- Recently updated: November 2022
What Is Chiang Mai known for? Chiang Mai is one of the most sort after tourist destinations in Thailand. If you like to explore amazing vacation places with tons of outdoor things to do, you might want to visit this less crowded ancient city up north.
The “Rose Of The North” can easily be accessed from Bangkok and is defined geographically by numerous mountain ranges that stretch from Myanmar’s Shan Hills to Laos as well as the deep valleys that cut across them.
Hill tribe villages with its rich cultural and ancient history are among the best attractions for tourists to visit. Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon is situated not far from Chiang Mai city.
So, why travel to Chiang Mai Thailand? I would recommend checking this beautiful city known for its affordable boutique hotels, sumptuous traditional food, visiting uncrowded tourist places and the list goes on.
Best Time To Visit Chiang Mai In Thailand
The best time to visit Chiang Mai is from May to October. This is the time when tourist places are not crowded and accommodations are cheaper.
However, note that March to April is the season when farmers burn their crops and the air gets pretty polluted. This is the worst time to be in Chiang Mai.
Most probably, there will be hazy air conditions in most parts of Chiang Mai and not suitable for visitors with breathing issues.
November air is cooler and signals the end of the rainy season. Doi Ithanon and Sunflower Bloom are the top attractions on this timeline.
On the flip side, November to end February is the peak season whereby hotel’s prices are higher and locals flock to this northern city.
Nevertheless, if you are not in a hurry and enjoy magnificent scenery while passing by beautiful villages, taking a trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train can be pretty relaxing.
The 3 seasonal categories are HOT, RAINY & DRY.
Hot: March – May. Average temperature 29°C – 38°C largely in northern Thailand.
Rainy: June – October. Average temperature 26°C – 32°C whereby the rain are quick and short downpours.
Dry/Cold: November – February. Average temperature 19°C – 30°C and get even colder at attractions like Doi Ithanon National Park.
Chiang Mai Hotels
Chiang Mai is a sprawling metropolis with a wide range of budget-friendly hotels options. Boutique hotels Chiang Mai are available in most part of the neighborhood even near Doi Suthep mountain.
Explore Chiang Mai to Pai for example, condotels are cheaper option than hotel and can be booked on AirBNB.
If you like to check into Lanna-style traditional hotels, there are plenty of them spread all over Chiang Mai and the other ring road.
Top Activities And Attractions
The experience of visiting a number of night markets after a trip to one of the top outdoor activities in Chiang Mai is my best suggestion to do at night.
If you visit on the weekend, you’ll have even more activities at the night bazaar with the entire evenings dedicated to exploring, shopping, munching and taking in the sights.
Most of the fascinating temples, museums, and other notable sights are located within the historical old town. Elephant sanctuaries and mountain tours are some of the places that are popular for tourists to visit.
A trip to the highest mountain peak in Thailand (Doi Inthanon) might be the perfect day tour for nature lovers. Getting some peace of mind on a hiking adventure might be the ideal way to enjoy the sights and sounds as well.
Things To Do In Elephant Sanctuaries
Chiang Mai elephant sanctuaries gives visitors insight into the behavior and life history of the elephants being cared by dedicated voluntary organizations in English.
The elephant mahouts facilitate tourists in achieving incredible experience such as hand-feeding or bathing them in the sanctuary’s natural-built pool.
Getting close to elephants in their natural habitat is pretty cool and elephant sanctuaries are the perfect vacation spot for couples and family to have a great bonding time.
What To Eat
A visit to the northern provinces and beyond Bangkok must always be accompanied with the best Thai dishes and where else can you find authentic Khao Soi than in Chiang Mai.
Most of the authentic Thai cuisine can be found here but there are many versions of Khao Soi that will make you come back for more.
You can find cheap and delicious Thai street food at your favorite vacation spots in Chiang Mai old town and hang out at most of the night bazaars as well.
If your bucket list include trips to mountain attractions and breathtaking temples and neighboring Chiang Rai then you need at least a week.
Trips to these locations takes 4-12 hours including stops. Easily one day affair for Mae Hong Son and neighboring Chiang Rai, for example.
If you have not decided on which tourist places to visit or wish to decide later upon arrival in Chiang Mai city, I would recommend you to check out Chiang Rai as well.