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Chiang Rai Travel Guide

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai, Chiang Rai was once the capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Ricefields). Located 785 kilometres north of Bangkok and 580 metres above sea level, the province marks the northernmost borders of Thailand. Several natural walls of high mountains surround it and separate it from Myanmar and Laos.

Kaliang

Chiang Rai is home to serveral ethnic minorities include Tai Yai, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Karen, Yao and more. Each group has its own language, costume, customs, and religious beliefs.
Most of the whole area of Chiang Rai is coverd by high mountains and forests which are well-kept and abundant. Because of these unspoiled natural resources, Chiang Rai is paradise for nature lovers.

Chiang Rai also well known for the area called The Golden Triangle. This area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge was once supposed to be the center of all the opium poppy growing in Thailand. 
 

Attractions in Chiang Rai 

Chiang Rai City


Chiang Rai City

Chiang Rai City
Enjoy a pleasant ride by trishaw, the favorite mode of local transportation, visit Chiang Rai’s Lanna-style temples.

Rafting & Trekking
Take a raft ride along the scenic Mae Kok River to the hilltribe villages. 
 

Into The Mountains

Into The Mountains
 
Doi Tung
Visit the palace of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother.

Doi Mae Salong
The mountain top settlement, home to descendents of Chinese Nationalist soldiers who fled to Thailand.

Doi Hua Mae Kham
Admire the tiny blooms which turn the entire mountain in to yellow and visit the Lisor hilltribe village. 
 

Northward Bound

Northward Bound

Mae Sai
Shop for goods from Myanmar and China at Thailand’s northernmost point.

The Golden Triangle
The world-famous place where the borders of Thailand,Burma and Laos meet.

Chiang Saen
See the ruins of this ancient city.

Chiang Khong
Visit the Yao and Hmong hilltribe villages.
 

Seas Of Fog

Seas Of Fog

Doi Pha Tang
Thanks to cherry blossoms and mountain mists.

 Phu Chi Fa
The best spot to enjoy the sunrise in Chiang Rai.
 
 

Forests

Roam among wild forests in national parks, swimming in the waterfalls and camping underneath its astral ceiling.
 

Doi Luang National Park
Khun Chae National Park

 


- Festivals    – History     – Planning    – Local Flavor
Getting There      – Getting Around         – Phone Number


 

Getting Around Chiang Mai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

There are several modes of both public and private transportation available to ensure your convenience when it comes to getting around Chiang Mai. They are as follows : 

Vehicles For Rent   

Currently, there are about 30 rental businesses operating in the city of Chiang Mai. cars, vans, motorcycles, and bicycles are available for hire at most of these rentals.
Insurance for cars is available at the majority of rental businesses.Vehicles are rented for a time period, with no limit put on the mileage. The only conditions are that you pay for the gas the vehicle uses and return it safely and on time. Most businesses will also require that you deposit your passport as a guarantee of the punctual and safe return of the vehicle.   

Songtaew   

A pickup that has been converted into mini-bus with two long seats on each side. Regular routes of Song Taew are from the city to other districts in Chiang Mai and some nearby provinces. The fare is about 5-20 Bahts depending on distance.
Click here for Timetable. 
 

Vans

Airconditioned vans travel from Chiang Mai City to Chiang Dao and Fang daily. The vans leave the “Chang Perk Station” every hour from 07.30 to 16.30 . The fare is about 80 Baht. 
 

Local Bus   

Airconditioned and non-airconditioned buses travel from the “Chang Perk Station” to many tourist destinations in Chiang Mai every day.
Click here for Timetable 
 

Public Transportation in Chiang Mai City   

Besides rentals, another way of getting around the city is through the use of public transportation. Songtaews, Tuk Tuks, or motorized three – wheel taxis; Samlors, or pedal trishaws and buses are all available public transportation. These are numerous and can be found everywhere in the city. 

Getting There Chiang Mai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

By Bus 

The 10-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on airconditioned coaches and non-airconditioned buses originating from the Northern Bus Terminal on Bangkok’s Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road (Tel: 0-2936-3660 or 0-2937-8055 for further details).
Click here for bus schedules

There’re also buses travel from Chiang Mai to it’s nearby provinces every day.
Schedules & Fare Rates (Chiang Mai – Nearby Provinces)

By Air   

Thai Airways (Tel: Bangkok 0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000) operates daily flights from Bangkok and other northern Thai cities. 

By Rail   

The State Railways of Thailand operate daily services from Bangkok’s Hualampong Railway Station, including a popular overnight sleeper. Telephone Bangkok 0-2223-7010 or 0-2233-7020 for further information.
Click here for train schedules 

Shopping in Chiang Mai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is, quite simply, Thailand’s major centre for quality handicrafts. The visitor need merely visit the nearest city emporium or night market to purchase an extraordinary variety of antiques, silver jewellery, hilltribe opium pipes and embroidery, Thai silks and cottons, basketry, celadon, silverware, furniture, lacquerware, woodcarvings and parasols.

A major advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that the visitor may watch artisans working within the city and in several outlying villages, particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk and cotton weaving, jewellery, wood-carving, silverware, celadon and lacquerware are manufactured, and number among popular purchases.

Chiang Mai Festivals

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Bo Sang Umbrella Fair 

 January 19-21 , Bo Sang, Sankamphaeng, Chiang Mai

Bo Sang Umbrella Fair Bo Sang, near Chiang Mai has become renowned for its exquisitely painted paper umbrellas, which are sought after by visitors from all over the world. An annual fair, held on the main street, celebrates the traditional art of umbrella making and painting, as well as features contests, exhibitions, sales of handicrafts, and a Miss Bo Sang beauty pageant. Come and see this festival for yourself. Advance reservations are necessary. 

 

 

Chiang Mai Songkran Festival   

April 11-15 , Tha Phae Gate and citywide, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Songkran Festival To really enjoy Songkran, the traditional Thai NewYear, to its fullest, one should travel to Chiang Mai where there is a variety of religious and fun-related activities conducted along with parades and a Miss Songkran beauty competition. 

 

 

  

 

Mai Khan Pho Procession Festival   

April 13-15 , Amphoe Chom Thong, Chiang Mai

The Pho tree (Ficus Religiosa) has a close association with the Buddhist religion. Mai Kham Pho, literally wooden supports for trees in temple courtyards, are used by devotees who believe that the supports will bring them longevity and prosperity. Mai Kham Pho are prepared on April 13 and 14, accompanied by cultural performances. On April 15, there is a procession of Mai Kham Pho to local temples. 

 

Chiang Mai Food Festival   

December 12-16 , Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai

Internationally renowned, the unique tastes of Thai food are further enhanced in this annual festival in Chiang Mai that focuses on northern fare. Fruit and vegetable carving, ancient Thai dessert making demonstrations and enchanting Lanna cultural performances are some of the activities that can be enjoyed. 

Flower Festival  

February 2-4 , Buak Hat Park, Chiang Mai

The North is noted for its abundance of flowering plains, especially temperate zone species, which burst into full bloom towards the end of the cool season. Spectacular beautiful floral floats are the memorable feature of this 3—day festival in Chiang Mai also known as the Rose of the North . There are floral displays, local handicraft sales. and enchanting beauty pageants. 

 

Chiang Mai Winter Fair   

December – January , Chiang Mai City Hall, Chiang Mai
This annual fair, held at Chiang Mai’s city hall, features an assortment of local products and handicrafts for sale, an extravagant Miss Chiang Mai beauty Contest, and various forms of local entertainment. Everything comes alive especially at night. 

 

Thawai Village Woodcarving Fair   

January 29 – February , Thawai Village, Chiang Mai

This event highlights the talents of northern Thai woodcarving artisans and their work with demonstrations, contests and sales of woodcarving and other local handicrafts. There is also a street parade and various local cultural performances. 

 

Northern Lantern Festival & Yipeng Loi Krathong 

October 31 – November 1 , Chiang Mai Municipality Office and citywide, Chiang Mai

Northern Lantern Festival & Yipeng Loi KrathongCreating a mesmerizing sight an unusual ritual of this northern capital’s Loi Krathong Festival is the launching of Lanna-style hot air balloons, which is considered by locals to rid them of their troubles. Traditional floats ( Krathongs) are also set adrift on the Ping River. In addition, there are various other forms of fun and a glamorous beauty pageant. 

 

Intakin Festival   

June , Chedi Luang Temple ,Chiang Mai

Held at the Chedi Luang Temple,it lasts a week and is used to ask for peace and for rain to fall during the right seasons.The temple holds the city piller which traditionally marks the center of a town. 

Planning for Chiang Mai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

It takes totally one night to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. We recommend traveling at night by train. First Class fare is about the same as airline ticket. Second class is cheaper by half and about the same as VIP buses. Traveling by train is much safer. In the morning you may also enjoy the beautiful scenery on both sides of the railway on the way to Chiang Mai Station.

Chiang Mai is a big province with many tourist sites scattered in different parts of the province. Seeing all Chiang Mai’s tourist sites may take up to a week or more. If you have limited time, you should pick only important places, or choose to go to places in the same route in order to safe your time. The best time for traveling Chiang Mai is in winter, from November to February. During this time the weather is cool or even cold. On the top of mountains the temperature may fall to 0°C. Warm clothing is necessary.  

 


Attractions by Route

Chiang Mai City                        Doi Suthep Route                  Northern Route
Eastern Route                          Western Route                       Southern Route


Roads to most of tourist places in Chiang Mai are mountainous and meandering. However, they are good asphalt roads with beautiful scenery of mountains, rivers and green farmlands on both sides. Catch the sight of the scenery along the road and your trip will be more worthwhile. 

Southern Route

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre

Highway 108
Located on the road to Chom Thong, the centre stages Lanna Thai cultural performances with a Khantoke Dinner. Objets d’art are displayed.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

 
Earthenware & Lacquerware Shops

Highway 108
These are clustered together, some 4 kilometres from town, on the Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road.
Hilltribes & Handicraft Centers

Wat Phra Borommathat Si Chom Thong

Wat Phra Borommathat Si Chom Thong58 km from Chiang Mai town ,108 route
This temple is 58 kilometres from Chiang Mai and dates from the mid-1400s. The temple houses a collection of bronze Buddha images, and the secondary chapel contains a holy Buddha relic.
Temples

Mae Klang Waterfall

Mae Klang Waterfallat the foot of Doi Inthanon Mountain on 1009 road
Chiang Mai’s most photographed waterfall lies some 58 kilometres west of the city at the foot of Doi Inthanon Mountain, and provides a picturesque setting for picnics and relaxation.
Natural Beauty

 

Borichinda Cave

Doi Inthanon National Park
Visiting the cave, which provides a pleasant setting for picnics, entails a 10-minute drive and a walk of some 2 hours from the Mae Klang Waterfall.
Natural Beauty

Mae Ya Waterfall

Mae Ya Waterfall12 km from Chom Thong market
This is located 12 kilometres from Chom Thong market and is one of the highest waterfalls in Thailand..
Natural Beauty

 

 

Ob Luang Gorge

Ob Luang Gorge108 route,88 km from Chiang Mai town
This picturesque gorge is 88 kilometres from Chiang Mai provincial capital, and is framed by teak forests and mountains.
Natural Beauty

 

 

Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park1009 road , Km 31
The 1,005-square-kilometre park covers Thailand’s highest mountain (2,565 metres). The lovely Wachirathan, Siriphum and Mae Pan waterfalls share the mountain with Meo and Karen hilltribe settlements. Forest above 1,800 metres is covered with lichens and wild orchids.
Natural Beauty 
 

Western Route

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Orchid & Butterfly Farms

Orchid & Butterfly FarmsMae Rim – Samoeng route
Major nurseries in the Mae Sa Valley include the Mountain Orchid, Mae Rim Orchid and Sai Nam Phung Orchid complexes. Each provide opportunities for visitors to admire these exotic year-round blooms. Certain orchid farms also have special butterfly enclosures wherein exotic species can be seen in their natural environment.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

 
Mae Sa Waterfall

26 km from town,Mae Rim-Samoeng route
This 8-tiered waterfall is 26 kilometres from town and occupies a natural setting among gigantic, towering trees. 
Natural Beauty

Elephant Training Centres

Elephant Training CentresKm 10 on the Mae Rim-Samoeng route
Each morning, at Km 10 on the Mae Rim-Samoeng route, trained elephants demonstrate their formidable and highlyvalued forestry skills from 9.30 until 11.00 AM, at the Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre. The centre is some 30 kilometres from town. Admission is 80 baht per person. A jungle tour on elephant back, lasting more than two hours through adjacent forests, is offered after the show and costs 250 baht per person. Elephants can also be seen at the Pong Yaeng Elephant Centre at KM 19 on the same route, and the Elephant Nature Park at Mae Taman on the Chiang Mai-Fang Road, some 57 kilometres from Chiang Mai.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

Queen Sirikit Botamic Garden

Queen Sirikit Botamic GardenKm 12 on Mae Rim-Samoeng route
Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden is located at the foothills of Doi Suthep-Pui, Mae Rim, covering an arear of about 960 hectares.The main objectives of the garden are to serve as a center of Thai flora for botanical study and research, to render services concerning biodiversity and environmental conservation, as well as to provide an aesthetic place for the general public.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

Resorts

ResortsMae Rim-Samoeng-Hang Dong route
Several picturesque resorts, with accommodation and dining facilities, offer bucolic rural living on the Mae Rim-Samoeng route (1096) and include Mae Sa Valley Resort, Kangsadan resort, Pong Yaeng Garden Resort and Erawan Resort, and the Samoeng-Hang Dong route (1239) which includes Lanna Resort, Baan Klang Doi resort, Krisadadoi Resort, Belle Villa and Suan Bua Resort. Some occupy hillsides, others secluded valleys.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

Eastern Route

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Bo SangUmbrella/Parasol Village

1014 road,500 m from 1006 highway
The world-famous village is 9 kilometres from town, along a road lined with handicraft-producing factories. 

Bo SangUmbrella/Parasol VillageIn genuine cottage industries, young women manufacture silk and cotton umbrellas and paper parasols which are subsequently hand painted in various animal and floral designs. Generations of Bo Sang families have been engaged in umbrella and parasol making for more than 200 years.
Hilltribes & Handicraft Centers
 

 

San Kamphaeng Cotton & Silk Weaving Village

1006 route,13 k.m. form town
The village is the major source of all Thai silk and cotton produced in Chiang Mai. The fabrics are woven by local folk on traditional wooden looms, and are sold in a wide variety of plain lengths, plaids, brocades, stripes, prints and checks.
Hilltribes & Handicraft Centers

 

San Kamphaeng Hot Springs

36 km from town on 1006 route
This is located 36 kilometres from town amid natural surroundings of trees and verdant hills. The water has a high sulphur content and possesses curative and restorative properties. Accommodation, a swimming pool, dining facilities and segregated mineral water bathing rooms are available. Accommodation can be booked by contacting the San Kamphaeng Hot Spring Co-operative Village, Chiang Mai 50130 or Tel: 01-510-0418.
Natural Beauty 

Northern Route

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Mai

Chiang Dao Elephant Camp

Km 56 on Highway 107
This riverside enclave, at KM 56 on Highway 107, features daily shows of elephants at work, from 9.00 AM until 10.00 AM, and from 10.00 AM until 11.00 AM, and offers elephant rides, and opportunities for bucolic river-rafting through largely pristine and tranquil forests, or jungle treks to neighbouring hilltribe settlements.
Palaces , Museums and Gardens

 
Chiang Dao Caves

Km 72 on Highway 107
Sacred Buddha images occupy the caves of Wat Tham Chiang Dao at KM 72 on Highway 107. Caves are illuminated by electric lights. Deepest recesses can be explored with local guides.
Natural Beauty

Doi Ang Khang

107 route,163 km from Chiang Mai town
This royal agricultural station, 163 kilometres north of Chiang Mai provincial capital, is a demonstration site for planting and researching flowering plants, temperate fruit trees, vegetables and other crops, and enjoys the patronage of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Natural Beauty

Fang Hot Springs

107 route,163 km from Chiang Mai town
Located at Ban Pin, also 163 kilometres north of Chiang Mai provincial capital, 50 hot springs occupy a 10-acre forest setting. Three boil continuously with a string smell of sulphur. Water temperatures at the springs range from 90 to 100 degrees Celsius.
Natural Beauty