Chiang Mai has a huge number of day tours on offer for all sorts of travellers. Whether you’re a an outdoor enthusiast, a culture vulture, or a foodie (or a combination of all three!) you could easily fill a week or more with superb day tours in Chiang Mai, the gateway to all adventures in Northern Thailand

From beautiful mountains and National Parks to stunning Temples and boutique galleries. From superb street food and restaurants to Tuk Tuk Adventures and trekking to small Hill Tribe villages, there really is something for everyone in Thailand’s best location for adventurous travellers.

Our top 3 Activity Day Tours in Chiang Mai

1 Day Tuk Tuk Adventure

Well we of course had to list this as number 1 and the reviews on TripAdvisor certainly seem to back this up. With the option to either learn to drive your very own Tuk Tuk or sit back and let your driver take the strain this is the perfect one day tour for everyone heading to Chiang Mai. Remote Temple, tiny rural villages, elephants, bamboo rafting, stunning scenery, Tuk Tuks and you’ll still be home in time for a sunset beer. Ticking all the boxes for the perfect day tour in Chiang Mai Find out more…..

Two Tuk Tuks crossing a small wooden bridge on a dirt road
A Tuk Tuk Adventure in Chiang Mai

Doi Inthanon and Pha Dok Siew waterfalls

Spend a day exploring Thailand’s highest mountain and the surrounding area for a day. At over 2,500 metres the views from the road up Doi Inthanon are nothing short of spectacular and there’s always something special about standing at the highest point of any country. And then enjoy the superb hike along the Pha Dok Siew natural trail that takes you to the stunning waterfalls of the same name and eventually into the picturesque community of Mae Khlang Luang for some super mountain food. A great day out deep in the heart of Chiang Mai’s mountains. Find out more….

Taking a break on Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail

Explore the rivers and forests of Chiang Mai by kayak

There’s always something very special about exploring anywhere by water and Chiang Mai has some superb 1 day kayaking adventures for all levels, from total beginners through to advanced paddlers. A fantastic way to enjoy a day surrounded by nature and get a great work out. Find out more….

Our top 3 Cultural Day Tours in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Temples by Samlor (the original pedal powered Tuk Tuk)

Explore the most important and spectacular Temples of Chiang Mai city and support the future of the traditional Samlor drivers on this fantastic tour giving you a great insight into the culture and history of Chiang Mai. With expert guides bringing everything to life and Samlor riders (drivers?) full of character this is one of, if not the best way to learn about and soak up the cultural heritage of Chiang Mai. Find out more…

Explore Wat Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace and the Hmong Hill Tribe villages of Doi Pui

Spend the day mixing culture with the outdoors by heading up Doi Suthep, the mountain right by Chiang Mai city’s doorstep. Wat Doi Suthep is probably the most famous of all Temples for visitors to Northern Thailand and is a stunning place to visit as it’s perched on the mountain overlooking the city. With huge cultural importance as well as the awesome views you can easily spend quite some time learning about and exploring the Temple grounds. And then head further up the mountain to Bhubing Palace, built in the 1960’s to accommodation the Royal Family on their visits to the North famous for it’s fantastic rose gardens. And finally head even further up into the hills to the Hmong village of Ban Khun Chang Kian. Famous for its cherry blossom in winter but also worth visiting throughout the year to get a great sense of mountain village life and enjoy a coffee in one of the lovely laid back and slightly ramshackle coffee shops. A great day out combining Temples, Royal residences and Hmong Hill Tribe culture

You can do this trip yourself by renting a car or taxi or ask your Hotel / Guest House if they can arrange a guide and transport for you. But do make sure you visit Ban Khun Chang Kian rather than the far more touristy Hmong village lower down the mountain!

Mae Khampong mountain village

Around an hour East of Chiang Mai city, the stunning village of Mae Khampong in nestled high up in forested mountains and well worth a visit. With traditional houses, old Temples and beautiful forest all around this village, whilst being very popular with Thai travellers at weekends, is otherwise a very peaceful destination and a fantastic place to learn about traditional mountain life and to soak up the atmosphere of the forest and mountains all around. There are a couple of fantastic small places to eat and, at the very top of the village, a superb coffee shop with views down the valley over the village rooftops below. And for those wanting to combine a bit of exercise with culture, there’s a short hike to Mae Khampong waterfall and, even higher up into the hills, to Kew Fin viewpoint. (Note – if you’re driving yourself to Mae Khampong and Kew Fin please note that the roads get very steep, be careful!)

It’s easy to visit Mae Khampong on your own if you have your own transport but tours are available from Chiang Mai city. Find out more…

Views over the rooftops of Mae Khampong

Our top 3 ‘other’ Day Tours in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Bike and Cook

A fantastic 1 day tour combining exploring Chiang Mai city’s back roads and markets and learning to cook fantastic Thai dishes. Everything is included in the tour and the cycling helps to build up your appetite for the food you’re going to cook. Pretty much perfect in our opinion! Find out more….

MaeVang Elephant Home

No trip to Chiang Mai is complete without having seen and learned about Thailand’s beautiful elephants. There are a huge number of options to visit elephants available throughout Chiang Mai, some of which are huge operations, but we prefer the laid back, small-scale set up offered by MaeVang Elephant Home. With only 8 elephants and set in the beautiful valley of Mae Wang, this elephant home offers private visits with limited numbers and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with these wonderful animals. Find out more…

An elephant throwing dust over it's back whilst people watch
Meeting elephants in Mae Wang

Challenge yourself and cycle the ‘Samoeng Loop’

Chiang Mai is fact becoming a mecca for all things two-wheeled thanks to the fantastic mountain roads, the great weather (most of the year) and the superb scenery. Put yourself to the test and cycle round a Chiang Mai cycling classic, The Samoeng Loop. It’s not easy at around 100km’s and with over 1,700 metres of ascent but it’s simply breath taking – both for the views and the effort you’ll have to put in. You’ll head up and over mountains, pass through small village communities, be able to stop for delicious coffee and cake (and more healthily fruit sold by the road) and have a day to remember forever.

You can rent decent bikes from a number of shops and companies in the city or join / organise a tour with a guide and support vehicle – definitely a good idea if you’re not used to riding in the hills. Find out more…..

Cycling in the mountains of Chiang Mai

Keen to learn more about Chiang Mai? Have a look at all our travel articles on Chiang Mai covering everything you need to know and more about the gateway to Northern Thailand

Ready to book Thailand’s best travel adventures? Choose from The Tuk Tuk Clubs fantastic adventures throughout Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

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