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CHIANG MAI & LAMPHUN: Things to Do, Tourist Spots, Itinerary and More!

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

What to do in Chiang Mai? Here's a simple travel guide for first timers in Chiang Mai and Lamphun, Thailand.


On our 3rd day in Bangkok, we flew to Chiang Mai via Air Asia Thailand. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport, we were fetched by our local host and guide named Chanchai and brought us to our accommodation at The Astra Condominium located at the heart of the city. For the rest of the day, we just spent our time getting acquainted with the city, roaming around the many night bazaars, and of course, tasting the locals dishes. The following day, we woke up early for our Chiang Mai and Lamphun: Travel the Cities of Culture and Taste Authentic Northern Lunch Tour that we booked via TakeMeTour.

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTSTRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

CHIANG MAI & LAMPHUN: Things to Do, Tourist Spots and Attractions


For our Chiang Mai and Lamphun Day Tour, we visited several Buddhist temples, met the monks, visit a cotton museum and learned about the traditional way of weaving, got to try our hand at weaving, and had a sumptuous LocalTable lunch of some Northern Thai dishes at Dao Kanong Restaurant. Our TakeMeTour local expert Chanchai is so nice and shared to us so many things about their culture, tradition, religion, and delicious food. It was indeed very enriching and awesome cultural and gastronomic experience.

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

With this, let me share to you some of the top things to do and must visits in Chiang Mai and Lamphun.

Wat Chiang Man


Considered as the oldest Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man was built sometime around 1296 by King Mengrai of the Lanna kingdom. It holds several very old and important Buddha images including a crystal Buddha which believed by the locals to have special healing powers. Exploring Wat Chiang Man's many old and intricately-designed structures can easily take a few hours. But when visiting this temple, you should not miss to see the Chang Lom Chedi or Elephant Chedi with an elephant-flanked stucco base and a gilded upper level. Also not to be missed are the ubosot (ordination hall), the meditation halls, golden stupas and the well-manicured grounds of the temple complex.

Two of the most revered Buddha images at Wat Chiang Man are the standing Buddha Phra Sila worshiped every April before the Songkran festival and is believed for its rain-giving powers needed for rice growing. Another important Buddha statue enshrined at Wat Chiang Man is the Phra Satang Man which is revered by the locals for its power to protect against disasters.

Wat Chiang Man is located along 270 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Thesaban Nakhon Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is open daily from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide Thailand

Wat Phra Singh


Also known as "The Monastery of the Lion Buddha" or "The temple of the Lion Buddha," Wat Phra Singh is one of the most popular temples in Chiang Mai and is considered as the second most venerated Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. The temple dates back to the 14th century when Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom and it houses a number of highly-revered and very old Buddha images. Not to be missed when visiting this temple is the Viharn Lai Kam which is a fine example of Lanna temple architecture and houses the famous Buddha image known as Phra Singh (Lion Buddha). Inside the Viharn Lai Kam you'll see the Buddha image and the beautiful murals depicting local stories which awesomely decorate its walls.

Also not to be missed are the main Chedi which is the oldest structure inside the temple, the Viharn Luang which is the largest building in the temple, the wooden ubosot or ordination hall, and the scripture library called Ho Trai which is set on a stone base and features beautiful stucco figures.

Wat Phra Singh is located along Samlarn Rd, Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand. It is open from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, daily.

Things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Things to do in Chiang Mai ThailandThings to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Things to do in Chiang Mai ThailandThings to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Things to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

Wat Chedi Luang


Located in the historic center of Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple known as the "temple of the big stupa" or "temple of the royal stupa." Built sometime between 1385 and 1402, Wat Chedi Luang's massive chedi (pagoda) is the temple's most prominent structure. Considered as Chiang Mai's most important temples, the four sides of the iconic chedi has large staircases guarded by the mythical Naga creature. At the top of the stairs are niches where you could see some Buddha images. The Emerald Buddha in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew is said to have been enshrined here before it was transferred to Bangkok in 1475. In 1995, a replica of the Emerald Buddha made from jade was placed in the chedi's reconstructed eastern niche.

The top parts of the chedi was destroyed because of the massive earthquake that happened sometime in 1545. In the early 1990's the chedi was reconstructed, financed by UNESCO and the Japanese government.

You can also see within the temple complex the revered standing Buddha statue, known as Phra Chao Attarot. There are also many other buildings and Buddha statues that can be found within the temple. While walking around,you can also see some young monks. I let our tour guide talk to them and we requested to have photos with them, which they gladly granted.

Wat Chedi Luang is located along Prapokkloa Rd, Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand. It is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Chiang Mai Travel Guide DIY Itinerary

Things to do in Chiang Mai ThailandThings to do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai Travel Guide DIY Itinerary

Chiang Mai Travel Guide DIY Itinerary

Chiang Mai Travel Guide DIY Itinerary

Chiang Mai Travel Guide DIY Itinerary

LocalTable Lunch at Dao Kanong


We then drove for about 30-45 minutes to Lamphun Province which is located south of Chiang Mai to have a taste of authentic Northern-style lunch at Dao Kanong Restaurant (Doi Ti Branch). This is a LocalTable restaurant and the second branch of the renowned 50-something-year-old restaurant offering authentic Northern Thai dishes.

We had a special set meal composed of Larb Moo Kua (Spicy Roasted Minced Pork Salad), Gaeng Hung Lay (Northern Thai Pork Curry), Sai Ua (Northern Thai Sausage), Spicy Pork and Tomato Dip, Pork Rinds, Pakkad Jor (Northern-Style Vegetable Soup), Ab Moo (Spicy Pork Grilled in Banana Leaves), Sticky Rice and Ruam Mit (Mixed Thai Dessert in Sweet Coconut Milk and Ice). It was so good and the serving is huge! My favorites are the Larb Moo Kua, Sai Ua, and the crispy Pork Rinds. Dao Kanong Restaurant is definitely one of the best places in Lamphun to have a taste of the most authentic and best-loved Northern Thai dishes. No doubt, it's the number 1 restaurant in Lamphun based on Trip Advisor reviews.

Dao Kanong is located along the superhighway on Chiang Mai-Lampang road and it is open daily from 08:30 AM to 08:30 PM.

Where to eat in Lamphun and Chiang Mai

Where to eat in Lamphun and Chiang Mai

Where to eat in Lamphun and Chiang Mai

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai


After our very filling and hearty lunch at Dao Kanong, we proceeded to Wat Phra That Hariphunchai which is considered as "the oldest temple in Lamphun." Built during the reign of King Arthitayarat in the 11th or 12th century, the name of the temple translates to "Temple of the Sacred Hariphunchai Relic." The temple grounds has many structures including the 46-meter tall golden Chedi (Buddhist stupa) which is its most famous landmark. It dates back from the 9th century, and is said to have the hair relic of Buddha.

Another noteworthy structure that can be found here is the Chedi Suwanna which is a pyramid-shaped stupa with a height of 46 meters. Built in the Dvaravati-style of the Haripunchai period, this type of Chedi has a square stepped base and 5 tiers above it.

Also not to be missed is the impressive main viharn which houses the highly-revered Buddha image named the "Buddha with sharp shins", a large seated Lanna style Buddha image. Other structures inside the temple complex include other viharns, the Buddha footprint chapel, a huge gong, and the The Ho Trai.

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is located along O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, Chang Wat Lamphun 51000, Thailand. It is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Thailand Travel Guide Itinerary in Chiang Mai and Lamphun

Cotton Museum


After visiting Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, we walked for about 5 minutes across the temple and arrived at the Cotton Museum. At the museum, we saw different fabrics and some traditional clothing made from the fabric they weave. The master weaver graciously demonstrated us how to make it and also let us try the art of traditional weaving. It my first time to try my hand on weaving and it's definitely an awesome and memorable experience.

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

TRAVEL GUIDE CHIANG MAI LAMPHUN THAILAND ITINERARY TOURIST SPOTS

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist SpotsTake Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

Take Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist SpotsTake Me Tour Local Table Thailand Tourist Spots

We had a quick visit to a nearby souvenir shop where you could buys some local products made in Lamphun and then drove back to Chiang Mai.

Overall, it was an amazing Chiang Mai and Lamphun cultural and gastronomic experience. Our local expert is so nice and shares a lot of information about the place we're visiting which made the tour more interesting. I highly recommend this tour if you want to see the best of Chiang Mai and Lamphun's tourist spots and cultural sites. You can book this tour via TakeMeTour's website.


Chiang Mai and Lamphun Thailand Itinerary

  • 08:30 AM - Meet up at the hotel lobby (in Chiang Mai area)
  • 09:00 AM - Visit Wat Chiang Man
  • 10:00 AM - Go to Wat Phra Singh
  • 11:00 AM - Head to Wat Chedi Luang
  • 12:00 NN - Time to taste authentic Northern-style lunch in Lamphun
  • 13:00 PM - Visit Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
  • 14:00 PM - Cotton Museum
  • 15:30 PM - Drive back to Chiang Mai
  • 16:30 PM - Arrive at the hotel


Travel Tips and Reminders:

  • For this tour, I highly recommend that you wear breathable clothes and comfortable shoes but not too revealing since you'll be visiting Buddhist temples.
  • For women, shirt with sleeves and long pants or skirt with a length below the knee is required. For men, shirt with sleeves and pants, but shorts that are knee length are also okay. Sleeveless and see-through clothes are not allowed for both men and women. Please follow this dress code.
  • To stay connected to the internet, be sure to buy a local 4G SIM card with unlimited data that you can book in advance and conveniently claim at the airport. What we used during our tour is the Happy Tourist SIM from dtac. It was good! And I love that mobile data signal in Chiang Mai is quite good.
  • For your accommodation in Chiang Mai, you may check out The Astra Condominium. It is located right at the heart of the city and is near the night bazaars, food markets, shopping complex, restaurants, and convenience stores.
  • For cheap flights to Bangkok, Air Asia has daily flights from Manila or Cebu to Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) in Bangkok. For your flights to Chiang Mai, you can take a 1-hour flight to Chiang Mai via Thai AirAsia from Bangkok. Be sure to book it in advance to save on airfare expenses.
  • For safe and convenient transfers from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to you hotel in Bangkok and vice versa, you can also book a private car transfer with TakeMeTour:

THAILAND TRAVEL TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS

What's your favorite among these things to do in Chiang Mai? Don't forget to leave a comment below.


This trip was made possible by TakeMeTour in collaboration with LocalTable, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Thai AirAsia.

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