24 Hours In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, one of the oldest cities in Thailand is a popular stopover location, which means travelers often spend no more than two nights here as it serves as a pit stop en-route to locations like Pai, Chiang Rai and others. This is largely because Chiang Mai is one of the more connected centers in the North, having an international airport as well as a major railway station. 

Founded in 1292, as a royal residence, Chiang Mai used to be at the helm of an independent kingdom. Even though it’s the biggest city in Northern Thailand, the atmosphere of Chiang Mai is laid back and similar to that of a large town. A local Chiang Mai resident once said to us, “Pai is paradise but Chiang Mai is heaven on Earth.” The town is built around Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Praya River, and is filled with flowering trees, archways and canals, making it a rather charming town. While Chiang Mai is known well for its temples, culture and Thai handicrafts, it has a number of hidden gems that most visitors miss out on. 

However, even if you’re in Chiang Mai for less than 48 hours, you can still experience the unique offerings of this historical town. In this detailed itinerary, we’ll guide you through an action-packed day, exploring breathtaking waterfalls, savoring delicious Northern cuisine, and immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife. Are you ready to take a trip back in time to ancient Thailand?

thai cooking school

11:00 AM

Check-in at Slumber Party Chiang Mai:

Slumber Party Chiang Mai is located in Old City, walking distance from a slew of the city’s best restaurants, jazz bars and nightclubs. The hostel has an in-house bar and restaurant with a number of affordable cocktails and delicious burgers on offer.

With cozy community spaces and high-speed WiFi, Slumber Party is a comfy hangout. SP Chiang Mai also has electronic key card access and a separate entryway for the dormitories, giving you privacy and security.

rent motorbike chiang mai

12:00 PM

Rent a Bike:

Rent a bike because it’s the fastest way to cover multiple sights. In Chiang Mai, you will be able to hire a scooter for THB 250 to THB 350 per day. Make sure to hire a helmet too! You might have to make a small refundable deposit to get one, but it’s definitely a good idea to have one on hand.

Lunch at Aum Vegetarian Restaurant

01:00 PM

Lunch at Aum Vegetarian Restaurant:

Aum Vegetarian Restaurant is a great choice for lunch because their food is light, delicious and organic! They use locally sourced, organic ingredients making it some of the cleanest food you can find in Chiang Mai! They also have all the delicious Northern Thai cuisine on offer. The menu includes vegan sushi, fresh juices and homemade ice-creams, all served in a casual dining area and prepared by a family of long-time Chiang Mai residents.

montha than waterfall

03:00 PM

Visit Montha Than Waterfall and Hike the Trail:

Montha Than Waterfall is a 30-minute bike ride uphill from Chiang Mai. The waterfall is only a few minutes walk from the parking lot, but the protected area also has a beautiful 90-minute long walking trail. At the head of the trail you will find information boards describing native plant species in the surrounding forest areas. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and insects too! 

For the more adventurous travelers, this area also has a camping ground with facilities available. Make sure you pack your hiking shoes for this one.

Ang Kaew Reservoir


06:00 PM

Visit Ang Kaew Reservoir For The Sunset:

Ang Kaew Reservoir is located on the Chiang Mai University campus so it is rarely empty. Students and residents alike enjoy visiting the reservoir for the calm energy and the beautiful waters. It’s without a doubt, one of the best spots in town to catch the sunset. Sit on the banks and watch the birds soar under the clouds as the trees sway in the breeze and the sun sinks into the horizon, setting the sky ablaze with colors.

Pineapple Express

08:00 PM

Dinner at Pineapple Express:

Drop into your room for a quick wash up in the hot shower, and head out to Pineapple Express for dinner. They have two locations next to one another – one which is exclusively a bar and dance floor, with UV murals covering every inch, and the other is a casual bar/restaurant with a pool table and an aux cable for guests to play music on. The food here is as authentic as you will find (their chicken Massaman curry is delectable), and the casual atmosphere is perfect for meeting long-term residents too. Out here, you’re bound to bump into some cool people to swap stories with.

09:30 PM (Option One)

Pub Crawl at Slumber Party Chiang Mai:

Pub crawls are a fun way to experience the city’s lively nightlife as you hop from one popular bar to another, enjoying drinks, music, and unforgettable conversations. Slumber Party Chiang Mai offers pub crawls twice a week, which make for an exciting opportunity to bond with your dorm roomies and meet new people along the way too. 

If you want to attend our infamous pub crawls, remember to pre-book your tickets and enquire about the dates of the pub crawls before booking your stay.

Night Market in Chiang Mai

09:30 PM (Option Two)

Visit the Night Market in Chiang Mai

If you happen to opt out of the pub crawl or it’s simply not aligned with your dates, check out the local night market. Browse through stalls offering unique crafts and souvenirs, and indulge in mouthwatering local street food. Chiang Mai’s renowned Night Bazaar is situated in the heart of the city and has a number of bars and pubs nearby with live musicians playing the night away. Chiang Mai also has a passion for jazz music, and you’ll find several of them sprinkled through Old City.

12:00 AM or whenever the night ends!

Catch Up On Sleep:

Get your nightly dose of zzz’s – it’s the key to an energized and enthusiastic traveler! Curl up in our comfy hostel beds and snooze your worries away.

08:30 AM

Visit Wat Chedi Luang:

Wake up refreshed and start your day by exploring the iconic Wat Chedi Luang, a historic Buddhist temple known for its impressive ancient ruins. This temple is a 5-minute ride from Slumber Party Chiang Mai, so it’s an easy way to connect to the serenity and simplicity of ancient Buddhist culture. Explore the architecture and absorb the meditative energy of the inner sanctum.

10:00 AM

Check-out from Slumber Party Chiang Mai:

If you are traveling to Pai or Chiang Rai, the reception at the hostel will organize your transport. Remember to enquire in advance if you need bookings made on time. Pack your bags and say farewell!

Chiang Mai offers an exceptional blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and nightlife, even within a tight 24-hour timeframe. Whether you’re exploring stunning waterfalls, savoring delightful cuisine, or immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife, this adventure-packed itinerary will surprise you at every turn!

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