If you’re in search of a destination that offers natural beauty, delicious local food, and a budget-friendly escape from city life, Chiang Mai is the city for you! Here is a 5-day Muslim-friendly Chiang Mai itinerary, contributed by Nuraisyah Norazmi, who went on a trip with her friends after their graduation! They spent most of their time exploring the Mae Rim district before returning to the mountainous city of Chiang Mai.
They enjoy leisurely exploration in natural environments and good food, and Chiang Mai checks both of these boxes, especially for fresh graduates like them. It makes for a great budget-friendly destination to escape city life (while not being too far away from one) and also offers the punchy flavours of Thai cuisine.
Day 1: Arrival in Chiang Mai International Airport
Arrival in Chiang Mai International Airport
- There is a Muslim Prayer Room in the airport, on the second level towards International Departures
- It's spacious, segregated, and ablution area is provided
Opening Hours: 7am - 10pm
Lunch: Takawa Halal Cuisine
- Book a Grab to Takawa Halal Cuisine (8 minutes drive from the airport) for lunch
- Try their steamed fish and tom yum soup for an authentic and homely taste!
Address: Chiang Mai Land 10 Alley, Tambon Chang Khlan, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 10am - 9pm daily
Start Your Camping Experience!
- Book a taxi in advance to take your group from the airport to your accommodation!
- Booking for the driver can be done together with the accommodation on booking.com, which is very convenient!
Accomodation: Phu Morinn Cafe & Camping
- Phu Morinn Cafe & Camping makes you feel like you are glamping!
- The bedroom is in a tent, and they have an outdoor area facing the mountains. The bathroom is situated outside the tent as well.
- Run by a lovely family who stays on-site
- Has a mini convenience store at reception, easy-to-get essentials like toothpaste or mosquito repellent, and snacks (closes at 8pm)
- Offers halal options (they use halal chicken)
- Do always ask to confirm before you order!
- Cooks meals upon order, highly recommend their seafood/chicken fried rice
- Has a nice rooftop above their reception area where you can have your meals
- Not for people who hate bugs! There can be a lot of bugs, so make sure to bring insect-repellent sprays and patches!
- Double budget room (inclusive of breakfast) – $115 per night for 4 people ($28.75/pax each night)
Day 2: Exploring Mon Jam
Breakfast is included with the accommodation. You get to choose from two options - porridge or an american breakfast set.
Getting Around Mae Rim:
- Because it’s a mountainous area, it can be a little more difficult to get around
- Conveniently, the accommodation can provide a driver for you upon request
- Accommodation staff is very helpful and will be happy to suggest places and plan the route to the places you intend to visit
- Costs about 1500 baht for 4 people
- Apart from being convenient and reasonably priced, it’s also really fun to ride an open truck
- Note: Drivers usually speak very little to no English, communication is done through the accommodation staff, though you can try Google Translate.
Yoddoi Cafe and Mon Jam Garden
With great coffee and an amazing view, Yoddoi Cafe is a great place to start the day!
Address: WRPF+4MF, Mae Raem, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm daily
Take a stroll through the Mon Jam Garden to soak in the view. They also offer a few picturesque spots to take photos. Highlight of the garden – the swing!
Visit the nearby local street stores!
Go to an orange farm to pick some fresh oranges and have some fresh orange juice, but make sure to check if they are in season first! Plus, they’ve got cute spots to take photos too. (there are a few orange farms in the same area)
Address: Pang Hwa, 82หมู่11 แม่แรม Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm daily
Lunch: Eden Cafe
- As they are a cafe, they only serve drinks and dessert.
- But there is a beautiful space outside the cafe, so it's worth visiting.
Address: WRHF+MG8, Mae Raem, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 6pm daily
Activity: Pong Yaeng Jungle Coaster
- An adventure park that has a wide range of activities, including ziplines, bungee jumping, and jungle roller coaster.
- Do take note: If you are looking to eat here, the restaurant on the premises is not halal-certified, though they do have only seafood options available. We urge you to confirm with the staff about the ingredients and dine at your own discretion.
- The park offers a few packages that include sets of activities you can participate in. As part of the package, you can redeem a free cake and drink each from their cafe.
Address: 99 9 Pong Yaeng, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 8am - 5pm
Sunday: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Dinner: Mookata at the Accommodation
- The set came with seafood, halal chicken, vegetables, and butter. They also provided soy sauce and pepper.
- The soup didn’t have much flavour, so it would be a good idea to have a paste that you can add into the soup, and a dipping sauce for the grilled food.
Day 3: Into the Wilderness
Breakfast: At the Accommodation
- Visit Thailand’s 7-Eleven to try their snacks! One of the highly recommended snacks to try would be their toasted sandwiches. They’re simple and they’re good. They also have a bunch of unique potato chip flavours to try.
- At the counter, the staff will ask if you’d like to heat up the food that you bought and do it for you.
- Some branches also have a cafe where you can order drinks, like coffee or milk tea.
- For lunch, Aisyah asked the accommodation staff to suggest a halal restaurant for them.
- Do take note, it is not very easy to find halal-certified restaurants in Mae Rim district.
Activity: Mae Sa Waterfall
- Mae Sa waterfall is a 10-tier waterfall, though it says 8 levels in its Google description.
- There is a trail that you can follow leading you from the first level of the waterfall, up to the eighth.
- It took about 30 minutes to reach the last waterfall with minimal stops in between. You can choose to stop at any level to sit and enjoy the waterfall.
Address: WV4X+H63, Soi Namtok Mae Sa 4, Mae Raem, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
Opening hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm
Dinner: Ruammit 1
- Halal certified Thai food restaurant that is Muslim-owned
- A relaxed restaurant located on Chang Klan Road just south of the Night Bazaar
- The owner uses the same recipes that were passed down to him from his wife's grandfather.
- Has a very homely and comfortable vibe!
Address: 170, 7 Changklan Rd, Chang Khlan Sub-district, Amphoe Mueng, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 10am - 9.30pm daily
End of the night with some wooden old-school games like tic-tac-toe and Jenga that are available at the accommodation’s reception.
Day 4: Back to the City
Leaving for Chiang Mai
- Driver booked through accommodation
- Before leaving, don’t forget to take pictures around the campsite area!
Lunch: Khao Soi Islam Noodles
- Have lunch at Khao Soi Islam Noodles, a halal restaurant (which is not uncommon in the city; there are plenty of halal options as compared to Mae Rim).
- They have a wide range of dishes on their menu, not limited to just noodles. They even have dumplings and biryani.
Address: 24 Charoen Prathet 1 Alley, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 7.30am - 5pm daily
- Next to the restaurant, there is a small, cozy cafe run by a friendly lady that also sells her own self-baked goods. It’s called CoffeeHome.
- This particular area in Chiang Mai also has a lot of other halal restaurants, so feel free to take a look around. Down the road, from the cafe there is also a mosque, so you can do your afternoon prayers there after eating!
Address: 20 Charoen Prathet 1 Alley, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm daily, closed on Thursdays
Accommodation: Whole Gain Chiang Mai Airbnb
- Whole Gain Chiang Mai is a unique airbnb!
- Situated above a cafe, and is a shared space for women only. It offers 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom.
Activity: Roaming the streets of Chiang Mai, Kalare Market
- Lots to explore along the streets: cute stores selling artsy goods, accessories, thrift stores, etc
- Offers what you’d expect to find in night markets – lots of souvenirs, clothes, bags, etc.
- You can also find halal street food along the way
- Make sure to try the coconut ice cream served in a coconut. They are very generous with their ice cream and the coconut meat was juicy and soft.
- They also had the famous ice cream rolls, which had an order sheet (like MakiSan) that lets you customise your dessert. It’s better shared because it can be too sweet.
- Take a Tuktuk back to your Airbnb!
- There are many Tuktuks parked outside the market. It can be intimidating to approach or pick a driver, so you can also book them through Grab, or use Grab to see the price of the ride to your destination before asking a driver in person so that you know what the price should be like. There are also a few women drivers, if that makes you more comfortable!
Day 5: Last Day
Breakfast: Airbnb Cafe
- Do take note that the cafe at this accommodation is not halal-certified, but there are vegetarian dishes available. Do dine at your own discretion!
Activity: Shopping at Makro
- Drop by Makro before you leave to get some last minute items. It’s a hypermarket that sells stuff in bulk for cheaper, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to buy many packs of an item you’d like to bring back and share with your loved ones in Singapore e.g. snacks.
- To get there, you can try their Rot Daeng (that translates to red car). You can book this on Grab too. It feels similar to riding an open truck.
Address: 152 Soi 12 Ban Pluek New Mortar Moo 6, Nong Pa Khrang Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50000
Opening Hours: 6am - 10pm daily
- After all the shopping, get some coffee from Cafe Amazon, a chain coffeehouse, before heading to the airport!
- It’s like the Starbucks of Thailand (with more reasonable prices).
If you are travelling to Chiang Mai/Mae Rim, here's some tips Aisyah shared for you to take note of!
- Hire an external driver who speaks English to make getting around smoother and easier!
- Prepare medicine for motion sickness as the roads there are very bumpy, so it's better that you have medicine packed!
- Make sure to look out for any festivals or celebrations that are coming up!
- There are a lot of affordable unique cafes, so make the most out of it and go cafe hopping without the guilt of bursting your budget!
- Enjoy your time and have fun!
This article is written by HHWT Explorer Nuraisyah Norazmi. If you're interested in sharing your travel story with us, send us an email at [email protected]