We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Hi,

We will be going to Chiang Mai in early November and and thinking to do a side trip to Chiang Rai. Our plan is upon arrival in Chiang Mai on the 1st flight out from Kuala Lumpur, we would rent a car and drive up to Chiang Rai where we will be staying a night. So, we are thinking to make as many stopovers as possible on the attractions along the way from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and up to the Golden Triangle.

I've gone through a lot of JBRs and most of it were with Jermsak - we would like to know whether would it be possible for us - non Thai and never been there - to manage a trip like this on our own and squeeze all within 2 days 1 night.

The places that are already on our list are only White and Black Temple, Doi Tung Royal Garden and the Golden Triangle. We are not into the hilltribe villages and elephant parks. Upon reading a lot of reviews, Mae Salong or Pai would be good places to do sightseeing the the way - perhaps on our way back to Chiang Mai?

Would really appreciate some insights and recommendations from the seasoned travellers here to make the most of our time there.

Thanking everyone in advance and have a good day ahead!

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7,497 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

IMO the is not that much to see on the drive from CM to CR. The drive is about 3.5 hours .

The White Temple is on the road as you are going to into CR. I have been to the Black Temple. On that trip was with Jermsak.

Doi Tung is best in the morning, Have been there a couple of time(last time on the way back from Mae Sai.We spent a good 3 hours there and the highlight for me was the Queen Mothers House. It is about 40 minutes from CR With your wish list two days is not enough. If you add in Pai , you need even more time.. I am not sure on the flights to CNX from KL and return. I would check out flying into Chiang Rai if you have to fly and connect thru Bangkok.

As part of the trip do you plan to stay in Chiang Mai??

Chok dee

Edited: 08 September 2016, 14:45
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Thanks for your reply.

I thought of driving fr chiang mai airpor heading straight to mae sai and stop for the attractions along the way. After the Golden Triangle head to Chiang Rai stay 1 night and early tomorrowhead up to Doi Tung and drive back down to Chiang Mai after our Friday prayers for Muslim.

We will be staying in Chiang Mai for another 4 nights and seriously looking at Lamphu House

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7,497 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

What time does you flight arrive in CNX ?

Choke Dee

Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

If according to schedule should arrive around 840 am

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7,497 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Ok, then if your flight arrive at CNX at 8.40 am. Are you taking carry on or checked bags.

I fly into CNX a couple of times a year.

If you have checked bags, then I would say that best case you will be at the Rental car desk by 9.00 .

By the time you do the paper work and drive from the air port , you would be out at San Sai and on the road to CR about 10.15 am , even if you drive straight to the White Temple I doubt you would be there before 1.30 pm.

You need 45 minutes there. ,

So as you can see from the time lines ,you need a ot more time to go further north.

You need to re consider the trip or the time.if you want to go to the Golden Triangle.

Chok Dee

Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Thanks Chok Dee,

Yeah I do have luggage and kids in tow and am guesstimating more or less the same departure time from the airport (earliest anyways).

Okay lets say I extend one more night in Chiang Rai.. we leave the airport at 1030 am have breakfast and leave for Chiang Rai max by nearly noon time... we could have a stopover at White / Black Temple in the afternoon (if not possible perhaps could do this on our way back to Chiang Mai) and drive up to Chiang Rai and rest. tomorrow go out early and head on to Doi Tung Garden spend like 1-2 hours there and have lunch in Mae Salong and head on to the Golden Triangle (or vice versa) and back to Chiang Mai in time for the weekend night market :)

Would this be a better plan?

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7,497 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Yes it is better, if it was me, and limited time I would look at the option to fly to CR, get a guide such as Jermsak, then take the VIP bus to Chiang Mai..

Chok Dee (or good luck in English)

Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

ahhh Chok Dee is good luck ahaha... sorry John...

am choosing self drive is to cut some costs as there are 6 of us and the agents would be charging per pax basis :)

Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

Hi,it's me again. Below is my working itinerary - would appreciate any feedback or comment for better time planning / suggestions.

Thanks in advance !

ITINERARY

DAY 1

8.40 am : Arrive Chiang Mai

9.00 am : North Wheel – to get the rented car

10.00 am : Chiang Mai Hot Spring

12.00 noon : Wat Rong Khun @ White Temple

1.00 pm : Baan Dam @ Black House

2.00 pm : Lunch

3.00 pm : Arrive Singa Park

6.00 pm : Check in Huen Chan Thip Hotel, Chiang Rai

8.00 pm : Night Market

DAY 2

8.00 am : Breakfast

9.00 am : Drive up to Mae Sai Border town

10.00 am : Arrive Mae Sai Arrive Doi Tung Royal Park

12.00 noon : Solat Jumaat @ Mae Sai area & Mae Salong Mosque

2.30 pm : Head to Doi Tung Royal Park

6.00 pm : Back to Hotel

8.00 pm : Night Market

DAY 3

8.00 am : Breakfast

9.00 am : Free tram tour (Tourist off behind King Mengrai monument @ 9 am & 1.30 pm)

12.00 noon : Check out – drive back to Chiang Mai

6.00 pm : Arrive Lamphu House, Chiang Mai

Return car rental

DAY 4

8.00 am : Breakfast

9.00 am : Free and easy

Chiang Mai Gate Morning Market

Warorot Market & other Markets

Bo Sang Umbrella Handicraft Centre

3D Art in Paradise : Entrance Fee THB400/pax

8.00 pm : Night Market

DAY 5

8.00 am : Breakfast

9.00 am: Songthew to Doi Suthep

How to get to Doi Suthep from Chiang Mai old city

Get there: Head to the old city north gate, look for the red Songthaews, wait for 10 people and share cost to Doi Suthep.

Transportation price: 50 baht each way, 100 baht for return trip(minimum 10 people each Songthaew)

Wat Phathat (Wat Doi Suthep) Ticket: 30 baht

Note: After arrived at the top, we were given 1.5 hours to visit. The tuk tuk driver waited for us at the same place where she dropped us.

11.00 pm : Bhuping Palace

Daily : 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. The ticket office opens from 8.30 to 11.30 am and 1.00 to 3.30 pm. The admission fee is 50 baht for foreigners.

Chiang Mai Night Safari : Entrance Fee THB800 Adults ; THB400 Kids

DAY 6

9.00 am : Breakfast

12.00 pm : Check out and airport transfer

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
2,189 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai

My goodness I am wornout just from reading this. I think you are trying to put to much into your time and should remember you will have children in tow.