Amazing ideas for Northern Thailand itinerary 7 days

Thailand offers almost everything you may expect; from its tropical climate, idyllic islands, pristine beaches, gorgeous temples and pagodas to the unique taste of local food. So how long to spend in Northern Thailand? If you prefer more cultural insights into a beautiful landscape to the beach break, this Thailand itinerary 7 days in the North is absolutely a nice choice.  

Day 1-2: Chiang Mai

Though being much smaller than Bangkok’s capital city, Chiang Mai attractions still offer plenty of activities for many types of travellers. The most popular activities while being in Chiang Mai Thailand are exploring night bazaars, and Buddhist temples or spending half a day trip to an elephant camp or hill-tribe village.  


Chiang Mai buddhist temples
Chiang Mai buddhist temples

For mountains and highlands lovers, trekking along the waterfalls and river at Doi Inthanon National Park mountain – the highest peak in Thailand is a must-do. Also, if you travel with family, especially children, seeing the Chiang Mai night safari at the local zoo is really interesting for all members to experience together.

As you are seeking a new way to experience not only the modern city but also the heritage temples, why don’t you join a half-day tour by bicycle to get around Chiang Mai? The most highlighted point of the ride is that it is chilled and easy as long as you are fully equipped with a helmet, shoes, hat and a good bike. Here is the suggested Chiang Mai agenda during the Thailand tour for anyone interested:

  • Visit the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna and learn more about the rich cultural background of Chiang Mai. Do not skip some of the ‘hidden’ ruins of Wiang Kum Kam; such as Wat Ku Padom and Wat Huanong, our favourite sites.


Wiang Kum Kam
Wiang Kum Kam
  • Visit the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna and learn more about the rich cultural background of Chiang Mai. Do not skip some of the ‘hidden’ ruins of Wiang Kum Kam; such as Wat Ku Padom and Wat Huanong, our favourite sites.
  • Continue to McKean Rehabilitation Center. We cycle through the tree-shaded lanes of this beautiful complex that is now home to disabled people and houses a hospital and numerous other buildings.
  • Stop at a small handicraft shop for a break.
  • Then cycle along the Ping Riverbanks and immerse yourself in more of the local atmosphere that makes Chiang Mai so special.
  • Cycle back to the centre of Chiang Mai via the different path where you can enjoy a refreshment and sit down for a moment before returning to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

Whether you travel to take in the most highlights in Chiang Mai, do not forget to stop at a few local markets to taste the authentic Northern and Chiang Mai food; as well as to sit among the friendly Thai and get a real feel of local life.

Day 3-4: Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle

Chiang Rai Thailand might be less-known than Chiang Mai as a tourist attraction. This name might be less-known than Chiang Mai as a tourist attraction. But it is considered to be one of the most Northern places of Thailand for preserving the ethnic culture; which can be found in its temple and museum architecture.

Within a half-day tour, you will have the chance to explore the culture and heritage of Chiang Rai by check out the most unique structures and quickly fall in love with all the stories behind:

  • White temple – Wat Rong Khun: the Buddhist and Hindu temple is painted white colour with the use of some white glass making the whole structure shine bright in the sunshine.


Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun
  • Black House – Baan Dam Museum: home to a complex of dark and eerily buildings filled with natural features displayed to satisfy the passion of one of the national artists.
  • Blue Temple – Wat Rong Suea Ten: recognized for its predominantly blue colour filled with fascinating gold décor.


Blue Temple – Wat Rong Suea Ten
Blue Temple – Wat Rong Suea Ten
  • Jade Buddha Temple – Wat Phra Kaew: among the oldest temples in Chiang Rai city.

On the second day in Chiang Rai, do not skip the Golden Triangle which is the intersection where three countries Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet by the Mekong River. Hill tribe villages, busy border towns, organic tea and coffee plantations, huge jungles and the best elephant ’sanctuary are what you can expect to experience once in Golden Triangle. To collect an extra stamp on your passport, you can take a short boat ride down the river to visit a Laotian local market.

Day 5-6: Pai

Nestled high up in the greenery mountains of Northern Thailand, Pai has become very appealing to backpackers in recent years. However, more and more travellers of any type, from nature lovers, artists, adventure enthusiasts, etc. are coming here to escape the busy and bustling cities and relax in this little town. People say if you once come to Pai, you may never want to leave because of its off-the-beaten-path feature which can not be found in any other regular Thailand tourist sights


Pai in Thailand itineary 7 days
The off-the-beaten-path feature of Pai

In spite of the wide range of activities you can enjoy in Pai, we have narrowed the list and picked out Mok Fah Waterfalls, Pai Grand Canyon, World War 2 Memorial Bridge, and a scenic view of Pai Valley. Also, you can visit the Lisu tribal market and take great photos at U-Long tea Chinese village and Pai walking street. They will be the most ultimate places to see on a two-day trip.

One of the best things in Pai to be added to your Thailand itinerary 1 week is watching the sunset at the canyon. A little scary but fun are the feelings that you may have while walking up the canyon and waiting for the sunset. Once you find your seat, just relax and take a breath beholding the stunning landscape of Pai mountains.

If you are an early bird, watching the sunrise from the Chinese Village is not a bad option with one of the nicest views in Pai. It is yet a stop on your way to the waterfall but is a very pretty scene overlooking the fog covering the green valley downhill.

Exploring the ancient Tham Lod Cave is also one of the favourite things to do in Pai. To reach the impressive cave, you will enjoy the 45 minutes winding road ride up to the mountain and the incredible viewpoints. It is really an awesome experience to enter the cave on bamboo rafting; which is followed by hundreds of huge swimming fish with you. Tham Lod Cave is, without a doubt, one of the best things to try in Pai.


Tham Lod Cave
Tham Lod Cave – one of the most favourite things to do in Pai

Day 7: Chiang Mai Relaxation

Time flies, this is already the last day of your northern Thailand itinerary 7 days. Coming back to the old city of the slow pace of life, you should spare some time for shopping; or simply enjoy a nice coffee in the Giant Chiang Mai to experience the tree house at the coffee shop which is accessible via some rope bridges. Sitting among the huge branches of the tree in the lush jungle is really a magical feeling that fits anyone who dreams of their own tree house.

Some suggested Thailand itineraries 7 days for you to consider:

If you have more time, you can combine North Thailand beaches with Cambodia, such as this Amazing Highlights Of Cambodia & Thailand 14 Days.


Linh Chu – Travel Specialist

Blog Categories

Article Submission

If you would like to submit an article or a travel story, please contact:

[email protected]

Tripadvisor Reviews