Chiang Mai - Thailand's Most Famous Ancient Beauty
The most visited places in Thailand include Chiang Mai. It is popular for its historical temples, breathtaking mountains, cool weather, and stunning views, and is located in the country's north. The vibrant city is full of interesting sites as well as a plethora of great restaurants, cafes, and bars, while the city's outskirts are home to beautiful landscapes and historic sites.
Best time to visit: Dec-To-Feb
Things to do: Volunteer At Elephant Sanctuary, Visit The Best Waterfalls, Learn Their Culture, Explore Underground Tunnels
HOW TO REACH CHIANG MAI
- Flight - The main Airport of Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai International Airport, that serves both domestic and international flights. The airport is approximately 3 kilometers south-west of the city center, and taxis, buses, and other local transportation options are available for travel between the city and the airport.
- Rail - Chiang Mai Train Station is approximately 3 kilometers east of the city center. Daily trains run from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station to Chiang Mai Station, taking approximately 12-15 hours. The train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is fairly comfortable, and passengers can choose between first and second class. It is best to purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment and last-minute rushes.
- Road - The Arcade Bus Station is where most buses in Chiang Mai arrive from other destinations. Daily buses depart from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) and take between 9 and 12 hours to reach Chiang Mai. Buses operated by both the government and private transportation companies are included.
HOW TO GET AROUND
- Songthaew - The most popular and widely used form of public transit in Chiang Mai is the songthaew, also known as a road-daeng, red taxi, or red truck. It's a modified pickup truck with two rows of seats (in Thai language: song taew).
- Taxi - There are air-conditioned taxis in Chiang Mai, but they are few and difficult to hail. These taxis do not roam the streets; instead, they are stationed at airports, railway stations, bus stations, shopping malls, and hotels. The mobile ride-sharing apps UBER and GRAB are probably the most convenient way to travel around Chiang Mai (for public transportation).
- Local Bus - In Chiang Mai, public transportation is scarce. There are two shuttle routes connecting the airport and the city. The fare is forty baht per person.
- Rental - It's an enjoyable way to explore Chiang Mai. If you know how and when to ride a small, swift motorbike (scooter), this may be the BEST (and least expensive) way to travel around Chiang Mai and to the nearby towns. Consider renting a car if you are traveling with a family or group who desire a more leisurely road trip. The most common 5 seater sedan is priced between 800 and 1,000 baht per day (24 hours). A SUV, pickup truck, or van will cost between 2,500 and 3,000 baht per day.
- Tuk-tuk - Tuk-tuks are the 2nd most common mode of transportation in Chiang Mai, after songthaews. Tuk-tuks are more expensive than songthaew. The rate for a short trip begins at 60 baht and increases to 100 to 150 baht for longer distances.