Phew, Chiang Mai has been the longest travel series yet on this blog! Now that we’re at the end, what better way to finish off than with a guide to 24 hours in Chiang Mai? This time, we’re exploring how to travel the city like the young, trendy people we are. I’m talking to you, #girlboss. The only guide you need is here: The Millennial’s Handbook to 24 Hours in Chiang Mai.
At the beginning of December last year, I went on a four-day trip to Chiang Mai. Though short, I made sure to visit a variety of places, most of them *surprise surprise* chic cafés. If you’re on the hunt for the most Instagram-worthy spots in the northern Thai city, then read on!
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9:00AM: Up and at ’em
Rise and shine, girlfriend! On one hand, you’re on holiday, so you get to sleep in longer than the usual 6AM. On the other hand, you’re a busy #girlboss, so you gotta get up before the clock strikes noon. No lazing around this morning, you’ve only got 24 hours in Chiang Mai… make the most of it!
You’re still young, so you might not be able to afford the big names like the Intercontinental or the Shangri-la yet. That doesn’t mean you need to settle for an Airbnb, though. Sanae Hotel is located conveniently on the trendy Nimmanhaemin Road and is an affordable hotel that offers a big space for a budget-friendly sum. With a chic, photogenic design, it’s the perfect choice to satisfy all your Instagram needs.
10:00AM: Fuel up
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so first things first: fuel up. There’s nothing better than a fresh loaf of artisan bread in the morning, and there’s only one place in Chiang Mai to get it. Lace up your shoes because you’ll be checking out a mom-and-pop bakery!
Founded by two bread lovers, Flour Flour is a project of passion featuring homemade sourdough and minimalist architecture. It’s the ideal choice to get your morning fuel of carbs, offering a full menu of handcrafted baked goods that range from signature toasts straight out of the oven to melt-in-your-mouth cookies for takeaway. The chill, homey vibes of Flour Flour is sure to bring a calm beginning to your busy day.
11:00AM: Work mode on
Being in a different country doesn’t mean you stop hustling altogether. By now, you’ve probably got a thousand clients clogging up your inbox. Why not take the late morning to get a bit of work done and check out a new coworking space at the same time?
HeartWork the Sharing Space
Forget about the coworking spaces in the city centre. Though easily reachable, those spots are often crowded with people. Instead, make your way to HeartWork the Sharing Space, a newly opened two-storey office that aims to satisfy the influx of digital nomads settling in Chiang Mai. The coworking space, located in the northwest corner of the city, offers a clean and minimalist setting that is sure to please any design fanatic.
1:00PM: Lunch break
24 hours in Chiang Mai is not complete without a scrumptious midday meal. It’s been a few hours since breakfast and your stomach is starting to protest in embarrassing growls. Well, pick up your laptop, because it’s time for an Instagram-worthy meal you won’t forget.
Active on social media? You’re sure to have heard of The Baristro. The popular café is hyped up all over the internet for its fresh, minimalist design. In fact, even those who do not care for the ‘Gram will want to whip out their cameras to capture the pristine space. But the interior isn’t all the café offers – flip open the menu for a world of highly photogenic bites, from dainty cakes to full meals. Craving something savoury? Grab a croissant and settle the tummy rumbles!
2:00PM: Inhale, exhale
Before you rush back to work, take a walk to get your digestive system moving. Chiang Mai may be a growing metropolis, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of green space. Make the most of the sun and enjoy the warm weather of Thailand. You deserve it after a morning indoors.
Chiang Mai Park
Ping River separates the two sides of Chiang Mai: the new and the old. To get to the other side, you’ll have to cross the Narawat Bridge, which will bring you to more hidden gems such as HeartWork the Sharing Space. Along the river is Chiang Mai Park, a leisurely stroll along the water bank scattered with overhanging trees and old stone benches. It provides a rare green setting in the city to rest and empty the mind.
4:00PM: Shot of energy
You know that afternoon lull that gets you every time at around 4PM? Well, luckily for you, there’s a hip coffee shop not far from HeartWork the Sharing Space that is known for its strong coffee shots. It’s photogenic to boot too, if you’re one for impressing your friends on social media. 😉
Brewing Room is the name of the trendy café where all the millennials are headed to nowadays. The premium coffee house offers imported beans from all over the world and changes their blend every month to ensure things are new and refreshed. Beat that post-lunch lull of yours with a cup of cold drip, and remember to take in the cutesy, pastel surroundings of the café while you’re at it.
7:00PM: Time to relax
You’re not in Thailand until you’ve had a massage, a spa, or something of the sort. The rule goes like this: never go 24 hours in Chiang Mai without a good session of pampering. As soon you leave your temporary coworking office, ring up the masseuse and book yourself in for a spa. You sure as heck want it, don’t deny it!
U Chiang Mai
The first question any traveller to Southeast Asia always asks is where the best massage in the city is. Don’t ask and you’re losing out on the fantastic service and budget-friendly prices. In Chiang Mai, the spot you’re looking for is not a traditional massage house. Instead, head on over to the U Chiang Mai hotel and choose from the plethora of options offered by the U Spa. Whether it be the Classical Swedish Massage or the Lanna Body Scrub, the four-star resort will not disappoint.
Read more: Where to Find the Best Massage in Chiang Mai
9:00PM: Sweet ending
As you head out of the spa, your body free of aches, your stomach grumbles. It’s time for dinner – but oops, 9PM might just be a bit too late for a full meal. Never mind, why not just skip the big plates and go straight for dessert? 😉
On Cloud Nine
There’s always room for dessert, isn’t there? Bonus points if said dessert is fancy and photogenic. Time and time again, Instagram-worthy bites have proven to be a success in today’s appearance-obsessed society. Join in on the trend and finish off your day at On Cloud Nine. The cutesy dessert bar offers a full menu of sweets that’ll treat both your eyes and your mouth.
Well, time’s up. 24 hours in Chiang Mai well spent: you got some work done and you managed to explore the city while you were at it. If that isn’t a win-win, then I don’t know what is. Let me know what your favourite part of the day was in the comments below! 🙂
Chiang Mai Series:
- The Budget-Friendly Hotel That Doubles as an Airbnb
- The Poor Traveller’s Trick to Staying in a Boutique Design Hotel
- If You Love Design, You’ll Love This Japan Inspired Café
- The Only Place You Should Buy Your Bread in Chiang Mai
- Where to Get Your Dose of Coffee and Design in Chiang Mai
- Make Work Fun at Chiang Mai’s Newest Coworking Space
- This Dessert Bar Will Make Your Ice Cream Dreams Come True
- Fulfill All Your Dessert Fantasies at On Cloud Nine
- 7 Instagram-Worthy Cafés in Chiang Mai You Cannot Miss
- Where to Find the Best Massage in Chiang Mai
- The Millennial’s Handbook to 24 Hours in Chiang Mai
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