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Chiang Mai

Practical information on Chiang Mai

  • Viewpoint
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
One hour by plane from Bangkok
When to go
Ideally from October to March
Minimum stay
3 to 5 days

Reviews of Chiang Mai

Romain Beuvart Seasoned Traveller
89 written opinions

Ancient capital of the kingdom of Lanna, Chiang Mai is "the Rose of the North", famous for its mountains and the tribal villages which encircle it.

My suggestion:
You'll need to get up early to see the morning ritual of the monks walking round the temples so that the locals can give them offerings, including their meals for the day.
My review

The ideal departure point for mountain walks and lovers of trekking, I liked the town of Chiang Mai because its climate is more or less temperate, and because it's a town on a human scale. Chiang Mai has its collection of old temples, like Wat Chiang Man which dates from the 13th century, and the unmissable Doi Suthep on the neighbouring mountain, from where you can see the whole town.

If you are staying in Chiang Mai over the weekend, don't miss the night market in the old town (from the Tha Pae door), and if not, there is the night bazaar in the new part of town.

I love how calm the town is. Obviously you go there for the temples, but it's also loved by the Thais themselves who use it to escape from a hectic Bangkok.

Drink a cup of coffee or eat a cake in one of the shops along the river, poke about in the shops and admire the special local crafts - that's the sort of thing I prefer to do when visiting Chiang Mai.

Clémentine Camara Seasoned Traveller
7 written opinions

Chiang Mai is known as the 'Rose of the North,' and it's the point of departure for all the excursions you'll be looking forward to in Northern Thailand. In short, it's somewhere you absolutely must visit if you want to experience the 'real' Thailand.

My suggestion:
Plan to spend at least one weekend there if you want to see the Saturday and Sunday markets, which are both held at night and are very busy, with good reason.
My review

In the daytime you can visit the town to see and admire its numerous temples and its flower market, though I much more enjoyed exploring Chiang Mai in the evening once the heat had subsided. Browsing the markets, strolling the banks of the Ping River and visiting the bars in the buzzing atmosphere created by the little lights becomes a real pleasure at these times.

If you like great food, I recommend 'the canteen,' which gets set up for the evening at the Sunday market held in the temple of Wat Phan Tao. It's a delight for both the taste buds and the eyes, and simply must be experienced at all costs.

For the more adventurous, hiring a scooter and heading off to explore the region should provide ample satisfaction. Additionally, there are organised tours available that offer you the chance to experience the splendor of both the mountains and the people of Northern Thailand.

Marine Faure Seasoned Traveller
48 written opinions

Chiang Mai is the capital of Northern Thailand.

My suggestion:
Take some time to go for a wander around the night market!
My review
Chiang Mai is the second largest city in the country, after Bangkok, and capital of the Chiang Mai region. It lies by the banks of the Ping River and has a very distinctive culture.
 
I spent three days in Chiang Mai and really loved the city. It has a lot to offer, yet without the hustle and bustle the of the Thai capital. It's the best place to go in the country if you want to purchase local arts and crafts items. I visited a number of wood, silver and ceramics workshops there. The city-center night market is something not to miss!
 
Just outside the city you can go for long hikes, treks, go rafting, go on elephant-back rides and visit tiger parks ... Those who like to get off the beaten track when on holiday will be delighted!

Tours and travel ideas Chiang Mai

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