The Latest Chiang Mai Tourist Information
Will you be headed to northern Thailand this year for a vacation? If you will be staying in Bangkok, just north of their is a city called Chang Mai. Considered by many to be the most culturally prominent city in Thailand, sitting adjacent to the Ping River, its name means New City, and there are many things that you can do such as check out the national parks, the Buddhist temples, and elephants and other indigenous animals. As with all modern cities, there are a vast assortment of hotels that you can stay at, restaurants, and there are even vacation rentals that are available. Let’s go over what you can do when you get to Chang Mai and why this is slowly becoming another very popular destination for people that like to visit Thailand.
What To Do In Chiang Mai
This is a city that has many different attractions such as a Night Bazaar, a botanical garden, and also a national museum. In fact, in this area of Thailand, there are quite a few ancient temples, purportedly over 30, and some of the most beautiful orchids in the world. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a place that tourists are actually drawn to because of its famous 300 step staircase, part of a beautiful Buddhist temple that is located in the hills. You can see the Rows of the North, or take an elephant ride through an area that is similar to a jungle, truly getting to experience how this culture was so many centuries ago.
Temples In Chiang Mai
If you happen to be a fan of the religion of Buddhism, this is the place you really want to be. There are several such as the Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and the popular Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple which is a mountaintop temple which has a beautiful depiction of a seated Buddha, all of which have either been restored, or are still in excellent condition. You can really see the influence this religion had on this country. Not only will you see statues of the Buddha, but you also see dragons, elephant carvings, and serpents that are representative of the endless nature of time.
Shopping Centers And Malls
It is actually due to the popularity of Thailand in the last two decades that so many things have changed. There is still quite a bit of traffic congestion, but they have made it possible to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, and add many different shopping centers and malls. When you first arrive, there is the CentralPlaza adjacent to the airport, and the Promenada Resort Mall which is large and can accommodate people that are searching for anything from food, restaurants, clothing, and souvenirs that they would like to bring home.
Hotels And Tourism
If you are actually flying in at the Chiang Mai International Airport, you are probably like one of the many 14,000,000 visitors that come on an annual basis. You will be wondering where to go, what type of transportation you will use, and what hotel you will stay at. It is recommended that you book in advance so that you can stay at a five-star hotel like the Shangri-La Hotel, or if you would prefer something more affordable, the The Empress Chiang Mai Hotel is very beautiful. It is recommended by most people to also consider getting a rental that you can stay at for a week or two. You can get a great deal on a large unit, and if you are traveling with family and friends, this would be the most ideal. Some of them are not directly in the city, and that will give you easy access to some of the destinations such as the temples that are in the mountainous areas. All of this should be done in advance, however, if you just happen to book a flight and you want to see what Chiang Mai has to offer, there will always be a place for you to stay.
This is a destination that is designed for people that like to do a little bit of hiking. It is also for individuals that would like to see how Buddhism has influenced a culture. The many temples that are there, especially in the pristine jungle like mountainous areas has brought thousands of people to this city from all over the world. It is a destination that is very beautiful, and even if you are a fan of things at the lower and of Thailand, this northern city may also captivate you enough to consider Chang Mai as another place you should visit regularly.
The City of Chiang Mai, Thailand — Must See Tourist Destination!
Chiang Mai is always described by knowledgeable tourists as a must see destination, and they are right! The City of Chiang Mai is one of the leading international tourist destinations. It is a fun and inviting city, with something for everyone. To understand the attraction of Chiang Mai you must begin with the “Old City”—the city inside the moat. Yes, a moat, enclosing a square kilometre. In days gone by the city was the capital of an independent Thai kingdom, and the walls and moat are still there. Expect to hear people give directions with: “By the west gate”, “Near the moat road”. Everything inside the moat exists for tourists. There are tourist sights, expensive and cheap hotels, restaurants with dozens of different cuisines, travel companies, money changers, massage parlours, convenience stores, tourist shops, and everything else you can need or want in your stay. All at a low price compared to anywhere in the west. It is a vibrant and fun, 24-hour place, with visitors young and old, singles and families, from every country, and always with something new to do or see. It is true to say that the moat area is what makes the city so attractive.
The most visited tourist sights are found inside the moat. These are largely temples and exhibits. You can start with Wat (temple) Chedi Luang, the Big Buddha at Wat Phra, Wat Phra Singh, and the Chiang Mai National Museum. Outside the Old City are the larger hotels and tourist centres. One of these is Art in Paradise, which is very popular. Inside you will see large and vast hi-tech illusions of your self, of other people, and other things. Popular with families and children (and the young at heart). Take lots of photos. Also, cat cafes, where you sit and play with the resident cats while enjoying a coffee and cake. Further afield, in the lush green hills surrounding the City are a multitude of activities: elephant tours, visits to hill tribes, hiking, rafting, tree-top ziplines, golf, dune bike and buggy riding, off road biking, an aquarium, hot springs, monkey villages, activities with locals (silver smithing, knife making, glass blowing…), flights, a zoo, botanical gardens, night zoo safari, limestone cave exploration, abseiling, Segway rides, para-gliding, royal palace museums, snake farms, handicraft villages, folk dancing, river cruises, cooking classes, massage—you get the idea. This, and a lot more. Anything you can think of is here!
Getting Around Chiang Mai
The easiest way to join in is to find a nearby travel office and make a booking. Or, just hire a taxi for the day, if you want to be independent (us$50). Taxi drivers know the local hotspots. It is possible to rent a car, but navigating will take a lot of time. Shopping—Chiang Mai is not a major shopping city compared to Bangkok—but there are several large shopping centres that will entertain any shopaholic and provide gifts for loved ones back home. Maya Mall is the leading mall in the city, to the west of the moat, easy to find. Go there for your brand label purchases. Also for English language movies and entertainment. After Maya turn back and head to the eastern moat for the Night Market. This market stretches along and down several streets adjacent to the moat. After sunset, it is busy and crowded. On sale are clothes, silk, food, souvenirs, tattoo (something to take home) artists, massage, fortune telling… Everything is sold from small, temporary, family run stalls. Price? Well, the price is “up to you” (a phrase you will often hear). Bargaining is an art. Start too low and you will insult the vendor, who might then refuse to sell to you at any price. Make too high an opening bid, well, your offer will be quickly accepted, but is that what you want? For a first time visit, wander around, listen to the prices discussed, head back, and slowly start your negotiations.
Food in Chiang Mai
On the southern moat road after dusk is a tourist food market. Here is tasty, cheap, and cleanly prepared food. A fun place. There are singers and dancers moving around, hawkers selling snacks, and lots and lots of your fellow tourists. Don’t stay in your hotel, get over here, sip a fantastic fruit smoothie and enjoy the ambience of street cuisine!
Chiang Mai is home to more than locals and tourists. Many western retirees have made the city their new home and created a busy expat community. These people have regular events, get togethers, fund raising and social activities. If you plan to stay in the City for a while search for the expat Facebook groups and consider joining in. Also, the City is one of the global hubs for digital nomads—people who make a living with online based work. These travellers have numerous events and meetings, which you are also welcome to join if interested. You will often see them in cafes, hunched over a keyboard, with an earnest look, typing vigorously. Do not disturb! A word about safety. No place in the world is entirely safe, having said that Chiang Mai is a safe city to visit and live in. Crime is uncommon. Feel safe. Getting to Chiang Mai is easily done. It lies 800 kilometres north of Bangkok. There are regular national and international flights, or bus and train. Travel in the city is a tad more complex. Tuk tuks (small trucks) are common, taxis less so. Expect to bargain a little, and check the standard price before you do. Renting a motorbike is a common choice (travel insurance!).
Chiang Mai is a city that is on every traveller’s bucket list. If you visit Asia, if you visit Thailand you must hang your hat here for a few days, at least. You will see and experience new adventures and make new friends.