Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand
A Bustling City characterized by Magnificent Temples and thriving Craft Markets
Two Pagodas on Inthanon Mountain
The enchanting city of Chiang Mai is known as the rose of the north and has become an increasingly modern metropolis attracting thousands of visitors. It was founded in the late 13th century by King Mengrai and became the ancient Lanna capital of Thailand after
This awesome city is as energetic as it is diversified and with its up-to-date facilities and plenty of well preserved
historic attractions, it'll keep you captivated and fascinated at all times.
Why not take a leisurely drive through the country as the roads further north of Bangkok are not nearly as crowded. Not only will you find lots of rest areas along the route, but you will also be able to see the beautiful countryside as you go.
Wat Phra Singh Temple
If you leave Bangkok in the early hours of the morning, you should reach this northern city around lunch time. The distance is a total of 770 kilometres (440 miles). Should you decide to fly, it would only take you just over an hour to get there, but it won't be nearly as interesting or fun as a good road trip would be.
You will notice that Northern Thailand is quite different from the rest of the country as this region gives way to rolling hills, teak forests and fertile valleys. You will get to see more working elephants than rice fields and water buffaloes. The area is only a short stretch from the northern borders of Burma and Laos.
View of the city from Doi Suthep
Exploring Chiang Mai - Best time to visit
The best time to visit Chiang Mai is during the months from mid
November through to mid February when the air is cooler and the skies
are clearer. It can get a bit colder up here in the north during
the evenings though, so don't forget to take a sweater with you. Between
mid February through to mid June the climate tends to get a little
hotter, but the sun is out and the skies are still clear.
the sun does shine during the months from June to November, the monsoon rains fall sporadically. Nevertheless, it can
be very pleasant, albeit under frequently overcast skies. Whatever the
weather you can still have a great time here.
The photo of myself was taken in September (monsoon season) and as you can see the sun is out (well it was out but not out, if you follow my meaning!) and here I am wearing shorts, sandals and a T-Shirt. Oh! The blue sunglasses I'm wearing are optional.
See the bottom of my page for today's weather forecast
Author outside the Umbrella Market
Getting to Chiang Mai from Bangkok
Thai Air International and Bangkok Airways operate
daily flights from the Don Muang Airport in Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Flying time from Bangkok is approximately 1 hour and fifteen minutes.
There are flights from other domestic and international airports around
the country, including Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son.
All the southern flights will stop over in Bangkok before heading north.
Thailand by car can be a very pleasant experience indeed so why
not hire a car in Bangkok and drive to Chiang Mai. This could turn out
to be a very rewarding trip as there are many historical places of
interest along the way.
If you have the time, you should stop over in Ayutthaya or Lop Buri, or for that matter, any town that takes your fancy. It will only add to your excitement. If you decide to travel by road, but don't want the hassle of driving yourself, then an option would be to take one of the many tours operating out of Bangkok.
Please Book your Chiang Mai Tours here
Booking your tours from this page would not only put a little extra cash in my pocket but you'd also be helping me maintain this website so that I can continue giving you lots of Thailand travel information.
A Little Travel Secret - My Private Driver
I have a very good Thai friend who doubles up as my personal and private driver to take me wherever I want to go in Thailand, so I rarely have to fly internally. Please don't hesitate to
contact me should you require his services.
Patrick is a Thai national
who is both well mannered and pleasant with a good understanding of
English. He will be more than willing to take you anywhere around the
country. Patrick is a private taxi driver who operates out of Bangkok.
And his prices are exceptionally reasonable and the numerous benefits will, without doubt outweigh the excellent service he provides. I refer many
of my friends from around the world to take advantage of his services.
Patrick will collect you from any airport and take you anywhere and
everywhere hassle free.
Well worth knowing in an unfamiliar
country. Therefore, I shan't give you any road directions from Bangkok as
it would be easier for you to get a good map once there. If you would like Patrick to be your driver, then you won't be needing any maps at all.
My good friend Patrick
Getting there by Train from Bangkok
A journey by train in Thailand can be an adventurous experience and
this one is no exception, so if not by air or road, this would be
an excellent alternative. Train tickets can be purchased from the
newly renovated Haulampong Station at Rama IV Road in Bangkok. Trains
depart daily at 6:40 am and arrive in Chiang Mai around 7:40 pm.
Though the 13 hour train journey north can be quite endearing at times, the
fun and adventure of travelling this way are way more rewarding than a quick flight would be.
wise choice would be to consider the overnight sleeper trains
which are extremely safe and comfortable. It is advisable to book your
tickets at least two days in advance to secure the best seats.
shouldn't have to tell you this, but the first class seats would be your
best bet. Trains with 1st class accommodation depart Bangkok at 6:00 pm, arriving in Chiang Mai around 7:00 am with a second train departing at
8:25 pm and arriving at the same destination around 9:00 am.
The real beauty of travelling on the evening train, besides it being fun and relaxing, is that you can catch up with some sleep before
your arrival on the other side. You'll also have enough early daylight
hours to enjoy the ride as you travel the one mile tunnel through the Khun Tan Hills and on through magnificent rice fields and orchards until the train reaches the terminus.
Remember the train journey can sometimes be more thrilling than the arrival
itself and this phenomena I have experienced many times during my numerous
My ultimate dream though, is to travel the
Trans-Siberian Express from either St. Petersburg or Moscow in Russia
through Mongolia and on to Beijing in China. I am busy negotiating this
adventure with a few friends. Not an easy task as many of my friends
don't consider these types of experiences. I will go someday soon.
Chiang Mai Weather Chart
For a more detailed weather report as well as acquiring temperatures
in Centigrade you can view by simply clicking on the icon in the
upper left hand corner of the weather chart above.
Return from Chiang Mai to North Thailand
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