Chiang Mai
If you ever dreamed of riding an elephant, then a holiday in Chiang Mai, Thailands green city set in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a must. The city is the starting point for elephant treks into the country-side, as well as a base for those wishing to visit the areas unique hill tribes. Chiangmore
A Short holiday in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand - Zara Simon. Date of travel: Dec 2008
We had a very little time allocated to our vacation in Chang Mai. We were concerned that we would not have enough time to see everything. Our holiday to Chiang Mai was made easy and affordable by the overnight sleeper trains that leave from Hualompong Station in Bangkok regularly. It was clean, comfortable (except for the cabin light that never went off all night), safe and punctual. Booking was really easy and should be done the day before!
Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand - Anna Brent. Date of travel: Nov 2008
On our holiday to Thailand, we were lucky enough to attend the Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai. A vacation in Thailand should be planned around this festival! We watched floating lanterns being set adrift on the river and tissue paper lanterns drift into the sky, while crackers were set off in the streets. The streets were lined by little vendors selling treats we got a noodle bowl for only 20 baht!
Aidan Dunbar. Date of travel: Jul 2005
Far up in the north of Thailand , Chiang Mai has slowly grown in popularity with tourists as its slightly cooler climate makes it a great escape from the heat and humidity of Kanchanaburi and Bangkok in the south. Getting there from Bangkok can take a while simply because of the sheer distance between the two cities. Your main options are really bus or plane, with the overnight sleeper bus being my personal preference. Leaving from Bangkok's massive Northern Bus Terminal (New Moh Chit Station) at about 9pm one day, the idea is that you wake up the next day in Chiang Mai sometime around 11am feeling refreshed and satisfied that you got a good night sleep. The bus is actually pretty good, and it stops off near halfway for quarter of an hour should you wish to stretch your legs. Remember to pack a torch or similar item if you plan to do any reading or writing on this journey as the driver turns off the cabin lights half an hour into the trip. Once you are in Chiang Mai, like most other places you will be shouted and heckled at by the touts and Songthaew drivers; but this time from across the road. Apparently they are not allowed into the bus station complex and one got a “good hiding? when he went to see some people near us. Everyone says it, but the Night Bazaar is a place to be seen and experienced. Hundreds of stalls line one street selling their wares – which range from lamps to ninja stars, football shirts to candles. The underground part of the bazaar is definitely worth visiting as the artists that work here are exceptionally talented, and a real bargain can be picked up easily. Similarly, the Night Market is worth visiting, there is less focus on the tourists here and the products on sale are more oriented towards the normal Thai person i.e. fruit and vegetables. Still, the sights and sounds are well worth seeing. Taxi-Meters are apparently a rarity in Chiang Mai, and you will have to make do with a Songthaew instead. These work as a kind of bus, where you tell the driver where you want to go and then he incorporates this destination into the route he takes, dropping off and picking up passengers along the way. The fare was about 10 Baht while we where there, but it can be increased should you come across one you want to charter. Thankfully, the motor-samlaw (tuk-tuk) is pretty scarce in Chiang Mai, so their annoying high pitched whine and blue-grey smoke isn't too invasive. A great way to see the city is to hire bikes – there are several shops all around the place, and in the event you can't find one you could always ask a tour operator (ours was conveniently situated at Wiriya House – the hotel-standard guest house we were staying in. Of course, there are always the usual attractions of Doi Suthep Mountain and its on-location Wat, not forgetting the others spread around the entire city. If you get a chance, drop by at Wat Suan Dok on one of their ‘chat to a monk' days – I believe this is still on a Friday – and talk to one of the monks currently residing at the Wat. This is really good fun, and the questions that you can ask them and they ask you in return are often quite bizarre. Throughout, there are chunks of the old wall knocking about. These create the boundary to the inner city and the outer city. Think of it like ‘ London City ' and the rest of ‘ London '. The segmented walls and one way systems can lead you believe your taxi driver is ripping you off by going extra distance and wasting time. It turns out he (or in the rare cases, she) is in fact taking you the quickest route. Taking time to explore the city is well worth it – just make sure you visit Warorot Market in the east, and remember that deep in the Soi it can be hard to find transport willing to take you. There are meant to be line breaks in this text, but they do not appear on this page for some reason. To see the properly paginated version, visit http://hosted.thatguyoverthere.net/chiangmai.htm Tour Operator: World Challenge Expeditions (Team Challenge)
Time it - Alex Loeb. Date of travel: Apr 2005
Chiang Mai is a fun city to see and a better city to leave as it is next to so much fun wilderness. I found that the city itself really becomes the hot spot in Thailand over Songkran Festival starting the 13th of April. This festival is a week long water fight across Thailand but in Chiang Mai the fighting takes new depths. Probably not the time to go sightseeing here but just plain fun...with a bit of mischief... is splashed throughout.
Mark Edrew. Date of travel: Jan 2004
When in Chiang Mai I would certainly recommed doing a 3 day tour that includes trekking and visiting the hill tribes, elephant back riding and bamboo rafting. This was really fun (especially riding an elephant) and very interesting. Also greatly worthwhile is a Thai cooking course - I did a day course with Chef Tim (Thai Kitchen Cookery School), which was outstanding - we went to the market to buy the ingredients and then spent 8 hours cooking delicious, easy meals which we then had to eat! We each got a recipe book to make notes in while cooking and this we could then take back home - brilliant.
Hotels in Chiang Mai User Rating
5-Star Hotels
Four Seasons Resort | * * * * * |
Ayatana Hamlet And Spa | * * * * * |
Baan Saen Doi Resort And Spa | * * * * * |
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Hotel | * * * * * |
Sofitel Riverside Hotel | * * * * * |
The Chedi Hotel | * * * * * |
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4-Star Hotels
Sheraton Hotel | * * * * * |
Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel | * * * * * |
Imperial Mae Ping Hotel | * * * * * |
Manathai Village | * * * * * |
Oriental Siam Resort | * * * * * |
Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel | * * * * * |
Tamarind Village Hotel | * * * * * |
Yaang Come Village Hotel | * * * * * |
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3-Star Hotels
Fondcome Village Resort Hotel | * * * * * |
Amari Rincome Hotel | * * * * * |
Central Duangtawan Hotel | * * * * * |
Empress Hotel | * * * * * |
Novotel Hotel | * * * * * |
Tea Vana Hotel | * * * * * |
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