM

Website

e. Sail away from all your worries – Kiu Lom Dam

You could literally do exactly that on the reservoir and stay overnight, by all means! But if you’re only looking for a quick escape, we suggest that you make enough time so you can explore the area for at least half a day.

Photo Via O_reeo-Lp, Pangpond Nisakorn, ต่าย-วนันต์ภัทร

There are little fishing pockets and restaurants to check out, amongst other finds.

Kiu Lom Dam

Price: Rafts from 500 Baht / USD $16
Address: Mueang Lampang District, Lampang, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hr 6 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Opening hours: Daily, 6AM to 6PM

4. Doi Inthanon National Park

Majestic falls and the tallest peaks at the ‘Roof of Thailand’

A national park worth an overnight stay. It’s got 362 different species of birds in this park alone.

There is nothing comparable to the rays of the morning as it breaks over the horizon, especially at the ‘Roof of Thailand’. It’s the highest peak in Thailand and is a steady 2.5 kilometre away from the main road.

If you intend to camp out, make sure you get the details from the headquarters before embarking on your adventure.

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $4.20 for foreigners

Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hours 11 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

TRIPCANVAS TIP

Getting there & around: We highly recommend getting a private chartered car with an experienced local driver, as the mountainous roads to Doi Inthanon National Park can be steep and treacherous. You can now book this private chartered car with driver online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $54.19 / 1296 Baht.

Contact: +66 53 286 730

Opening hours: Daily from 5.30am to 6.30pm

a. OMG did we just step through a portal to Taiwan? – The Sheep’s Farm

That’s what many people think, but no, you’re still in Thailand.

Although, there really are many places in The Land of Smiles that resemble the mountainous areas of Taiwan, especially in winter. Click here for another example!

At this farm, you can roam with the sheep and here’s a little fact about them that freaks me out: they have square irises, just like octopuses and their goat cousins.

Photo Via Niiiyapa_nk, Yompthailand

The Sheep’s Farm

Address: Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 46 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

b. Have yourself a caffeinated duck – Royal Project Inthanon

Another one of their signature dishes being their trout steak with salsa. Both said to be the best and not to be missed.

They also have Thai dishes that are more common.

Pair that with the beautiful boldly coloured blooms with the cool breezes, and you’ve got yourself a winning lunch!

Photo Via Dolruedee_me, I3abyi3reath, Janjira_k1984

Royal Project Inthanon

Price: From 200 Baht / USD $6.30
Address: Unnamed Rd, Tambon Ban Luang, Amphoe Chom Thong, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 39 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 53 286 777
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 9pm

c. Unbelievable views, especially in the summer months – Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri

When the skies are clear of mist, the sights are truly extraordinary. However, even if you’re around in winter, it doesn’t mean you should give it a pass unless it is extremely foggy.

With clear views, you’re not missing anything, because you’ll able to see the glorious pagodas erected in celebration of the 60th birthdays of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama 9) and Queen Sirikit.

Photo Via Magnifiquepics, Marcsar

Phra Mahathat Naphapholphumisiri

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.30
Address: Chang Khoeng, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 53 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 80 924 5459
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

Website

d. Everybody falls for waterfalls – Wachirathan Falls, Mae Ya Waterfall, Mae Pan Waterfall

Wachirathan Falls is made up of multiple tiers that go up to 60 meters. In the dry season, you could walk into the waterfall, making for an interesting shot. (Coordinates here)

Mae Ya Waterfall are beautiful cascading falls that stands at 250 meters high. But what I love about it is the BBQ chicken with sticky rice that you can get right there! (Coordinates here)

Photo Via Afairey, Kd0z13, Patoss

Mae Pan Waterfall features a beautiful double waterfall, reachable only through a short 500 meter hike. Quite underrated as the trek can be rather dangerous for those inexperienced with hiking. (Coordinates here)

Doi Inthanon National Park (Wachirathan Falls, Mae Ya Waterfall, Mae Pan Waterfall)

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $4.20 for foreigners
Address: บ้านหลวง ซอย2 Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hours 11 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 53 286 730
Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm

5. Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai’s little brother with so much heart to offer

The best part about being neighbours with a large city like Chiang Mai, is that Chiang Rai remains relatively unspoilt by tourism. Bordering on Myanmar, it borrows and lends some of its architectural designs and cultures.

You can find most of the hill tribes in Chiang Rai: Karen, Palong, Akha, Yao/Mien, Lahu, Lisu, Hmong up in the mountains.

It also has its own charms that makes it a destination that should not be missed, especially by those culturally inclined.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours 18 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private chartered car with driver. You can now book online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $258.39 / 6181 Baht.

a. Have some matcha snacks at this glorified cafe – Choui Fong Tea Plantation

A modern cafe sitting atop a large tea plantation, with a gift shop on the side stocked with many tea products.

Photo Via Choui fong tea fb

TripCanvas Tip: If you’re buying tea to bring back home, we highly recommend their unexpectedly fragrant Oolong Osmanthus Tea. Delicious!

The matcha cakes are said to be unrivaled. If you’re looking for tours and to learn more about how teas are produced, they would be more than happy to accommodate.

Photo Via Anny_kiat88, Ds_thunder, TripCanvas, Achara_lek

Choui Fong Tea Plantation

Price: From 100 Baht / USD $3.15
Address: Mae Chan, Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai 57110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 4 hours 11 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: +66 53 771 563
Opening hours: Daily from 8:30am to 5:30pm

Website

b. A highland treasure of cherry blossoms and tranquility – Doi Pha Tang

More suitable as a weekend or two-day trip as it’s quite a ways from Chiang Mai. However, vegans and nature lovers will find it an amazing escape from the heat. Plus, you can camp out under the stars!

Photo Via Khunnaimai, Bee_prueksa

Apricots, plums, peaches, cherries, and Chinese pears are bountiful up in the mountains as they thrive in the colder climate.

Photo Via Monthon, Wachirasettakulflicker, Romain, Thomtham

Cherry blossoms also bloom between Dec and Jan. If you’re hoping to trick your friends, there’s also a ledge similar to Brazil’s Pedra da Gavea.

Doi Pha Tang

Address: Chiang Kreat, Thoeng District Chiang Rai 57230 (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 5 hours 33 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: +(66) 53 717 433, +(66) 53 744 6745
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

c. Have an intimate moment with the Akha tribe – Baan Huay Kee Lek

Being removed from easy access, the Akha tribe has maintained their traditional ways and is not as commercialised as certain tribes have become.

You can observe their peaceful way of life and break bread with them for lunch. Or, join their homestay where you will be treated to an inside look into their lives of caring for cattle, livestock and agriculture.

Photo Via Neunhundertsiebenundneunzig, Tiger_oma

Baan Huay Kee Lek

Address: Soi 2 72 Moo 8 Ban Hua Rin, Mae Phrik, Mae Suai District, Chiang Rai 57180, Thailand (Coordinates here) – this location will guide you to the Huay Kee Lek Tourism Club
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours 28 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: +66 (0) 5385-1478 Ext. 7261; +668 1111 4871

Website

d. An exotic blue and gold temple looks like it rose from the watery depths… – Wat Rong Suea Ten

… of Atlantis. Is it a mermaid cave or Thai temple?

The blue hue is mesmerising and the temple is decorated with statues of dragons and other deities and gods.

Photo Via Ta9ya_10

Its intricate designs will capture the eyes, but it is the incredible use of color and imagination that will burn it into your memories.

Photo Via Joseepilon23, Dresssidestory, Geraldin

Wat Rong Suea Ten

Price: Free
Address: Tambon Rimkok, Amphoe Muang Chiang Rai, Changwat Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours 22 mins drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: +66 82 026 9038
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 7pm

e. It’s a house of alternative art – Baan Dam Black House

Featuring works from Thawan Duchanee and other contemporary Thai artists, it has been a source of controversy, as the art displayed could be said to be disturbing.

Photo Via Fatta_leung, TripCanvas, Homstart, Missswatts

Eerie and gothic (in a good way), it piques your interest and offers a certain degree of fascination.

There are many thought-provoking pieces such as displays that use animal bones and skins, which might be distressing to animal lovers.

Photo Via TripCanvas, Birdyp

Baan Dam Black House

Price: From 80 Baht / USD $2.50
Address: 333 หมู่ 13 Tambon Nang Lae, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours 37 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: +66 53 776 333
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Website

f. A royal affair of Swiss inspired landscapes – Doi Tung

Be warmly welcomed by gorgeous gardens teeming with colorful flowers of every kind.

Photo Via Yupapun15, Nengnengn

There are also multiple displays of works of art. If you’re feeling inspired, you can learn how to work a loom or get down and dirty for pottery.

You can also get a very intimate tour of how the royals used to live on a tour of the Royal Villa. An audio guide will provide you with an in depth explanation and if you’d like to learn more, click here!

Photo Via TripCanvas
Photo Via TripCanvas

Doi Tung

Price: From 100 Baht / USD $3.15 for kids and the elderly ; from 200 Baht / USD $6.30 for adults
Address: Doi Tung Development Project, Tambon Mae Fah Luang, Amphoe Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 4 hours 31 minutes drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: 053-767-015-7
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 5.30pm (Doi Tung Bazaar is only available on winter weekends between December to January)

Website

g. Relax at this nature spot filled with commercial shops – Mae Kachan Hot Springs

This is for the ones who don’t like to be too far away from civilisation.

You’ll be just steps away from restaurants and souvenir shops from where you’re boiling your hot spring eggs.

Everything is cleanly designed, but for those who prefer roughing it or designs that don’t encroach on nature, scroll back up for Sankampang or Chae Son National Park.

Photo Via Igayui, Belle_chuah, Mychiangmaitravel

Mae Kachan Hot Springs

Price: Free!
Address: Moo 6 Pha Soet Phatthana Village Doi Hang Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57260, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 25 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Opening hours: 24/7

h. An iconic structure that looks like it was carved from ice – The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Blindingly white and intricate, this temple has people from all over the world enraptured in its beauty.

Photo Via Nowheremantravel

It has survived an earthquake and was restored, surpassing its original glory. Every little detail reflects on the religion’s teachings, from the bridge of the cycle of rebirth to the heavenly gates.

Photo Via Archie180688, Ju_olecsiucsl

Again, no provocative clothing is allowed, meaning cover your legs and shoulders!

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.50
Address: Pa O Don Chai Sub district, Chiang Rai, 57000 (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hours drive (Suitable for a weekend trip)
Contact: (+66) 053 673 579
Opening hours: Daily from 6.30am to 6pm

Website

6. Doi Ang Khang

Cherry blossoms, strawberry plantations and so much more

If you’re up for it, pack a bag and camp at Kiu Lom Viewpoint. In the morning, you will be greeted with a sea of rolling clouds, and you can be on your way to exploring the surroundings – especially the border of Thailand and Myanmar at Ban Nor Lae.

Note: The main road to Doi Ang Khang has been closed for repairs from 25 July 2018 to April 2019.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hour 20 mins by car (suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private car charter with an experienced local driver. You can book this online now with Klook – starting rate from SGD $258.39 / 6181 Baht.

TRIPCANVAS TIP

We highly recommend combining your trip to Doi Ang Khang with a trip to Chiang Rai!

a. A successful example of a community project done right – Royal Angkhang Station Project (สถานีเกษตรหลวงอ่างขาง)

Unable to watch their subjects plant poppies and opium for a living, the royals helped cultivate an agricultural lifestyle for those in the area. They were encouraged to plant vegetables and fruits.

Today, it is widely successful, and also acts as a training center for hilltribes to learn how to be self-sustaining.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

Not only is it a great initiative, the scenery is beautiful with lush greeneries all around, against a backdrop of blue mountains.

Royal Angkhang Station Project สถานีเกษตรหลวงอ่างขาง

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.60
Address: Ban Khum Village, 1 Moo 5, Mae Ngon Sub district, Fang City, 50320. (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hr 25 minutes by car (suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +(66) 53- 450-1079, Visitor Center +(66) 53-969-489
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Website

b. Rare orchids and exotic flowers – Bonsai Garden สวนบอนไซ

There is a domed greenhouse in the middle of the garden filled with the smallest orchids in the world and they flower in January exclusively.

The rest of the park is filled with all kinds of bonsai and roses of all colors.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

We would like to remind guests to take nothing but photographs. Plucking a flower from the garden is highly frowned upon.

Bonsai Garden สวนบอนไซ

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.6
Address: Fang District, Chiang Mai 50320, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hr 27 mins drive (suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

c. Spend time with the indigenous tribes – Mu Ban Khop Dong หมู่บ้านขอบด้ง

One of the many tribes that the Royal Angkhang Station Project helps is the Musoe tribe, allowing them to hang on to their old ways.

You can enjoy the cool weather and fresh strawberries any other day, but if you arrive on a Friday, you will see the kids decked out in their traditional outfits.

Photo Via Tripcanvas
Photo Via Tripcanvas

Mu Ban Khop Dong หมู่บ้านขอบด้ง

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.60
Address: (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hr 20 minutes by car (suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

d. Highlands of cool weather calls for strawberries – Strawberry Farm ไร่สตรอเบอรี่บ้านนอแล

You’ll be able to find fields of strawberries on rolling hills that look like a picturesque postcard. Between November and January, there will be ripe strawberries for the picking.

Photo Via Tripcanvas

And it might be a bit of a novelty, and the lady farmers are dressed in their traditional garments even while out in the fields. An interesting and humbling experience all at the same time.

Strawberry Farm ไร่สตรอเบอรี่บ้านนอแล

Price: Free!
Address: Unnamed Road, Amphoe Fang, Chang Wat Chiang Mai, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 3 hr 37 minutes by car (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm

7. Mae Rim

Start your morning with an adrenaline rush!

There’s nothing like standing on the ledge of a very tall structure, especially one overlooking rainforests as lush as the ones you get in Thailand.

While there are many gems yet to be discovered, there are three things in this northern land that should not be missed.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 54 minutes by car (suitable for a day-trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private chartered car with driver. You can now book online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $58 / 1387 Baht on Klook.

a. Take a walk on the high side – Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens, The Canopy Walk

The longest skybridge in Thailand spans over lush forests and beautiful blooms. You will be able to see different flowering plants in different months.

Photo Via Slysoh, Joooobbiee
Photo Via Pangfune, Ppk.tum_

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of unique succulents, rare orchids or if you generally enjoy flowers, it’s a place you must definitely visit.

Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens, The Canopy Walk

Price: From 40 Baht for locals / 100 Baht for foreigners ; USD $2.80 (free for those above 60)
Address: QSBG (Queens Sirikit Botanical Gardens), 100 Moo 9, Mae Rim, 50180, Chiang Mai (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 58 mins drive (suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +(66) 53 – 841-234
Opening hours: Daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm

Website

b. Have your fill of fresh lettuce and strawberries – Moncham

Also backed by an initiative called Nong Hoi Royal Project, Moncham is a thriving village using sustainable farming.

Photo Via Jazz_wheelie, Lookplaanil, TripCanvas

You can have lunch in on a bamboo platform with a thatched roof as you drink in the views, and their best teas.

Photo Via Cnxista, Bubujibubuji, White_chk

Don’t forget to stroll around the grounds to check out the beautiful blooms and farming community.

Moncham

Price: From 80 Baht / USD $2.50
Address: 22/8 หมู่ 7 Tambon Mae Raem, แม่ริม Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 17 minutes drive (suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 81 806 3993
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 8pm

c. The local waterfall pool to swim in – Mae Sa Waterfall

It’s local with mostly young Thai families visiting the area, Mae Sa Waterfall is a great place to go to for fun photos and a few hours of swimming.

Photo Via Bendik92

There’s a picturesque cascade where you can take photos of yourself under or behind the wall of water, and pools to swim in. (Do be careful as we’ve heard that some of the pools can get a little deep.)

Photo Via Jrupe90, Sabrinasmelko

Mae Sa Waterfall

Entrance fee/price: USD $6 / 200 Baht
Address: Highway 1096, Tambon Mae Raem, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, you’ll have to ride a scooter, or get a car to get closer to the waterfall, before hiking the rest of the way there. It is recommended to hire a car with a local driver, or join a tour to have a proper guide.
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm

8. Huai Nam Dang National Park

What’s in a park but some witches and fun?

Spanning over two provinces, this national park is filled with hot springs, viewpoints and waterfalls. It will also take forever to explore, so you’re better off spending a night at the park rather than trying to rush back to Chiang Mai.

One of the reasons you should camp there is for the sea of clouds that come in during the colder months. Be warned though, temperatures can dip to as low as 4 degrees celsius!

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $9.45

Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hours 20 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private chartered car with driver. You can now book online with Klook – starting rate from SGD $58 / 1387 Baht.

a. Nothing like a creepy pick me up – Coffee We / Witch’s House

What’s interesting is this little witch-themed cafe that has seemingly popped out of nowhere. But isn’t that how it goes? Hansel and Gretel found a house made of candy in the middle of the forest…

Photo Via Puypassorn, Nuch_sirinapa, Dogholic_remy

Aside from the statues and fun decorations, you can be sure there are no children-eating witches here! There’s just fragrant coffee;)

Coffee We / Witch’s House

Price: From 50 Baht / USD $1.60
Address: 80 หมู่5 ต.ป่าแป๋ Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50150 (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 48 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 86 439 7988
Opening hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm

Website

b. Warm up in outdoor hot springs – Pong Dueat Hot Spring

This brings be back to a winter in Japan, with the beautiful scenery and inviting hot springs. The only problem was I was not allowed to enjoy them because of my tattoos!

You won’t find such a problem in Thailand though. You’ll be able to enjoy a good bone warming dip with a basket of eggs.

Photo Via Tarlovelytar, Kaew_jaipriwe
Photo Via Piin_tanasantiwat, Jsdzz

Pong Dueat Hot Spring

Price: From 300 Baht / USD $9.50
Address: Pa Pae, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 1 hour 45 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip)
Contact: +66 93 589 0190
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm

9. Lamphun

It’s all about that botanical herbs and longan delicacies

Next to Lampang is Lamphun which is popular amongst the locals for their longan noodles and other fruity snacks.

They are also hiding a nature marvel that would make for a great story when you return home.

You’ll be at the source of authentic handicrafts from hill tribes, and you’ll get to see how they make them too.

Distance from Chiang Mai: 33 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)

Getting there & around: We recommend taking a convenient private car charter with an experienced local driver. You can book this online now with Klook – starting rate from SGD $114.65 / 2742 Baht.

TRIPCANVAS TIP

To make the most of your trip, do a combined weekend trip to both Lampang and Lamphun!

a. For cave explorers and stalactites lovers – Koh Luang Waterfall

If caves and stalactites get your heart going, you’re definitely going to love this unique waterfall.

Forget about the pristine emerald waters, home to schools of fish that will can be seen all to clearly when the sun hits around noon…

The bed of the waterfall is a unique formation of limestones and the area is filled with other limestone caves, no doubt hiding beautiful secrets like this one.

Photo Via Som_suphanich

Koh Luang Waterfall

Price: From 100 Baht / USD $3.15
Address: 1087, Tambon Ko, Amphoe Li, Chang Wat Lamphun 51110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hour 46 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +66 53 818 348
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 4pm

b. Hangout with the Pga K’nyau – Lamphun Cultural Village

Also known as Karen tribe, you can pick up their silver wares at the marketplace or join the festivities.

The tribe is vegetarian as they are all devout Buddhists. Visitors are welcomed to join them for a two day programme in order to understand their way of life a little better.

A popular destination for company trips with team building activities like knife forging and making proposals for potential products the tribe can produce.

Photo Via Villagetotheworld, Iam_tubtimm

Lamphun Cultural Village

Address: Na Sai, Li District, Lamphun 51110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 2 hours 19 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: +668 8008 2906, +668 8008 2907 (to arrange for the tour) +666 5734 9427 (to contact the village)
Opening hours: 24/7

Website

c. Pork noodles in longan soup, GIMME MORE! – Longan Noodles ร้านก๋วยเตี๋ยวลำไย เวียงยอง จ.ลำพูน

There is a distinctive taste to this savoury broth with a hint of sweetness from the fruit.

You HAVE to try this. It was flavourful, fragrant and tasted familiar yet unique at the same time. There was a home-cooked quality to it, and it felt like a dish your mom might be cooking up at home – only with her own secret ingredients!

Photo Via TripCanvas, Famta

They do serve other food there too like dim sum and local snacks.

PS: A short 4 minute walk from here, you’ll find a traditional market on a bridge over the river. Here you’ll be able to pick up cute items such as jewellery, traditional clothes (cute peasant tops!), embroidered curtains and more.

Longan Noodles ร้านก๋วยเตี๋ยวลำไย เวียงยอง จ.ลำพูน

Price: From 40 Baht / USD $1
Address: Wiang Yong, Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun 51000, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Distance from Chiang Mai: 32 minutes drive (Suitable for a day-trip/weekend trip)
Contact: 053511240, 0895611120
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 3pm

When to travel to Chiang Mai, Lampang & Lamphun, and Chiang Rai?

The best time to travel to Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Lampang & Lamphun, and Chiang Rai) would be between Nov and Feb.

  • Oct-Nov: Before winter

  • Nov-Feb: Winter

  • Feb-Apr: Hot season

During Oct-Nov is when the weather is cool and absolutely perfect, please try to avoid Feb to April because the farmers would be burning and clearing their paddy fields. If you’re the couple that would enjoy a wintery getaway, then head down between Nov-Feb!

How to get to Chiang Mai?

  • From Singapore, Scoot offers direct flights to Chiang Mai (CNX) from SGD $295 (round-trip).

  • From Malaysia, AirAsia offers direct flights from MYR 512.90 (round-trip).

Don’t just stay stuck inside Chiang Mai city! The next time you’re out and about, get a car for a day or two and just explore. Travel is more about pushing boundaries, new experiences and growing from them.

If you stay inside your comfort zone, you’ll always be surrounded by the same things and that’ll get old and fast.

Have a friend that is stuck in a traveling rut (meaning she or he only goes to places she/he’s been)? Send this to them! And make sure you bookmark it for yourself so you can keep inspired.

PROMO

Just for our dear readers, get 8% OFF any first-time bookings (capped at S$15). Simply apply the promo code ‘TRIPCANVASTH’ when you check out! The discount is valid for all Thailand activities, tours, transport etc. bookings

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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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