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Thailand Travel Destinations

Chiang Mai

North Thailand

 

   

Destinations:

Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai

Mae Hong Son
Pattaya
Phuket
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Phi Phi Island
Koh Lanta
Hua Hin
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View from doi Suthep

      

    Chiang Mai

      Hotels
      Tours
      Getting there
      Entertainment
      Weather
      Geography

The second largest city of Thailand - also known as "rose of the north" - nearby the bank of Ping River. The city and the environment offers the tourist plenty of sight-seeing, numerous temples, the friendly population and its peace.

There  you got the main impression about Thailand's culture, from different hill tribes and the centuries aged arts and handy-crafts.

CHIANG MAI
the northern capital, can easily be reached in a 1 hour flight from Bangkok. The city is situated in a very fertile valley and was founded in 1296 by King MENGRAI THE GREAT. There are still ruins of the ancient city walls. The most beautiful temple is WAT PHRATAT DOI SUTHEP. 
The top of the chedi is made from pure gold.
Chiang Mai offers a great variety of Buddha images and ancient temples of various historical periods, influenced by Burmese architecture.
You should not miss a visit to the market where you can sample typical impressions and get to know the people in an authentic ambience.

Chiang Mai is the region for delicious strawberries. And during the Mango season, you can enjoy the fantastic taste of these exotic fruits, as well.
Chiang Mai is also the center of world-famous handicrafts. In 1967, Queen Sirikit initiated the SUPPORT-FOUNDATION in order to create new jobs in the provinces and to preserve the traditional way of handicraft productions. This goal has been achieved in perfect style.
THAI SILK is produced on more than 30.000 looms. The MUDMEE silk has wonderful and unique patterns. Chiang Mai is a real Eldorado for the creation and production of handicrafts and souvenirs from various materials.
BOR SANG is the village of the umbrella makers. Wonderful umbrellas and fans are produced with perfect skill. As if it was the most natural thing on earth, the complicated and sophisticated patterns are painted with natural creativity. Each of these products is unique and you can be sure when you purchase one, it will be truly a special souvenir.

Getting to Chiang Mai:

By bus:  Buses leaving from Bangkok's Northern Bus terminal daily mornings and evenings for about 180 THB per person. This buses are non a/c buses and the journey takes abut 10 hours for the 713 km to Chiang Mai. Air condition buses are leaving at 8:50 - 10:00 and from 19:20 until 21:45 h - transfer by a/c buses costs about 350 THB and last about10 hours. V.I.P. buses are leaving at 9:00 and between 20:00 - 21:00 h ( costs about 500 THB er person). There are also buses coming from Pattaya, Ranong or other bigger cities of the kingdom. We would recommend you to travel by night-bus, so you arrive in the morning in Chiang Mai and can spend the day with some interesting tours or visiting the ancient city. 
By train: More convenient than traveling by bus are the fast-trains from Bangkok via the northern route. The train will pass Don Muang Airport, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Den Chai and Lampang. In about 12 to 14 hours the train will bring you to Chiang Mai and arrives at 7:25 h, 8:05, 11:55 and 19:35h

By flight: Thai Airways got direct-flights from Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Mae Sot, Phitsanulok and Phuket. There  is a Limousine service from the Chiang Mai International Airport to the City, otherwise the communal taxi leave in a schedule and cost about 40 THB per Person and bring you to your desired destination down-town.

Getting around:
To travel local, there are yellow buses operating from 6:00 h until18:00 h going around Chiang Mai. For some sight-seeing the best way is to hire a local taxi, for about 400 - 600 THB the day, they cruise you around to your desired sight. Some of them are qualified tour-guides with English knowledge. Rikschas are also frequently seen downtown, but of course not recommended for longer distances. Also there are taxis available and a ride in the city should not exceed THB 50 - 80 THB depending on the distance. 

Geography: 
Northern Thailand comprises roughly the area between the Shan Plateau of Burma and the Salween River to the west and the Mekong River and Laos to the east. Its present international borders are not defined by natural features but are rather the result of a series of treaties negotiated with Eng land and France at the turn of the century and revised after World War 2. 

Rice terrace

The southern boundary of northern Thailand can be considered to be an imaginary line running from the town of Tak in the west to Uttaradit in the east. These boundaries approximate the limits of the ancient Kingdom of Lanna, the whole area being governed from the capital of Chiang Mai, the city which is still the main commercial and administrative center of the region. 
In most people's minds 'the North' also includes the upper Central Plains, and therefore, for the purposes of this book, the ancient cities of Sukhothai and Sri Satchanalai have also been included. In fact these ruins had their origins in a different cultural and have experienced a different history 
from Lanna. 
The North is a mountainous region with an average attitude of 1300 in (4000 ft), the highest point being Doi Inthanon at 2595 in (8514 ft-Doi means 'high peak'). Most of the mountain chains are composed of limestone and schist's from the Primary Period. Granite outcrops from the Secondary Period occur in the Doi Khun Tan Range, at Doi Suthep, and at Doi Khun Bong. Several rivers traverse the mountain ranges from north to south, forming the flat and fertile alluvial plains that are the only areas of the region widely inhabited by Thai people, who are traditionally lowland cultivators. 
The mountains have always been the home of hill-tribes and other minorities, peoples who have long enjoyed a special independence resulting from their isolation. 
The main rivers of the North are the Ping (590 km long), the Wang (335 km), the Yom (555 km), and the Nan (627 km). The Mekong River, which for centuries played a major role in the history of Southeast Asia, now borders northern Thailand only for a short stretch and has lost much of its economic importance because, since the communist takeover in Laos, water way trade is no longer possible. 
Before the advent of modern transportation, the convoluted geography of the region clearly dictated the path that social and economic development could take. A nearly impenetrable range of mountains- Doi Khun Kiat- separates the northern valleys from the Central Plains, and until the construction of a railway in the late 1920s, Lanna remained largely a world apart. The journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok was made by boat, a hazardous trip because of the 16 cataracts that had to be negotiated along, the upper reaches of the Ping River. Traveling upstream, the journey was made partly by river, poling the boat against the swift current, and partly on elephant back through the forest. The trip took several weeks. While contacts between Lanna and the Central Plains were always few, there was much trade and travel between Lanna, Burma, Laos and Yunnan province of China. 

Entertainment:

  • At the "Chiang Mai Stripe" you an find different bars and pubs opened until after midnight. Some other small bars can be found at the outer walls of Night Bazaar.

  • Live-Music is played in a big saloon at the Mani Noparat Rd. opened from 17:00 h until 1:00 h. Western Live-music you'll find in Restaurant Brasserie in the Charoen Rat Rd.

  • Discos - are mostly in all bigger hotels available until late night. 

  • Classical Thai-Dance Shows and tribal-dances - at food center opposiste  night-bazaar.

  • Night Bazaar - there is a huge night - bazaar daily from 18:00 h until 23:00 in Chang Klan Rd. Very good shopping opportunities, textiles, Hill-tribes-handicraft as well as Thai -silk and antiques and Thai-handicraft may can be bought. 

  • Silver - In Wualai Rd. there are a lot of silver stores selling beautiful jewelery. 

  • Wood carves - about 500 m south of the city-gate, there are wood-carving factories, selling beautiful wood carvings in little stores. 

  • Hill-tribes - a good resource about hill-tribes and there difficulties in getting adopted to the modern world is the "the mountain people culture & development educational project". in 137/1 Nantharam Rd, southern part of Chiang Mai. 

Novices on a boat ride  Orchids - a lot of farms around  Chiang Mai !

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