The rose of the North, Chiang Mai, is a wonderful small city with history longer than 700 years. Chiang Mai impresses guests with its natural charm. Chiang Mai has its own very distinctive culture, arts, festivals, and traditions as well as an exciting mix of local, ethnic and expatriate communities from all over the world. It has been voted one of the top destinations to live in Asia and is a modern and cosmopolitan city, while still maintaining its traditional old charm. Today, Chiang Mai is the economic, communication, cultural and tourism hub of Northern Thailand.
Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is about 700 kilometres from Bangkok in distance. There are varieties of transportations from Bangkok to Chiang Mai such as airplane, train, bus and of course, by road.
Going to Chiang Mai by airplane from Bangkok is the most convenient and fastest way. It takes less than one and a half hours. The flights depart frequently all day and they are direct flights. The flight schedules can be checked from the airlines’ websites.
- Thai Airways International (TG) – www.thaiairways.co.th
- Bangkok Airways- www.bangkokair.com
- Air Asia – www.airasia.com
- Orient Thai Airlines (One-Two-Go) – www.flyorientthai.com
- Nok Air- www.nokair.com
- Nok Mini (SGA) Airlines – www.sga.co.th
Chiang Mai is blessed with natural, cultural and religious attractions as well as the historical places. Other attractions include zoo, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Saturday Market, Sunday Market and many more.
- Wat Phra Singh is situated within the city walls and moat. The main entrance is guarded by Singhs (lions).
- Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple in the historic centre of Chiang Mai. The current temple grounds were originally made up of three temples — Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin
- Chiang Mai Night Safari is the world’s third nocturnal zoo and is a government natural theme park. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful Night Safari in the world where you can discover the night life of wild animals from the safety of an open sided tram! Please visit www.Chiang Mainightsafari.com.
- Chiang Mai is a shopper’s paradise, and nothing beats shopping for a bargain more than in the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
- The Saturday Market (or Wui Lai Market) is located to the south west of the old city opposite the Chiang Mai Gate. The Saturday Market is open every Saturday from 4pm till midnight. The road is closed to all vehicular traffic, so you can browse through the goods on display, bargain with vendors for a good price and wander freely around without traffic worries.
- The Sunday Market (or Walking Street) is a large market located right in the centre of the old walled city area of Chiang Mai, starting at the Tha Phae Gate which is at one end the Sunday Market “walk” extends for roughly 1km down the full length of Ratchadamnoen Road. You can go to the Market every Sunday from 4pm till midnight.
For further interesting information about Chiang Mai, please visit http://www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Chiang-Mai
Staying in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has numerous options of dining experience, and many dishes are internationally famous for its delicious and piquant tastes. For examples:-
- Khao Soi: The grande dame of northern Thai cuisine is Khao Soi — yellow egg noodles perched in a shallow pool of thick coconut milk curry, topped off with crispy fried noodles and served with wedges of lime, pickled cabbage and shallots.
- Sai Ua: Sai Ua, known to foreigners as “Northern-style” or “Chiang Mai” sausages. They will make you salivate over, for their gustatory complexity. Minced pork is seasoned with an orgy of herbs and spices including lemongrass, cilantro, shallot, black pepper and galangal, which is mixed with chili paste to burst forth with a cornucopia of flavors.
- Nam Prik Noom: Roasted green chilies are pounded with garlic, shallots and other ingredients to create a fibrous wet mess that gives a kick to sticky rice, vegetables or kaeb moo (pork rind crisps).
Getting around Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is relatively easy to get around, since it is a very tourist oriented town. The major means of public transport in Chiang Mai town is mini-buses (or locally called Rod Daeng). Plying around town, they are in vivid colours and look like small pick-up with a roof. Tell the destination to the driver and negotiate the price before getting on. Normally the rides cost between 10 and 20 baht.