Chiang Mai is Thailand’s principal northern city. Chiang Mai is the provincial capital of a largely mountainous province, also called Chiang Mai, which is some 20,000 square kilometres in area.
Chiang Mai city is 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, was founded in 1296, and is located in a fertile valley some 300 metres above sea level.
Chiang Mai was the capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of One Million Ricefields), the first independent Thai kingdom within the fabled Golden Triangle. Chiang Mai flourished as a major religious, cultural and trading centre until 1556 when a Burmese invasion reduced it to a vassal state. The Burmese were expelled in 1785, whereupon Lanna Thai once again became part of northern Thailand.
Many lowland Thais regard Chiang Mai city and province as being something of a natioanl Shangri-la, thanks to its beautiful women, distinctive festivals, historic temples dating from the 1300s, arresting scenic beauty, temperate fruits such as apples peaches and strawberries, and a crisp, invigorating cool season climate.
Chiang Mai is a city of distinct beauty that has its own cultural heritage. Along with its numerous ancient temples and buildings, Chianamai is also famous for its handicraft. Nature has made it stand out thanks to the majestic mountains and valleys. No wonder tourists keep coming.
Chiang Mai is 7OO km north of Bangkok and is nestled in a vafley 310 meters (1,027 feet) above sea level. The province has a total land area of 10,107 square meters. There are mountain all around the valley rising to heights of more than 2,500 meters. Doi Inthanon, at 2,565 meters, is Thailand’s highest mountain peak.
Chiangmai has three main seasons:
cool (late October to mid-February, average temperature is 21C); summer (February to May, average temperature is 30C); and
rainy (June to October, average temperature is 25C).
People & Railglon
Eighty percent of the population were born in Chiangmai. Their dialect is slightly different from the central Thai language. Majority of the people are Buddhist. There are more than 1,200 temples, about 3,500 monks and 6,000 novices.
Ancient temples – a blend of Cambodian, Burmese and Indian culture – can be seen almost anywhere as well as palaces. There is also a national museum. The city is famous for its natural attractions like waterfalls, caves, hilltribe villages, orchid and butterfly farms and elephant camps. Adventurers can join elephant trekking tours and river rafting expeditions.
Besides the famous Night Bazaar, visitors also flock to Sankampaeng Road where the famed Borsang and Santonpeo Villages known for its umbrellas are located. Check out also the Tawai and Tonpirng Villages for their woodwork. Other factories along this road sell different kinds of handicrafts.
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway 32 to Nakhon Sawan, then Highway 1 through Kamphaeng Phet and Tak to Lampang, from where Highway 11 leads to Chiang Mai, a total distance of 696 km.
The 10-hour journey from Bangkok can be made by air-conditioned bus departing the Bangkok Bus Terminal on Kamphaeng Phet II Road
Tel: (66) 2936-2852 to 66
The State Railways of Thailand operates daily services from Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong). Trains leave for Chiang Mai 6 times a day between 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m.
Tel. (66) 2220 4334 or Hotline 1690
and Intercity Transportation in Thailand Page
for more information.
Thai Airways International operates daily flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tel. (66) 2628 2000, (66) 2280 0060 or Hotline 1566
In addition, there are other domestic flight between Bangkok – Chiange daily. Please goto Domestic Airlines page for detail and Online Booking
Bangkok Airways also has flights between Bangkok-Sukhothai and Sukhothai-Chiang Mai.
Tel. (66) 2265 5555, (66) 2265 5678, (66) 2971 8120-9 or Hotline 1771 Website: www.bangkokair.com
Tel. (66) 2515 9999
Nok Air Tel. 1318
Tel. (66) 2267 3210-5
Tel. (66) 2937 8909, (66) 2953 2260