Singapore to Chiang Mai: 5 Day Itinerary

When it’s time to take a break from Singapore, there are few better choices for five day getaway to Chiang Mai. Located in Northern Thailand, the city of Chiang Mai itself is a wellspring of cultural interest, adventurous options, and relaxation opportunities. It’s also in close range to a number of nearby points of interest for the dedicated traveller. Wondering what you’d do to fill up five days?


Chiang Mai Five Day Itinerary


Day One – Arrival

Depending on your choice of flights (non stop or connection) It’s three to five hours of flight alone to get from Singapore to Chiang Mai. Add in the time you’ll spend getting to the airport and navigating through customs on arrival and most of the day will be gone by the time you arrive.

You should plan ahead and make a reservation at one of Chiang Mai’s excellent hotels. For a boutique experience, consider the akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel. It’s centrally located in the trendy Nimmanhaemin area, which makes it an excellent base location for exploring the local area. Plus, it’s only about 15 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport by taxi.

If you manage to catch an early flight out of Singapore, you can often still capture some of the early evening options. If you want to do a little shopping or try some street food, you can head to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.

If you prefer something a bit more relaxed, make a reservation at akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel’s in-house restaurant, Italics. It’s an Italian-inspired dining experience featuring locally-sourced food items.


Day Two – Temple Exploration

Chiang Mai is home to a number of temples. For the cultural traveller, it’s a golden opportunity to get a peek at the religious history of Northern Thailand. There are several temples you won’t want to miss while you’re here.


Wat Chiang Man Temple - akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel


Wat Chiang Man

For a true taste of history, you’ll want to start your day at Wat Chiang Man. It’s Chiang Mai’s oldest temple and dates back to 1297 C.E. As an added bonus, you also get to see Chedi Chang Lom and its life-size elephant sculptures.

Wat Phra Singh

This is another ancient Buddhist temple that dates back to around 1345 C.E. It’s commonly referred to as the Golden Temple due to its golden chedi. Inside, you’ll find the Phra Buddha Singh, although there are other contenders for that title located in the Bangkok National Museum and Wat Phra Mahathat. This is a very popular tourist destination, so be prepared for lines.

Wat Suan Dok

Another temple you won’t want to miss is Wat Suan Dok. In it, you can see a more than 15-foot bronze statue of the Buddha. The chedi is also unique in its Sri Lankan architectural style.



Day Three – Old City

While the old city is certainly no stranger to temples, those aren’t the only things you can visit there. It’s home to a vast array of shops, restaurants, and museums. You can spend the morning getting in a bit of casual shopping or immersing yourself in the local history.

You can find plenty of food options, either Thai or western, for a leisurely lunch break from your exploration. Speaking of food, one of the other options worth exploring while you’re in the Old City is an afternoon cooking class. You can spend the late afternoon and early evening hours learning how to prepare a full Thai meal with multiple courses.

Afterward, you can take in a little of the local nightlife at the Writers’ Club and Wine bar, Zoe in Yellow, or the UNIrish Pub & Restaurant.



Day Four – Adventure

With the first few days filled with shopping, food, history, and nightlife, you’ll probably be ready for a change on day 4 of your Chiang Mai vacation. This is the day for a bit of adventure, and there are plenty of options.

If you’re a fitness person, you can set your sights on the Doi Inthanon National Park. This park centers on Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak. It’s often called the “The Roof of Thailand.” The park itself is massive, covering over 480 square kilometres.


Doi Inthanon - akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel


There are nature trails throughout the park that let you get in some hiking. The park is home to a number of exceptionally beautiful waterfalls. If you want to visit a waterfall, make sure you scope out a map of the park in advance to make sure you get there early enough to reach the waterfall you want to see.

If you’re thinking of hiking, though, you’ll probably want to save that for a visit during the cool season (November-February).

You can stop by and see the Grand Pagodas. If this is on your agenda, though, make sure you get your tickets in advance, since it’s an extremely popular feature of the park.

If you’re just in the mood for a taste of nature, the park also runs guided tours.

Love nature, but want to see something a bit different, you can sign up for a day-long caving, kayaking, and jungle tour. By the time you get back to the hotel, you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep.

Not in the mood for nature? You can also pay a visit to one of the many local villages. For example, you can go to the umbrella-making village of Bo Sang. In fact, Highway 1006 heading east from the city is often called Handicraft Highway. You can find nearly everything there from silversmithing to woodcarving and ceramics.

For the animal lover, you can head over to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. You can experience a half-day tour that delves into the lives of Thailand’s elephants, including opportunities to feed or even bathe the elephants. While it’s not quite a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s an experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

At the end of the day, spend some time exploring one of the many markets the city has to offer. If you can schedule it, aim to have your fourth day in the city land on a Saturday so you can visit the Saturday Night Market.



Day Five – Departure

Much like arrival day, much of your final day will be consumed with travel. However, with careful flight booking that has you leave in the late afternoon, you can still squeeze out a bit more time in the city.

While you can schedule something specific for the morning of your last day, consider leaving it open. Odds are good that you’ll have heard about something that you want to see during your visit that wasn’t on your original itinerary.

Leaving the morning of your last day open lets you pick up that last interesting sight before you leave. If nothing else, you use the time to explore the rich art culture of the Nimman area around the akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel. You may even find a piece of art that you want to take home with you. It’s a bit more low-key and stylish than many of the more traditional knick-knacks that people pick up during a tourist trip.

Once you wrap up your last adventure, it’s back to the Chiang Mai International Airport to catch your flight home to Singapore.


Putting Together Your Itinerary

Putting together an itinerary for your trip to Chiang Mai means focusing on the essential things that you want to do and see. There are so many options available that you can’t possibly take in everything in a single trip. For example, a 5-day trip generally isn’t long enough to explore the city and do the Mae Hong Son Loop, a 375-mile road trip that takes you on a tour through some of the gorgeous countryside near Chiang Mai. Spend a bit of time looking at the options and narrowing down the things you’d like to see or experience during your trip. Also, make sure that you book rooms and buy tickets for high-demand attractions in advance of your visit. It will make your stay much smoother and less stressful than trying to pin down the details after you arrive.


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