Chiang Mai Itinerary 7 Days

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Chiang Mai Itinerary 7 Days
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Chiang Mai is a very popular vacation spot amongst seasonal travelers, especially during winter. Surrounded by big mountains and rivers, it is a place where people go hiking, ziplining, sightseeing, stargazing, and admire the old ancient city.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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The best thing to do in the city of Chiang Mai is to visit all the temples and unique historical sites. However, 7 days in Chiang Mai allows you to do so much more than just roam about in the city. You can travel out a little bit further out from Chiang Mai and try exploring all the different mountains and rivers out there.

Temples / Chiangmai

Image by Sittichok Glomvinya from Pixabay
Chiang Mai
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Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

All the attraction spots located around all the mountains in Chiang Mai will always be filled with fun and daring activities to indulge yourself in.

Many mountains around Chiang Mai deserve to be explored by travelers, and this 7-Day itinerary will make sure you get to see all the best spots there is to see. You will also get a chance to visit all the different tribal villages in Thailand that is famous for their old cultures and traditional clothing.

Traditional clothing

traditional clothing
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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai
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Almost all the mountains in Chiang Mai are deemed as a ‘National Park’ because the authorities do their best to try to conserve all the natural habitat and rain forests. However, they also let tourists in to have a look at the beautiful vegetation and enjoy the blissful feeling of being around nature.

National Park

National Park
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Before you make that trip to Chiang Mai, you might want to prepare yourself by getting an International Driving Permit or IDP from your home country. This is an English form of your driving license. If you don’t have an IDP you might have problems the police officials when you rent a car.

Having Google Maps downloaded in your phone also helps with navigating your way around all the hilly areas in the mountains to get to our destination. In addition to that, with an online map on your phone, you are unlikely to get lost.

Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

If you want to better communicate with the local people, you can get a translating app installed on your phone or learn a little bit of Thai before your trip. Thai people love it when foreigners try to interact in Thai, they find it very nice to listen to and might give you a special deal whenever you want to buy something.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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Day 1

After you have touched down in Chiang Mai, you can walk towards the back of the airport and get on a red bus called ‘SoongThaew’ to your preferred hotel for the night.

SoongThaew

SoongThaew
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If you don’t like getting into public transportation you can always call a taxi on the spot or book yourself a cab using the app ‘Grab Taxi’. There are a couple of great accommodations around the city, a personal recommendation would be the ‘Bed addict hostel and café’ located in Nimman Road and if you looking for a more classic hotel you can check Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel.

Bed Addict Hostel x Cafe

Bed Addict Hostel x Cafe
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What’s a better way to kickstart your trip to Chiang Mai other than tasting a local dish that can only be found in the northern part of Thailand? After you have settled into your accommodation, head over to ‘Khao Soi Nimman’ restaurant to have a taste of one of the best bowl of noodles that you’ll ever have.

Khao Soi

Khao Soi
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A Khao Soi is a small bowl of noodles dipped in rich curry soup base, it can be argued that Khao Soi is possibly the most iconic dish in terms of traditional Thai food. You can also get a serving of northern Thai sausage to go with your bowl of noodles, they both serve as a great combination for a meal.

At night, you can take a walk around the old city of Chiang Mai to admire the spectacular architecture made by the northern people hundreds of years ago. If you happen to be there on a weekend, you can always find a weekly weekend market to shop at in the area.

Old city of Chiang Mai

old city of Chiang Mai
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There is an assortment of handcrafted materials and several traditional clothing stores that you can buy if you want to. If you don’t like walking you can also use a bike as your main means of transport whenever you are in the city. Everything in Chiang Mai is not too far away and is always within your reach.

   Day 2

The first thing you must do on the second day in Chiang Mai is to rent a car for the next several days because you’ll finally be exploring all the beautiful mountains of Chiang Mai! Your first stop will be at ‘Doi Ang Khang’, a mountain located in Fang district that is about 2 hours away from the main city.

Doi Ang Khang

Doi Ang Khang
Doi Ang Khang

The mountain serves as a border between Thailand and Burma. Since the trip that you’ll be making to this mountain will be a long one, you can book a room for the night at the ‘Bang Luang Resort’. Over there, you will get a see a personal view of the mountains from your bedroom window in the morning, and even see the sunrise if you wake up early!

Bang Luang Resort

Bang Luang Resort
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 If you are visiting Doi Ang Khang sometime between January or February, you should drive around the mountain to admire the infamous ‘Wild Himalayan Cherry flowers’ or ‘Nang Phaya Sua Krong’ all along the sides of the road. These flowers are known for being the ‘Sakura of Thailand’, they only bloom during the winter and are very popular amongst couples.

Wild Himalayan Cherry flowers

Wild Himalayan Cherry flowers
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Up in the Ang Khang mountain lies the ‘Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station’, a royal project that His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej started to help preserve wildlife and educate agriculturists on how to appropriately plant crops. Some of his other projects with the Agricultural Station include protecting and helping all the hill tribes in the area with appropriate electricity, water, and other life necessities that they might need.

Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station

Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station
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Today the station serves as a major landmark for tourism whenever people visit the mountain, some of its main attractions include a beautiful Bonsai Garden and Kiew Lom viewpoint, popular sightseeing spot to watch the sunrise.

Bonsai Garden

Bonsai Garden
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Near the Royal Agricultural Station in Doi Ang Khang is the ‘Ang Khang Club’ where you can rest after a long drive. You can even order food and drinks if you are hungry. Ang Khang club not only gives you a place to rest and fill your stomach, but it also has room for accommodation if you ever need room to stay for the night.

The club also serves as a popular photo spot for a lot of tourists because of their old-styled wooden shops that remind you of how houses used to be like many years ago.

Doi Ang Khang

Ang Khang
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And lastly, enjoy the view of a beautiful sunset at ‘Baan Khob Dong’ or ‘Baan No Lae’ just a little bit up in the mountain, it is a great spot for couples to sit together and just watch the sunset peacefully.

   Day 3

You can start your day off by watching over the sunrise from one of the many viewpoints in Doi Ang Khang. After that, you can have breakfast at one of the local food stalls or cafés that serves hot porridge and coffee in the morning. Before you leave for your next destination, you should stop at the ‘Descending Strawberry Field’ and watch as farmers grow and harvest strawberries in their field.

Farm Strawberry

Farm Strawberry
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Once you’ve reached the strawberry field, you’ll have to chance to witness multiple fields of land that are only dedicated to growing strawberries. You can also buy some to eat while on the road. Strawberries from Doi Ang Khang promises to give off that delicious juicy and sweet taste that you need to kickstart your third day with.

Farm Strawberry

Farm Strawberry
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An hour and a half away from Doi Ang Khang lie ‘Doi Pha Hom Pok’ (also known locally as Doi Fah Hom Pok), a mountain deemed to be the second-highest in Thailand. If you are someone who doesn’t like crowded spaces and prefer to enjoy the view of nature alone, then the Doi Pha Hom Pok National park is the perfect one for you. It is rarely visited by tourists because not many people know about it and its attractions. This makes it the perfect space for anyone who ever needs a quiet hideout.

Doi Pha Hom Pok

Doi Pha Hom Pok
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The first thing you should do is take a look at all the natural vegetations that Thai officials have spent many years trying to preserve, by its name, Doi Pha Hom Pok translates into “mountain covered by a thick blanket” the blanket in this place refers to all the thick forests, Moses, and ferns covering every inch of the mountain, thus enhancing your experience of the place. The ‘Doi Pha Hom Pok National park specializes in growing and preserving wild plants and flowers found in deep in the forest. You would be amazed at how much you can learn just by walking around and looking at all the wild plants within the park.

There are many other activities you can do in the mountain other than looking at plants, the officials have allowed tourists to visit the ‘Huay Born Cave’, one of the most popular caves in the area for its stalagmites and stalactites, when you reach the attraction, there will be a path you can take to navigate your way in and out without getting lost inside the cave.

Huay Born Cave

Huay Born Cave
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You can also choose to pay a small fee to hike your way up to the very peak of the mountain, but for this, you must be physically fit because no vehicles are allowed up there due to the roads being too rough for any vehicle to pass through. This activity is not recommended if you have any known etiology for heart, lung, or bone disease. Besides trekking up the mountain, you can do mountain biking, picnicking, or, learn how to boil eggs from hot bubbling pools!

Mountain,Thailand
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Spending the night at Doi Pha Hom Pok can be something out of adventure book. You can choose local resorts to spend your night in, or camp out at one of the camping spots available in the national park to experience what’s it like to sleep under the stars with nature just within your reach.

   Day 4

Today is the day that you will explore everything there is to see in the tallest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon. You should take your leave from Doi Pha Hom Pok early in the morning if you want to make the most of your time in Doi Inthanon as the roads between the two places can get a little tricky.

Doi Inthanon stands tall at 2,565 meters above the ground, famous for its National Park waterfalls and a spectacular sightseeing spot it usually attracts hundreds and thousands of visitors all year round.

Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon
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Locals usually go straight to Doi Inthanon National Park and book a tour for themselves. The tour itself will take tourists to all the best sightseeing spots around the mountain, they will also stop at all the various waterfalls and ancient pagodas for people to admire, enjoy and pay their respects at.

Doi Inthanon

 Doi Inthanon
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Tourists will also learn a little bit about Doi Inthanon’s history while they are on tour, the mountain was originally named in honor of the last king of Chiang Mai, King Inthawichayanon, who tried his best to protect and conserve all the natural habitats of the mountain. He also demanded that after his death his remains be buried in Doi Luang, where the tour will take you to see if you happen to sign up for it.

Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon
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Due to the mountain’s high elevation above the ground, the climate is cool and moist enough for reach and unique biodiversity to grow on its grounds. You can find yourself admiring the different types of forests like Pine Forest and Moist Evergreen up in Doi Inthanon.

You can visit the traditional Hmong village”Tribe” in the area and look at their diverse lifestyles. You can also buy some of their traditional clothes from their village or local stalls to take nice photos with all the various agricultural fields that the village owns.

Hmong village”Tribe”

Hmong village"Tribe"
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Hmong village"Tribe"
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If you would like to experience a good hike, head up towards ‘Brichinda Cave’, a local, beautiful cave made up of limestones that opens up the sky, so you can see the stars at night if you happen to go on an evening hike.

Making your way to all the attraction spots in Doi Inthanon can be very tiring, you can choose to spend the night at one of the available rooms in Doi Inthanon National Park, where you can wake up early to watch the sunrise on the next day.

   Day 5

On Day 5, travel up to ‘Mon Jam’, another mountain that is constantly attracting tourists from all over the world for its vast flower plantations that you can admire and take pictures with.

Mon Jam

Mon Jam
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Mon Jam lies about an hour away from Chiang Mai, it is very famous for its agricultural grounds and viewpoint on the top of the mountain. When you’ve reached the top of the mountain you will be able to see all the rice, strawberry, and flower fields all over the mountain. This is because almost all the people who inhabit the mountain work with crops all year round.

Mon Jam

Mon Jam
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Just a few minutes away from Mon Jam is ‘Mon Ing Dao’, a mountain known to many for its resorts. The ‘Mon Ing Dao Camping and Resort’ is a dome-shaped tent with a personal bathroom and built-in air ventilation system.

Mon Ing Dao

Mon Ing Dao
ม่อนจาวดอย-Mon Jaw Doi at Mon Jam

A lot of people go there just for booking a night at this one resort. The experience is described by many as one they never had before in their lives.

The tents are located on the ground facing towards all the vast skies and mountains, the skies are so clear that you can see the stars at night. There is also a café called ‘Rim Nara Café and Bistro Chiang Mai’ where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee while admiring nature. 

Mon Ing Dao

Mon Ing Dao
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   Day 6

 Before you make your way back to the city, stop at the last mountain the area, ‘Doi Suthep’ to either enjoy a hike up the Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National park or pay respects at ‘Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’ a local temple known to be very sacred to Thai people. The Stupa and Chedi have painted a beautiful golden color that shines beautifully in the sun. A lot of tourists like to take photos in and around the temple after praying their respects to Lord Buddha.  

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
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Once you are back in the city, you can take a walk around Nimman street or shop at all the local shopping malls like Promenada Chiang Mai, Maya, or Central Festival Chiang Mai. Over there you can enjoy all the different cuisines from all over the world in all the different restaurants that are available in the building.

Maya Shopping mall

Maya Shopping mall
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You can always choose to spend your last night in Chiang Mai at your original hostel. However, if you are in a mood for a change of scenery you can try ‘Arbor’s House’, ‘Ma Vieng Chiang Mai’, or ‘Baan Khun Krub’. These places are very famous for their service and hospitality.

Ma Vieng Chiang Mai

Ma Vieng Chiang Mai
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   Day 7

Before you board your flight, you can visit some of the famous local cafés in your area for a nice cup of coffee, try to have a relaxing last day after traveling all over Chiang Mai. ‘Graph Café’ only has seats for a small group of people, but even so the reviews they get on their coffee and desserts are nothing but the best.

Graph Café

GRAPH contemporary
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If you want something trendier, it is suggested that you go to ‘Ristr8to’, a café that educates you on all the different ways you can choose to brew your coffee. In conclusion, traveling around Chiang Mai can indeed prove to be quite a hassle, but there are always tour groups you can book who are willing to take you to all the mountains and attraction spots for a reasonable price.

Ristr8to Café

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Even if you are choosing to travel on your own, you will find that at the end of the day, you got to spend every moment of your trip admiring all the nature, the mountains, the waterfalls, and maybe even some animals you might have come across on your way. Chiang Mai is a truly magnificent place to spend your vacation, and you will not regret a moment of it.