Chiang Mai is Thailand's second city located in the north just one hour’s flight from Bangkok or an overnight train journey. The city lies on a plateau surrounded by mountains which each have their own unique attractions – elephant training camps, rafting, orchid farms, Hill Tribe villages, snake and monkey shows and a whole avalanche of temples and historic sites.
The city is famous for her friendly people, the night bazaar with refined handicrafts, the cool climate and stunning mountain scenery. The river Ping meanders through the town and there are many places to stay along the river with great restaurants to dine.
More than three-hundred temples, among them some of the most beautiful and revered in the entire Buddhist world, give the city an atmosphere of calmness and timeless elegance. The old city is a perfect square, walled and surrounded by a moat lending charm and eloquence. Within the old city life is peaceful and the majority of Chiang Mai’s temples are contained within these walls.
The quality of living is unsurpassed. Accommodation and food are of the highest standard at very low cost. Entertainment is plentiful with numerous festivals, outdoor activities and great nightlife.
Shopping is great, be it for handicrafts, clothes or luxury items. Everything can be found at great prices in stores ranging from small family-run shops to world-class luxury outlets and shopping malls. The city centre shopping radiates from the Night Bazaar Street and on the outskirts of the town are villages such as Baan Tawai which offer factory prices and an abundance of choice.
At night in addition to shopping there are many bars and nightclubs providing a lively entertainment’s scene. Many of the hotels offer outside concerts and parties and the city is filled with the smell of delicious food cooking from its many fabulous restaurants.
There are many domestic flights into Chiang Mai and these are very cheap. If travelling overnight by train from Bangkok this will take some 14 hours and 9 during the day. Coaches are available for the journey too and these take just a little bit longer to reach Chiang Mai.