Far from being a repackaged and smaller Bangkok, Chiang Mai revels in it’s interminable uniqueness with an almost casual nonchalance that begs curiosity. In this multi-faceted city of little over a few hundred thousand people, the city brings together over 300 Buddhist temples, famous street markets, scores of exciting festivals, a bustling nightlife and irresistible spa treatments, all of which are available whatever your budget might be.
Weaved together by a smattering of important cultural sights and bustling international crowds, Chiang Mai presents itself as a city of modernity while holding firm to it’s rich heritage and culture.
With it’s superb natural surroundings offering extensive trekking opportunities, timeless Old Town lanes and inviting Thai spa treatments, Chiang Mai is a city that will capture your attention from the word go.
The city plays host to a number of important cultural festivals throughout the year and is particularly popular as a destination to celebrate Songkran, the traditional Thai new year falling in April. Here the city comes together in a flamboyant show of colour, music and dance, and not to mention the famous city-wide water fight!
If you are lucky enough to visit during November you can look forward to Loi Kratang, a breathtaking public display of delicately modelled banana-leaf containers suitably decorated with scores of flowers and candles. These are placed onto the waterways to worship the Goddess of Water, and as evening falls scores of brightly lit Lana style sky lanterns are released into the air making a graceful illumination of the night sky.
Among the many thoroughfares and night bazaars you’ll find everything from street hawks peddling trinkets of the weird and wonderful variety, mellow markets shaded by leafy trees selling tasteful arts, handcrafts and Thai style clothes. Chiang Mai is a wash with interesting stalls so a tongue for haggling and an eye for a bargain will serve you well.
Owing to it’s liberal and relaxed reputation Chiang Mai is no stranger to the party scene with many bars and live music venues found all over the city. Scores of clubs cater for backpacker crowds and a thriving gay community has lead to yet more diversity in the city’s nightlife. Peaceful evenings are also easy to find with many attractive restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine popping up all over the city.
Despite lying 700 km away from Thailand’s great capital Chiang Mai surrenders none of the character and atmosphere that Bangkok offers its millions of annual visitors, though if you’re looking for something with an added twist and a hint of the unusual then look no further than the ever popular and charming capital of the north.
Chiang Mai truly captures the imagination and whether it’s a destination to spend a few days or a few weeks, it is nonetheless a fitting venue to really indulge the senses.
Chiang Mai-Fang Road
Small little market for the locals. Here you will find rare items you may not at any other markets... read more
An important Temple perched at the top of Doi Suthep... read more
119 Ban-Luang Chomtong
Huay Keaw Road
Literally lose yourself in this aging shopping monolith... read more
Get back to nature at a place that is still a surprisingly well kept secret... read more
A wood carving village with great, bargain furniture and souvenirs... read more
176 M.8 T.Tonpao A.Sankampaeng
shops markets restaurants bars and pubs... read more
33 Moo 12, Tambon Nhong kway
Biking and hiking tours of all levels... read more
Charoen Muang Road (Road 1006)
9 kilometers out of town
A village of creativity, colour and craft... read more
Chiang Mai's unmissable market bazaar... read more
Near the Moat (Start at Tha Phae Gate
As the name indicates only on Sundays... read more
Biking your way around CM to the Wats... read more
Chang Klan Rd
between Tha Pae and Loi Kroa roads
404-20 Jira Road
( T. Nimuang, A Muang Buriram)
Make like a gibbon and fly through the treetops...
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