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Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่) is the hub of Northern Thailand. With a population of over 170,000, it is Thailand's fifth-largest city. Located on a plain at an elevation of 316 m, surrounded by mountains and lush countryside, it is much greener and quieter than the capital, and has a cosmopolitan air and a significant expat population, factors which have led many from Bangkok to settle permanently in this "Rose of the North"

Things to do

In Town

As usual in Thai cities, massage establishments abound, both for treatments and for learning the art yourself. Cooking schools are also popular - see the Learn section.


  • Chiang Mai Vista Cinema (Kad Suan Kaew)
  • Major Cineplex (Airport Plaza)


  • Let's Relax, 2F Chiang Mai Pavilion and B1F Chiang Inn Plaza, Chang Khlan Road. Does professional massage in very clean if not downright sterile surroundings complete with air-con, the sound of running water and gentle scents. A 45-minute foot reflexology session costs 350 baht, nearly twice the price of the competition, but is worth every satang after a long trek.
  • Nantana Massage Shop, (near Sompet Market on Soi 6). Has very knowledgeable and friendly staff, and air-con. Thai massage 150 baht/hour; oil, foot, and neck/shoulder massage also available.

Muay Thai (Thai boxing, the national sport of Thailand):

  • Kawila Boxing Stadium not far from Narawat Bridge, has real Muay Thai fights every Friday at 20:00 with 10 bouts ranging from young debutant fighters, local champions, and locals vs foreigners. Entry is 600 baht (as of March 2008).
  • Lanna Muay Thai on Soi Chiang Khian, off Huay Kaew Road . Muay Thai coaching.


A very popular pastime is walking and/or cycling around the city walls and exploring the old city, and Chiang Mai is a very popular adventure destination and a place for arranging hill trekking too. There are also opportunities to try your hand at elephant riding, horse riding, and even ballooning and flying. Other possibilities include:

  • Bicycle tours or exploration either on your own, renting a bike, or joining a well organized bicycle / mountain-biking tour is a great way to see the North and the country side. Crank Adventures has fantastic off the beaten track single day and multi-day mountain bike adventures. Northern-Trails is a reputable cycling operator offering many cycling programs, from day trips to multi-day circuits.
  • Motorcycle touring (Enduro-Moto Cross) is a great way to explore Northern Thailand - the GT-Rider website has a wealth of information, including routes and maps for both short and long rides. One route out of Chiang Mai not mentioned is a day trip up and over Doi Suthep, which will take riders up to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, and beyond the mountain to the reservoir.
  • Scooter touring is another great way to explore the region going out as far as Mae Hong Son and suitable for the less experienced motorcyclist. Motorbike Thailand offers great tours using Honda 125cc scooters riding into some of the more remote regions and also offer rider training on route.
  • Game Fishing, Spend a half day or more fishing with your own guide Suvit. Note that the half day trip takes you to a fishing park, not "proper" fishing as such but landing a 15kg+ Giant Mekong catfish is a lot of fun. .
  • Golf | golf - see  : Golf in Thailand | Northern region section
  • Karting, bungy jumping, off road buggies, and paintball, . Certainly a very popular option for thrill seekers although slightly pricey compared to other tours that local companies offer. A bonus however is that the adventure company provides pick-up and drop-off services from and to your hotel.
  • Rafting - Rafting down the Maetang river is offered by several companies and can often be combined with elephant riding or mountain biking. During the dry season (Jan-Feb) water levels are relatively low with only grade 2-3 rapids, but during the rainy season (Jun-Oct) higher water levels make for a more exciting grade 4-5 trip.[18](
  • Cricket - The North of Thailand may seem an odd place to find an international cricket tournament. Every year since 1988 more than 200 cricketers from around the world gather at Chiang Mai for the tournament. The week long tournament for amateur players, with a sprinkling of Test stars, it is held at the historic Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club, generally at the start of April. For more details check out [19]
  • Rock Climbing - Approximately 35 miles east of Chiang Mai lies Crazy Horse Buttress, a 60-meter, orange- and black-streaked monolith jutting out of the green Mae On farming valley. Crazy Horse boasts more than 130 bolted routes between (French system) grades 5 and 8a, which makes it an ideal destination for beginners and experienced climbers alike. Spend multiple days exploring every part of the crag, or just spend a day or an afternoon above ground as a break from exploring the magnificent caves of the region. More information on the area is available in the Guide to Rock Climbing in Northern Thailand; climbing guides and information are also available from Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures and The Peak.
  • Elephant Rides Many tour companies in Chiang Mai offer elephant rides alone or as part of a larger package. If you're uncomfortable seeing trainers throw rocks at the disobedient ones or guide them by hitting their heads with pointed barbs, you'd probably prefer Elephant Nature Park. The Park is a sanctuary for abused animals, and while you can't ride the elephants, you can spend a day or a few days bathing and feeding them. The Park's director was named an Asian Hero by Time Magazine in 2005 for her work to save these giant and friendly creatures. Information and tour arrangements can be found online or at Taste from Heaven restaurant, 237 Thapae Rd, where the proceeds go to supporting the park.
  • Scorpion Tailed Boat River Cruise along Ping River A pleasant way to get a feel for the Chiang Mai city and its layout is to take a boat trip on the Ping River. Cruises operated by Scorpion Tailed River Cruises[20][21] Cruise down the river you'll know more about the history of Ping river and local people life by the describer who show you the old picture of places which located near the river bank. And stop at the a riverside local village for a look around garden,here have fruit, herb and flower , plus a yellow mango and sticky rice for the customer. Tours depart from a jetty 200 meters north of Nakorn Ping Bridge every two hours between 9am and 5pm. Trips take about 90 minutes and cost 500 Baht, including transportation to and from your hotel
  • Rainforest Canopy Tours An activity normally associated with Central America, Thailand is now emerging as a world-class canopy tour destination. Flight of the Gibbon Adventure Tour zips people through spectacular old-growth rainforest high above the forest floor. 2km of ziplines connect tree platforms, lowering stations and skybridges. Located in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai, the area is also much cooler than in the city. After the tour you can hike up alongside the Mae Kompong Waterfall.

All List of Chiang Mai Hotels

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