Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand. Its center is a perfect square walled (remake 1960) with bastions (17th century). Chiang Mai is often used as a transit point for trips into the jungle or excursions to hill tribe settlements, trips to the Golden Triangle on the border with Burma and Laos. However, the city itself can boast of a considerable number of historical and architectural monuments.

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Many distinctive tribes live in the vicinity of Chiang Mai. One of the most remarkable, perhaps, is the Karen tribe, who revere women with a long neck or large ears for the ideal of female beauty. Girls from childhood are put on a heated copper tube and twisted around their necks. With age, rings are added, and the length of the neck increases accordingly.

How to get there

You can get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus (about 600 THB) or by plane (from 40-85 USD, travel time about an hour). There are international flights to Chiang Mai from China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Taiwan.

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You can move around the city by cycle rickshaws, three-wheeled tuk-tuks, and in song-teos – open pickups used as a fixed-route taxi. The color of the cars indicates the route: for example, the red cars run around the Old Town. There are also minibuses in white, yellow, blue and green. The fare is about 25-30 THB.

Tuk-tuks in Chiang Mai are more popular than taxis. The fare in them varies from 30 to 100 THB, depending on the length of the route. Tricycles, similar in appearance to tuk-tuks, also travel around the city. It is impossible to catch a taxi on the street: they are called by phone.

You can rent a motorcycle or a bicycle: the first one will cost 150-700 THB per day with insurance, depending on the model, and the second one will cost from 35-40 THB per day.

There are car rental points at the airport and in the city center. The average cost is from 1200 to 2000 THB per day.

Cuisine and restaurants

Chiang Mai is considered the second gastronomic capital of Thailand after Bangkok, and the culinary school of the north of the country “rules” in it. The city has restaurants with vegetarian cuisine, as well as establishments specializing in seafood dishes. Those who are tired of spicy Thai cuisine will be pleased with a wide selection of Western restaurants, from pro-American burgers to quasi-Italian pasta.

The Sunday market in the city center, which attracts artisans from the surrounding villages, second-hand dealers and antiques dealers, is also notable for its snacks, which are prepared right in front of your eyes.

Entertainment and attractions in Chiang Mai

There are about 300 temples and historical monuments in the city and its environs. The most notable are: Doi Suter Shrine, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man (the oldest monastery in the region), Pra Satang Man with miniature Buddha images that are about 2,000 years old, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Doi Suthep temple (13-14 centuries) standing on a mountain top 16 km from Chiang Mai and Phuping Palace (the summer residence of the Royal Family).

5 km from Chiang Mai lie the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. 300 km away is the Sukhothai Historical Reserve, which protects more than 100 structures of this ancient capital of the country (13-15 centuries).

Not far from the city there is a unique “Orchid Farm”, as well as the famous “elephant village”.

Chiang Mai, Thailand