Who says travelling has to be expensive?
Need to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? Chiang Mai is just a 1 hour flight away from Bangkok! From gold plated temples to cafes up in a treehouse, you’ll never run out of things to see. The best part? You don’t have to break the bank to experience what Chiang Mai has to offer!
Here’s how you can explore Chiang Mai in under US$35 a day.
1. Dine against a backdrop of incredible hillside views
Baan Mon Muan is a scenic hilltop diner with unbeatable views and authentic Thai food at wallet-friendly prices!
Good looks aside, the dishes served use only freshly-picked organic vegetables and fresh fish that do wonders for your health. Some of the must-try dishes include the fresh salad as well as the incredibly tasty chicken wings! Most of us think that organically grown food would burn a hole in our pockets, but most dishes here go for an average of just US$4.50 (THB150).
Don’t forget to get that Instagram worthy picture of the panoramic uninterrupted views of the hillside and farmlands at the outdoor deck. The best part- the great views are FREE so snap away!
Baan Mon Muan
Opening Hours: Daily 7.30am-8pm
Cost: US$6-12 (THB200-400)
Address: 175 Moo 2,T. Pongyaeng, A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
2. Unwind at one of Thailand’s BEST spas after a long day
There is no better place to unwind after a long day than at a spa, but the #luxlife can burn a hole in your pocket.
However, at the award winning Let’s Relax Spa, you can leave your troubles at the door and indulge in a pampering session without paying an arm and a leg for it. Opt for the traditional Thai massage where the combination of stretching and acupressure techniques will leave your muscles feeling more relaxed than ever!
P.S. The best part about this place is that you can enjoy a FREE mango sticky rice dessert after your treatment.
Let’s Relax Spa Chiang Mai
Opening Hours: 10am-12am daily
Klook Cost: US$18 (THB 580)
Klook yourself to the Let’s Relax Spa and get ready to be pampered! Just flash your mobile e-voucher and arrive at your scheduled appointment time.
3. Spend a day at Huay Tung Tao Lake
Located about 20 minutes away from the city, the Huay Tung Tao Lake is just about the perfect place to spend an afternoon without spending a bomb. Situated at the foot of the beautiful Doi Suthep mountain, order a Thai feast, sit in your own private little hut and soak up the crazy beautiful views!
Rest assure that you’re getting the real deal at cheap prices as the restaurants by the waterside are mostly patronized by the locals!
P.S. Try the dancing shrimp, so named as the shrimp are eaten live – albeit slightly sedated by the lemon juice and chilies.
Work off that post-lunch food coma by cycling or roller skating around the lake or even taking a dip! You can also rent a paddle-boat and take a tour of the lake.
Huay Tung Tao Lake
Address: Don Kaeo, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand
Entrance Fee: US$1.50 (THB50) (for foreigners)
4. Cook up a storm at Baan Thai Cooking Class
Is one of your favorite things about Thailand the THAI FOOD?
Cooking classes are often expensive but not at Baan Thai in Chiang Mai! Kickstart the day at the local markets shopping for groceries and get step by step instructions on how to cook Thai favourites like Pad Thai and papaya salad. In addition, get to bring home a recipe book to recreate those dishes yourself!
Baan Thai Cooking Class
Time: 9.30am-1.30pm or 4.30pm-8.30pm
Klook Cost: US$23 (THB750)
Klook your tickets to the Baan Thai cooking class and enjoy a complimentary two-way transfer from your hotel to the school! This saves you the worry (and the money) of finding your own transport with the ultimate convenience. Score!
5. Be one with nature at the Doi Inthanon National Park
Escape from the city and get in touch in nature at the Doi Inthanon National Park for a day! Thanks to Mother Nature, everything you see is free! Kickstart your morning as you get up close with thunderous Wachiritharn and Siritharn Waterfalls. The gush of the falls will surely leave you water-falling in love with the place!
Hike up to the Angkha Nature Trail next and arrive at Thailand’s HIGHEST peak! The panoramic views from the top will make you never want to leave. You’ll also catch a glimpse of the Chedi (Kingdom) of the King and Queen.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Klook Cost: US$34 (THB1125)
They say there’s no such thing in this world as a free lunch- BUT if you Klook your tickets to the Doi Inthanon National Park there is! Klook not only provides a FREE lunch but it also includes a 2 way complimentary transfer! Throw away those worries of getting lost, charge your cameras and flash your mobile e-voucher to the driver and get ready for the lush greenery!
6. Get cultured at the Chiang Mai’s temples
Learn about Chiang Mai’s rich cultural heritage at the Wat Phra Thad Doi Supthep, the gold plated temple. Climb up 307 steps for one of the best panoramic views of Chiang Mai. We promise the photos you take there will definitely be worth every step!
Following that, visit Wat Chedi Luang- a historically significant landmark in Chiang Mai. The Wat Suan Dok temple, originally built to serve as a retreat for monks, contains a garden of white-washed mausoleums which house the ashes of late Chiang Mai rulers. The Thais also believe that the Buddha relics in the Wat Suan Dok temple self-multiplied!
Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep
Time: 8am-11.30am or 1pm-4.30pm
Klook Cost: US$26 (THB 850)
Plan to visit both temples but afraid you’ll be ripped off with expensive transport options? Klook your tickets to the Wat Chedi and Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep and get a perfect introduction to the city’s culture! With a complimentary 2-way transfer and an English guide, all you’ll need to bring is your thirst for adventure!
7. Go on an ATV jungle adventure
Get ready for the ULTIMATE adrenaline rush as you ride an ATV through the lush mountains of Chiang Mai! Check out the breathtaking views of the plantation fields as you travel up the mountain. You’ll also catch a glimpse of the more rural and traditional side of Chiang Mai as you pass through farms and villages. Be sure to keep those cameras charged as you’ll get photo opportunities throughout the ride.
For those who are less experienced, opt for the 1 hour beginner jungle excursion course or even choose to pillion if you don’t wish to drive! Just sit back and enjoy the ride and the views along the way.
Doi Suthep ATV Tour
Time: 8.30am-11.30am or 1pm-4pm
Klook Cost: US$32 (THB1050)
ATV tours can have a lot of hidden costs, especially if you don’t have an operator that you can trust. Klook your tickets to the ATV adventure and what you see is what you get! Not only are there no hidden costs, it even includes a complimentary 2-way transfer as well an English speaking tour guide! So, rev up your engines and get ready to ride!
8. See eye-to-eye with the trees at the Chiang Mai Canopy Walkway
Take your nature walks to the next level (literally) at Chiang Mai’s Canopy Walkway at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens. This is the LONGEST suspended sky bridge in Thailand so you can be sure that the views would be spectacular! Look down at the glass bottomed section and snap a couple of pictures!
You don’t have to be as rich as the queen to take a stroll in her royal gardens. Down at the garden level, look out for orchids, lotuses and bromeliads – flowers that can only survive at this elevation (800 metres above sea level)! Take a scenic walk through the forest and arrive at a cascading waterfall!
Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens Canopy Walkway
Opening Hours: 8.30am-5pm
Address: Canopy Walkway, Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
Cost: US$3 (THB100) (for foreigners)
9. Drink to nature while sitting in a treehouse
Nestled in a gigantic tree, you’ll need to cross suspended bridges to get to The Giant Treehouse Cafe! Sip on a cup of coffee and enjoy the views of the lush greenery beneath your feet. This takes cafe hopping to a whole new level (literally)!
At just 65 baht (US$2) for a cappuccino, who says you have to pay a fortune for great views?
The Giant Treehouse Cafe
Address:Baan Pok Village, Huaykaew, Mae On, Chiang Mai province, 50130, Baan Pok Nai
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm daily (closed on mondays)
10. Chow down on a bowl of “Chiang Mai Noodles”
No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without having a bowl of khao soi, aka Chiang Mai Noodles. For the uninitiated, khao soi is a hearty dish of egg noodles in a coconut milk curry soup often served with chicken or beef. Foodies call it the perfect balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet!
You can find this almost everywhere but one of the more famous stalls is Khao Soi Samer Jai, located inconspicuously beside the Fhaham temple. Many claim it is home to the BEST khao soi they’ve eaten!
Since each bowl goes for just THB30 (US$0.90), you should definitely have more than 1 bowl!
Khao Soi Samer Jai
Address: Fa Ham, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8am-5pm daily
Cost: US$1.20 (THB30-40)
Getting Around Chiang Mai
Klook Car Charter
Average Cost Per Day
By Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuks are inexpensive and can be found all over the city. Rides should cost about US$2-4 (THB60-100). We do not recommend this for long distances as it can be pretty uncomfortable breathing in all the car fumes since the ride is not air conditioned!
Songthaews are the red trucks you see lining the streets of Chiang Mai. These function as shared taxis so there are no fixed routes. Simply as the driver if he will take you where you want to go! These are cheaper than tuk tuks, with prices ranging from US$0.60-2.00(THB 20-40).
But language could be a barrier in communicating where you wish to go if you don’t speak Thai.
By Klook Car Charter
If you’re travelling in a group why not get a private car charter! Split it with your friends and it’s a great cost efficient way to travel! You can also choose between the half day (4 hours) or full day (8 hours) package based on your needs. At just US$53 for a full 8 hours, split it amongst 4 friends and you’ll only need to pay US$13.25 for a full day”s worth of comfort, convenience and transport!
Klook yourself a private car charter and get picked up from your accommodation and whisked off to the destination of your choice in ultimate comfort!
Break a sweat, not the bank!
You don’t always have to spend a fortune to have a good time, especially when you can get discounted tickets with Klook! Plus, did we mention that if you spend a minimum of SGD 100, you can take SGD10 off with “TATKLOOK” !