Skip to Content

8 Best Day Trips from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the capital of Thailand’s northern province, and it’s an essential destination for any traveler. From its ancient temples and culture to its stunning natural beauty and unique attractions, there are many reasons why Chiang Mai should be on your itinerary. But what if you want to explore beyond the city limits? If you’re looking for a quick day trip from Chiang Mai, here are the best of the best to take on.

Best Day Trips from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Water cascading at falls in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is the perfect day trip for those who love nature. The park covers over 300 square kilometers, with lush forests full of rich wildlife and amazing views from Doi Pui mountain. You can hike through the jungle trails or take a cable car to the summit, where you can admire panoramic views of Chiang Mai below. There are also several waterfalls around the park where you can cool off in the refreshing waters after a long hike.

Chiang Rai

Beautiful girl running on Phu chi dao mountain at sunrise in Chiang Rai
Image: tawatchai1990 / Adobe Stock

The nearby city of Chiang Rai is an ideal day trip destination for anyone looking to experience another side of Thai culture. Here, you’ll find plenty of markets and street food stalls offering up delicious local dishes as well as artisan shops selling traditional handicrafts and clothes.

The city also boasts some impressive architecture like Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) and Wat Phra Kaew (the Emerald Buddha Temple). Finally, make sure to visit Doi Tung Mountain—a beautiful spot in the mountains just north of town overlooking Laos.

Mae Kampong Village

If you want to escape from modern life for a few hours and get back to nature, then Mae Kampong Village is the place for you. This traditional mountain village has been around since before World War II—and it still retains much of its old-world charm today! Enjoy exploring the quaint traditional houses or head into one of their many tea plantations for an afternoon picnic surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. On your way back down, stop by Mae Kampong waterfall for a refreshing dip in its crystal clear waters!

See Related: Best Day Trips from Jaipur, India

Tham Kong Lo Cave

Tham Kong Lo Cave is a mysterious underground river cave located in central Laos near the border with Thailand. It’s one of Asia’s longest underwater caves more than 7 kilometers long! Inside this incredible subterranean world, you’ll find towering stalactites and stalagmites as well as curious rock formations that have been naturally sculpted over thousands of years by rushing water currents below ground level. Take a boat ride through these majestic chambers or grab some snorkeling gear and explore them yourself—it’s an unforgettable experience!

Huay Yai Waterfall

Beautiful waterfall with sunlight and orange leaves in Tham Kong Lo Cave
Image: CasanoWa Stutio / Adobe Stock

Huay Yai Waterfall is another beautiful day trip destination located about two hours away from Chiang Mai by car or bus . It consists of three cascading tiers that are fed by a nearby stream—so even during dry months there’s still plenty of water flowing over these rocky ledges. Swimming at Huay Yai isn’t recommended because this area is known for its strong currents —but it’s still worth a visit just to admire its beauty! You can also catch glimpses here too, so keep your eyes open!

Loi Krathong Festival

Thai woman in traditional dress hold kratong to float in Loi kratong day of Thailand
Image by: tongpatong /Adobe Stock

If your travels take you through Thailand during November then make sure to plan ahead so that you can attend Loi Krathong—an annual festival that celebrates new beginnings with lanterns released into rivers across Thailand. During this festival, locals gather along riverbanks while they float small baskets filled with flowers on top of candles downriver. As these “floating lamps” drift away, they signify saying goodbye to all negativity in life while bringing luck and good fortune instead!

Phu Chi Fa National Park

Colorful hot air balloons flying over mountain at Phu Chi Thailand
Image by: somchairakin / Adobe Stock

Phu Chi Fa National Park lies just south of Chiang Rai near the border with Laos. This mountainous region offers spectacular scenery no matter what time of year it is, but it truly comes alive during sunrise when mist hovers above everything creating a mystical atmosphere. If you’re lucky enough, then you might even catch glimpses here too — making this one magical day trip not to be missed!

Sukhothai Historical Park

Buddha statue and Wat Mahathat Temple in the precinct of Sukhothai Historical Park
Image: tawatchai1990 / Adobe Stock

For an even more historical journey outside Chiang Mai, hop on over to Sukhothai Historical Park —a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ruins dating back centuries ago. Wander through these ancient temples while admiring stunning sculptures scattered around each building.

Be sure to visit Wat Mahathat which features gigantic Buddha statues standing guard over everything else ––it’s definitely worth seeing! And don’t forget about Sukhothai Old Town where merchants sell local goods such as silk weavings handcrafted pottery & other souvenirs too.


With so much incredible scenery right outside Chiang Mai, there really isn’t any reason why travelers should miss out on all these wonderful sights! Whether your preference lies towards exploring nature or discovering history ––these best day trips from Chiang Mai will give everyone something special regardless if they’re first-time visitors or experienced globetrotters alike! So pack up your bags & let us know what adventures await us next …

Related Resources: