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Chiang mai travel guide

Chiang Mai

Travel guide and inspiration

When someone says 'Thailand', the first thing that will probably spring to your mind is warm, sandy beaches. But head north and you'll find a distinctly different side to Thailand, bursting with colourful culture, interesting tribes, jungle-clad mountains and incredible food. Chiang Mai, the north's capital, is your one-stop shop for all of this... and more. 

Top Things to do in Chiang Mai

  • Wat Chedi Luang
    This ruined buddhist temple is a must-see if you're a temple geek. The big brick elephants out of the base of the chedi make for a great photo. 
  • Wat Phra Singh
    This grand Buddhist temple is Chiang Mai's most famous. Set in pristine grounds, this elaborate temple houses the famous Buddha image of Phra Singh (Lion Buddha). 
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
    This National Park is home to waterfalls, Doi Suthep and Doi Pui mountains and the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. Explore the park and discover authentic hill-tribe villages.
  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
    Chiang Mai has lots of markets to visit, but this one really comes alive at night. Shop for a bargain and try out some street food.
  • Elephant Nature Park
    Visit the elephants in a rescue and rehabiliation center based in a tribal village in the mountains of Chiang Mai.
  • Sunday Walking Street
    If you never get sick of a good market, then head to Sunday Walking Street (aka. Thanon Ratchadamnoen) to pick up your paintings, trinkets, paper lanterns and other tourist goods. 

Chiang Mai tours and Hilltribe treks


Northern Thailand tours

Chiang mai hilltribe trek
Northern Thailand Hilltribes Trek | 5 days
Chiang Mai is beautiful and all, but if you want to experience the real, tribal north of Thailand, you've got to go far off the beaten path. On this trek, we'll go walkies through some amazing landscapes so you can learn about traditional village life high in the hills. You'll also get to explore caves, bamboo raft downstream, and sleep in local homestays. 
From $449
book online
Hilltribe Hut Experience
Take to the hills on this action-packed trip taking in the unique sights of Northern Thailand. Set out from Chiang Mai in to the surrounding region, absorb the local culure and try the diverse cuisine. You'll hike through remote villages, learn the secrets to jungle survival from local tribes and get immersed in this beautiful area.
3 days from $390
book online
chiang mai tour
Chiang Mai & Golden Triangle
Kiss Chiang Mai goodbye s you head north to a land of myth and fable...Actually, it's the area where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet, but it still conjures up images of Chinese warlords and smugglers! Get up close with elephants in the jungle, meet friendly tribe people and visit an opium museum.
3 days from $899
book online

Our favourite Chiang Mai Hotels

Eco Resort
Located close to downtown Chiang Mai and a short walk from the Night Bazaar, Eco Resort's dorms are set in lovely gardens and completed with air con, polished wood floors and lockers. Have a game of soccer, take a dip in the pool or rent yourself a bike!

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

Dorms from $23
Call to book
Small Hotel
A quaint and trendy hotel tucked away in the old town of Chiang Mai. With a 'loft art' concept, the design is intimate yet funky. Enjoy cracking views, with a backdrop of mountains and take a dip in the pink-coloured plunge pool before tucking into a meal at the rooftop restaurant.

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

Twin share from $25
Call to book
Duangtawan Hotel
Just moments from the night bazaar, the Chiang Mai hotel couldn't be more central. After a hard day's jungle trekking, relax sore muscles in the sauna and steam room, unwind in the pool or Jacuzzi or opt for a massage. All rooms have en suites and air con.

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

Twin share from $48
Call to book

What's the best time to visit Chiang Mai?

Visit Chiang Mai in the cool season, between November and February, in order to get the best weather for sightseeing and trekking. The temperatures are mild during this time and there isn't as much rainfall. The hot season is from March until June, where temperatures can be really high. Rainy season stretches from May until September, and whereas it may only rain for a few hours each afternoon, this may mean trekking is a little slippery! Visit in April for Songkran, Chiang Mai's biggest festival... and the world's biggest water fight. 

How do I get to Chiang Mai?

You can take a ten-hour overnight bus from Bangkok, which can usually cost around $30-35. Chiang Mai also has a great international airport, so Thailand's southern islands are easily accessible. It's also great to note that Chiang Mai is in really close proximity to Myanmar, which lies west, and Cambodia and Laos to the east. Hello, southeast Asia!

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