2 Days in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Mini Guide

You will be able to see and do a lot in two days in Chiang Mai thanks to its compact size, plentiful one- and even half-day trips and excellent transport options. Renowned as the premier tourist destination in northern Thailand you, could certainly fill many days exploring Chiang Mai. If you are short on time, this guide will give you a rundown of the very best of the city and its mountainous surrounds in just 48 hours.

Stunning temples, night markets, tribal villages, sumptuous cuisine and excellent live music are all hallmarks of a short trip to Chiang Mai, but no matter what your idea of a perfect couple of days looks like, we have the information to point you in the right direction so you can compile an easy weekend itinerary.

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Day 1

Daytime - Explore Chiang Mai City

Even though Chiang Mai is a major city in Thailand, it is much smaller than Bangkok and first time visitors are often surprised how easy it is to get around. From the lovingly maintained temples and buzzing markets in the Old City, to the charming boutique stores and Thai restaurants found on the Riverside and Night Bazaar, you can spend time exploring the different areas of Chiang Mai in just one day.

Spend the morning in the Old City, soaking up the beautiful Lanna heritage, starting at the crumbling edifice of Wat Chedi Luang. Head to the fascinating markets to get a flavor of local life, before heading to the Riverside for a delicious Thai dinner on the banks of the Ping River.

  • Wat Chedi Luang

    Wat Chedi Luang

    Built sometime between 1385 and 1402, during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, 7th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty, Wat Read More»

  • Wat Phra Singh

    Wat Phra Singh

    Wat Phra Signh is perhaps the second most venerated temple in Chiang Mai after Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It houses three Read More»

  • Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre

    The Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre is located right in the middle of the Old City, just behind the Three Kings Read More»


Finish your first day shopping at the Night Bazaar. Traders set up around 16:00 and stay open until 24:00. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Chiang Mai Walking Streets are a must.

  • Warorot Market

    Warorot Market

    Set by the river, Warorot Market (or Kad Luang) is a must-visit for food lovers as it offers a wide range of Read More»

  • Tonlamyai Market

    Tonlamyai Market

    If you are looking for an early morning activity in Chiang Mai, then one of my favourite places to spend an hour Read More»

  • Ginger & The House Shop

    Ginger & The House Shop

    Shopping can be lots of fun, but nowhere is it more cheery than at The House, where Thai brand Ginger display their Read More»

  • The Good View Bar & Restaurant

    The Good View is one of the most famous restaurants in Chiang Mai and lives up to its name with some particularly Read More»

  • Sunday Walking Street Market

    Sunday Walking Street Market

    At Sunday Weekend Walking Street, Chiang Mai comes to life in a vibrant spectrum of art, crafts, music and food – with Read More»

  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

    Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

    Ground zero of this nightly commerce is located at the intersection of Chang Khlan Road and Loi Khro Road but the whole Read More»

Day 2

Daytime - Explore Your Surroundings

The particularly great thing about two days in Chiang Mai is the diverse experiences you can pack into your time. Towering mountains surround the city, with an incredible range of attractions and activities among them. From mountain-top temples (including on the highest peak in all of Thailand) to genuine tribal villages, there is as much to do out of the city as in it when visiting Chiang Mai. You can visit any of these out-of-town experiences independently but it is easiest to book a tour, either online or through a local travel agent.

  • Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

    Doi Suthep

    Doi Suthep is a constant part of life in Chiang Mai. This mountain overlooks the city from the northwest, providing Read More»

  • Wat Phra That Doi Kham

    Wat Phra That Doi Kham (often referred to as Wat Doi Kham or the Golden temple) is located at the top of a hill to the Read More»

  • Doi Inthanon

    Doi Inthanon

    Doi Inthanon National Park is a true jewel of natural beauty, consisting of rugged mountainous terrain, lush tropical Read More»

  • Doi Pui

    Doi Pui Tribal Village

    Doi Pui, at 1,685metres above sea level, is the highest peak in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. It is famous for its Read More»

  • Karen Long Neck & Chiang Dao Cave

    Karen Long Neck & Chiang Dao Cave

    Boasting some of the most spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations in the country, Chiang Dao Cave stretches Read More»

  • Bor Sang Village

    Bor Sang mid-sized craft village about nine kilometres east of the Old City specialises in the paper umbrella-making Read More»

Evening – Enjoy a few drinks with new friends

In the evening, return to the city and enjoy a few drinks in some of the best bars or live dance performances in Chiang Mai. Owing to its relaxed nature, conversation flows freely here and you are likely to make new friends and enjoy your last evening reflecting on how unique and special Chiang Mai really is.

  • Boy Blues Bar

    Boy Blues Bar is the right place for you to go if you like Blues music as there are live performances every night for Read More»

  • Zoe in Yellow - Chiang Mai

    Zoe in Yellow is the number one party venue for every traveller under 35 years old in Chiang Mai. It is a bar with a

    Zoe Read More»

  • Khantoke Dinner at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center

    The Khantoke Dinner at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center is based around the traditional Thai dinner and dancing show. Read More»

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