How to plan the perfect 2-week Northern Thailand itinerary

Looking for a 2-week Northern Thailand itinerary? You’ve come to the right place because I love Thailand!

Plan your trip to Northern Thailand

👩🏻 Best guided tours in Northern Thailand

🏡 Where to stay in Northern Thailand

Most people think that Thailand is all tropical beaches, islands, and full moon parties. But there’s so much more than that!

Northern Thailand is where you’ll find mountains, temples, and a whole lot of culture. It’s different from the beaches down south or the hustle of Bangkok.

I’ve spent months traveling in Thailand, and although I’m a beach girl by heart, I always love the tranquility and authenticity I find in the north.

In this post, I’ll give you a rundown of where to go, what to see, and how to make the most of your two weeks in Northern Thailand.

Let’s dive in!

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Week 1: Chiang Mai and beyond

Day 1-3: Temples and Markets in Chiang Mai

Your Northern Thailand adventure begins in the lovely town of Chiang Mai. You’ll spend 3 days here so you have enough time to gett a good feel of the city.

One of the first places you should visit in Chiang Mai are temples like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang.

We’re talking about postcard-pretty temples with pagodas, colorful flowers, and canals.

At Wat Phra Singh, you can see the Lion Buddha up close and get a feel for the Lanna art that’s all over the place.

Then, take a short walk to Wat Chedi Luang and stand in front of the huge pagoda—it’s pretty impressive.

In the evening, the Night Bazaar and the night markets are where you should head to.

You can grab a bowl of khao soi or some mango sticky rice—yum! The markets are always busy and are a great spot to soak in the local vibe and fill up on good food.

Read next: 21 delicious Thai dishes you should try

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Chiang Mai

Day 4: Doi Inthanon National Park

Swap out the tuk-tuk for a scooter for the day and ride out to Doi Inthanon National Park.

It’s a journey to Thailand’s highest peak, and the views of the misty mountains and green forests are amazing. Make sure you catch a sunrise there if you can; it’s worth getting up early for.

The nature trails are a must-do as well; they’re a perfect way to really get into the natural beauty of the place.

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Doi Inthanon National Park

Day 5-6: Relaxing in Pai

Take a drive down the twisty roads to Pai, a small mountain town with a super chill vibe. This is one of my favorite places in Thailand, and if you visit, you’ll understand why.

I highly recommend renting a motorbike so you can explore on your own. You’ve got to see places like Pai Canyon and the Tha Pai Hot Springs.

And if you want to cool off, take a dip in the Mo Paeng waterfall.

Trust me, soaking in the hot springs is just what you need after a day full of exploring.

Pai, Thailand

Day 7: Cave and Nature at Chiang Dao

Then, make your way to the quieter but amazing Chiang Dao.

The Chiang Dao Cave is a must-see with its incredible limestone formations inside. When you come back up to the surface, you’ll see Doi Chiang Dao Mountain—it’s pretty hard to miss. If you’re up for it, hike to the top for some seriously good views.

Spending your day here is the perfect way to wrap up your first week with some peace and quiet, surrounded by nature.

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Chiang Dao

Week 2: Thai culture and scenery

This week, you’ll explore the rich tea culture of Mae Salong, witness the artistic wonders of Chiang Rai, and step into the confluence of cultures at the Golden Triangle. Finish your journey with a full circle of activities in Chiang Mai.

Day 8-9: Tea Culture in Mae Salong

Mae Salong is high up in the mountains, and that cool air is just what tea plants love.

This place is famous for its oolong tea, thanks to the Chinese settlers from Yunnan who started growing it here.

You can stay in places that are simple but comfy and wake up to some awesome mountain scenery. Take a tour of the tea plantations to see how tea is made from start to finish, and try a few cups for yourself.

The local market is a cool spot to check out too, with lots of traditional stuff made by the Hmong and Akha people.

🫖 Book here – Private tour of Doi Mae Salong & Doi Tung

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Mae Salong

Day 10-11: Artistry in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is up next, and it’s got some really unique temples and art.

You’ve got to see the White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun, which is this crazy-detailed temple that’s all white.

Then there’s the Blue Temple that’s all decked out in blue—it’s pretty eye-catching. If you’re into art that’s a bit different, the Black House has a bunch of buildings with all kinds of art and designs that are kind of gothic and edgy.

Whether you’re looking to save a few bucks or splurge, there’s a range of places to stay, from guesthouses to fancy hotels.

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Chiang Rai

Day 12: The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is where three countries’ borders come together: Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.

It’s a cool place to see because you can literally look out and see where the Ruak and Mekong rivers meet and the different countries’ borders.

There’s also the Hall of Opium Museum, which digs into the area’s past with the opium trade. Getting there is pretty easy; you can hop on a bus, grab a taxi, or use the Grab app to get a ride.

If you like to roll on your own schedule, renting a scooter or motorbike is a good bet.

Read next: 3 weeks in Thailand itinerary for your first trip

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Ruak and Mekong rivers

Day 13-14: Return to Chiang Mai

Back in Chiang Mai, you’re in the center of Northern Thailand’s culture.

Don’t miss out on Phra That Doi Suthep temple—it’s one of those places you’ve got to see at least once. If you like Thai food (and who doesn’t?), you should sign up for a cooking class!

Make sure to eat some Khao Soi, too—it’s a local noodle dish that’s super tasty. The street food here is also top-notch.

For getting around, songthaews (shared taxis) and regular taxis are available, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for a guided trek in the jungle or some rafting and tubing to really finish off your trip with a bang.

There’s a place to stay for every budget, from hostels all the way up to fancy resorts.

🍜 Book here – Small-Group Chiang Mai Evening Street Food Tour

2-week Northern Thailand Itinerary - Phra That Doi Suthep

FAQ – 2-week Northern Thailand itinerary

How many days do you need in Northern Thailand?

At least a week is good to cover the main spots in Northern Thailand, but two weeks would let you explore more thoroughly and at a relaxed pace.

Is Northern Thailand worth it?

Absolutely. It’s packed with culture, nature, and history. From temples to night markets, there’s a lot to see and do.

Is it enough to go to Thailand for 2 weeks?

Two weeks is a decent amount of time to get a taste of what Thailand offers, including a few days in the islands, some time in Bangkok, and a trip up north.

Can you do North and South Thailand in 2 weeks?

Yes, but it’ll be tight. If you plan well, you can hit the highlights of both regions but expect a lot of traveling and less time to chill out.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Miriam, My husband and I are planning a 20 day trip to Thailand. Or we haven’t prepared a proper travel list, but what I was looking for was found in your post Pai Canyon and Tha Pai Hot Springs. I love hot spring baths so I would put this at the top of my list. Thank you

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