thai temple

Browse our Chiang Mai Tours

Fiercely devoted to tradition and tranquility, Chiang Mai is a world apart. Here, Buddhist monks welcome curious visitors into their sanctuaries for meditation, and thousands of floating red lanterns fill the sky during Loi Krathong festivities. Drawing on the local experience of our Chiang Mai travel agency team, Backyard Travel’s tailored Chiang Mai tours will guide you to the peaceful beauty of city temples, the effusive clamor of fragrant night markets, and the misty splendor of mountain roads.

Backyard’s local knowledge means you get more freedom to do what you want, because our insider tips make travel in Chiang Mai affordable, easy, and authentic. Browse our itineraries and see what you can do on your Chiang Mai journey.

TOURS:
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thai cycle rickshaw

Discover Chiang Mai

The problem with Chiang Mai is deciding what to do! This region of northern Thailand has everything you’d want from a holiday. Get plenty of exercise and fresh air with outdoor activities like mountain biking, trekking, and kayaking. Go on a guided walking tour around the walled and moated old city to explore Chiang Mai’s past, and admire up close the massive Buddhas and priceless sacred art. You can even take a helicopter tour of the landscape, if you’re feeling indulgent. For a more genuine encounter, head to forest and hill tribe communities for homestays and volunteer activities.


Discover more about Thailand or Bangkok

  • I could summarize our vacation in one word: “FANTASTIC”! The superior quality is a tribute to your thoughtful recommendations and perfect arrangements.

    Mr. Yanne Kuperman (Thailand, Mar 2015)

  • How can I begin to thank you. We returned today from a simply wonderful 4 days in Bangkok. The sites and meals you arranged for us were all excellent.

    Bella & Kevin Collins (Thailand, March 2013)

  • The overall experience and itinerary was very good. The guide and the service made the experience special and unique, very polite and professional, smiling all the time.

    Mr. Wolfgang Krueger (Thailand, Jan 2014)

  • We had a great trip and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Thailand! Really appreciate all your coordination. All the guides were wonderful and full of knowledge about the region and the customs.

    Ms. Andrea Jimenez (Thailand, Jan 2015)

longtail boat

Some Questions

about our Tours through Chiang Mai

Get the most out of your bespoke Chiang Mai tour, and brush up on the basics with our answers to FAQs. While the town is very manageable and locals are always more than happy to help farang (Thai for generic “westerner”), use our Thailand FAQ to prepare for your visit.

Citizens of most countries can enter Thailand without a visa and are allowed a 30-day stay. If you are arriving overland, however, you may only be issued a 14-day visa, depending on your citizenship. The exceptions are citizens of the G7 nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. Check the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the full details of your country’s visa agreement with Thailand.

Thailand, like many of its Southeast Asian neighbors, has two seasons: dry and wet. The most beautiful weather typically occurs between November and April, when conditions are dry and pleasant. Meanwhile, the Thai monsoon season lasts from May to October. In the higher altitudes in Northern Thailand, nighttime can be a bit chilly in December and January, with temperatures hitting lows of roughly 13 degrees Celsius (about 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you’re planning a beach vacation in Thailand, you should know that monsoon seasons hits the west and east coasts of Southern Thailand at different times. From about May to September, rains lash the Andaman Coast (the western side that is home to Phuket and Krabi). However, the monsoon season comes a little later to the eastern side, to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and the beaches of the Gulf of Thailand. Here, the monsoon season starts around July and peaks in October or November.

We think the best time to go to Thailand is November through January, when it’s sunny with blue skies and humidity is at its lowest. This is, however, peak season, which brings an increase in both crowds and prices. But, to be honest, there’s no ‘bad’ time to come to Thailand because the weather varies from region to region, and there’s an opportunity to relax, discover, or be amazed in Thailand year-round. Contact one of our locally based Travel Specialists to create a tailor-made Thailand tour that matches your timeframe and criteria perfectly.

If you’d like to see Thailand off the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place. Our locally based Travel Specialists have expert knowledge on experiencing Thailand like a local. Aside from guided tours of the rugged, remote, and pristine regions of Thailand, such as the lovely mountain town of Mae Hong Song, you can go off the beaten path—literally—with off-road tours in Thailand’s northern hills. Or how about driving yourself through the Golden Triangle or paddling through the Thai Peninsula alongside pink dolphins? We at Backyard Travel also offer private hill tribe tours in Thailand, boat tours, and culinary tours to take you off the usual tourist trail and bringing you face to face with all the experiences and tastes of Thailand. Contact one of our Thailand-based Travel Specialists who can customize a Thailand tour that meets all of your specifications.

There are so many reasons why Thailand is one of the top travel destinations in the world, but one of them must certainly be its family-friendliness. Aside from Thailand’s dazzling temples, pristine beaches, and friendly people (this is the “Land of Smiles” after all), Thailand is also safe with great infrastructure. Not only will you never run out of things to see and do, but you will also feel safe while you travel. For ideas and inspirations on a family vacation in Thailand, check out our Thailand Family Tours, above.

You can purchase a local Thai SIM card with 3G and 4G pretty much everywhere. They are available at major airports, phone shops, mobile service providers, and even 7-Eleven. Top-up credit for some providers can be bought at many big-box stores and convenience stores, including 7-Eleven, Family Mart, BigC, and Tesco.

Thailand is home to a veritable hit list of the world’s best beaches and islands. Phuket, Krabi, and Ko Samui are some of the well-known names, but this sunny country also offers quieter beaches that eschew the party crowds and are all about relaxation. Charming and laid-back Koh Kood, Koh Phangan, Koh Yai Noi and Khao Lak all allow you to escape the crowds while offering a choice of great hotels. If you’d like to do some beach camping, head to Koh Surin, one of the most remote of the Thai islands, where you may rub shoulders with the Moken people, Thailand’s enigmatic ‘sea nomads.’

Credit cards are widely accepted in Thailand, but you should be prepared to pay with cash if traveling to remote areas. ATMs for withdrawing Thai baht are available at major airports, shopping centers, hotels and almost all provincial areas. You’ll also find that exchange counters are common in tourist hubs and urban areas.

We love Thai food, and we think you will too. There’s so much more to authentic Thai food than phad thai! Try ka prao, a national dish where pork or chicken is stir-fried in a flash with holy basil and chilies. Served with a fried egg (khai dao) on a bed of rice, Thais love this satisfying dish with bold flavors. Som tam, a green mango or papaya salad, is another must-try and Thai staple. This can be made to your specifications with shrimp, crab, extra chilies, or mild with extra peanuts. It’s goes excellent with grilled chicken, or gai yang.

The Thai people have a wonderful sense of harmonizing flavors, using sweet, salty, sour, and spicy to varying degrees to create dishes that are mouthwatering and never boring. Thais also respect personal preference and always offer an array of spices, chilies, sugar, and condiments so you can doctor each dish exactly to your liking. Thai food can be very spicy, however, so make sure to request mai phet, or ‘not spicy,’ if you know you won’t be able to handle the heat.

We recommend tipping your Thai tour guide and driver as you would in most other Asian countries. A good amount to tip your guide is 150 baht (US$5) per person per day, and for your driver, 100 (US$3) baht per person per day. If you’d like to tip your taxi driver or wait staff, you can round your bill up to the nearest 50 baht, or leave roughly 10 to 15% of the total bill. This won’t be expected but appreciated.

Thailand has some of the best hotel destinations in the world, and at a great value. You’ll be spoiled for choice, from 5-star design hotels in Bangkok and boutique mountain resorts in Chiang Mai to quaint riverside inns and beach bungalows on Phuket. Due to some of the world’s most spectacular resorts at the most unforgettable places, such as the crescent beaches and turquoise, crystal waters of Krabi, Thailand honeymoons are also very popular. No matter what locale and style of accommodation you choose, the service in Thailand is usually outstanding, and you can expect Wi-Fi at all major hotels, and even at some that are off the beaten path.

Before you travel to Thailand, you should be up to date on all your routine vaccinations, which may include MMR, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid, depending on the instructions of your family doctor. You’ll also need a Yellow Fever vaccine if you are coming from a country with the risk of Yellow Fever (some parts of South America and Africa). Malaria is present in the rural parts of Thailand, so you may want to speak to your physician about anti-malarials if you plant to venture into rural areas. We always recommend having comprehensive travel insurance that covers the cost of medical evacuation when traveling in Asia. Check your government’s travel advisory for Thailand for the most up-to-date information.

Thailand is a kingdom, and the Thai people are deeply reverent of their monarchs, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. You will see images of the king and queen everywhere. Please show proper respect for these royal figures and never speak badly about the monarchy. Thailand has strict lèse majesté laws that also apply to foreigners.

The Thai people are very respectful of other cultures. We at Backyard Travel like to reciprocate by greeting people with the traditional Thai greeting, the wai. To properly wai, put your two hands together over your heart and slightly bow your head as you greet the other person. You can combine this with the Thai word for “hello,” sawadee. If you are a woman, add khaa to the end to make sawadeekhaa. If you are a man, add khap to the end to make sawadeekhap. Do this and most Thais will appreciate that you are making an effort to learn their culture.

Dress modestly and respectfully. Cover any bare skin from the shoulders to the knees, especially when entering places of worship. Take off your shoes before entering somebody’s home.

Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

Religious iconography is everywhere in Thailand in the form of chedi (a type of stupa), temples, and spirit houses. Always show respect for these religious objects by avoiding sitting or posing in front of them. Please also ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

CHIANG MAI
Real Travel

Film by Victor Pat

colonial building phuket

Sights & Experiences

Not sure what you want for your tailored Chiang Mai holiday? Check out our blog to see what our Thailand specialists recommend for bespoke Chiang Mai tours. Outstanding for cruise, cultural, and culinary expeditions, this region of Thailand has a wealth of activities to choose from and heaps of luxury as well.

 

  • Honeymoon in Asia: Where to have the romantic trip of your dreams
  • Top 10 secret places in Thailand where you can escape the crowds
  • 10 Travel Experiences You can Only Have in Asia

 

MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATIONS & INSIGHTS

Read our ‘INSIDE ASIA‘ Travel Magazine:

Want to Learn more about Chiang Mai?

Because Backyard is a locally staffed Chiang Mai travel agency, you get the insider’s perspective on the city. On a tailored Chiang Mai vacation you’ll not only see the city’s sights, but learn about Chiang Mai’s distinctive history and culture from the welcoming, laid-back locals that set this place apart.

thai woman with folded hands

CHARACTER

Rivaling Bangkok in sophistication and urbanity, Chiang Mai’s creative, enthusiastic residents have a far more laid-back and gracious demeanor. “Bend with the wind” is the life philosophy.

bullock cart

CLIMATE

The dry months between November and March have the most pleasant weather. The rest of the year can be hot and rainy, but there’s still plenty to do, perhaps even better with fewer tourists around.

muay thai boxer

ENTERTAINMENT

From elephant rides and river boat cruises in the surrounding hills to stylish coffee shops, rowdy bars, and topnotch restaurants, Chiang Mai has attractions to keep you entertained and up late.

sukhothai buddha and stupa

CULTURE

Culture structures life in Chiang Mai. Visit during Songkran (Thai New Year) and get soaked in the water festival. Or come for the autumn Loi Krathong festival for revelry, religious pomp, and breathtaking customs.

thai street food vendor

LANGUAGE

Most inhabitants of Chiang Mai speak Kham Muang, also known as Lanna or Northern Thai. Standard Thai is also the norm, and English is widely spoken as the city is a hub of tourists and expats.

thai temple

HISTORY

Chiang Mai settled in the 13th century as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Today Lanna influence can still be seen in the city’s language, food, and architecture. Don’t miss Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in the city.

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northern thai family

Meet the Thailand Team

Your dream trip should be worry-free and rewarding. That’s what Backyard’s local Thailand team are committed to. Intimate insider knowledge helps us design your tailormade Chiang Mai holiday so you can chill out and enjoy.

Pornsurang ’Aey’ Siriwandee

Thailand Travel Specialist

I fell in love with tourism when I was at university. I have since travelled to most provinces in Thailand and discovered incredible places and cultures.

Pimkamol Chaowalit

Thailand Travel Specialist

I realized my passion for travel as a child. My father was a miner and his job took us to remote parts of Thailand. The area I will always remember is Mae Hong Son.

Nhong Nualnil

Thailand Tour Specialist

Travel is about experiencing new things. I have realized the best way to discover yourself is from the things you’ve seen and experienced.



Let us create your Dream Holiday

Ready to experience Asia at its best? We take the planning off you and hand you the keys to Asia. Drop us a line and we'll get back to you with expert, free, input within 24 business hours.


 

 

 

Genuine Client Feedback

Backyard Travel

A company's services are best described by genuine unfiltered client feedback. Reviews for Backyard Travel Tours have been compiled from genuine customer feedback in partnership with leading review service, Feefo. A closed invitation only platform, we guarantee every single review is matched to a genuine customer who has travelled through with us. We currently have 16 Client Reviews of Chiang Mai, of which 100% had a good or great time with us, and we hope you will be next!

Ocena za obsługę dla Backyard Travel wynosi - Doskonale

excellent organisation, guides, program, worth recommendation

5

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EFFORTLESS, PEACE OF MIND TRAVEL

Service rating : THIS IS THE SECOND TOUR YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR US, AND IN BOTH...

5

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Excellent Southeast Asia Trip

Service rating : It was a well organized tour, with great hotels and knowledgeable and professional...

5

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Great Holiday

Great experience throughout our trip, having the time to enjoy new places, people, and food....

5

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Lifetime Experience

Service rating : Backyard Travel was easy to work with to customize our dream trip to...

5

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"WHEREVER YOU GO, GO WITH ALL YOUR HEART"

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.