Explore Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Tourism: Best of Chiang Mai
Essential Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai Is Great For
Colorful bazaars and markets
Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Chiang Mai
In the words of those who've been there before ...
What is the best way to get there?
The most common way for foreign visitors to get to Chiang Mai is by air. It is possible to fly directly into the Chiang Mai International Airport from nearby Southeast Asian cities, but this is generally not an option. Most travelers will connect via Bangkok. Fortunately, air travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be extremely cheap.
For detailed information on getting to Chiang Mai, including alternative modes of transportation, please refer to this article.
Do I need a visa?
Thailand has many bilateral agreements in place with other nations that allow visa-free travel. To check if your country is on that list please check here.
If your country is not listed, you will need to apply for a visa at your nearest Thai embassy. You can check here for more information on visas.
When is the best time to visit?
Winter: Late November through to mid-February are the cooler months to be in Chiang Mai. You will find you may need a jacket and jeans at this time of year. Some of the pools in Chiang Mai can be quite cold if they don’t get the sun. The days are still warm and pleasant. From mid-February onward, it starts to warm up and it’s unlikely you’ll need warmer clothes unless you are going into the mountains.
Chiang Mai also, unfortunately, suffers from air pollution in certain months due to crop burning. Please check out our forums to keep up to date on the situation.
There are more than 300 temples in Chiang Mai. Visually, it is an interesting place for a wander. Allow time in your planning to just “be” in the city, walk around, have a coffee, find a little bar, explore the many bookshops and local markets.
To get around town you will usually use a songthaew or a tuk-tuk. Songthaews are red trucks with bench seats along the back and a cover over the top. The rate is 20B per person (young children don’t pay). Flag one down and say where you want to go. If the driver says no, it is probably because they are not going in your direction or on a set route. You can also negotiate to hire a tuk-tuk by the hour or to do a specific trip. Negotiate with the driver. Tuk-tuks will charge you between 60B and 100B for trips around town. They seat three comfortably.
For more detailed information on getting around, you can refer to this article.
Are there local customs I should know?
- Chiang Mai is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:
- We recommend checking out these popular tours when looking for something to do in Chiang Mai:
- Best Seller! Doi Inthanon National Park, Waterfall & Royal Project - Chiang Mai
- Half Day Thai Cooking Course at Farm (Chiang Mai)
- 3 Experiences: Doi Inthanon Tour, Elephant Sanctuary, Trekking Trail
- Chiang Rai Temples Private Tour from Chiang Mai ( The Original )
- Best seller!! Amazing Night tour, Doi Suthep + Wat umong - Top Must visit!
- If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Chiang Mai between December and February, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.