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Chiang Mai Travel Guide | Accommodation | Restaurants | Transportation | Sightseeing

► Overview

Located more than 700km northwest of Bangkok Chiang Mai has in excess of 300 temples (121 within the thêtsàbaan or municipal limits) – almost as many as are in Bangkok  – a circumstance that makes the old city centre visually striking. Thais idealise their beloved northern capital as a quaint, moated and walled city surrounded by mountains with legendary, mystical attributes. In reality, Chiang Mai is a dynamic and modern city, which has successfully managed to combine its rich history and traditions with its increasingly modern side. However, a result of this rapid development has been the rise in traffic and pollution. Environmentalists are also voicing concerns about development of the verdant and auspicious Doi Suthep mountain (1676m), located to the west of the city, and sometimes referred to as Chiang Mai’s lungs.

Chiang Mai has always had many feathers to its bow with its cultural riches, relative peacefulness, fantastic handicraft shopping, delicious food and proximity to many natural treasures. Changes are afoot however, with the city becoming somewhere to watch in the style stakes. Chic, Thai-style boutique hotels are popping up everywhere, and one look at the trendsetters setting up shop (and bars and restaurants), particularly in the Th Nimmanhaemin area, shows that the city’s identity is changing. Yet, the northern capital still manages to retain the relaxed, temple-sprinkled, cultural capital atmosphere of yore, alongside these new hip happenings. With its many and varied attractions, the days of Chiang Mai just being a quick stop off point before heading to the hills are long gone.

Chiang Mai is Thailand's second city, but in terms of quality of living, tourist attractions and development potential, it's second to none in Southeast-Asia.large part (69.31 %) of Chiang Mai's land is covered by mountains and forests. These generally run in a north-south pattern through the province and give birth to several streams and tributaries (such as the Mae Jam, Mae Ngud, and Mae Klang) which in turn feed important rivers and irrigation canals (such as the Muang and Faay) which provide the water necessary to Chiang Mai's agriculture. Chiang Mai's largest and most important river is the Ping, which originates in the mountains of Chiang Dao and flows southward for 540 kilometers (337.5 miles). It is along the banks of this river that Chiang Mai's flat, fertile valley area lies. The city is famous for her friendly people, beautiful women, refined handicrafts, cool climate and stunning mountain scenery. More than three-hundred temples, among them some of the most beautiful and revered in the entire Buddhist world, give the city an atmosphere of calmness and timeless elegance.

Chiang Mai has a distinct international atmosphere with many foreign businesses and organizations (NGOs) locating in the city over the past decade due to her excellent infrastructure with international direct flight connections to all countries in the region including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Burma, Cambodia and Taiwan. The quality of living is unsurpassed. Accommodation and food are of the highest standard at very low cost. Entertainment is plentiful with numerous festivals, outdoor activities and great nightlife. Genuine adventure is to be found in the immediate vicinity of Chiang Mai with jungle tours, rafting, elephant riding and hilltribe villages to visit. Shopping is great, be it for handicrafts, clothes or luxury items. Everything can be found at great prices in stores ranging from small family-run shops to world-class luxury outlets and shopping malls.
 
In a recent survey by the Asiaweek magazine, Chiang Mai was ranked as the 9th most livable city in Asia east of Kabul. Everyone visiting or living here would attest that it's in fact number one. Chiang Mai is also home to Inthanon Mountain, which stands 2,575 meters (8,448 feet) above sea level and is Thailand's highest mountain.
 
► Travel Season

Cool Season: Late October to end of February.  Average temperature is 21 degree Celsius and colder at night.
The coldest months are December and January. 

Hot season: Early March to the end of May. Average temperature is 29.9 degree Celsius. The hottest month is April. 

Rainy Season: Early June to the end of October. Average temperature is 25.5 degree Celsius. September is the month that it rains a lot.
Saturday, December 07, 2019