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Chiang Mai








General Chiang Mai Information


Experience the merging of the past into the present in Chiang Mai where locals are proud of the city’s 700-year history. Its rich traditional heritage and unique culture is a perfect foundation for the development of the city. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to find in the heart of the city centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. The original city layout still exists as a neat square surrounded by a moat with vestiges of the fortified wall and its four main gates offering prime access to the old town.

For years, tourists have mistaken Chiang Mai as the northern junction and the base from which they can explore other provinces. The phrase “a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around” was common. Today, tourists are surprised by the fact that there is always something new to discover Chiang Mai. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes coupled with breathtaking scenery makes Chiang Mai one of Asia's most attractive tourist destinations. Two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for serious travelers.

The old city of Chiang Mai with its fascinating indigenous cultural identity such as diverse dialects, cuisine, architecture, traditional values, festivals, handicrafts and classical dances is a prime location in its own right. In addition, the presence of hill tribes and their wealth of unique cultures enhance Chiang Mai’s distinctive diversity.

Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources of mountains (dois), waterfalls, and other nature-based tourist attractions. At the same time, Chiang Mai residents are warm, gracious and congenial providing authentic hospitality making visits memorable and meaningful. Moreover, visitors from all walks of life can collect handicrafts of silk, silver and wood produced locally as timeless souvenirs. Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy themselves to the fullest.


The Past

Chiang Mai literally means new city and has retained the name despite having celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai founded the city as the capital of the Lanna (A Million Rice Fields) Kingdom on Thursday, 12th April 1296 during the same period of time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai the Great conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded.
From then, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also the centre of Buddhism in northern Thailand. King Meng Rai himself was very religious and founded many of the city’s temples, which are still important today.
At the height of its power, the Lanna Kingdom extended its territory far into Burma and Laos, and southwards to Kamphaeng Phet – a province above Sukhothai.
The Burmese conquered the Lanna Kingdom in 1556 ending the dynasty founded by King Meng Rai that lasted over 250 years. As Burma had occupied Chiang Mai for nearly 200 years, Burmese architectural influences are visible in many temples. At the end of the 18th century, King Taksin the Great regrouped the Thais in the south and finally drove the Burmese out with the help of King Kawila of Lampang thereby regaining Thai independence from Burma. Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. In the late 19th century, King Rama V appointed a high commissioner in Chiang Mai and it was only in 1939 that Chiang Mai finally came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok – the same time the country was renamed Thailand.
In the past, Chiang Mai was only accessible by river and elephants. More convenient access was achieved only when the railway line was completed in the late 1920's. Moreover, the first motor vehicle driven directly from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai in 1932. Such isolation was more favorable to Chiang Mai as it helped to nurture and preserve the unique Lanna culture.
When we look at Chiang Mai today, it is the economic, cultural and communications hub of northern Thailand complete with excellent infrastructure, good roads, by passes and road tunnels, and reliable communications infrastructure.
The Setting
Chiang Mai, with an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, the city covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometers and is the country’s second largest province. Chiang Mai borders Myanmar on the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces on the east and Mae Hong Son Province on the west. The terrain is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to the hill tribes. In addition, wildlife and exotic flora may be found in the national parks.
Most of Chiang Mai’s mountains are oriented from north to south. Together they create a multitude of streams and tributaries including Mae Chaem, Mae Ngat and Mae Klang. One of Chiang Mai’s distinctive features is Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak, which is 2,575 meters above sea level. In addition, the province boasts flat, fertile valleys, which spread along the banks of the largest and most important river in Chiang Mai – Maenam Ping (Ping River) which originates from the Chiang Dao mountain range.



How To Get to Chiang mai

By Car from Bangkok (approximately 8 hours)
Route 1: Drive on Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin) and turn left to Highway No.32 (Asian Highway) which passes Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, and Nakhon Sawan, then take Highway No. 117 to Phitsanulok and Highway No. 11 to Lampang, Lamphun and Chiang Mai. The total distance is 695 kilometers.
Route 2: From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway No. 1 passing Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Lampang, and Chiang Mai. Total distance is 696 kilometers.

By Bus
From Bangkok
There are ordinary, 2nd –class and 1st – class air-conditioned buses leaving for Chiang Mai daily (8.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m.) from the Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal). Call 02 936 3600, 02 936 2852, and 02 937 8055 for a more updated bus timetable. Private buses, which can be conveniently booked in tourist-oriented places in Bangkok, are also available. However, the public buses from the Northern Bus Terminal are generally more reliable. The journey takes approximately 10-12 hours, depending on traffic.
From Chiang Mai
If you travel to any districts in Chiang Mai, use Chang Phuak Bus Terminal located on Chotana Road, tel. 053 211 586. Destinations include those located along the northern route (Highway No. 107) which passes through Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Chiang Dao, Chaiprakan, Fang and Mae Ai. Some buses continue to Tha Ton, the northernmost province of Chiang Mai.
If you wish to travel outside the province, use Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station. Contact tel: 0 5324 2664 for a more updated bus timetable. Destinations include Golden Triangle, Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Lampang, Lamphun, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Mae Hong Son (both old and new routes), Mae Sot, Mae Sariang, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat), and Udon Thani.

Train
Express and rapid trains operated by the State Railways of Thailand leave for Chiang Mai from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station 6 times a day from 8.00 a.m.-10.00 p.m. The trip takes about 11-12 hours for express trains. For more information, contact tel. 1690, or 02 223 7010, 02 223 7020. Chiang Mai Railway Station, tel. (053) 24 2094, 244 795, .247 462 245 363-4

By Air
Domestic airlines including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Nok Air, Orient Thai Airlines, Air Andaman and Phuket Air operate several flights daily between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Thai Airways also operates domestic flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Phuket. International flights to and from Chitakong, Luang Phrabang, Khunming, Yangon and Japan (Narita) are also provided. Call 02 628 2000 (Bangkok), 053 211 044-7 (Chiang Mai), or visit www.thaiairways.com for more information.
Bangkok Airways also offers several flights daily on the Bangkok - Chiang Mai route, some with a stopover at Sukhothai. International routes to and from Jinghong and Xi’An are also available. Call 02 265 5555, 265 5678 (Bangkok Office) or 053 27 6176 (Chiang Mai Office) or visit www.bangkokair.com for more information.
Phuket Air offers 2 daily shuttle service flights from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with YS-11 aircraft. The journey takes only 40 minutes and the flight times are at 07.30 a.m. and 6.00 p. m. For more information, call Bangkok Office 66 2679-8999 or Chiang Mai Office 66 5392 2118-9 or visit www.phuketairlines.com

www.nokair.co.th
Foreign Airlines operating flights from Chiang Mai to several destinations are:
Air Mandalay operates flights between Chiang Mai and Yangon on Sundays and Thursdays. Contact 053 818 049 (Chiang Mai office), visit www.myanmars.net/airmandalay or write to [email protected] for more information.
Mandarin Airlines operates flights between Chiang Mai and Taipei three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information call, 053 201 268-9 (Chiang Mai office) or visit www.mandarinair.com
Lao Airlines operates flights on the Chiang Mai – Luang Phrabang route three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 223 401 (Chiang Mai office), visit www.laoairlines.com or write to [email protected] for more information.
Silk Air operates flights between Chiang Mai – Singapore three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 276 459 053 276 495 (Chiang Mai office) or visit www.silkair.com for reservations.
Travelling within Chiang Mai
From Airport, Train and Bus Terminal to town
There is a licensed airport taxi service available at the taxi kiosk outside the baggage-claim area. Purchase a ticket and present it to the drivers waiting by the arrivals exit area. The trip will cost approximately 100 bahts for a sedan car that seats 4-5 people (with luggage).
From the airport, train station and bus terminal, you can easily get a song taew (red mini-bus). To charter a minibus or car, please check the correct fare at the TAT counter first.
Normally, first-class hotels provide complimentary transportation between the airport, railway station or bus terminals and the hotel for guests who have made advance reservations.

Short-distance travel
1. For relative short distances you can take a sam lor or tuk-tuk (a tricycle). Fares must be bargained in advance. Short rides within the city costs between 20 and 30 bahts. Longer rides may cost as much as 50 bahts.
2. Just new in town is the taxi-metre, the same as those running around Bangkok. The minimum (starting) fare is 35 bahts.
3. Song taew (red mini-bus) is the most common means of transportation in town. Passengers can hop in and out as they wish. Simply tell the driver the destination and negotiate the price before boarding. Fares range from 10-20 bahts depending on the distance.
4. Bicycles
Some travelers prefer to ride a bicycle around the city as most of the roads and alleys are accessible by bicycle. Bicycles can be rented from bicycle shops and certain guesthouses.
5. Rental cars
All major car rental companies such as AVIS, Budget, and Hertz, as well as Thai car rental companies are ready to provide suggestions on travel itineraries. The easiest way to locate a car rental company is to ask at the airport or the hotel, as those are the places where most companies are located


Festival

Yi Peng Festival
Yi Peng Festival is held annually on Loi Krathong day. It is a very interesting event of Chiang Mai. The festival features the release of lanterns into the sky to worship the gods. There are also fireworks, lantern contests, and beauty pageants.

Bo Sang Umbrella Festival

Bo Sang Umbrella Festival is held in January in Bo Sang Handicraft Centre. The festival features paper products, paper parasols in particular, cultural shows, a parade showing traditional ways of life, and several contests.

City Pillar Inthakin Festival
City Pillar Inthakin Festival is held to invoke blessings of peace, happiness and prosperity for the city and its residents. Buddha images are paraded around the city. It is held at Wat Chedi Luang for 7 auspicious days and nights in the 7th lunar month.

Doi Suthep Pilgrimage
Doi Suthep Pilgrimage On the night of Visakha Bucha Day, worshippers gather to light candles and make the 7-kilometre pilgrimage up to the temple on Doi Suthep.



Flower Festival

Flower Festival is held in February. The festival includes ornamental garden flower contests, floral floats parade in the morning and beauty pageants. The parade begins at Chiang Mai Railway Station and passes Nawarat Bridge and ends at Nong Buak Hat Park.

Songkran Festival
Songkran Festival is held annually from 13 to 15 April. The 13th of April is the Great Songkran day featuring the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image parade around Chiang Mai town for bathing, sand pagoda making, blessing of elders, and water splashing.


Local product

Furniture/ Woodcarving
Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. This tradition has been passed on for generations so it can be preserved in different ways. Furniture carving is considered one way of preservation. Teak, rosewood and rattan are being crafted both in traditional and modern designs. Woodcarving products range from gracing screens, chairs, tables, beds, to carved elephants, figurines and tableware. You can easily find them in shops located in San Kamphaeng and Ban Tawai (apparently Thailand’s woodcarving capital).

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Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies
Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated in 24 carat gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace pendants, hairpins and earrings.

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Hill tribe Products
Exotic, traditional and unique, products are sold by hill tribe people dressed in traditional costumes. It is not possible to resist buying one of the hand-made silver ornaments, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, hairpins, pipes, and embroidered items that are available. In addition, there are tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths, colorful embroidery, hand-woven textiles and other handicrafts made of bamboo and other natural materials to be chosen from.

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Lacquer ware
Products are interestingly made by decorating wooden, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay items with layers of black lacquer and then finishing with golden designs. The classic texture has made them a perfect gift, souvenir or ornament for visitors. Factories and shops can be found along San Kamphaeng and Chang Khlan Roads.

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Local Food Product

Nam Phrik Ong
Chile paste made from minced pork and tomatoes. Normally it is eaten with soft-boiled vegetables, crispy pork rinds (Khaep Mu) or deep-fried crunchy rice cakes. It can also be served with plain white rice as a meat dish.

Nam Phrik Num
This green chili paste is very common cuisine for the locals. The chili paste is usually accompanied by boiled locally grown vegetables. The best condiment for the dish is Khaep Mu. Sai ua is normally eaten with Nam Phrik Num.

Sai Ua
A local Chiang Mai sausage that is very aromatic and spicy and usually is eaten with steamed glutinous rice.

Kaeng (curry) - A special feature of the northern-style curry is that it is coconut-free.
Kaeng Hang-Le - Northern—style pork curry.
Kaeng Om – spicy curry of entrails.
Kaeng Khae – spicy curry of vegetables.

Khanom Chin Nam Ngiao is a very traditional noodle dish of the North. It is Thai rice vermicelli with spiced chicken curry accompanied with vegetables.
Khao Soi is also a well known, not to be missed local dish. You can choose from chicken/ pork /beef in curry soup with noodles. It is different from other Kaeng dishes in that Khao Soi is a noodle dish mixed with meat and coconut cream and garnished with garlic and crunchy noodles. It has a sweet, but spicy taste.
If you are under time constraints, the Khantok Dinner is one way to sample most of the Northern dishes all at once.

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Pottery/Celadon (Ceramics)
Celadon, the unique Thai ceramic in soft green and blue tones, is produced locally in many forms. They include dinner sets, vases, tea sets, burners, lamp bases and other decorative home items. Recommended places to visit are Hang Dong sub-district where a large number of factories are located. For art lovers, a visit to Nimmanhemin Road is worth it, as there are many interesting art galleries offering intriguing celadon products.

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Sa (Mulberry) Paper Products
Chiang Mai is also famous for its Sa paper products – a handmade, multi-purpose natural fiber. Sa products that come in different, distinctive designs include cards, notebooks, stationery, boxes, bags, photo frames, lanterns, gift wrapping paper, etc.

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Silk, Cotton & Textiles
First-class Chiang Mai silk, cotton and other hand-woven fabrics (hill tribe products) are famous for its uniqueness and classic quality that shines over time. The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphaneg.

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Silverware
Visitors can stroll along Wua Lai Road to discover exquisite silverware made with traditional skills, which have been passed on from generation to generation. A guaranteed content of at least 92.5 % pure silver is a mark of their quality. Recommended items include investiture bowls, receptacles and decorative items.

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Umbrellas/ Parasols
Located on San Kamphaeng Road, Bor Sang is dubbed as the umbrella village. It is the place where villagers have been engaged in umbrella making based on their local wisdom for over 200 years. All materials, including silk, bamboo, sa paper (mulberry paper), are found locally.
Be amazed at hundreds of hand-painted umbrellas in different designs and sizes, from miniature ones to the super big. Apart from the umbrella, fans and other handmade products of Sa paper are also available in both classic and modern designs.
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Attractions

Activities in Chiang Mai
Trekking
A center for treks into the mountainous northern areas, especially home of hill tribes, Chiang Mai offers unique opportunities for the adventures. Lush hills and virgin forests are scenic backdrops that will make your trekking by foot or on elephant back truly memorable. The most popular trails are in Doi Inthanon National Park where over 300 bird species and a wide variety of orchids and other flowers can be seen.
Elephant Safari
See elephants at work and ride them into the forest, where you can enjoy being closer to nature. Maetaman Valley, just 50 kilometers north of Chiang Mai, provides an excellent base for this activity. The whole trekking package may include trekking on foot, bamboo rafting, whitewater rafting or kayaking, an ox- cart ride, and an overnight stay at a hill tribe village.
Bird watching
Endowed with rich natural deposits, Chiang Mai has a lot to offer to bird lovers. Its forests, perfect wildlife sanctuaries, are good observation spots for bird watching activities. Among several popular places are Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep. Contact your local agents for more information.
Cycling tours/ Mountain biking
Chiang Mai’s mountainous terrain and scenic destinations make the province perfect for both cycling and mountain biking. Many tour companies offer biking tour programs that include guides, food and overnight equipment. There are also an increasing number of travel agents providing full-day cycling tours to several interesting destinations.
The tours usually head north from the Asian Games Stadium through the Mae Sa Valley. Alternatively, it is possible to experience the scenery along Maenam Ping, which flows peacefully through villages, old temples, farms, etc. For those who are serious about cycling, a longer route to Chiang Rai is available which includes visits to small villages of Lahu, Lisu and Akha hilltribes.
Rafting
Chiang Mai also provides good opportunities for rafting using bamboo or rubber rafts, as there are lots of rivers and streams flowing throughout the province. Popular routes include Mae Kok, Mae Chaem, and Mae Teang rivers. All rives flow through lush forests and hill tribe settlements. Contact us for more information.
Boat trip
To see most of Chiang Mai from a different perspective, take a leisurely boat trip from the Nawarat Bridge. The trip operates five times daily, 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., and 5.30 p.m.
Go-kart
Enjoy the speedy go-kart at 254 Mu 8, Hang Dong District. There are 4 types of rides available, ranging from beginners to competition models. Call 053 430059 for more information.
Cooking classes
Thai cooking classes are fun and delightful. An increasing number of foreign tourists join Thai cooking classes to learn new skills that can be used at home. offers mostly vegetarian cooking lessons, conducted in an old-Lanna style house.
Holistic healing… for your wellness and well-being
There are plenty of stress relief services such as traditional Thai massage, Swedish, Shiatsu and Aromatherapy massages available in spas in the city and in resorts. A highly recommended place, which offers a renewed sense of wellness, is the Tao Garden located on Doi Saket. The Tao Garden offers appropriate therapy to balance the body and mind, thus enhancing a peaceful inner self. The spa offers five unique therapies including aromatherapy, Chi Nei Tsang massage, Ayurvedic oil, and acupuncture as well as body wrapping. Tai Chi Chuan offers an intensive 10-day course three sessions daily, 7.00 to 9.30 am, 1.00 to 2.00 pm & 4.00 to 6.30 p.m.
Yoga and meditation class
After a long adventurous day, one may choose to be pampered in one of the spas in the area. Alternatively, it is possible to achieve freedom from the routine and mundane life by finding your inner path through either yoga or meditation lessons. Take time to heal the body, mind, soul and spirit and let time stand still. Many tourists and locals have found the practice extremely beneficial and awakening. Contact Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidialai (053 278967) for more information on a 2-day program on meditation for foreign visitors. It is offered at Wat Suan Dok and Wat Phalad. Yoga enthusiasts can call 053 271555, Hatha Yoga Center, www.hathayogachiangmai.com, for more information.
Bungy jumping
For an adrenaline rush, Bungy Jumping in Chiang Mai operates in accordance with New Zealand Standards. It is a fully licensed and insured company, which operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 053 298442 or 01 885 1912 for more information. The site is located at 229 Mo 1, Mae Rim District. A lakeside bar and restaurant are also available.

Chiang Mai Cultural Centre
The Centre is situated at the beginning of Chiang Mai-Hang Dong road. The center has an exceptional collection of Lanna art, and intriguing displays of traditional northern culture. A spectacular folk dance and tribal shows are performed while the typical northern dinner “Khan Tok” is served. For more information, contact tel. 0-5327-4 540, 0-5327-5097.

Chiang Mai National Museum
Located on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Super Highway near Wat Chet Yot, the museum has been designated by the Fine Arts Department as a regional center for education and preservation of the art and culture of Chiang Mai and upper northern Thailand – the Lanna Kingdom. Their Majesties the King and Queen graciously presided over the opening of the museum on 6 February 1973. The museum was built according to traditional northern architecture, with a Lanna Thai rooftop. Interesting exhibitions include:
Topic 1: The natural and cultural background of the Lan Na Kingdom including the geology, ecology, geography and prehistoric settlement of the north.
Topic 2: The history of the Lan Na Kingdom from the establishment of Chiang Mai city to its peak and decline under Burmese control from 1558 to 1769.
Topic 3: The city of Chiang Mai under the Kingdom of Siam, from the time Chiang Mai regained its freedom from Burma, to the reestablishment of Chiang Mai city in 1782.
Topic 4: Trade and economy of the Lan Na Kingdom from 1782 to 1939.
Topic 5: The modern way of life and social development: agriculture and industry, banking, international relations, education and public health.
Topic 6: The development of the Lan Na Art Style, and the history of art in Thailand from the Dvaravati period to the present day.
Not far away from the Chiang Mai National Museum is the Tribal Museum, which displays information on the history and culture of each hill tribe as well as their traditional handicrafts. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed on National Holidays) Contact tel. 053 221328 for more information. Admission fee is 30 bahts.

Chiang Mai Zoo
Situated next to Huai Kaew Arboretum at the foot of the mountain where Phra That Doi Suthep is located, the zoo houses a pair of cuddly Pandas on loan from China. Inside the zoo, there are over 200 types of Asian and African mammals and birds for visitors to observe. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., the admission fee for an adult is 100 bahts and a child is 20 bahts. There are excellent facilities for tourists with restaurants and a camping site. Advance booking is required for large groups. Contact: tel. 0-5322-1179, 0-5322-2283.

CMU Art Museum (Chiang Mai University Art Museum)
The Art Museum is situated on Nimmanhemin Road opposite the Chiang Mai University Auditorium. There are a lot of interesting exhibitions on display in the museum art gallery, check the schedule at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University 239 Huey Kaew Road Chiang Mai 50200. Or Tel/Fax: 66-53-211724, e-mail: [email protected]

Doi Suthep & Doi Pui National Park
Covering an area of 262 sq. km., this luxuriant park is home to more than 300 bird species and nearly 2,000 species of ferns and flowering plants. Some hiking trails in the park pass Hmong villages while others lead to a few small waterfalls where local people come to picnicking on weekends. Accommodations are available near the park headquarters. To get there, take Highway No. 1004, it’s only 16 kilometers drive northwest of Chiang Mai town. The Park has interesting attractions, which include


Namtok Huai Kaew
This waterfall is located near the Chiang Mai Zoo and is a pleasant place for relaxation and picnics.
Doi Pui Tribal Village
This village is a Hmong village situated on an asphalt road approximately 3 kilometers from Phu Phing Palace and approximately one hour from Chiang Mai. The village presents the typical lifestyle of the Hmong as well as a scenic view of Doi Inthanon.
Phu Phing Palace (Royal Winter Palace)
The palace is located further up the mountain and approximately 6 kilometers from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The royal winter palace was built in 1962. Its landscaped gardens are decorated with plenty of colorful, exotic flowers. It is open every day from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. except when the Royal family is in residence which is usually from mid December to early February.

Huai Kaeo Arboretum
Situated next to the famous Chiang Mai University and the Chiang Mai Zoo, Huai Kaeo Arboretum, is a mixed blessing of landscaped gardens with many kinds of tropical trees and exquisite flowers. Locals love to relax and do morning and evening exercise in the compound.

Insect and Natural Wonders Museum
Exhibiting an awesome collection of domestic and foreign insects including animal fossils, the museum is located at 72 Nimmanhemin, Soi 12 (Sirimangkhlalachan Soi 3), Huai Kaew, Muang District. For more information contact tel 053 211891 or email to [email protected]


Kad Suan Kaeo Art & Cultural Centre
This newly developed centre is located in Kad Suan Kaeo Shopping Mall. It is a centre where traditional arts and cultural performances are performed using state-of-the art stage technology. For more information contact tel 053 224333 ext. Kad Silpa.

Khantoke Dinner
Most of the northern dishes can be sampled at a "Khantoke Dinner" in Chiang Mai. It is a perfect event where you can learn more about traditional northern cuisine while enjoying traditional music and dance. Khantok in the Northern dialect means a wooden tray used for carrying dishes. Round in shape, it is made of wood, varnished or lacquered with 5 or 6 short supporting legs.
Guests are invited to sit on the floor around a Khantok, a circular tray with Northern dishes on it. They can enjoy watching traditional northern dances as well as hilltribe culture shows while their meal is being served.
The main dishes on the Khantok usually are steamed sticky rice, kaeng hang-le (northern-style pork curry), kaeng ho (spicy curry of bean vermicelli), kaeng om (spicy curry of entrails), sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage), lap (minced meat, half cooked and highly seasoned), nam phrik ong (chili paste with minced pork and tomatoes), which usually goes with khaep mu (crispy pork rinds) and khao soi (chicken/ pork /beef curry soup with noodles. Guests are encouraged to eat with their hands, as the locals do. The eating procedure is easy: take a handful of steamed sticky rice from the bamboo basket, roll, and dip it into the curry or chili paste and then taste it.
After the meal, a dessert called khao taen – fried sticky rice covered with caramel – is served. Also served are khiyo cigars and fermented tea, which is chewed to help digestion. The khiyo cigar is made of shredded tobacco and ground tamarind bark (khiyo), which can reduce the strong odor of tobacco.
During the Khantok Dinner, several dances and shows are performed. The most popular Northern dance is fon lep or fingernail dance. This show is impressive as female dancers are dressed in Northern Thai style, and wear long pointed brass fingernails.

Khruba Siwichai Monument
Located at the foot of Doi Suthep, the monument was built in 1935 to honor Khruba Siwichai – a famous Lanna monk who initiated construction of the road leading up to Phra That Doi Suthep. Throughout his life, Khruba Siwichai organized many temple related renovation activities.

Lanna Woodcarving Art Museum
Ban Roi An Phan Yang Museum is the exhibition center of antiques and woodcarving masterpieces located at Chiangmai-Sanpatong Road, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230.

Night Bazaar
The Night Bazaar is a shopping haven where one can find handmade products and souvenirs from many Chiang Mai villages and hill tribes. Local cloths and fabrics are reasonably priced for purchasing. The shopping street opens around 6:00 p.m.

Sao Inthakil or Sao Lak Muang
The city pillar was built when the founder of Chiang Mai, King Meng Rai, ruled the city in 1296. Located in front of Wat Chedi Luang and enshrined in a small Thai chapel, the pillar is made of log and kept underground. The Khao Inthakil or city pillar celebration is held annually in May.

Sbun-Nga Textile Musuem
Address: 185/20 Wua Lai Road, Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 200655 or 01 8836713
This is the largest textile museum in Thailand which is situated at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. See over a thousand ancient and rare textiles revealing the elaborate weaving skills of both royal and local ancestors in Southeast Asia. Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m..

Wat Buppharam
The temple is located on Tha Phae Road, Muang District. Interesting attractions include the chedi constructed in the Burmese architectural style, the carved wooden main chapel roof and the small wood chapel constructed in the local style.

Wat Chedi Chet Yot
Located on the Super Highway Road (Chiang Mai-Lampang) only 4 kilometers from the town, the temple is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai. One of the main attractions is a seven-spired square chedi, which was inspired by the design of the Phuttakaya stupa in India. More importantly, the stupa contains the ashes of King Tilokkarat, a king of the Meng Rai Dynasty who built this temple.

Wat Chedi Liam or Chedi Ku Kham
The temple, situated in newly developed tourist destination, Wiang Kum Kam, was built in 1288 during the reign of King Meng Rai. Hundreds of years later, the temple was left abandoned until a Burmese tycoon renovated the temple in 1908. As a result, the temple has some Burmese influences in addition to its former Khmer style of which only some parts were rebuilt.

Wat Chedi Luang
This 14th century temple, where the City Pillar Shrine is located, is famous for its enormous chedi, which is measured at 282 feet high and 144 feet wide (at the base). Located right in the middle of the city, it is considered to be the largest chedi in Chiang Mai. Its spire collapsed in 1545 due to an earthquake. A pair of magnificent Naga staircases at the front porch of the chapel is among the most beautiful manmade serpents in the North. Chao Khun Uba Lee Poramacharn (Sirichantathera) and Chao Kaeo Navarat built the front chapel in 1928.

Wat Chiang Man
The oldest temple in Chiang Mai town, Wat Chiang Man was built in 1296 by King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai. The temple is famous for its Lanna-style chedi supported by rows of elephant-shaped buttresses and an ancient and invaluable Buddha image named Phra Kaeo Khao. Wat Chiang Man is situated off of Ratchapakhinai Road in the northeast corner of the old city.

Wat Gate Museum
The temple museum, Wat Gate Museum features an eclectic collection of artifacts discovered from the attics and storerooms of the temple. One of the most interesting art objects is an old Siamese 'White Elephant' flag and a collection of old phonographs going back more than 100 years to the western trading era in Chiang Mai. There are pictures of scenes from daily life in Chiang Mai including old riverboats, markets and even examples of criminal prosecution. It is possible to see what many of the town's temples looked like after the Burmese occupation, when they were mostly abandoned, and before the modern influx of tourists resulted in their restoration. There are also displays of records and record players. The museum opens daily from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Wat Ku Tao
Formerly known as Wat Veru Vanaram, the temple is located in Sri Phum Sub-district, near the Chiang Mai Stadium. Wat Ku Tao, ku tao being the local term for watermelon, is famous for its unusual watermelon-shaped pagoda. According to the legend, Ku Tao chedi contains the ashes of Prince Saravadee, the son of King Bureng Nong who ruled Chiang Mai from1579 to 1607.

Wat Phan Tao
The temple that was a throne hall for King Mahotara Prateth whose symbol is the peacock is located on Phra Pok Klao Road, next to Wat Chedi Luang. The peacock- shaped doors were thus built to represent the King.

Wat Phra Sing
Built in 1345, the temple is located on Sam Lan Road. It houses the North's most revered Buddha statue, Phra Phuttha Sihing which is enshrined in Vihan Lai Kham, a chapel that features exquisite woodcarvings and northern style murals. Every year on April 13, Songkran Day, the image is paraded through the streets of Chiang Mai for local people to sprinkle scented water on. This area was formerly Wat Li Chiang Market until 1345, when King Pa Yu, the fifth king of the Meng Rai Dynasty commanded the construction of this temple and a 24-feet chedi to contain his father’s ashes

Wat Phratat Doi Suthep
Locals would say, “You haven’t really gone to Chiang Mai unless you’ve been to Wat Phratat Doi Suthep”. Truly, the place is the most important and famous Chiang Mai landmark. Built in 1383, this mountaintop temple has a chedi (pagoda) that houses holy Buddha relics. The gold-plated chedi lies in the middle of a square marble-tiled courtyard. The four corners of the chedi are adorned with parasols which represent royal regalia. The temple’s courtyard is lined by a cloister, which contains images and murals depicting Buddha’s life. There are also two viharns situated in the middle of the east and west sides of the cloister.
This temple is 15 kilometers from town and is 3,520 feet above sea level. It is the perfect place to get a bird’s eye view of the city. The temple can be reached via a steep Naga staircase comprised of 290 steps or railcars. The temple is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m
To get there, drive along Huay Kaew Road up the mountain. Alternatively, there are song thaew services available at the foot of the mountain. It costs 30 baht/head to go up to Doi Suthep and approximately 50 baht/head to go further to Doi Pui and Phu Phing Palace. Note that these are one-way fares. (This is the added text)

Wat Prasat
Located on Inthawarorot Road, near Wat Phra Sing, is Wat Prasat where a rare Lanna style Buddha image is enshrined. The temple is composed of a traditional Lanna style chapel, with its roof is decorated in colorful glasses and carved wooden lions.

Wat Saen Fang
Located on Tha Phae Road, Wat Saen Fang is an old Burmese-style temple. According to history, King Intavitchayanontha, the seventh king who governed Chiang Mai commanded that the residence of Phra Chao Gavirorossurivongs (Chao Chevit Ao), the sixth ruler of Chiang Mai be destroyed. Later, his former residence was rebuilt in this temple.

Wat Suan Dok
Another temple located on Suthep Road, Wat Suan Dok was built in the 14th century and houses the 500-year old bronze Buddha image which is one of Thailand’s largest metal images. Several of the white chedis around the temple contain ashes of Chiang Mai’s former royal family.

Wat U Mong
Built in 1296 by King Meng Rai, it is situated in a rustic forest setting on Suthep Road and was renovated during the reign of King Keu Na. This famous meditation temple is unique in its large tunnel-like construction.

Wiang Kum Kam
A recently discovered ancient city believed to have been built during the reign of King Meng Rai in 1286, the city was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until the Maenam Ping flooded and wiped out the whole city. To visit Wiang Kum Kam today, drive south east of Chiang Mai, between Km. 3-4, on the Chiang Mai-Lamphun route in Saraphi District. Just drive along the road at Nong Hoi Police box to the Ko Klang Pa Kluai intersection and proceed to Chedi Liam Police box. There are more than 20 ancient ruins inside and around Wiang Kum Kam including Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi, Wat Pu Pia, Wat Ku Koa, Wat E Kang, Wat Hua Nong, and Wat Pu Song which are dated from the 21st – 22nd Buddhist centuries.


This post first appeared on Amazing Thailand, please read the originial post: here

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