Chiang Mai - The beautiful city in northern Thailand

Doi Inthanon, Thailands highest point with 2565 meter
The people from the north are a colorful mix of people who traditionally settled in the fertile lowlands of northern Thailand. In many ways, the Northern Thai people hold for the real Thais because the original Thai culture is practised here. The tourists will notice the gentleness and courtesy of the Northern Thai people - anywhere in Thailand is the friendly tone. King Mengrai built the city in 1296 at the foot of Doi Suthep as "new town" (= Chiang Mai). She later became a part of the Lanna kingdom, which occupied the Burmans 1556th.

Chiang Mai was recaptured in 1775 of King Taksin.
Not to far from Chiang Mai lies the Doi Suthep, one the most beautiful temples in Thailand. Early in the morning people can enjoy the view over the city which just waking up at the foot of the mountain. Drive from the north-west corner of the square, the Huai Kaew Road moat towards the zoo. This road (1004) leads to Doi Suthep and then further into the mountains to the royal winter residence, the Phu Phing Palace. Highly Recommended is a visit to the Doi Inthanon , the highest point of Thailand.

From there, you have a fantastic view over the country and especially in the morning where there is a very special atmosphere. The hot springs in San Kampaeng are the "home spa" of Chiang Mai and an only 45 minutes drive (east on 1006, according to San Kampaeng on the 1317 north-east) away. You can swim in the mineral rich water of the spring and specially for this a large pool was established.

Chiang Mai National Museum
The modern Lanna style designed museum is located next to Wat Chet Yot. It has an interesting collection of arts and crafts of the North. Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00 clock.
Insect and Natural Wonders Museum
A fascinating exhibition of native and foreign insects including animal fossils.

Sightseeing in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Zoo
The landscape of northern Thailand is completely different to the beaches and Islands in the South but here are a lot of interesting things to explore.
The Zoo of Chiang Mai is one of the largest urban zoo in Thailand. A wide variety of animals can be observed from the paths. The large on average well maintained zoo is adjacent to the Huai Kaeo Arboretum, a botanical garden that invites you to walk in the shade. More than 200 kinds of Asian and African animals and birds are at home here. Opening times: daily from 08:00 to 19:00 clock. Restaurants and campsites are available. The best thing is the Night Safari.  For 500 Baht you get offered a huge show with animals from around the world. They do not live in cages but in the large enclosure. In the evening the offer a fantastic Laser show for visitors. Chiang Mai also offer a lot of historical Buildings and Temples.

Activities in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is known above all for one: Trekking. These are mostly guided walks through beautiful national parks in the region combined with the obligatory ride on elephants and "Bamboo Rafting" (on 3-man bamboo raft more or less likely to raging river down to perhaps 10 km). The whole is a (for the average backpacker) is a experience you get to know nice people, much of Thailand's north and see the evening campfire fun. There are many opportunities to experience a unique time in Chiang Mai. One of them is to visit a spa or massage studio. The mostly practiced in Chiang Mai, northern style of traditional Thai massage is much softer and slower than the spread in southern Thailand style.

Shopping

Chiang Mai Night Market
Chiang Mai is Thailand's major center of high-quality arts and crafts: At the Chieng Saen Road you can see young people carving teak elephants of various sizes, dolls and furniture. Leatherware, antiques, silver jewelery, opium pipes, embroidery, silk, cotton and basketry and celadon ceramics are made. At the south gate is the street of the silversmiths, the Wualai Road, where all kinds of precious stones and jewelery - are offered - including those of the mountain tribes.

Behind the silver shops, on the road to Chom Thong are the leatherware factories. Chiang Mai also offers a large number of markets, such as the Warorot market (daytime) and of course the famous Night Bazaar. The non plus ultra is the Sunday market, directly from Tapae gate located to extend into the city, along Ratchadamnoen Road. Here you get real bargains, which produced by the hill tribes around. Highly Recommended.

Bohr Sang

"Umbrella City" Bohr Sang
is the famous village of colorful, hand-painted paper umbrellas. Three kilometers beyond Bohr Sang is the village of San Kamphaeng, in which the famous silk and cotton goods will hand-woven and then purchase it on the local market. On both sides of the road along the way are many handicraft factories and workshops that invite the visitor to watch the artisans at work. In addition to the overwhelming supply of cotton textiles, clothing, shirts, bags, blankets and toys, there are stacks of bright and colorful silk fabrics and silk sarongs. Her abstract patterns are still a stain in the traditional technique (Mut Mee).

The traditional natural dyes from berries, roots, soil, or even powdered insects are however rarely used. In the eastern area of San Kamphaeng the characteristic pottery of Chiang Mai from clay and feldspar are produced and distributed. 34 km from Chiang Mai or 23 km behind San Kamphaeng are the hot springs of San Kamphaeng, where you can forget the efforts of a long day with a visit to the bathroom.