Attractions in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a province located in the North of Thailand. It is the country’s second largest province, flourished with wealthy Thai tradition and indigenous culture. Chiang Mai features wide-ranging sorts of attractions, including nature attractions, shopping streets, historical sites, etc. The majority of them are cultural-themed and nature ones, reflecting Thailand uniqueness. Apart from its variety of attractions, Chiang Mai houses a plenty of accommodations, ranging from five-star hotels, resorts, to home-stays. Accordingly, Chiang Mai has attracted a large number of tourists, especially foreigners.
How to get to and travel around Chiang Mai
To make a trip to Chiang mai, there are a few means of transportation. First of all, the most convenient way is travel by plane. There are over 45 Bangkok to Chiang Mai flights per day from several airlines. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The distance between the two cities is around 582 km. The average flight cost is start from 1,300 Baht (Return ticket). For more information, please go to websites below:
Chiang Mai Airport
- Thai Airways: http://www.thaiairways.com/
- Bangkok Airways: http://www.bangkokair.com/
- Thai Smile Air: https://www.thaismileair.com
- Thai Air Asia: https://www.airasia.com/
- Nok Air: https://www.nokair.com
- Thai Lion Air: http://www.lionairthai.com/
- Thai Vietjet Air: http://www.vietjetair.com
The second method is to take a bus. The bus provider we suggest is Mo Chit Station, which offers Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus tickets more than 10 rounds per day. The cost of bus ticket is 500 Baht on average for one-way tickets. The duration of the bus trip takes around 9-10 hours.
The another popular method is by overnight train. There are 5 trains leaving from Bangkok Station everyday. If you want a new clean and comfort air condition sleeper train, we recommended the No.9 train leaving at 6.10 pm. The duration takes around 11-12 hours
To explore around Chiang mai, you can take a local transport and Tuk-tuk. Chiang mai’s local transport is a red pick-up (locally known as "Rot Dang"). The average fare is around 20-100 Baht per person, depending on the traveled distance and negotiate between passengers and driver. Typically, pick-up drivers can speak a little bit of English. For Tuk-tuk – non-air-conditioned, three-wheeled taxi (private transport), the rate starts at 60 Baht and rises up to 200 Baht at night. Most Tuk-tuk drivers speak good English.
Moreover, "RTC Chiang Mai city bus" is the only air-conditioned bus service which operated around Chiang Mai city. It's very convenient for traveler because you can check the bus location via mobile application "Via Bus". Travel fare is 30 Baht per person. You can check timetable and routes from this link.
Recommendation for Chiang Mai Attractions
Chiang mai is composed of a myriad of tourist attractions which can be separated into 4 kinds: nature destinations, temples and cultural sites, shopping venues, and adventure spots.
Chiang mai is one of the most striking and top-rated nature destinations in Thailand. If you are a true nature explorer, visiting Chiang mai is a must! Doi Inthanon National Park features the highest mountain in Thailand, also known as the Roof of Thailand. It is where you can get yourself immersed in a cold weather during winter season while exploring the mountain with 1,850 meters of prominence. Another relaxing place with stunning view of nature is Doi Ang Khang National Park serving as a site for planting and researching flowering plants, temperate fruit trees, vegetables and other crops. From October to February, a visit to Mon Cham is recommended. Mon Cham impresses you with breathtaking views of lush mountains surrounding it as well as extremely pleasant weather up there. Who says Cherry Blossom can be discovered only at Japan? They are absolutely wrong! Khun Chang Khian houses Thailand’s Sakura, allowing you to experience Cherry Blossom, called Nang Phaya Suekrong in Thai language. The best time to see Sakura is from January to February. During this time, Khun Chang Khian is covered with the blooming of pinkish Cherry Blossom. Furthermore, Pha Chor is one of the must-visit destinations, featuring a huge rocky cliff with the height of 30 meters. Beside these attractions, other worth-visiting nature destinations in Chiangmai consist of Chiang Dao Caves, Maesa Waterfall, San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, etc.
Apart from the excellent reputation for its nature destinations, Chiang mai is also Thailand’s leading attraction for historical and cultural sites. Owing to its long-established history and prosperity in the past, the province is flourished with a huge number of beautiful temples. A must-see one is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most visited and sacred temples in Northern Thailand. Located on top of a hill, the temple impresses you with beautiful golden pagoda (Chedi) and awe-inspiring views of Chiang mai city below, as well. Another interesting attraction is Wiang Kum Kam, ancient site with historical ruins along the Ping River. Beside historical sites and temples, some attractions also represent Northern Thai cultures. For instance, Old Chiangmai Khantoke Dinner showcases the precious traditional Northern Thailand – Lanna – culture through various kinds of dance, such as Fingernails Dance, Swords Dance, and Thai Lue Dance. You are enabled to have a savory meal served in a pedestal tray while watching the shows. In Chiang mai, you does not only learn Thai-Lanna cultures, but you are also allowed to witness long-necked Karens at Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribe Village! This peaceful agricultural hill is where different tribe people settle and where you can learn their lifestyle along with their unique cultures.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Wat Chedi Luang
After exploring around Chiang mai all day long, let’s get relaxed at some shopping venues at night. There is no way to not mention night markets once you take a trip to Chiang mai. On weekends, there are a plenty of street markets held around the city. Claimed to be the most famous walking street of all, Wualai Walking Street provides visitors with handicraft, earthenware, Thai local food, and traditional performance. If you are looking for unique souvenirs, pay a visit to Tha Pae Walking Street. Situated on Ratchdamnoen Road, this market is also famous for its handwork products with affordable prices. In addition, you can go for a chilly stroll at Chiang mai Night Bazaar, which encompasses miscellaneous, low-priced goods, such as apparels, shoes, bags, and local products. When it comes to a rather late night, a great place to go is Nimmanhaemin Road. Similar to Bangkok’s Sukhumwit Road, Nimmanhaemin is an awesome venue for nightlife lovers. Night clubs, bars, and a huge variety of food are along this Road. Near Nimmanhaemin is Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center – a brand-new mall housing both Thai and international brand-name stores, restaurants along with entertainment complex.
Situated in the environment of mountains, Chiang mai houses a lot of attractions which serve exciting adventure. Let’s get started with elephant riding at Maesa Elephant Camp Chiang mai. Housing a number of adorable elephants, the camp represents the cuteness of elephants' lives and offers various elephant-related activities, ranging from elephant riding, elephant training, elephant bathing, elephant painting, to well-trained elephants’ shows. Next, let’s go high and fly through the midst of lush forest at Flight of The Gibbon. Featuring the longest single zipline in Asia, this place will provide you with the greatest zipline course, which gets up to 50 meters high and 800 meters long. Anyone can fly with Flight of the Gibbon. Another adventure-filled destination is Grand Canyon Hangdong. The famous Grand Canyon is now in Chiang mai! Beside its 20-meter deep canyon together with beautiful natural lagoon that has visitors in awe, this place offers extreme adventure through attractions, enabling you all to have fun with jumping off the cliff into the large lagoon. If you do not get enough of adventure during the day, let’s visit Chiang mai Night Safari. Grab a good chance to explore nocturnal animals’ life. Furthermore, get stunned with various animal shows and enjoy many more attractions, such as feeding giraffes and Digital Zoo.
Chiang mai does not only provide visitors with those attractions previously mentioned, but there is also an abundance of worth-visiting destinations. For art lovers, Art in Paradise is highly recommended. Inside this three-dimensional art museum are awesome pieces of artwork that allow you to enjoy taking your own creative photographs. For those who wonder why Thai dishes are very scrumptious, let's find out the hidden secret recipe at Baan Hongnual Cookery School! This place gives you a great opportunity to cook foreigners’ favorite Thai dishes, like Gai Pad Med Mamuang, Panaeng, and Pad Thai. Next, let’s get very close to nature of Mae Rim at Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, which houses Glasshouse Complex displaying numerous species of plants. Inside the Gardens is another highlight – Canopy Walkway. Regarded as the longest walkway in Thailand, this walkway – made of fiberglass, glass and steel – will amaze you with breathtaking views of the abundant jungle below and also on both sides of the walkway.
If you are looking for a trip to a place where you can discover precious northern Thai cultures along with rich nature, Chiang mai is the place! Filled with the wealth of Lanna traditions together with indigenous cultures, Chiang mai enables you to get an extremely deep insight into the cultures through various cultural destinations. With a trip to Chiang mai, you are enabled to get immensely relaxed with its luxuriance of nature together with cold weather. Apart from these highlights, the city offers lots of holiday destinations – shopping streets and adventure spots – suitable for all with any ages and genders. Let Chiang mai trip become one of your memorable travel experiences.
Updated: 28 December 2018