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10 Best Day Trips from Chiang Mai for an Amazing Time

10 Best Day Trips from Chiang Mai for an Amazing Time

Chiang Mai isn’t the “Rose of the North” for nothing. This city’s jungle-blanketed hills and dazzling temples will take the best of what Bangkok and Phuket offers, and we think it’s actually the best option if you want the entire adventure package.

Thankfully, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring every nook and cranny of this region. To help you plan an exciting itinerary, I’m listing hidden gems and must-see spots that make for the perfect day trip from Chiang Mai. Let’s go!

Doi Inthanon National Park

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Address: 119 Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand

Operating Hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 53 286 729


Distance from Chiang Mai: 86.8 km

Time to Get There: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Admission Cost: 400 baht 

Doi Inthanon National Park is a fan favorite. It’s on Thailand’s highest mountain, so expect to see a breathtaking mountainscape amid clouds of fog and mist when you reach its peak—it makes for a solid pick for a day trip from Chiang Mai!

Aside from that, this 1000-square-kilometer reserve consists of rainforests and pine forests with numerous local flora and fauna species. If you like hiking or animal spotting, most likely, you’ll have a field day exploring this park. 

Plus, the Doi Inthanon mountain is home to several temples and waterfalls, perfect for those ‘gram-worthy moments!

Pro Tip:

The temperature gets colder the higher you climb, so wear a sweater or jacket on your way to the park’s summit.


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Address: Lamphun, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Distance from Chiang Mai: 98.4 km

Time to Get There: 1 hour and 57 minutes

Admission Cost: Free

A historical tour of Lamphum is a must when vacationing in Northern Thailand, and it’s definitely worth the 2-hour commute from Chiang Mai. 

It used to be the capital city of the ancient Mon Kingdom, so expect to see cultural attractions like temples and shrines. Some famous ones are the Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, Wat Mahawan Woramahawihan, and Wat Chammathewi. 

If you like to shop for local products, the Lamphun Cultural Village sells a great selection of souvenirs and silverware. Also, Lamphun is well-known for its local dishes, and many people visit it just to sample authentic longan noodles.

Pro Tip:

If you’re unsure which place to visit first, we recommend going to Hariphunchai National Museum to learn about the history of Lamphun and the ancient Mon Kingdom.

Bo Sang and San Khampaeng

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Operating Hours: 24/7

Distances from Chiang Mai: 

  • (Bo Sang) 18 km
  • (San Khampaeng) 28.6 km

Time to Get There: 

  • (Bo Sang) 27 minutes
  • (San Khampaeng) 36 minutes

Admission Cost: Free 

Bo Sang and San Khampaeng are the mecca for wooden handicrafts, silverware, ceramics, and woven fabrics making them ideal for a day trip from Chiang Mai.

Bo Sang, in particular, is famous for its Umbrella Making Centre where you can buy traditional wooden umbrellas. You can even watch local umbrella makers create these colorful accessories from their open workshops.

Meanwhile, San Khampaeng is the best place for textile and ceramic products. Both places are accessible from Chiang Mai City via Highway 1006 which locals call the “handicraft highway.”

Pro Tip:

Bo Sang holds an annual umbrella festival every January, so we recommend visiting during this month. If you only want to shop, handicrafts are sold here and in San Khampaeng all year round.

White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and Black House Museum (Baan Dam)

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Operating Hours: 

  • (White Temple) 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Daily)
  • (Black House Museum) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Numbers: 

  • (White Temple) +66 53 673 579
  • (Black House Museum) +66 53 776 333

Website: (White Temple)

Distances from Chiang Mai: 

  • (White Temple) 173 km
  • (Black House Museum) 196 km

Time to Get There: 

  • (White Temple) 2 hours and 58 minutes
  • (Black House Museum) 3 hours and 26 minutes

Admission Costs:

  • (White Temple) 100 baht
  • (Black House Museum) 80 baht

Though the White Temple and Black House Museum are 26 kilometers apart, travel agencies typically bundle them together in their “temple tour” packages—perfect for that day trip you’re aiming for!

The White Temple is an ivory-white structure with an intricate architectural style. This lakeside temple complex is a crowd favorite, so expect to see plenty of visitors snapping photos of its gorgeous structures and statues.

The Black House Museum, on the other hand, is known for its dark wooden houses, paintings, and sculptures. Famous Thai artists built these venues which means they’re excellent introductions to the local art scene.

Pro Tip:

Tour packages to the White Temple and Black House Museum aren’t the most budget-friendly option. You’ll save more money renting a car and driving to these locations.

Samoeng Loop

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Address: Highway 1096, Samoeng Nuea, Samoeng District, Chiang Mai 50250, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Distance from Chiang Mai: 40.2 km

Time to Get There: 55 minutes

Admission Cost: Free 

The cycling fanatics on our team say that Samoeng Loop is the best place for bicycle and motorbike tours in Chiang Mai. 

This road is approximately 100 kilometers, so it should take more than 2 hours to complete a lap. It’s enough time to see or visit some of the most notable attractions in Samoeng and Hang Dong.

Think Royal Rose Garden, Samoeng Viewpoint, Samoeng Flea Market, Tha Chang Hill, and many more. Drive to the road west of the PTT Station Mae Rim to start your journey through Samoeng Loop.

Pro Tip:

This loop has numerous ups and downs, so we don’t recommend riding a bicycle unless you’re a skilled cyclist. You’ll have an easier time with a motorbike or scooter.

Huai Nam Dang National Park

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Address: Kuet Chang, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 50150, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Contact Number: +66 63 643 1744


Distance from Chiang Mai: 99.2 km

Time to Get There: 2 hours and 2 minutes

Admission Cost: 300 baht 

For avid hikers and backpackers, Huai Nam Dang National Park is one of the best options for a day trip from Chiang Mai. The view from the park’s campsite is panoramic so you can see the scenery from every direction.

That means you’re covered for the stunning sunrise and sunset views during your stay. Aside from that, the peaks of Doi Luang Chiang Dao are visible from the campsite creating a breathtaking backdrop during the golden hour.

Tents and sleeping gear are available for rent at the park’s visitor’s center for 350 baht. 

Pro Tip:

There are no shops or restaurants here, so be sure to pack your food beforehand.

Chiang Dao District

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Address: Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai 50170, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Distance from Chiang Mai: 82.2 km

Time to Get There: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Admission Cost: Free 

Chiang Dao District is a popular day trip destination from Chiang Mai because of the countless things you can do there. This includes temple-hopping, cave exploration, camping, hiking, animal spotting, bamboo rafting, and foodie adventures.

Some venues to watch out for are Arunothai Village, Chiang Dao Cave, Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, Doi Luang Chiang Dao, San Pa Kia, and Wat Tham Chiang Dao. 

I’m particularly fond of our visit to Arunothai Village, a Thai-Chinese settlement where you can get authentic Yunnan dishes like Yunnan noodles and dumplings. Plus, it borders Myanmar, so numerous vendors are selling Burmese products here.

Pro Tip:

The temples and most shops in Chiang Do only accept cash payments, so you must find an ATM before exploring them.

Doi Ang Khang

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Address: Mae Sun, Fang District, Chiang Mai 50320, Thailand

Operating Hours: 24/7

Distance from Chiang Mai: 154 km

Time to Get There: 2 hours and 58 minutes

Admission Cost: Free

If you have room for more mountain adventures, there’s Doi Ang Khang. This hidden gem is home to some of the most gorgeous sceneries in Northern Thailand, so it’s definitely worth checking out while you’re in Chiang Mai.

Doi Ang Khang is particularly a fan favorite among campers because of the stunning view from its campsites. In fact, it’s well-known for its beautiful Himalayan cherry blossoms.

Aside from that, people come here to visit the colorful flower beds in Garden 80. What’s interesting about it is it mainly grows cold-weather flowers, fruits, and vegetables that aren’t native to Thailand.

Pro Tip:

The Himalayan cherry blossoms in Doi Ang Khang bloom from January to February, so consider visiting it during these times.

Elephant Nature Park

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Address: 289 Kuet Chang, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand

Operating Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Daily)

Contact Number: +66 53 272 855


Distance from Chiang Mai: 56.9 km

Time to Get There: 1 hour and 6 minutes

Admission Cost: 2,500 to 6000 baht 

For elephant lovers, this animal shelter is a must-visit. Elephant Nature Park an ethical sanctuary, so elephants are well-cared for and aren’t trained to perform live shows for visitors.

Instead, a tour here is all about feeding, bathing, and observing the rescued elephants in their care. This park’s day and overnight tour is expensive, but it covers accommodation and food.

Plus, it includes a special pick-up service, so you’re already covered for transportation from your hotel and back, making it a convenient day trip option!

Pro Tip:

During the rainy season, bring appropriate footwear since the sanctuary can be muddy. Also, watch out for elephants as they might throw mud at you.

Huay Teung Thao Reservoir

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Address: 283 ม.3 ดอนแก้ว Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand

Operating Hours: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Monday)

Contact Number: +66 53 121 119


Distance from Chiang Mai: 13.9 km

Time to Get There: 25 minutes

Admission Cost: 50 baht 

If you enjoy eating food at beautiful locations, you’ll love Huay Teung Thao Reservoir. The view from this man-made lake is stunning and plenty of restaurants serve local dishes in the area.

There are also numerous lakeside cottages here, so there’s enough space for everyone to enjoy their meal. It’s also fun to stroll around the reservoir since there are various things to see like straw animal statues and a windmill.

Looking for an adrenaline kick? Don’t miss out on riding a boat around the lake or zip-lining!

Pro Tip:

We recommend carrying bug spray if you plan to eat at the cottages here. Some bugs may fly around once your food arrives, especially during the afternoon.

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