Chiang MaiNestled within the mountains of the northern Thai countryside, Chiang Mai is a vibrant and modern city that holds close to its spiritual and natural roots. With its spectacular landscapes, delightful food, and hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, Chiang Mai has nothing to envy of its sibling Bangkok.
The City“The rose of the north” is a friendly city located about 700 kilometres north of Bangkok that offers a relaxing atmosphere, great shopping and fun activities. This city is a popular holiday destination and many come here regularly from Bangkok. Chiang Mai actually means “new city” and was founded in 1296 as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. At the time, the entire city was walled and surrounded by moats. The same area today is called the Old Town - an attraction in itself. Slowly, the new city developed around its walls, growing to become the place where past and present coexist together in perfect harmony.
Do & See
Rich in both history and culture, Chiang Mai is a city full of things to do and to see. Here you can find over 300 Buddhist temples, great shopping, an abundance of markets, tasty Thai food and numerous outings. Chiang Mai truly has something to offer for everyone!
You will find hundreds of dining options in Chiang Mai. Walking down the streets you will come across great street food, chic bars, and traditional restaurants. Chiang Mai is especially known for having great vegetarian restaurants, and one would need a lot of time to try them all. The sheer variety of vegetarian food is hardly matched elsewhere in the world. When in Chiang Mai, you will probably see a lot of options for attending short-term "cooking schools". Do not miss this opportunity if you like cooking. The cooking schools are very popular and involve teaching foreigners how to cook great, simple Thai food. One class normally goes on for a half or a full day, sometimes even longer.
Cafes and Chiang Mai is a match made in heaven. Everywhere you go you will find coffee shops; quirky, fun, small, large, you name it. In most cafes, you can use free WiFi, great for getting in touch with everyone at home while sipping on a good cup of coffee.
Bars & Nightlife
Chiang Mai is not, at all, as rowdy as Bangkok or some of the islands when it comes to partying. Here you will experience more of a laid-back atmosphere when going out. The riverside is especially great for having drinks while listening to live music. The city is full of students and tourists, so if you do want to hit the town, there are several great places for a good night out. Note that clubs close early because of city law. Many of the hotel bars offer great places for kicking back while having drinks.
Shopping in Chiang Mai is a true delight. If you like a bargain you must visit one of the many markets found around town selling handicrafts and art. Chiang Mai is also full of technology and computers, hence a great town for both the technology geek and the art freak.