A Chiang Mai Temple
A Chiang Mai Temple © Michael Jenselius
Chiang Mai Travel Guide

A holiday in the ancient city of Chiang Mai is an essential element of any visit to Thailand and a gateway to the north:

This ancient city, with a cooler climate and greener aspect than frenetic Bangkok, is set in the foothills of the Himalayas, and is known for its elephant-back safaris, magnificent temples and famed Night Market. This popular tourist destination also has plenty of other attractions and excursions to enchant visitors, from orchid farms to puppet shows. Travel to Chiang Mai is for anyone who thinks they would enjoy an entertaining and interesting taste of Thailand and especially families, as there are a number of fantastic attractions for children. A vacation in Chiang Mai appeals to anyone who is intent on learning more about the Thai way of life.

Best time to visit Chiang Mai

The best time to visit Chiang Mai, like elsewhere in Thailand, is between November and May when cooling winds blow through the city, ensuring warm to mild days. Chiang Mai is generally cooler and less humid than Bangkok and December and January can be on the chilly side. Read more on Chiang Mai's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Chiang Mai

-Learn something new about the culture of northern Thailand at the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center

-Experience a unique way of life at the Lisu Hill-Tribe Display.

-Marvel at the lush gardens at the Bhubing Palace.

-Be amazed by natural mystery of the Naga Fireball Festival.

What to do in Chiang Mai

-Take the kids to the Chiang Mai Zoo to see the pandas.

-Feel the love during Loy Krathon festival.

-Visit the elephants in one of the many sanctuaries around the city.

-Tour any of the hundreds of Chiang Mai Temples.

Beyond Chiang Mai

There are many fun and adventurous excursions from Chiang Mai into the surrounding countryside and to nearby villages: the Pai district draws many tourists for its rural scenic beauty and the Doi Suthep mountain is famous for its beautiful temple (Wat Phratat) perched on the summit. Chiang Mai is also the perfect base for trekking into the northern regions of Thailand occupied by the ancient Lisu hill tribe people.

Getting there

Flights to Chiang Mai land at Chiang Mai International Airport, situated two miles (4km) from the city centre. Get more info on Airports in Chiang Mai.

Did you know?

-Chiang Mai means 'new city', even though it is far older than Bangkok.

-Chiang Mai is home to Thailand's highest mountain, Doi Inthanon.

-The Chiang Mai city area has over 300 Buddhist temples.