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Chiang Mai Tourism And Travel Guide
17.4° C / 63.3° F
November to February
3 to 5 Days
Chiang Mai International Airport
Chiang Mai is one of the most preferred places of tourists in northern Thailand, and it is the fifth largest city in Thailand. The city is located adjoining the Ping river and is encircled with lush green jungles and steep mountains and valleys. The city is a perfect combo of ancient traditions and its contemporary side. The city is also referred to as the “Rose of the North”. Chiang Mai is known for its Buddhist temples and for granting spiritual well-being to people. Holidaymakers often prefer tourism in Chiang Mai in the winter season or during the festivities, as the weather is quite favourable, especially if you are a nature lover. Chiang Mai is a city which should be under every tourist’s checklist. So here is a short travel guide of this incredible city.
How To Reach
The city of Chiang Mai is well connected to the capital, Bangkok. Tourists from India can easily reach Chiang Mai by air or railways preferably. The city has its own international Airport and has well-connected trains and buses from Bangkok too.
The easiest and fastest way to arrive at Chiang Mai from India is to take up a connecting flight from Bangkok. There are many flights available from Indian cities like Chennai, Bangalore, and Delhi to land in Bangkok. From Bangkok, there are innumerable flights to Chiang Mai with a variety of airlines.
Going by road to Chiang Mai might be a tough adventure, but travellers might experience a rejoicing ride. Travellers can visit Thailand by road because of the trilateral highway which connects India and Thailand by road via Myanmar. From Bangkok, visitors can opt for daily buses to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai also offers some of the well-connected trains from Bangkok. Although, the tourists coming from India will have to resort to flights till Bangkok. From Bangkok, there are ample trains to Chiang Mai station which would take about 12-15 hours.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Chiang Mai is crowded with tourists throughout the year, but the best time to visit Chiang Mai is in winters around November to February during the festivals. The city is full of flourishing forests and huge mountains which make it an outdoor trip completely.
Summer (March to May):
The summers here are in full swing as the weather is not just hot but humid too. The range of tourists is comparatively less. Visitors are suggested to move out only after sunset and carry necessary accessories according to the weather. The nearby mountains are make for a nice get-away from the scorching heat.
Monsoon (June to October):
People usually don’t prefer travelling to Chiang Mai during the rains, as it witnesses heavy rainfall. Rains are heavy but they are short-lived, and they sweep the city clean. People visiting Chiang Mai during this period should bring in umbrellas, raincoats etc. The weather is cool during monsoons.
Winter (November to February):
These months offer the best of Chiang Mai. The weather is refreshing and perfectly appropriate for outdoor activities like cliff diving, rock climbing etc. Chiang Mai may also experience one or two showers in a month. The tourists may witness Loi Krathong festival in November and flower festival in February.
Things to Do
There are certain things which travellers must try if they are visiting Chiang Mai.
Visit Wat Doi Suthep:
Bangkok is known for its widespread Buddhist culture. One of the most striking temples of Chiang Mai is Wat Doi Suthep. People can get a better perspective of the history of temples from monks over there.
Go Cliff diving:
Cliff diving at Hang Dock Rock Quarry is one of the best exploration quests one can experience in Chiang Mai. The quarry is full of rushing turquoise waters and has the highest cliffs up to 12 meters. This is a must-visit place of Chiang Mai.
Chill with the Elephants:
Chiang Mai gives travellers a chance to spend time with elephants. Elephant Nature Park is a rehabilitation centre for the preservation of elephants, and allows tourists to treat elephants with love and care. Although it is one of the most expensive things to do in Chiang Mai, this is the least people can do for these endangered creatures.
Meditate in Peace:
There is a meditation course available at Chiang Mai to uplift your inner soul. One of the most recognized meditation centres is at Wat Doi Suthep, where several travellers come daily for meditation courses ranging from 3-28 days depending upon their availability.
Ravish the Local Food:
Thai food is a perfect balance of all tastes including spicy, sweet and salty. The best part about Thai cooking is that it doesn’t need preparation and is very easy to make and any novice can try Thai cooking. Foodies with an edge to try various flavours should definitely try Thai cuisine, rich in its coconut milk based curries and rice noodles, sticky rice and mango sauces.
Where to Shop
Chiang Mai is famous for its traditions and culture. The same reflects in the goods that one can find here. From traditional gold-on-black lacquerware to handmade umbrellas and silks, Chiang Mai dazzles its visitors with all the beautiful things it has to offer. Sunday Walking Street along Th Wualai gives a charming view of neighbourhood shopping where tourists can buy silverware and ceramics. Thronged by local artisans, one can also find beautiful decorative pieces, tote bags, hand-painted t-shirts and much more. One may also visit Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar along the footpath of Th Chang Khlan.