Chiang Mai travel guide

Chiang Mai Tourism | Chiang Mai Guide

You're Going to Love Chiang Mai

A popular destination for backpackers and anyone looking for a laid-back vacation, Chiang Mai translates to "new city", the name applied when it was founded in 1296. Chiang Mai is characterized by its ancient walls - of which some remains still stand - that outline the square-shaped layout of the old city, and is surrounded by moats that were once guarded by walls with gates on each side.

The charm of Chiang Mai lies in its mixture of the past and present, with modern boutique hotels sitting next to ancient temples. The city center is compact and a wander around is recommended to get a real feel for this fascinating place. There are around 300 temples in Chiang Mai, including hidden gems in the city and sacred sites atop mountains just outside the center.

Chiang Mai transforms at night into a shopping wonderland, with market stalls and a plethora of small restaurants and bars. The city sprawls out beyond the moat and offers a wide variety of entertainment venues.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Chiang Mai

What to do in Chiang Mai

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Doi Inthanon National Park
Chiang Mai Old City
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Top activities & attractions in Chiang Mai

When to Visit Chiang Mai

Estimated hotel price

Chiang Mai in {1}

1 night at 3-star hotel
Prices are not fixed and may vary with time

The best time to visit Chiang Mai really depends on personal preference for the weather. It is cooler in November to January, but still pleasantly warm during the day, making this the best time to visit. March and April are very hot, and the rainy season is from May to October; this is the low season for tourism.

Average temperatures
Fahrenheit (°F)
When the weather is nice in Chiang Mai

How to Get to Chiang Mai

Airports near Chiang Mai

LPT Lampang

Airlines serving Chiang Mai

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Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

Inside the old city, space is limited, therefore hotels, like the Rim Resort, tend to be be small. In the area just outside the moat, there are larger hotels and guesthouses, such as Amora Tapae and De Chai The Colonial Hotel. Further afield, large hotels, like Cmor Hotel, are dotted around near shopping centers and areas with coffee shops and restaurants.

Popular Neighborhoods in Chiang Mai

Most popular hotel in Chiang Mai by neighborhood

Chiang Mai Old City

Where to stay in popular areas of Chiang Mai

Most booked hotels in Chiang Mai

How to Get Around Chiang Mai

The Cost of Living in Chiang Mai

Shopping Streets

Loi Kroh Road and the Night Bazaar are filled with small stores and stalls selling clothes, books, and trinkets. Prices start at around ฿50. The Saturday night "walking street" market on Wua Lai Road is great for finding silver jewelry made by local craftsmen. Robinson Central Airport is a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of the city where prices are a little higher, starting at ฿100 for small items and going up to the thousands for designer goods.

Groceries and Other

Tops, Rimping, and Big C are the main supermarkets, selling both Thai and foreign food. Prices are around the same as in the US and slightly cheaper for local Thai produce. Fresh fruit can be purchased from many stalls at the side of the road, starting from only ฿20.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Chiang Mai

Food is everywhere in Chiang Mai, from small stalls selling ฿30 meals to family-owned restaurants, such as Aroon Rai, which cost around ฿100 per person. Stalls usually specialize in one dish, such as pad Thai or massaman curry, while restaurants will serve a variety of curries and rice or noodle dishes. Dining at a high-end hotel restaurant like Chili's at the Amora Tapae Hotel will cost closer to ฿1,000 per person for great-quality Thai and international food.

Most popular restaurants in Chiang Mai

Khao by Four Seasons
Afternoon Tea
Excellent (57 reviews)