Chiang Mai, the largest city in the north, is a community of about one million inhabitants.
Often described as the favorite city of Thailand, the northern pearl perfectly combines the vitality of a modern Asian city with crafts and ancestral ways of life, while being in harmony with the surrounding nature. Perfectly situated between the mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai and its temperate tropical climate has become a major tourist attraction for the country. Mainly in the areas of eco-tourism, golf, and trekking, tourism is well promoted thanks to prestigious hotels and resorts. Moved away from the beaches from the south, Chiang Mai gives another glimpse of the peaceful way of Thai living, while enjoying the amenities of big city.
There is always a place, an activity, a temple, a market or a nature reserve to discover the surrounding area.
Temples and Culture
Since Chiang Mai was founded there more than 700 years, the various kings of Thailand have left their mark by building many temples. Thus, throughout the province, there are 300 temples to explore, both in the city and in the surrounding villages and even forests.
Wat Chedi Luang
Among the most important temples, three are located right inside the old city: Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, and the famous Wat Chedi Luang which sheltered formerly the Emerald Buddha that is now on display at Grand Palace in Bangkok. Another famous temple, Wat Jed Yod is located in Mae Rim while Wat Umong, consisting of underground caves and surrounded by lush forest, lies at the foot of Mount Suthep.
Chiang Mai, as a cultural center in the north of the Kingdom also has a number of museums including the Chiang Mai National Museum and Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Center, which present the history of the town and its various influences over centuries. Moreover, as a city famous for its artists, Chiang Mai hosts a number of art galleries, both traditional and contemporary.
Mae Sa Waterfall
The undeniable advantage of Chiang Mai are the nature and lively environment for residents. In less than ten minutes from the city center, one reaches the forest, rivers, and fields, making it a pleasure for those who enjoys outdoor activities. Thus, the city is always close to several waterfalls, including the Mae Sa, hot springs, lakes, rivers, and several natural parks besides the hills and mountains. Plus, the famous Doi Suthep is located just out of the city, while that of Doi Inthanon is located a little further south. As for the Botanical Garden and Queen Sirikit Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, they are the ideal places to stroll and admire the tropical flora.
All this surrounding nature allows you to indulge in a great number of sport and physical activities. Several agencies offer a wide range of courses for all levels.
More adventurous guests are hitting the river rafting or the slopes of Mount Suthep mountain bike. The tour Samoeng, nearly 100 kilometers delight cyclists by its hilly course amidst lush nature. As for golf enthusiasts, they will be delighted to learn that there are a dozen of world-class courses around Chiang Mai.
This is particularly the case of the Night Bazaar which takes place every night in a street east of the old town. It includes absolutely everything you are looking for. Night markets are very active and popular in the city because the other two are held, one on Saturday night just south of the ramparts, and the other on Sunday evening in the main street of the old town. For the day market, Warorot Market, minimal price, variety of choices, and great quality are presented.
The town of Chiang Mai also has a number of craft markets such as Baan Tawai village that brings together craftsmen working mainly on wood. Many sculptures and wood turning as modern furniture are for sale, by the artisans themselves.
Food and Nightlife
Chiang Mai is renowned for its cuisine. The advantage of Chiang Mai is that there are just as many small shops and street food that range of the highest restaurants thanks to the economic boom in the region.
If taste the Thai food is one of the flagship activities of Chiang Mai, we may as well learn how to become an expert in Thai cuisine with the many schools that offer lessons in group or individual.
The nightlife is lively and animated in Chiang Mai. Pubs and night clubs are often filled with students and tourists.
Discover the Fauna
Chiang Mai has the distinction of hosting an impressive number of zoos, farms and, wildlife parks. For families, this is the perfect activity to teach children about protecting the wildlife.
Chiang Mai Zoo, just outside of the city by going to Mount Suthep, has many species and an aquarium tunnel of 130 meters, one of the longest in the world. The stars of the zoo, Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang, graciously lent two giant pandas from China attract tourists from all over the country.