Chiang Mai is both a city and a province in the north of Thailand, nick-named "The Rose of the North". It is one of Thailand's most favourite holiday destinations apart from the beaches. Located in the mountains of the old Lanna Kingdom, the climate is always a bit cooler.
How to get to/from Chiang Mai?Air : The airport is both International and Domestic (Bangkok, Udon Thani, Phuket, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sot). Although most international flights are code-sharing with Thai companies (Air Asia, Nok Air, Kan Air, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Orient Air). See Chiang Mai Airport
Bus : For busses from/to all major cities in Thailand go to "Arcade Bus-Station"
Train : The northern line goes from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in about 12 hours.
Road : Most roads are in good condition and you could travel to/from Bangkok in about 8 to 10 hours. Be aware that you will have to travel in mountainous area's.
How to get around?
- Tuk-Tuk's for short distance's
- Most taxi's are at the airport or shopping malls.
- You can rent bicycle's to explorer the city and even nearby area's
- You can rent car or motorbike.
Where to stay?The main area's in the city are along the Ping River, near the night market or within the old city. But all over the city are hotels and many people also favor to stay just outside the city between the rice-fields and green environment. For a short stay I would stay within the old city (within the moat) but staying a few days I would stay just outside the city centre.
What to eat?Due to the international community of expats living in Chiang Mai there is a wide choice of international restaurants in Chiang Mai. And the local (Lanna style) food is very different from other Thai food.
What to do?* Get lost in the small streets by bicycle or just walking
* Eat Northern style food
* Visit Doi Suthep and take the stairs to the temple
* Visit the Nigh Market
* Visit the Weekend Market in the old city
* Have a Khantoke dinner with traditional Thai dance shows.
What to do nearby?* Make a jungle trekking
* Do the Mae Hong Song loop (stay in Pai)
* Make a bicycle trip in Lamphun
* Visit the highest mountain of Thailand, Doi Internon
* Do NOT make an Elephant ride in the jungle
* Go to Chiang Dao
* Have a look at Green Trails Thailand and Chiang Mai Ala Carte