Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northern temple-filled city, is popular among travelers for the wealth of experiences available. There’s plenty to do in the city, but some of the area’s best attractions can also be seen on a half- or full-day from the city. Here are some of the top Chiang Mai day trips.
Doi Suthep Temple — 17 miles (28 km) away
Just outside of Chiang Mai and perched on the peak of Doi Suthep mountain sits Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the city’s most famous Buddhist temple. Once you climb the 306 steps up the mountain to the temple, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Chiang Mai. You can see Doi Suthep Temple on an easy half-day trip—opt for a morning tour to avoid the heat later in the day.
Inthanon — 65 miles (104 km) away
Outdoor enthusiasts should consider a visit to Thailand’s highest mountain, set in Doi Inthanon National Park. Besides photo ops at the peak, the park offers a serene nature trail, waterfalls, rice terraces, and cultural attractions including the Twin Stupas and a traditional Hmong market.
Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle — 124 miles (199 km) away
One of the most popular day trip destinations from Chiang Mai is the Chiang Rai region and the Golden Triangle. A full-day tour often includes a drive through Thailand’s scenic countryside and stops at local Akha and Yao hill tribe villages; Mae Kachan hot springs; the hilltop viewpoint where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet; and the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai.
Tha Thon Hill Tribes — 136 miles (219 km) away
Northern Thailand is home to several hill tribes, each with its own distinct culture and traditions. On a day trip to the hill tribes from Chiang Mai, you’ll learn about the costumes, languages, and traditions of the Akha, Palong, and Karen groups.