Chiang Mai Travel Guides
Travel Guides for Chiang Mai
Eat a bowl of Tom Yum Gung, grow a lucky bamboo, hang a red lantern and you feel, "Oh yeah! I know the Orient." Well, you don't, not by a long shot. You might see the world in a grain of sand, but my friend, you really can't see the Orient in a bowl of soup. You have to be there, to breathe in the fragrances and aroma, to listen to exotic voices and sounds, to taste the flavours, to sense the rhythm, and feel the difference. So welcome to Chiang Mai, Oh weary traveller, and let's see what this historic, elegant beauty has in store for you.
Several hundred kilometers northwest of Bangkok and serviced by air, road and rail, Chiang Mai is the gateway to the northern provinces of Thailand. Would-be explorers to the region are delighted with the prospects of visiting hill tribe villages and hunting for handicrafts among the vast selection on offer in Chiang Mai province.
They might not bend it like Beckam here in Chiang Mai, but they sure play a mean game of badminton, squash, tennis and a variety of other games and exciting sport. You can play the game you've always played or learn a new one you've never heard of. So put on your sports shoes and away we go.
From a history dating back hundreds of years to modern shopping centres displaying the latest in electronics and couture, and a lifestyle suspended somewhere in between, sightseeing in Chiang Mai is a feast for the senses, and I mean all six of them. Whether you come under the Marco Polo club of traveller or the Phileas Fogg variety, Chiang Mai will get under your skin in a pleasant sort of way. You simply can't escape it.
Buddhist Temples in Chiang Mai | Chiang Mai National Museum | Doi Inthanon National Park | Doi Suthep National Park | Kavila Monument | Mae Sa Craft Village | Mae Sa Valley | Old City of Chiang Mai | Wat Chedi Luang | Wat Chiang Man | Wat Doi Suthep | Wat Jet Yod | Wat Phra Singh | Wat Suan Dork | Wat Umong
If you're expecting a flamboyant nightlife you'll be slightly disappointed. But having said that let me assure you there's enough for a nice time without stretching yourself too much. By law everything is supposed to wind up and shut down by the magical hour of 12 midnight. Few places have special permits to stay open till 2 a.m.
When it comes to dining out in Chiang Mai, you literally have the whole world on your plate. Cuisines from all over the world cater to tourists and locals and you'll really have a job on your hands just deciding what to have. The best of Europe, the Middle-East, Indian, and Mexican vie with the fabulous local menu for table space. Fears about holiday fat are warranted. To make matters worse, eating seems to be a favourite pastime.
May be it's the endless amount of stuff, the ridiculously low prices, the colourful assortment you've never ever seen before, or it could be the emotional high that hits you when you're on vacation that finds an outlet in a wild shopping spree. Whatever the reason, chances are you'll pack an extra piece of luggage with all the must-have knick knacks you accumulated while on your trip.
In Chiang Mai you'll find a merry melange of cultures that include the hill tribe people, Burmese, Chinese, and other ethnic groups such as the Mons and the Tais. Some Muslims and a dash of Europeans and you have a multicultural pie that defies description. There's an amazing tolerance and happy co-existence which you could attribute to the Buddhist religion or the natural bonhomie of the Thai people.
Chances are you've just arrived from Bangkok or some other NYC clone. In which case Chiang Mai will most certainly give you a culture shock. If you've come on business and have huge plans buzzing around your bonnet, you'll be forgiven for folding like a busted balloon at the laid back lackadaisical little town that greets you. You see more history than economy and are probably appalled by the chaotic traffic and the haphazard infrastructure.