Welcome to Chiang Mai
Welcome to Chiang Mai – The city of Temples
Chiang Mai city, 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai. It is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country outside the Chao Phraya River. This city is one the largest city of Thailand with 1,547,085 inhabitants in the provinces.
Chiang Mai is known for its 200 temples, which is said “Wat” in Thai, and its landscape. It's a beautiful place for nature lovers as you can do a lot of things such as rafting, elephant trekking or going on safari. This city also keeps its tradition as such Handicraft Center by creating items with wood, ceramics.
Information and facts
The most important buildings to visit are the following :
- The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, also called Temple of the Golden Mountain, was built in the late 14th century. The temple lies roughly at 15 kilometres from the city.
- The Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
- The Doi Inthanon, a national park where you can do some trekking or just go for a walk in the park
- The Wat Chedi Luang
Thai food is known for its unique combination of seasoning. Although it is hot and spicy, Thai cooking is carefully balanced to bring out all the different flavors in a dish.
Tom Yum Goong or spicy shrimp soup is a typical Thai's dish with refreshing blend of flagrant lemongrass, chilli, galangal (blue ginger), lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce shapes.
The temperatures in Chiang Mai are often close to or above 30°C. But there are 3 main seasons :
- Cool season : November to February
- Hot season : Mid March to June
- Rainy season : July to October
It's not very expensive to move troughout the city. Different types of transportation exist. There are a few buses, but not much of a service.
There are also many taxis or “tuk tuk”. You have to tell the driver where you want to go and then they’ll tell you whether it’s on their route or not. Most part of time, you share the transport means with other people. Finally, there are metered taxis, it costs around 35 baht per kilometre.
Chiang Mai gives the opportunity to drink or dance in several parts of the city. There are some pubs like : Rasta Cafe, The Brassserie or one of the best pub of the city which is Roots Tock Reggae.
There are many festivals or events in this city, such as :
In January : Parasol's festivals with beauty contest, spectacles...
In February : Flowers' festivals during 3 days with parade chariots decorated with exotic flowers
In April : between 13 and 15, they celebrate the Thai new year
In May : Buddhist festival
In October/November : Loi Krathong's festival consists of sending some lanterns in the sky