18 April 2018
The Enchanting Rose of the North
There’s much more to Thailand than Bangkok and beaches. The country’s cities offer a broad array attractions and unique experiences. One such city is Chiang Mai.
Located in the northern area of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the capital city of the province by the same name. Situated in the foothills of the mountains and surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, Chiang Mai serves as a base for most travelers who venture up north. Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a smaller city yet it presents an alluring alternative to the Thai capital. A picturesque downtown area easily navigated on foot, where the air is clean and the climate mercifully cool, is the atmosphere of Chiang Mai.
Situated 700 km (435 miles) north of Bangkok in a verdant valley on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai, which is also known as "the Rose of the North", is a place where past and present merge as modern buildings stand side by side with temples. The city offers an abundance of culture, friendly locals, incredible food markets, a relaxed vibe, and serene landscapes.
Founded in 1296 as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, Chang Mai still holds on to traditional scenes in the old city that reflect its heritage. Meanwhile, to find the city’s modern side, head just beyond the center to student-hub Nimman Road, with its boutiques, galleries, coffee shops and a myriad of restaurants. While the city continues to grow, gradually speeding up the pace of life here, Chiang Mai is still a place of quiet charm, which provides a welcoming and relaxing experience for visitors that is far removed from the bustling, sometimes chaotic experience of Bangkok.
When to Go to Chiang Mai
October to April is the most visitor-friendly time of year, with mild temperatures, cool breezes, and little or no rain. Between March and May temperatures in Chiang Mai climb to their peak, while between June to October the monsoon brings frequent heavy rainfall. It’s worth noting that accommodation rates can climb considerably during the peak months of November to February.