Chiang Mai

Often referred to as the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai is the economic and cultural centre of Northern Thailand and the focus of tourism within the region. Located about 700 kilometres from Bangkok, it is one of Thailand’s better known and most visited provinces. Originally the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom created by King Mengrai in 1296, the province has a played a major part in the development of the country. Situated on the Mae Ping River and around 310 metres above sea level, Chiang Mai is one of the kingdom’s most beautiful provinces, featuring mountain ranges and hills amidst lush greenery and jungle. Climate conditions in the area can create swirls of mist and fog in winter – an unusual sight in a tropical country. The province’s numerous national parks are extremely fertile, have an abundance of flowers, and support a broad range of wildlife (the area is particularly associated with elephants). The province is also famed as being a home to numerous tribal peoples and visits to tribal villages are a key component of the area’s tourism. Some of the main attractions in the area include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Doi Intanon – Thailand’s biggest mountain.

Attractions in Chiang Mai

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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is probably Chiang Mai’s most important site for visitors, and certainly its most visible. Wat Phra Borommathat Doi Suthep nestles into the side of Doi Suthep some 3,000 feet above sea level amongst some of the most picturesque scenery you are likely to encounter. Built by King Gue-Na in 1383, the temple houses a...


Doi Inthanon National Park

At 8,415 feet above sea level Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s highest mountain. It is a premium site for scenery and offers visitors forests, bird life and waterfalls. During the winter season the summit of Doi Inthanon is usually cool and dry, but over recent years temperatures have fallen lower and lower. You can now on very rare occasions...


Doi Pui

Doi Pui (1658 meteres above see level) is a part of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Doi Pui Peak has a cold weather all the year. Bird watching is an activity here where more than 300 species of birds live. There’s an area for tent camping that can accommodate up to 250 visitors. 4 Km from the National Park office, there is a Phu Ping Palace...


BorSang village

Borsang Umbrella and Thai Handicraft Village are usually approached as a single trip and often on an organized tour. Borsang Umbrella and Thai Handicraft Village offers a wide range of Thai handicrafts but is most famed for its parasol umbrellas. These umbrellas have made the small village of BorSang famous and in many respects the umbrellas have...


Chiang Mai Night Safari

Chiang Mai Night Safari offers the adventurous the opportunity to head off into the animal kingdom while keeping a safe distance from urban creature comforts and a nice hotel. Only the third night safari in the world (Singapore and Guangxi, China also have them), Chiang Mai Night Safari has proven an immediate hit with visitors and locals alike....


Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, or Kad Luang (Royal Market) as it is known by locals, is one of Chiang Mai’s biggest draws. Located right in the centre of the city on Ping River, it is easily accessible and if you are in Chiang Mai a visit is almost obligatory. The market attracts huge crowds every evening and it is a great place to pick up trinkets...


Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai Zoo was established by Mr. Harold Mason Young, an American missionary who volunteered to teach forest survival guide to soldiers and policemen at borderland during Korean War (1950-1953). At the beginning, He used the rented house, owned by Mr. Kee Nimmanhaemin (1888-1965) and Mrs. Gimhor Nimmanhaemin (1894-1981), that he lived at the moment called "Weluwan House” located at the foot of Doi Suthep. He opened a small private zoo for the first time around 1952 and hired few local people and tribesmen to take care of the zoo.


Op Luang Gorge

Op Luang Gorge is located about 100 kilometers from Chiang Mai and offers visitors great scenery. A river runs directly through the gorge and it is surrounded by mountains and beautiful teak forests. Much photographed because of its beauty, Op Luang Gorge is the focal point of Op Luang National Park – a 553 square kilometer park noted for its...


Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is located 27 kilometers Northwest of Chiang Mai.  It is approximately a 45-minute drive from the city of Chiang Mai. The garden covers an area of about 1,000 hectares. Within the garden, there are huge collections of plant species, 12 exhibition greenhouses, gardens and nature trails. Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden...


Mae Sa Waterfall

Mae Sa Waterfall is another ‘iconic’ image of Chiang Mai, although it is somewhat less famous than some other sites. The waterfall has 8 tiers and set against a backdrop of huge trees it is very impressive. The climate around the waterfall is cool throughout the year and it is a very popular meeting place for locals. For foreigners, the...


Chiang Dao Cave

The Peak of Doi Chiang Dao Mountain is 2225 meters above sea level making it one of Thailand’s highest mountains. Although impressive in its own right, and playing host to a number of sites worthy of a visit, Chiang Dao Caves are of special interest. The caves extend around twelve kilometers into the mountain and only experienced potholers...


San Kamphaeng Hot Springs

San Kamphaeng Hot Springs is an ideal destination for those interested in health and well-being. A natural spring emitting water with high sulfur content, the spring is said to cure ailments and rejuvenate the body. The water has a temperature in excess of 100 degrees centigrade and the area is so active that there is ongoing research into how to...


Hilltribe Research Institute Museum

The Hilltribe Research Institute was founded to increase awareness of the northern hilltribes that inhabit the mountains of Chiang Mai and other provinces. The museum offers a range of exhibits covering all cultural aspects of nine Hilltribes: the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Yao, Hmong, Karen, Lua, Khamu, and H’tin. It also provides information on the...


Chiang Mai National Museum

Located in the north of the city the museum features a range of displays and exhibits providing details of Chiang Mai’s Lanna era. The museum documents northern Thailand’s pre-history to present times and includes examples of ancient jewellery, kilns from the 14th-century, ancient art and Buddha images alongside weapons of the era. The...


Chiang Mai University

Chiang Mai University (CMU) was founded in January 1964, under a Royal Charter granted by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. CMU is the first provincial university in Thailand, based on the government’s policy and the objectives of the northern people, as a center for academic and occupational knowledge in order to benefit the region and the country as a whole.


Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam is a recently discovered ancient lost city in Chiang Mai. It was flooded and abandoned more than 200 years ago. This ancient city was built in the reign of King Mengrai in 1296. From the discoveries, there are 20 ancient remains in and around Wiang Kum Kam including buildings and temples of Wat Chedi Liam (originally: Wat Ku Kham),...


Mae Sa Elephant Camp

A trip to Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre is often combined with a trip to Mae Sa Waterfall. The centre offers a show where elephants show their ability to move logs and display other skills that have made the giant beasts vital to Thai forestry. You can feed the elephants on show and observe all aspects of the centre’s training activities....


Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang’s main significance is that it housed the Emerald Buddha for a short time before the relocation to Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew. The temple was built 600 years ago and at the time boasted a huge ‘chedi’ that dominated the skyline. However, either an earthquake or King Taksin’s assault on Burmese invaders...


Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man is reportedly the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and established by the city’s founder, King Mengrai, some 700 years ago. Although an important temple, it is relatively small and is not located on the main tourist routes. It is though impressive and warrants a visit if you have the time. There are a number of small buildings in...


Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh (Full name: Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn) was built in the fourteenth century by King Phayu and was originally called Wat Li Chiang Phra. The buildings that can be seen here today are from the 1800s and have been recently restored. The temple is famed for housing a revered Buddha image (Phra Phutthasihing) which plays a central...


Chiang Mai Walking Street

Organized since 2006, Chiang Mai Walking Street is a Sunday evening walking street at the Three Kings Monument Courtyard. This thriving Sunday evening market covers nearly the whole of Rachadamnoen road (the main road of the old city), many of its side streets and the square in front of Tha Phae Gate. It is famed for the locally made handicrafts...


Khantoke Dinners

A very popular activity in Chiang Mai is attending Khantoke Dinners and Cultural Shows. There are a number to choose from and they feature a selection of traditional dances and performances unique to the area. Shows include Fon Lep (or ‘Finger Dancing’), Fon Thean (or ‘Candle Dancing’) and Ram Dab (or ‘Sword...


Chiang Mai Sky Adventure

Soar to new heights with Sky Adventures Thailand, a premier hot air balloon operator offering couples the chance to exchange vows amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Chiang Mai or Pai. Embark on a sunrise or sunset flight, gently gliding above the verdant mountains, cascading rivers, and patchwork of rice paddies. As the sun paints the sky with hues of gold and orange, declare your love and commitment to one another, creating an unforgettable memory that will forever be etched in your hearts.


Lanna wedding

The 'Lanna wedding' ceremony a lure for many who wish to start their married lives with something more than a normal wedding...


Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai (TMC)

Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai (TMC) is a fully accredited centre providing short courses in Thai massage including ‘Basic Thai Massage’ and ‘Thai Foot Reflexology’. Three basic levels of tuition take 90 hours. This is the only Thai government approved Thai massage school to teach 300- and 600-hour ‘Government...


International Training Massage School

International Training Massage School offers massage courses for people with all levels of experience. Whether you are a complete beginner, or a well-versed at massage, the school will definitely have a course for you to follow. Classes provide demonstrations of movements followed be adequate ‘question and answer’ time. This then leads...


Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School

Established in 1993, the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School is a family business run by a married couple. Their courses provide an introduction to Thai cuisine taking a systematic approach to the essentials (ingredients, paste making, etc.). Five different courses are available each designed to take only one day. The price of a one-day course is 990...


Baan Thai Cooking School

Baan Thai Cooking School provides training in a genuine Thai setting which enables students to learn how to cook real Thai food. Located in central Chiang Mai, the school has skilled teachers offering 5 levels of tuition. Whether you are an expert or an amateur, Baan Thai has a course that can accommodate your needs. Classes are held during the day...


Kao Hom Cooking School

Kao Hom Cooking School takes a systematic look at a range of key Thai dishes, explaining precisely how to prepare the dish to absolute perfection. Their belief is that with this absolute knowledge of preparation of a dish, students have a solid platform on which to improvise and establish their own culinary style. The school’s program...


Wayfarers Thailand Thai Cookery School

Wayfarers Thailand Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai provides one- or two-day training courses to private groups. The training is student directed in that a training group decides what dishes it wants to be able to prepare and the training is moulded to this requirement. Plenty of time is given to question and answer sessions. Price is according to...


Hostels in Nimmanhemin Chiang Mai

Nimmanhaemin is a great place to find budget accommodation in Chiang Mai. It is centrally located and has a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets. There are also plenty of food options available, as well as trendy bars, lively music venues, and art galleries.

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