About Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is located in the northern part of Thailand. Attracting over 2 million foreign tourists every year, it is one of the most visited cities in the country. With more than three hundred Buddhist temples, it is the most culturally important city in northern Thailand. Surrounded by lush jungles and home to hill tribes, thriving food markets, rescued elephant sanctuary, and hip bars, the city is truly a traveler’s magnet. Thanks to the top infrastructure, world-class hospitals, and excellent medical-practitioners, the city is now a blooming medical tourism destination. Medical tourists will find a wide range of medical treatments, including liposuction, breast augmentation, and cardiac surgery.
Visiting Chiang Mai is an opportunity to immerse into Thailand’s culture. Start with the Old City, the center of culture and religion where tourists will find ancient fortress walls and the famous landmarks in the city, Pae gate. Continue to Doi Suthep, a pagoda that is said to contain relics of Buddha. Here, tourists can watch the monks chant. To enjoy the city’s rich and beautiful nature, tourists can go mountain biking in Doi Suthep National Park, zip lining in one of its jungle, or watch elephants in Mae Tamman Elephant camp. At night, enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife in Nimmanhemin road or Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
Chiang Mai International Airport serves both domestic and international flights. The international flights connect the city with various cities in Asia, including Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Tourists looking for affordable travel can fly with budget airlines, such as Nok Air, Air Asia, and Thai Lion Air. Taxis are available in the city, but they tend to be hard to hail and can be expensive. The best way to hail a taxi is to ask the hotel to call a taxi. The most common modes of transport are Songthaew and tuk-tuks, both are inexpensive and easy to find.
Holders of Singaporean, Australian, and other 74 countries can enter and stay in Thailand without a visa for up to 90 days. The country provides visa on arrival for several countries, including China and India. It is advisable to check to the Thai embassy and consulate in the country to learn about the visa policy.
Chiang Mai has a pleasant climate all year round. There are three distinct seasons in the city. February to June is the hot season. March is the hottest month with an average temperature of 40 °C. July to October is the rainy season and tourists can expect heavy rainfall every day with occasional storms. December to February is the cool season and the daytime temperature is still generally high during the cool season, but at night the temperature can drop to 10 °C.
- Local Currency: Thai Baht is the official currency, and 1 USD converts to approximately 20.8 THB.
- Money & Payments: Tourists can find ATMs in almost every part of the country. Credit cards are accepted in top-end restaurants and hotels. Tipping is typically not necessary but will be appreciated.
- Local Language: Thai is the local language, and most of the locals speak good English.
- Local Culture and Religion: Most of the population follows Buddhism, but there is a small group of Muslims. The Royal Family is highly admired and respected.
- Public Holidays: Just like the rest of Thailand, the city celebrates many public holidays, including New Year’s Eve, Songkran Festival, and Coronation Day.