Chiang Mai Holidays
Chiang Mai is a place to experience both the beauty of Thailand’s natural environment and its deep cultural traditions. Surrounded by mountains, the cool-climate city is a favoured destination for hikers and mountain climbers alike. Following its recent creative renaissance, Chiang Mai has also gained a reputation as an artistic centre in Thailand.
Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, the city streets of Chiang Mai contain remnants of a rich cultural history. Explore the city’s past through the ancient architecture of temples, statues and monasteries in the Old City and visit the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre to learn more of its 700-year-old heritage. Visit the city’s most famous temple, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a gold-encrusted Buddhist monastery that boasts breathtaking views of Chiang Mai. Among the other temples are Wat Chiang Man, the oldest Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, and Wat Phra Singh, one of the city’s most visited temples.
The street fairs of Chiang Mai offer the opportunity to explore regional treasures. Indulge in traditional Thai cuisine and local specialties, such as khao soi, a famous spicy curry of the area. The Night Bazaar, sprawled along the city streets, is celebrated for its local crafts, jewellery, paintings and other delights.
Known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Chiang Mai offers a great selection of accommodation and eateries for any budget. A variety of boutique hotels, stylish bars and restaurants are matched by an abundance of cheaper hostels and street vendors. The vibrant nightlife on Loi Kroh Road is a tourist favourite, as is the animated Ping River waterfront near the university.
The city is serviced by Chiang Mai International Airport, which offers hourly flights to Bangkok. In addition, there is a train line that runs directly between Chiang Mai and the capital. Getting around the city itself is easy, with most places accessible on foot. Taxis and tuk-tuks are plentiful and cheap, a novel way to traverse the city. Elephant tours are widely available and offer the opportunity to see Chiang Mai from a truly unique perspective, however, be careful to choose a tour that treats the animals humanely.