Places to go, Things to do in Chiang Mai

Places to go, things to do in Chiang Mai

Located 700km (435mi) north of Bangkok on the banks of the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river, the former Lanna kingdom capital of Chiang Mai - sometimes spelt "Chiengmai" or "Chiangmai" ("new city") - is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, attracting about one million visitors each year.

Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand and the greater Chiang Mai metropolitan area is now home to about one million people, more than half of those who occupy the entire Chiang Mai province, the second largest of Thailand’s 76 provinces.

Chiang Mai Temples:

With more than 300 Buddhist temples dating back to the foundation of the city in 1296 by King Mengrai, Chiang Mai's temples are the oldest in the country, easily surpassing those in Bangkok which date back to the early part of the 18th century.

Doi Inthanon

Similar to the US cities of Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and the Eastern Africa city of Bujumbura, Burundi, Chiang Mai is located in a natural geographic basin surrounded by mountains, with the most prominent being the 1,676 meter (about 5,500ft) Doi Suthep some 15km (about 9mi) to the west of the City, home to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of Thailand’s best known Buddhist temples and a major pilgrimage site for Thai Buddhists.

About 66km (41mi) southwest of Chiang Mai is Thailand's largest peak,  Doi Inthanon ("Mount Inthanon") which towers a massive 2,565 meters (8415ft) above sea level.

Known as Doi Luang ("Big mountain") and Doi Ang Ka ("Big valley mountain") until 1899, Doi Inthanon and the forests that surround it was the country’s first national park, and today remains one of the best known of Thailand's 110 national parks and a lasting tribute to Lanna empire king Phra Chao Inthawichayanon, one of Thailand’s first conservationists who died in 1897.

The Doi Inthanon peak and park form part of the Loi Lar Mountain Range, or Daen Lao Range, separating Burma from Thailand and the Salween watershed from the Mekong watershed, and it’s towering height provides a welcome cool respite to locals and visitors from the heat of the lowlands – often reaching subzero Celsius (below 32F) during the cool season.

The unique mix of cultures and heritage found in Chiang Mai, along with the more temperate weather, has seen Chiang Mai develop into a cosmopolitain city, attracting a large number of foreign retiree's, as well as local and domestic tourists keen to explore the Lanna traditions, as well as the minority hill-tribes in the surrounding districts.

Chiang Mai Nightlife:

Despite being Thailand's second largest city, visitors to Chiang Mai will find very little in common with the Bangkok or Pattaya nightlife, with only a few nightclubs and Thailand's infamous beer-bars being confined to a few small locations.

Though Chiang Mai's nightlife isn't patch on Pattaya's Walking Street or Bangkok's Nana Plazza or Soi Cowboy, the large number of more relaxed bars around the city cater to a wide range of mainstream tastes, with live bands  a feature at many.

Chiang Mai shopping:

One of the largest shopping events in Chiang Mai is the nightly Night Bazzar, where everything from arts and handicrafts to locally produced wine and "brand name" sporting shoes are offered.

Stretching several blocks along the roadway and sidewalk of the main Chang Klang Road between Tha Pae Road and Si Donchai Road, the Chiang Mai Night Bazar can be extremely busy during high-seasons, as locals and tourists browse through the wide range of items on offer.

Running off to the sides of Chang Klang Road and large shopping arcades also offering a wide-range of merchandise.

On Sunday's the paved brick roadway of Ratchadamnern Road in the middle of old Chiang Mai is transferred into the Chiang Mai Walking Street Market, with stall holders  stretching from Wat Phra Singh to Thapae Gate in the heart of old Chiang Mai's old city.

Considerably more relaxed and low pressure than the Night Bazar, many of the stallholders here are artisans themelves, producing the items they sell each week at the Chiang Mai Walking Street market.

Chiang Mai has an established reputation as a centre for producing handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewellery (especially silver) and woodcarving, in addition to particularly high quality silk.

The Chiang Mai Walking Street market on a Sunday afternoon (3pm to 10pm) is where artisans from the surrounding districts come to sell their wares, and where Chiangmaians go for a night out and sample the wide variety of food offered from street stalls and carts.

For bargains the second-hand "Thieves" market across the river to the east of the city and beginning at Kaeo Nawarat and Ratanakosin Roadswith roads is the place to go, while Airport Plaza at the corner of Mahidol and Hang Dong Roads near Chiang Mai airport and Central Mall (Kad Suan Kaew) Huay Kaew Road cater to those looking for boutiques and more traditional shopping in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Transport:

Chiang Mai is served by inter-city bus and train services, as well as domestic and international air services.

Central Chang Pheuak Bus Terminal provides local services within Chiang Mai province, while the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal offers services to over 20 other destinations in Thailand, including to destinations in the north and northeast where many travellers go for a border crossing to refresh their visas.

There are about 14 trains services a day to Bangkok operated by State Railway of Thailand from the Chiang Mai Railway Station, with the travel time ranging from 12 to 15 hours.

Many trains have first-class (private berths), while others have second-class seats that fold out to make sleeping berth. Thai trains also often have a third-class providing the most economical travel, though the lack of comfort makes it unsuitable for many tourists.

Chiang Mai International Airport is the second busiest in the country with flights to northern cities such as Chiang Rai, Phrae and Mae Hong Son, as well as international flights from China, Kuala Lumpur, Luang Phrabang, Mandalay, Manila, Seoul, Siem Reap, Singapore, and Taipei.

Local public transport is provided by way of tuktuks, songthaews, and a fledgling intra-city bus service, in addition to air-conditioned, metered taxi's, and motorbike taxi's.

Songthaew's generally cost between Bt20 and Bt50, with tuktuk fares starting at Bt20 per trip.

Chiang Mai Festivals:

Chiang Mai's unique cultural and heritage blend mean annual city festivals often take on a unique characteristic from anywhere else in Thailand.

Three notable Chiang Mai festivals are:

Loi Kratong (also known locally as the Yi Peng Festival held during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, which coincides with the full moon of the second month of the ancient Lanna calendar - generally in November each year.

Tens of thousands of people assemble floating containers (krathongs) bedecked with flowers and candles onto the city waterways, while the skies are dotted with hundreds of thousands of traditional Lanna-style sky lanterns (whom fai).

Thailand's annual Songkran Festival, held in mid-April to celebrate the Thai new year, is perhaps not celebrated any more enthusiastically than in Chiang Mai.

Interspersed with a range of religious celebrations, the central moat are the old Chiang Mai city becomes a huge traffic jam as thousands of people pile onto pickup trucks loaded with barrels of ice water and high-powered water pistols in a slow moving mass water fight that is repeated daily during the festival.

The three-day Chiang Mai Flower Festival is held during the first weekend of February annually, to coincide with the blooming cycle of Chiang Mai's temperate and tropical flowers.

The festival includes flower decorated floats, parades, traditional dancing, and a beauty contest.

Bangkok Property Rentals

Information for Bangkok visitors Visiting and settling in to a foreign city where many of the local population don't fluently speak you language can be a stressful time. Here we will provide you with useful links to Bangkok commercial information such as:

Chiang Mai Property Rentals

Information for Chiang Mai visitors Visiting and settling in to a foreign city where many of the local population don't fluently speak you language can be a stressful time. Here we will provide you with useful links to Chiang Mai commercial information such as:

Pattaya Property Rentals

Information for Pattaya visitors. Visiting and settling in to a foreign city where many of the local population don't fluently speak you language can be a stressful time. Here we will provide you with useful links to Pattaya commercial information such as:

Phuket Property Rentals

Information for Phuket visitors Visiting and settling in to a foreign city where many of the local population don't fluently speak you language can be a stressful time. Here we will provide you with useful links to Phuket commercial information such as:

Thailand

Information for Thailand visitors Visiting and settling in to a foreign city where many of the local population don't fluently speak you language can be a stressful time. Here we will provide you with useful links to Thailand commercial information such as:

Extended using WordPress Plugins
Designed, constructed, & optimized by Pattaya Web Services