Category Archives: Chiang Mai

Brief Travel Guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand

chiang-mai

Chiang Mai is the largest and one of the most culturally rich cities in Northern Thailand. The wide range of attractions and warm welcoming hospitality wins one over in no time! Sounds interesting? Perhaps, you would like to know a bit more about the destination. So, here goes.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is between October and April. The weather during these months is cool and pleasant with light breeze flowing simultaneously. This is the peak tourist season! For outdoor activities, the period between November and February is believed to be the ideal time. Monsoon arrives in the month of June and lasts till October.

Food

Many delights await foodies by way of delectable preparations such as Khao Soi, Khan Toke, Sai Oua, Gaeng Hang Lay, Miang Kham, and Gaeng Hoh. They are truly lip-smacking and are created in an interesting manner. People who love to cook must try observing the preparations. They’ll be amazed, undoubtedly! Restaurants that have made a mark here include David’s Kitchen, Favola, Le Grand Lanna, Farang Ses and many others!

Accommodation Options

You can choose your accommodation according to your budget. Dorm rooms and hostels are relatively inexpensive. Most of them are located within the older part of the city. As expected, budget hotels are slightly costlier than hostels. Service apartments are offered by certain commercial brands (Airbnb). Luxury travellers can opt for sophisticated hotels such as Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Shangri-La Hotel, Rachamankha, and Four Seasons Resort.

Public Transportation

Elaborating on public transportation, the city transport is dominated by red minibuses known as songthaews. They are tourist friendly and found everywhere! Tuk-tuks (tempos) are also available in every vibrant corner. Haggling skills can come in handy, while negotiating fares! Scooters can be hired for discovering places with absolute freedom. You also may want to consider taxis for your trip from the airport to the hotel!

Places of Interest and Activities

Chiang Mai is a precious gem waiting to be explored by countless travellers! Some of its prominent hotspots are Doi Pui, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon, and Chiang Mai Gate Market. Prospective visitors should check out the opening and closing times. Thrill seekers can participate in activities such as morning Buddhist almsgiving, city tours, elephant experience, and sampling the delicious Khantoke dinner.

Top 7 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand located amidst a stunning natural backdrop of spectacular mountains, lush greenery, cascading streams and charming hill tribes.

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An important cultural hub in Thailand, the city is full of historical temples, street markets and lovely restaurants serving delectable cuisine. Take a look at some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

Visit Historical Temples

Chiang Mai is home to numerous historical temples, which reflect ancient architecture and designs. Visit the revered Wat Pra Singh of the Lion Buddha fame and the tall Wat Chedi Luang that once housed the Emerald Buddha. Also visit the Doi Suthep located near the top of a mountain and the magnificent pure White Temple.

Chat With a Monk

Some temples or wats of Chiang Mai offer a unique experience – a ‘Monk Chat’ programme. One may chat with the monks and use this opportunity to learn about their lifestyle, beliefs or Buddhism. A couple of such temples are the Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok.

Experience Wildlife

Blessed with raw natural beauty, Chiang Mai has many places where wild animals can be seen at close quarters. Visit Chiang Mai Zoo to see penguins and pandas, Mae Sa Elephant Camp to see elephants doing circus acts in the vast lands and the night zoo Chiang Mai Night Safari.

Trek to Tribal Villages

Visit the village of Mae Klang Luang, which is a popular tourist attraction and provides an insight into local tribal life. Explore the lives of more exotic tribal communities by visiting the Hmong Tribal Village and the Padung Village. The latter is home to the ‘Long Neck Karen’ ethnic hill-tribe.

Hire Floating Houses

Spend a day or at least a night at the Eakachai Houseboat, or the floating houses, at Mae Ngat Dam. These are like small bungalow-shaped houseboats on water and can be reached only by long-tail boats. Relax on the deck or dive and swim in the dam waters – have a serene experience in the peaceful environs!

Visit the Local Markets

Chiang Mai has numerous bustling local markets offering a variety of essentials as well as knick-knacks and foot massages at reasonable prices. Some of these popular markets are Chiang Mai Gate Market, Sunday Walking Street or the Night Bazaar.

Learn Local Skills

Chiang Mai has a fantastic vacation learning scene for travellers – cooking classes, massage schools and even Thai language classes. There is a plethora of schools offering such short courses at reasonable rates to tourists here.

Three Popular Ways to make the Most of Your Vacation to Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, a beautiful tourist hub in Northern Thailand, packs in so many enthralling attractions that even the most discerning traveller is left craving for more. Besides picturesque landscapes that abound the region, you’ll be enthralled by the city’s interesting cultural heritage, laid-back lifestyle, breathtaking architecture and a fast-mushrooming café culture. Here are three most popular ways to make the most of your Chiang Mai holidays.

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Exploring Nature and Adventure

While trekking through the forest-clad hills is the most popular activity, plenty of other natural attractions in the region are also worth exploring. Visit the Mae Sa Waterfall in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park for a peaceful retreat away from the mundane city chaos. Baanchang Elephant Park is another place to head to if you’re inclined towards nature and wildlife. A visit to the area’s interesting hill tribe village is your chance to admire their own unique language, clothing style, and belief systems.

Old City Tour

With over 300 historical temples, and plenty of museums, monuments and galleries, Chiang Mai is a place where the history and heritage of Northern Thailand comes to life. Take a guided tour of the Old City to see some of the most acclaimed temples in Thailand. Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Jet Yod are just some of the prominent ones. A couple of highly popular museums amongst many others are the Chiang Mai National Museum and Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre.

Shopping at Night Markets

Chiang Mai is rightly called a shopaholic’s paradise. Apart from an array of boutique shops and trendy malls, there are buzzing night markets where you can shop till you drop. From unique souvenirs and handicrafts to trendy clothes and bags, the night markets sell everything. Some popular options for a delightful shopping experience include the main Night Bazaar, the Chang Khlan market, and Kalare Night Market. Foodies should not miss the Talat Warorot, the oldest market in Chiang Mai. Here, you can look forward to some of the best culinary delights in Chiang Mai.

Loi Kratong – A Festival When Thailand Wears Glittering Attire

There are several gems that add a splendid diversification to the cultural affluence of Thailand. Loi Kratong is one such gem that creates a mesmeric traditional environment in the month of November every year. Loi Kratong or Loy Krathong is the Festival of Lights which spreads splendour of joy in various parts of the country. Travellers booking tickets aboard flights to Thai cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Koh Samui for the month of November can be a part of this cultural extravaganza. Read more to know how this Thai fiesta is celebrated in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Bangkok

BangkokIf you are disembarking flights at Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, on 07th November, consider spending your evening at Chao Phraya River. As the sun sets, during full moon night in the twelfth lunar month, this area glitters like a cluster of diamonds. Lotus-shaped receptacles are known as Loi Kratong that floats on water. Ritual of this festival is to put a candle, flowers, nuts, food and joss sticks in these receptacles and make a wish before leaving them over the waters of Chao Phraya. This dazzling scene under the shade of moon offers several worth-capturing moments and blissful experience.

Chiang Mai

Chiang-MaiBesides Bangkok, Chiang Mai is another city which is famous for Loi Kratong celebrations. Culture vultures buying tickets to Chiang Mai to participate in Loi Kratong festival can peep into some of the most prominent cultural facets of Thailand. Unlike Bangkok, the fiesta keeps up the spirit for three days. This year, Chiang Mai celebrates this festival from 5th to 7th November. Besides ritual of letting the Loi Kratong float over the waters of Mae Ping River, Chiang Mai also feature an array of activities such as boat races and several other contests. On 5th November, the celebrations start with a lantern parade at Thapae Gate and will reach Chang Klan Road around 2200 hrs. At the starting point i.e., Thapae Gate, one can be a part of contests like Yee Peng Kids Contest and Noppamas Queen Beauty contest. Second day boasts similar enthusiasm with a variety of parades and contests. On final day, fiesta comes to an end with an effervescent show of fireworks.