Chiang Mai travel and tourist guide

Also known as the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai is Thailand’s third largest city and a popular destination for tourists seeking to catch a glimpse of the ‘real Thailand’, away from the sea and beaches. Straddling the Ping River, Chiang Mai is located in a lush valley surrounded by some of Thailand’s highest mountains. An ever increasing number of high-class hotels and the improving infrastructure is attracting a steady stream of tourists.

It is the laid back environment and charming character of this historic city that really appeals to visitors. Some stay for months or years, and it supports a large expat community who choose Chiang Mai as the most affordable and unspoilt of Thailand’s cities. With its 700 year old moat and nearby national parks, this city offers a pleasant and more traditional Thailand experience.

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Attractions
Sample the highlights you’ll find in Chiang Mai with a virtual sightseeing tour of Chiang Mai’s top tourist attractions including elephant camps, ancient temples and authentic markets…more
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Activities
Chiang Mai is all about getting out and exploring the city and its natural surroundings, with soft adventure activities including hilltribe treks and white water rafting…more
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Accommodation
With ever more upmarket hotels opening in Chiang Mai, plus plenty of guesthouses, you’re spoilt for choice with our online booking selection with the best rates from Agoda…more
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Restaurants and bars
Don’t miss out on a traditional cultural Lanna khantoke dinner before hitting the bars to mingle with the locals. There are all sorts of nightlife venues in town…more

Chiang Mai guide – Ancient Lanna capital with first class hospitality

More than 300 temples and many ancient relics are scattered around the town, and Chiang Mai perhaps boasts the greatest concentration of fine arts sites in the country. Parts of the old city walls, gates and corner bastions remain, giving it the air of a living museum. In among all this lies a modern city of coffee shops, street markets and handicraft arcades.

Only an hour by air from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is linked by a growing number of domestic and international direct flight connections. The city is a great base for tourists to discover the many natural and cultural attractions of the rural north of Thailand, and is a gateway to the infamous Golden Triangle and bordering countries.

Daytrips to the many nearby mountains, including Thailand’s highest peak of Doi Inthanon, are highly recommended. There are also plenty of caves and waterfalls to explore in the surrounds. Tourists can find soft adventure in the form of hilltribe trekking, mountain biking and ATV-riding.

The essence of Chiang Mai lies in discovering its ancient Lanna culture and sampling its rich local cuisine. This can best be done by taking one of the cooking courses popular with tourists, or even a traditional Thai massage course. There are plenty of excellent international restaurants and tourists will enjoy the relaxed but plentiful nightlife, where locals and visitors mingle.

The city of Chiang Mai is rightfully nicknamed ‘Rose of the North’ and remains the main gateway to northern Thailand. Chiang Mai’s rich past dates back 700 years to the once flourishing Lanna Kingdom…more

This tourist guide to Chiang Mai is a summarised version of our partner site 1stopchiangmai which features over 200 pages of information to help make your visit enjoyable.

Further reading…