My discovery of Chiang Mai in Thailand in 1983 was more by accident than planning. My desire to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and see the “the real Thailand” led me to Thailand’s second largest city, in 1983 a small rural town when compared to Bangkok.
Today, Chiang Mai is much larger and busier, but still retains some of its small-town character.
Chiang Mai is located in the north east of Thailand and does not offer any beaches, but it is an excellent base to explore the mountains, the famous Hill Tribes, the Golden Triangle and numerous ancient temples. Chiang Mai is also the former capital of the Lanna empire. There are numerous examples of Lanna art and crafts with tours arranged to show you how they are made. Good examples can be purchased at reasonable prices if you are prepared to bargain.
The Chiang Mai night bazar is also worth a visit. It is open every night from dusk to midnight.
Chiang Mai is also well endowed with excellent restaurants to suite all pockets and tastes. These include street stalls, fast food outlets, a range of good Thai restaurants and specialist restaurants including English, Chinese, French, German and Japanese. The street stalls offer excellent food and value. They are just not for the adventurous and are highly recommended for all visitors.
Organised tours are widely available, but not all the same. Check what is on offer carefully as the cheapest is not always the best value. We recommend Sunny Tours & Treks especially if you want to get off the main Tourist routes.