Thailand has always been a fun destination for a faraway trip. Even when you’ve visited Thailand in the past, there is still plenty to discover in this awesome and extensive country. The country is perfectly suitable for solo traveling and I’ve done this for more than 10 times. I’ve made a fun travel route which will take up approximately two weeks so that you can discover the north of Thailand! What’s a great travel route for the north of Thailand?
Travel route for the north of Thailand
Day 1 till 4 Chiang Mai
A great starting point for your travel route through the north of Thailand would be the city of Chiang Mai. There is an international airport in Chiang Mai, but the city can also be reached with a domestic flight from multiple destinations in Thailand or Asia or by taking the night train from Bangkok. Chiang Mai is a city with a village-like feeling and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I think that Chiang Mai is the most fun city of Thailand and you really need to spend a couple of days here!
Fun things to do in Chiang Mai:
- Go for a stroll on the night market. This night market is the biggest and most fun night market in Thailand.
- Walk through the city and check out the small temples, amazing structures, cosy restaurants and small shops.
- Admire Wat Phra That Doi Kham. This is my favourite temple in Chiang Mai.
- Go for a Thai massage. My favourite massage salon is the Lila Tai massage salon and they have massage salons at different locations in the walled off city.
- Visit a Thai boxing match.
- Climb the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the most important and most famous temple of Chiang Mai. This temple is named after the mountain on which the temple has been build. You will climb over 300 steps but for 50 baht a cable lift will take you up as well.
- Chiang Mai zoo
Curious about Chiang Mai?
Accommodation in Chiang Mai
Most of the time when I’m in Chiang Mai, I will stay in the Riverside House and Breakfast. The night market is within walking distance of this hotel and there is a 7/11 right next to the hotel. The hotel is just outside the city centre and you only need to cross the bridge to get back in the hustle and bustle of the city and you’re close to the night market. In short: a perfect location! The swimming pool and garden are great and amazing. The rooms are spacious, beautiful and incredibly clean. Prices start at €23,- for a double room, including breakfast.
- Check this for the Riverside House and Breakfast
- Not what you are looking for? Check my article: The 3 greatest hotels in Chiang Mai
Day 5, 6, and 7: A jungle hike
After exploring Chiang Mai for a couple of days, it’s now time to leave the city and continue your travel route for the north of Thailand in the jungle! The surroundings of Chiang Mai are incredibly breath-taking and very suitable for a multiple-day hike through the Thai jungle. I would recommend a hike of 3 days and 2 nights! I thought it was an amazing experience! The jungle is kind of hilly but not too extreme. This way, you can hike in a very relaxed kind of way and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I’ve walked through villages and crossed multiple rivers in which I was waist deep in the water and I’ve seen endless rice fields and beautiful vistas. I’ve spent the nights in small villages at local people in their homes.
- All information regarding taking this hike, you can find here!
Day 8, 9 and 10: Pai
Pai is the next stop onn your travel route for the north of Thailand. Pai is about 130 kilometres away from Chiang Mai and the road to this village counts 762 bendy roads. This by itself is a special experience. The drive will take you approximately 3,5 hours. Pai is located high in the mountains and the surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful. The landscape is dominated by green rice fields and impressive mountains, small cafes, hip coffee bars, scooter rental companies, massage salons and travel agencies. It’s definitely true what they say about Pai: you fall in love with it!
Nice things to do in Pai:
- Pai Canyon. The most beautiful place is the Pai Canyon which owes its name to the small sister of the Grand Canyon in the US.
- Boon Ko Ku So Bridge. This is a very special bridge which runs straight through the rice fields and is completely made out of bamboo. This bridge has been especially made for the monks.
- Yun Lai View Point is a viewpoint at the Chinese village of Santichon.
- Every night from 18:00 till 22:00 in the centre of Pai, you will find the walking food market.
- The land split. Actually, it’s is nothing really special, but because of the story behind it and the people there, it’s a very fun thing to see. This piece of land has always been farmland, but because of an earthquake in 2008, the land was split up. This made the land unsuitable for agriculture and the owners ended up without a source of income. They decided to make a tourist attraction out of this land split.
- Pam Bok waterfall. This is the most beautiful waterfall in and around Pai.
- Temple on the Hill. (Wat Phra That Mae Yen). This white Buddhist temple is located high on top of the mountain and you can see it from everywhere within Pai.
Curious about Pai?
I’ve spent a couple of nights in the Kuad Khon Pai Cottage and I can really recommend this! The location is very relaxing and the hotel is 7km outside of Pai. (shuttle buses can drive you to the city centre). The pool is amazing and gives you a beautiful view on the stretched-out rice fields.
- Check this for Kuad Khon Pai Cottage
- Not what you are looking for? Check this for more great places to stay in Pai!
Day 11 and 12: Chiang Rai
You can definitely not miss out on the city of Chiang Rai during your trip travel route through the north of Thailand. This city is most famous because of the beautiful nature all around and because of the many tea plantations. Chiang Rai is the starting point for going to the Golden Triangle which is kind of a three-border triangle. This is where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos come together. The region was most famous because of the opium trade back in the days. Within this Golden Triangle, you still find hill-tribes which are not westernized. The famous Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White temple, is located south of the city. This temple is quite new and because of the very noticeable white colour, it is one of the most recognizable temples in the entire country.
- Looking for a great place to stay in Chiang Mai? Check this!
Read more about the north of Thailand
- All information for your trip to Pai
- 7x the best things to do in Pai
- 8 tips for Chiang Mai
- A multi-day trek through the jungle at Chiang Mai
- The 5 must see temples in Chiang Mai
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