How to Spend Three Days Exploring Chiang Mai
Most people skip over Chiang Mai when traveling through Thailand. The northern city is a mix of everything and a town with its own unique charm & flavors. Chiang Mai is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, founded in 1296 and once was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, today Chiang Mai offers a charming and laidback vibe; everything from green mountainous landscapes, admiring beautiful animals & of course, the most exotic and droolingly delicious flavors. Of course, two days in any city is not nearly enough time to see, do, and eat everything but with three days in the northern capital, you will be able to get a teaser of what Chiang Mai is.
- Elephant Nature Park & Night Market
- Market & Temples
- Day Trip: Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Day One: Elephant Nature Park & Night Market
One of the main reasons why Chiang Mai & Thailand hold such a special place in my heart is largely due to the Elephant Nature Park. If you are unaware, the ENP is a place where recused elephants come and live out the rest of their lives in peace & freedom. The animal tourism and entertainment market in Thailand (and much of the rest of the world) treat these gentle giants with such cruelty, harm, disgust, honestly just thinking about how these animals are treated makes my eyes water. Elephants are some of the most compassionate creatures on this planet and the way that much of the world exploits them for human gain is just sickening. BUUUUUUUUT with that being said, I (like most people) at first did not know that this cruelty existed; I was blinded to how animals are actually treated. It wasn’t until I spent time at the ENP that I learned the truth and vowed to help educate the world to hopefully stop the mistreatment of so many animals worldwide.
Rather than me ranting on and on and on about my love for elephants, I’m going to share a few blog posts from some talented travel bloggers about their time at the Elephant Nature Park. Check them out and give them a little hiiiii 👋 on their page or insta!
After spending ____however much time is needed___volunteering with elephants & educating yourself (so you can spread the knowledge) about ‘elephant tourism’, check out Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar. It opens from 6:00pm to midnight and inside you will find souvenirs on souvenirs on souvenirs & droolingly delicious food.
Day Two: Old City & Market & Temples & Cooking Class
The Old City is essentially a square surrounded by a moat making it fairly easy to navigate; starting at one gate, make your way around the square.
Highlights of Old City & Temples:
- Tapae Gate
- Wat Chiang Man
- Wat Phan Tao
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
- Wat Phra Sign
- Wat Chedi Luang
- Three Kings Monument
Day Three: Chiang Rai Day Trip & Golden Triangle
There are a number of day trips that can be done outside of Chiang Mai, one of the more popular ones is a visit to Chiang Rai, the White Temple, and the Long Neck Tribe. Chiang Mai also happens to be busting with activities. Testing your athletic abilities through bungee jumping, zip lining or rock climbing to exploring your creative skills and dabbling in the art of ceramics or jewelry making. The opportunities are endless.
Take a step out of your comfort zone & do something wild, eat something exotic or do something that’d never do.
You can take a boat through and around the Golden Triangle. The triangle is the point where Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet. WIth your tour guide, you will have the opportunity to get out and explore a nearby market at each location. A little teaser to one day brings your travels back to explore these great countries: Laos & Myanmar.
For my adventurous outdoorsy activities, we chose rock climbing & cave diving with the rest of the afternoon soaking in a natural hot spring. I highly recommend!
Have you ever traveled to Chiang Mai? What were your favorite experiences? Let me hear those stories!!
Until next time Chiang Mai ✌🏽