Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most exciting cities, boasting a rich culture and fascinating historic sites.

But if you venture a bit further out, there are many amazing things to see too.

We’ll show you the best temples, natural landscapes, and fun places for families with kids.

To make planning easier, there are plenty of tours available that will take you to these locations.

Here are the best day trips from Chiang Mai.

1. White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

If you’re looking for an unforgettable day trip from Chiang Mai, visit the White Temple.

Otherwise known as Wat Rong Khun, this is one of Thailand’s most famous Buddhist temples and houses a privately owned art exhibit.

It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who opened it to the public in 1997.

Inside, you can see lots of cool modern art and traditional Buddhist paintings.

The building itself is breathtaking, and the architecture features tiny glints of mirrors.

To make your day even more special, consider booking a day tour.

They depart regularly from Chiang Mai and include a visit to the White Temple and the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 8am-5pm
  • Address: 1 Phahonyothin Rd, Pa O Don Chai, Chiang Rai, Thailand 57000

Check Tours Official site


2. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist temples.

It stands on top of a mountain, boasting incredible views of Chiang Mai below.

Inside, you can see beautiful murals adorning the walls, as well as impressive Buddha statues.

The temple is around 15km from Chiang Mai and there are several ways to reach it.

A taxi takes around 25 minutes from Chiang Mai, or you can catch a songthaew – a passenger vehicle – from Chiang Mai Zoo.

There are several cafés and shops at the base of the temple where you can grab refreshments during the day.

For something truly spectacular, book a sunrise tour of Wat Phra That Suthep.

See the temple’s intricate sculptures away from the daytime crowds, and gain insight into life at the temple from a former monk.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 6am-8pm
  • Address: 9 Moo 9, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200

Check Tours Official site


3. Mae Kachan Hot Spring (Mae Ka Chan)

For a relaxing experience, head to the Mae Kachan Hot Spring in Mae Chedi Mai.

This is one of only a few natural hot springs in Thailand, where you can dip your feet in soothing water.

If you’re brave enough, boil an egg in the hot spring and eat it.

Although its best to let the locals demonstrate how to do it.

There are more conventional coffee shops though if you prefer a proper snack and refreshments. 

Souvenirs are also available for purchase.

If you’re traveling to Chiang Rai for the day, Mae Kachan Hot Spring is the perfect stop.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 6am-10pm
  • Address: Moo 6 Pha Soet Phatthana Viilage Doi Hang, Chiang Rai, Thailand 57260

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4. Doi Inthanon National Park

If you want to witness beautiful natural scenery, plan a visit to Doi Inthanon National Park.

This is one of the most famous national parks across the country, renowned for its waterfalls, forests, and views.

Doi Inthanon is a mountainous region, home to the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon.

If you love hiking, this is a fantastic place to explore, with plenty of trails.

You can also check out the Twin Royal Pagodas of Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Naphapholphumisiri.

They’re located at the edge of the mountain.

Doi Inthanon National Park is around 90 km from Chiang Mai and can be reached by car or bus.

Day trip packages from Chiang Mai are available, where you will see all the park’s highlights.

Most tours include a delicious Thai lunch and guidance from a private driver-guide.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 5am-6pm
  • Address: 119 Ban Luang, Chom Thong, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50160

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5. Huay Tung Tao Lake

If you want to escape the busy city for a day, head to Huay Tung Tao Lake.

Located around 15km outside Chiang Mai, Huay Tung Tao Lake is a man-made reservoir at the foot of the Doi Suthep mountains.

Here you can enjoy a peaceful setting and a day of tranquility.

Hire a pedal boat and glide along the water or simply relax by the reservoir’s edge.

Admire stunning views of the mountains surrounding the lake.

There are also a few places to grab food such as freshly caught fish.

The easiest way to get to Huay Tung Tao Lake is by scooter or car.

If you love cycling, you can book a half-day bike tour from Chiang Mai to the lake.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 8am-5pm
  • Address: Don Kaeo Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50180

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6. Lampang

Lampang is a unique city in northern Thailand that’s well worth a visit.

It’s renowned for the number of horse carts which are still used as a form of transportation.

There is a lot to explore here, such as the Rachadapisek Bridge that spans the Wang River.

Or head to the Lampang Museum to learn more about this fascinating city.

And of course, you can’t leave Lampang without taking a ride on one of the traditional horse-drawn carts.

When you need to stop for a break, visit one of the many restaurants to enjoy real Thai food.

To make the most of your visit to Lampang, book a day tour from Chiang Mai.

This includes an expert tour guide, lunch, and transportation to and from Chiang Mai.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours
  • Address: Lampang, Thailand 52000

Check Tours Official site


7. Chiang Dao Caves

Located in the mountains of Doi Chiang Dao, the Chiang Dao Caves are one of the country’s most interesting cave systems.

They stretch for a few kilometers beneath the Doi Chiang Dao Mountain, but only a small part is accessible to visitors.

The caves are famed for their unique crystal formations and are shrouded in interesting history.

Legend has it that they were once home to a hermit.

He persuaded angels to create wonderful structures, including a divine elephant.

Book a guided tour and explore the Tham Nam, Tham Kaew, and Tham Ma caves.

This is a brilliant way to find out more about the caves from an expert guide.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 8am-5pm
  • Address: Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50170

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8. Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens

Opened in 1993, the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is the country’s first botanic garden.

This is an idyllic place to visit, full of greenhouses and plantations home to all sorts of plants.

One of the highlights is the Rainforest Greenhouse, where you can discover different plant species from Asia’s tropical rainforests.

There are several walking trails around the gardens but you can take whichever route you like.

Whether you’re visiting as a family or couple, it’s a lovely place to relax.

With flowers blooming, it is also a great opportunity for photos.

The Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is about 29 km from Chiang Mai, so it’s best to place a full-day trip.

We highly recommend booking a private tour of the Gardens.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Address: 100 Moo 9, Mae Raem, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50180

Check Tours Official site


9. Tweechol Botanic Garden

Tweechol Botanic Garden offers a wonderful family day trip from Chiang Mai.

This beautiful landscape is one of Thailand’s largest gardens, covering an area of 114 acres.

There’s plenty to do here, from visiting the petting zoo to exploring the hedge maze.

There are also several playgrounds dotted around, each one designed for a different kids’ age group.

You’ll find all kinds of plants here, from cacti to orchids and succulents.

When you need to refuel, stop at one of the Garden’s restaurants for a meal.

Tweechol Botanic Garden is around 16km from Chiang Mai. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily 8:30am-5pm
  • Address: 118 Chiang Mai, Route 118, Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50220

Check Tours Official site


10. Ban Mae Kampong Village 

Located in the middle of a picturesque valley, Ban Mae Kampong Village is a popular tourist attraction.

This village is just an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai and has lots to see.

Visit the small temple or relax at the Chom Nok-Chom Mai coffee shop, offering amazing panoramic views of the village below.

Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the Flight of the Gibbon experience.

This is an exciting zip-line through the surrounding rainforest, where you’ll have the best views of the natural scenery.

To make your visit even more memorable, book a guided tour of the village.

You’ll stop at amazing places such as the Mae Kampong Waterfall.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours
  • Address: Huai Kaeo, Mae On, Chang Mai, Thailand 50130

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11. Grand Canyon Water Park

The Grand Canyon Water Park is northern Thailand’s largest floating water park.

Located around 18 km from Chiang Mai, it offers a fun day out for the whole family.

The park’s main feature is its inflatable obstacle course, which promises plenty of excitement.

There are lots of other attractions here, such as wakeboarding and kayaking.

The park also has two ziplines – ideal for those who love adventure.

For the little ones, there are water slides and a kids’ play area to enjoy.

When you need to rest and recuperate, take some time out at the park’s food court.

  • Opening Hours Sun-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm
  • Address 202 Leab Klong Chonprathan Road, Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50230

Check Tours Official site


Chiang Mai Day Trips Map

Also read:

Find Day Tours from Chiang Mai


FAQs

What’s the best Chiang Mai day trip for families with kids?


Tweechol Botanic Garden is the best attraction near Chiang Mai if you’re traveling with kids.

Besides the beautiful gardens, there are activities for little ones, including a hedge maze and several playgrounds.

Or head to the petting zoo where you can see lots of wonderful animals.

But if it’s a hot day, you may want to visit Grand Canyon Water Park.

What’s the most romantic day trip from Chiang Mai?


For the most romantic day trip from Chiang Mai, visit Huay Tung Tao Lake.

There are very few tourists here and you can soak up the peaceful atmosphere with your partner.

Take a pedal boat onto the reservoir and marvel at views of the surrounding mountains.

Relax and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants dotted throughout the area.

What’s the most scenic day trip from Chiang Mai?


The most scenic place to visit on a day trip from Chiang Mai is Doi Inthanon National Park.

This beautiful park is home to the country’s highest mountain and is ideal for hiking.

Here you can witness breathtaking waterfalls, sunsets, and other natural scenery.

Doi Inthanon National Park is about 90km from Chiang Mai.

What’s the best temple to visit on a day trip from Chiang Mai?


The best temple to visit on a day trip from Chiang Mai is the White Temple.

This is a famous Buddhist temple featuring magnificent architecture and art.

There are many day tours of the White Temple that depart from Chiang Mai.

This is a brilliant way to explore the temple and learn more about its history from a local guide.

Summary

Best Day Trips Chang MaiOpening Hours
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)Daily 8am-5pm
Wat Phra That Doi SuthepDaily 6am-8pm
Mae Kachan Hot Springs (Mae Ka Chan)Daily 6am-10pm
Doi Inthanon National ParkDaily 5am-6pm
Huay Tung Tao LakeDaily 8am-5pm
LampangDaily 24 hours
Chiang Dao CavesDaily 8am-5pm
Queen Sirikit Botanic GardensDaily 8:30am-4:30pm
Tweechol Botanic GardenDaily 8:30am-5pm
Ban Mae Kampong VillageDaily 24 hours
Grand Canyon Water ParkSun-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 10am-6pm