This is our Chiang Mai, Thailand 3 Day Itinerary. It includes many of the must see sights as well as some of the hidden gems. It also includes an amazing elephant sanctuary experience! That was the highlight of our trip although we really loved the Chiang Mai area for our entire visit. This location should be on your bucket list!
When we found we were moving to Guam we knew we wanted to get in both Thailand & Vietnam. We decided to do both on one trip since we’d already be over that way. I’m going to share the itineraries separately because they can be done on their own. You can see the Vietnam Itinerary HERE (this will be active when the Vietnam Itinerary posts in a few days) I’ve also included costs for those who are over planners like me 😉
This is just the overall itinerary, I’ll be doing a post for each day sharing more in depth info and how to’s in those posts. As well as more photos for each day. There is SOOO much to see in do in these areas! We focused on the main highlights that we wanted to see and do while there. We also chose to stay in and visit the ‘hidden gem’ areas instead of the big cities. Which is our normal travel style. We love unique finds like the cafe pictured above, more about it in the Day 1 post.
As far as travel to there from Guam we used Kayak and booked hacker fare. While this was the cheapest route it also required having to go through customs at each airport and go check back in for each airline as they were all separate airlines. I will say this is not for the non-adventurous traveler! So keep that in mind. Also DO NOT go through Vietnam on the way to Thailand UNLESS you plan to purchase a multi entry visa or 2 separate visas. We found out that most of the budget airlines do NOT offer transfer service so you are forced through customs and need a Visa. We got denied boarding in Seoul because of this and ended up buying last min tickets through Bangkok. It was not the best lesson learned the hard way, so I wanted to share.
We arrived to Chiang Mai late on a Friday evening, we used the Airport Taxi for $5 to get us to our hotel. You just go to the window in the airport and they’ll give you a ticket to take outside. Super easy and legit. We stayed at Shane Hotel. The hotel staff was great and welcoming. The hotel room itself was pretty basic but we really were only there to sleep and the delicious free breakfast, free bottled water 24/7, free coffee/hot cocoa 24/7, the pool, and the price made it an awesome find. Also the wifi in our room didn’t work that great (we were on the 4th floor) but we bought local sim cards from Klook and picked up at the airport so that didn’t really bother us. It worked fine down by the pool.
Day 1 – (Saturday) Old City Area
Silver temple areas, Wat Umong, Into the Woods Cafe, Women’s Prisoner Massage, Wat Chiang Man, Tops Supermarket, & Saturday Night Market
Day 2 – (Sunday) Doi Suthep Area & Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls
Doi Suthep, Poo paper park, Sticky waterfalls, local fruit/food market, Blue mango dinner. This day we hired a private driver and it was the BEST decision!
Day 3 – (Monday) Elephant Experience
Karen Elephant Retreat, this is part of the Elephant Nature park off site locations. Amazing experience, and I HIGHLY recommend this location! MAYA Lifestyle Mall for dinner & Starbucks mug.
Our main reason for visiting Chiang Mai was to visit an elephant sanctuary. After lots of research & talking with a friend who had visited recently we decided to use Elephant Nature Park because they are the most ethical & save elephants from abuse, being ridden, and give them an amazing life. They also help to educate people on the abuse & mistreatment of these amazing animals. Visiting a legit sanctuary helps to make sure that these animals are cared for. More on our amazing experience will be in it’s own post.
The next day we flew out to head to Da Nang & Hoi An, Vietnam. We had an amazing time in Thailand, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really loved the Chiang Mai area! I hope you get the opportunity to check out Chiang Mai, Thailand!
Trip Costs: 2 adults and 1 teens
Airfare – $2688 (we used Kayak and did multiple airlines, this airfare is for Thailand AND Vietnam from Guam, 3 adults (our teen counted as adult)
Hotel – $165 for 4 nights with breakfast & 24 bottled water, coffee, & hot chocolate provided.
Transportation – $116.40 (this included a private driver for 1 full day)
Attractions – $390.53 (this includes a FULL day at our ENP off site location with the elephants)
Food – $171.59
Sim cards x 3 – $14.07
Massages x 3 – $24.02 (1 hour of neck, head, shoulder, & foot)
Misc/Souvenirs – $35.94
Total w/airfare for both Thailand & Vietnam $3605.55
Total for Thailand without airfare $917.55
Total for both Thailand & Vietnam trip $4747.28
I really hope you get the chance to check out Chiang Mai, Thailand and all it has to offer!