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".
Founded in 1296 AD, the culturally rich city of Chiang Mai is the longest continuously inhabited settlement from the ancient days of Siam. Located amidst the rolling foot hills of the Himalayan Mountains 700 km north of Bangkok, it could only be reached by an arduous river journey or an elephant back trip until the 1920s, isolation which has helped keep Chiang Mai's distinctive charm intact to this day.
Chiang Mai's historical centre is the walled city (chiang in Thai, hence Chiang Mai - "New Walled City"). Sections of the wall remain at the gates and corners, but of the rest only the moat remains.
Inside Chiang Mai's remaining city walls are more than 30 temples dating back to the founding of the principality, in a combination of Burmese, Sri Lankan and Lanna Thai styles, decorated with beautiful wood carvings, Naga staircases, leonine and angelic guardians, gilded umbrellas and pagodas laced with gold filigree. The most famous is Doi Suthep, which overlooks the city from a mountainside 13 km away.
Modern-day Chiang Mai has expanded in all directions, but particularly to the east towards the Ping River (Mae Nam Ping), where Thanon Chang Klan, the famous Night Bazaar and the bulk of Chiang Mai's hotels and guesthouses are located.Loi Kroh Rd is the centre of the city's nightlife including its small and unthreatening red light district. The locals say you've not experienced Chiang Mai until you've seen the view from Doi Suthep, eaten a bowl of kao soi, and purchased an umbrella from Bo Sang. Ratchadamneon Rd, the main walking street from Thapae Gate to the very popular Wat* Phra Singh, is fast becoming the place to go in the evening if you want somewhere a little more relaxed.
Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) handles both domestic and regional international flights. The route from Bangkok is one of the busiest in the country (Thai Airways flies daily almost every hour, with additional flights in the peak tourist season). Other airlines operating direct services from/to Chiang Mai include:
- Air Asia - from/to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi airport); also Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
- Air Mandalay - from/to Myanmar
- Bangkok Airways - to Ko Samui (flights from Ko Samui are indirect), from/to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Sukhothai; from/to Jinghong (China) and from/to Siem Reap (Cambodia)
- China Airlines - from/to Taipei, Taiwan
- Lao Airlines - from/to Luang Prabang (Laos), from there the flight continues onward to Vientiane
- Nok Air - from/to Bangkok (Don Mueang airport)
- One-Two-Go (part of Orient Thai Airlines ) from/to Bangkok (Don Mueang)
- SGA - from/to Chiang Rai (twice daily), Mae Hong Son (once daily) and Pai (once daily). Their tickets are booked via Nok Air website.
- Silk Air - from/to Singapore
- Thai Airways - from/to Bangkok (both airports) and Mae Hong Son; also Kunming (China); in addition, flights from and/or to Phuket & possibly Nan may also be available seasonally
The airport is some 3 km south-west of the city centre, only 10-15 minutes away by car. Legal airport taxis charge a flat 120 baht for up to 5 passengers anywhere in the city; if you take a metered taxi, the fee will start from 40 baht + a 50 baht service fee from the Meter Taxi counter. The taxis operate from the exit at the north end of the terminal - after baggage claim and/or customs, walk into the reception hall and turn left. Alternatively, take bus #4 to the city center for 15 baht, or charter a tuk-tuk or songthaew for 50-60 baht. Most hotels and guesthouses offer cheap or free pick-up/drop-off services.
Buses to Chiang Mai leave from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit). The cheapest, non-aircon, stop-everywhere government buses take around 12 hours; non-stop VIP 24-seaters manage the trip in 9 hours on a good day. Chiang Mai also has good bus connections to practically everywhere in the North, and major destinations/hubs in the North-East (Isaan); there's even a direct service to Pattaya and Rayong in the East.
Various rapid, express and sleeper services leave from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station, taking 12-15 hours depending on the service selected. Sprinter trains are entirely second class air-con, have no sleeper berths, and are the only ones which cannot transport bicycles. Daytime trains are entirely second and third class, with no sleeper berths; the first "overnight" train of the day departs Chiang Mai at 2:50PM and arrives in Bangkok at 5:30AM.
The overnight trains - especially second class sleeper berths - are very popular, safe, comfortable and fun, and good value too - sleeper fares start at 531 baht for an upper berth in a 2nd class fan carriage. 2nd class lower berths are slightly more expensive than, but also slightly wider than, upper berths; air-con is of course a little more expensive than non-aircon. Those who wish to avoid sharing the relatively basic second class "bathroom" facilities can book a private first class two-berth cabin (the attendant cleans the first class bathrooms frequently).
Tickets can be purchased up to 60 days in advance; advance booking is advisable year-round, but especially between November and March - see SRT timetables and prices.
SRT charges 90 baht to transport a bicycle between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai train station is about 3 kilometres east of the city centre, across the Ping River and near the main Post Office, at the intersection of Charoen Muang Road and Rat Uthit Road (27 Charoenmuang Road). If you arrive late it would be better to take a songthaew to town (many of these meet every train that arrives). If you do want to walk, exit the station, cross the open square in front and turn left on the first major road you come to (Charoen Muang Road) ; this road goes to the city centre.
Chiang Mai now has a new large air conditioned bus service. You can see these nice air conditioned white buses all over the major city routes. There are also pedicabs called samlor; the 3-wheeled tuk-tuk; and the most popular, the songthaew.
By songthaew or seelor
The most common way to get around Chiang Mai is by songthaew, also known more locally as rod-daeng or "seelor". These are covered pick-up trucks with two benches in the back, and indeed songthaew means "two benches" in Thai. Seen everywhere, to board one just put your arm out and look at the driver, who will stop. Then tell the driver which street you want to go to, and if he is going that way, he will nod his head "yes"; if not, he will say "no" and go on. Don't worry - there will be another one right behind him. When the driver turns down the street you want, start looking for where you want to get off and press the switch located on the roof of the cab. The driver will pull over, let you out, and then you pay him. The fare should be 20 baht for regular trips around town. If you specify a hotel or establishment, the driver will think you want to hire him for a private trip, and the price will be much higher. Negotiate any price beforehand if you want to go to a specific address. The best way to avoid this "charter" situation is to discuss your destination and not the price; asking for a price is interpreted as asking for a charter. Then, when you arrive, hand the driver the correct change. If the driver demands more, then it is up to you to work out a fair payment, but armed with this information, you should have a reasonable idea of the proper fare, and that will aid you in your bargaining.
The colour of the songthaew indicates its general route or usage. Most common by far are red songthaews (hence the alternative rod daeng, "red car" name), which roam the main streets in the city itself. Warorot Market (by the Ping River) is the most common terminus for songthaews that travel along fixed routes. From Warorot Market, white songthaews travel to the eastern suburban city of Sankampaeng, yellow songthaews travel to Mae Rim in the north, blue songthaews travel to Sarapee and Lamphun in the south, and green songthaews travel to Mae Jo in the north-east. The flat rate cost along these fixed routes is 20 baht.
From Pratu Chiang Mai market, songthaews also travel to Hang Dong (20 baht) and San Patong, south-west of Chiang Mai.
You may see songthaews out on the highways in the countryside, travelling to and from small towns and villages. It is probably not proper for them to do this (as such travel is supposed to be done by bus companies), but in Thailand people will find a way to make some extra money.
By tuk-tuk or samlor
Tuk-tuks serve as Chiang Mai's taxis, going point to point for 40 baht for a short hop and 50-100B for longer distances depending on your haggling skills. A few three-wheeled bicycles (samlor) still cruise the streets and will go your way for the same price, which is a great way to see the inner city temples. Try taking a samlor from Wat Prasing Temple to Wat Chedi Luang Temple in the early evening around sunset, or around the inner city at sunrise to see the monks walking around with their bowls collecting alms from the citizens.
Chiang Mai has Bangkok-style metered taxis, but unlike in Bangkok it's very hard to persuade the driver to use the meter. Rates are very reasonable at 30 baht for the first 2 km and 4 baht/km after that, . Dial +66 53-279291 state your detination and the call centre will give you a quote. Individual drivers can be contacted using their mobile phone numbers which are displayed on the vehicle, again few will use their meters.You cannot generally hail taxis in the street.
Chiang Mai's on-again, off-again local bus service began operation again in November 2005. There are currently 5 routes and fares are a flat 15 baht. Route 4, connecting to the airport, is probably the most useful. See Chiang Mai Bus.
Chiang Mai has an abundance of motorcycle rental services, with choices aplenty. Typical Asian motorbikes can be rented, such as Honda and Yamaha 110cc and 125cc models (both step-through and automatic), but off-road bikes and larger street bikes can also be found quite easily. Renting a small bike starts at less than 200 baht/day with insurance; larger machines can climb to 800 baht/day for a V-twin chopper or large sport-bike, also with insurance. Expect discounts when renting for several days. Passports are usually taken as a deposit, although some shops will accept a photocopy with a cash deposit of a few thousand baht. As with any other tourist town in Thailand (except possibly in Bangkok), a valid international permit (IDP) isn't required by the rental shop.
Within the old city walls biking is still an easy option to get around. You can get everywhere in town within 10 minutes and it saves the hassle of negotiating with tuk-tuk drivers all the time. Bikes rentals are offered at every other street corner, and for a simple bike start from 30 baht/day. You can pick up quality bikes for a comfortable ride at "Crank Tavern" near Chiang Mai Gate. They run well-organised tours in the mountains around Chiang Mai as well. See  for a detailed map.
The old city is only a mile square, and as such is easy to walk around. The airport is also quite close to the old part of town--about 2.5 km--so if you have the energy and an hour to spare, you can even walk to and from the airport.
Hiring a car or minibus with professional driver
This is is a great option for travelling to places outside Chiang Mai city, and is often the same or very similar price as hiring a car and driving yourself. You'll also be able to relax and enjoy the scenery in air-conditioned comfort. The cost is generally from 1500 baht per day (excluding petrol), depending on the type of vehicle and where you are going. With the petrol, the driver will pick you up with a full tank of petrol, and you pay the petrol as you go, and at the end.
- Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center - This fully modernised multimedia history and cultural education centre is located in the very centre of the old city on Prapokklao Road between Rajdumnern Road and Rajwithee Road. If travelling by tuk-tuk or songthaew, it's easiest to ask for the "Three Kings Monument" (Saam Kasat); it's the large, elegant white building just behind the statue. Guides dressed in elegant traditional Thai clothing will usher you into an air-conditioned room to watch an English-subtitled orientation video about Chiang Mai and the north. Next, you will be pointed to a series of rooms documenting the region's history and culture in chronological order from the pre-Muang period (7,000-12,000 years ago) to the early river civilizations, to the early kings through the wars with the Burmese and the last dynasty, to the city today and its plans for the future. Other rooms are devoted to Buddhism and other regional beliefs, agricultural history, hill tribe peoples and other regional cultures, and a run-down of the royal dynasties. The exhibits consist of a smart visual mix of video, scale models, enlarged photos, wall murals and text in Thai and English. The museum is open 8:30AM-5PM except Mondays. Admission is 90 baht. +66 53-217793
- Hilltribe Research Institute Museum - Founded in 1965 as a result of a proposal by the noted anthropologist Prof. W.R. Geddes, who was doing research with the hilltribe peoples at the time, the Institute Museum offers exhibits concerning the lives and cultures of nine hilltribe peoples in Thailand: the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Yao, Hmong, Karen, Lua, Khamu, and H'tin. Also included are a non-hilltribe ethnic minority, the Mlabri, associated by some with the 'spirit of the yellow leaves'. The Mlabri population has dwindled to only approximately 180 individuals at present. The daily lives of the various hilltribe peoples are illustrated through exhibits of photographs, agricultural implements, household utensils, artefacts associated with the various traditional religions, musical instruments, and ethnic costumes. Some exhibits include models dressed in complete traditional costumes depicting daily activities, such as a Hmong family having a meal or a Lisu man serenading his sweetheart. The Institute has established a new museum in a three-story pavilion located on the attractively landscaped grounds of Ratchamangkala Park (Suan Lor Gao) on Chotana Road, just a fifteen minute drive from the city center. At present the museum is open weekdays 9AM-4PM, with a slide and video show available daily 10AM-2PM. Special group tours at weekends are possible with advance notice. For more information contact the Hilltribe Institute Museum, Chotana Road +66 53-210872 / +66 53-211933
- Chiang Mai National Museum (Located along the SuperHighway, within walking distance of Wat Chet Yotwhich may usefully be visited on the same trip) Offers an interesting insight into the history of Chiangmai. Tel. (053) 221308 09.00 a.m. - 04.00 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday Closed on : Monday, Tuesday and National Holidays. Admission Fee:30 Baht (as at November 2008)
- Chiang Mai Numismatic Museum (Treasury Hall), 52 Ratchadamnoen Road, tel: 053-22 4237/8. M-Sa 9AM-3:30PM.
- Chiang Mai University Art Museum, corner of Suthep and Nimmanhaemin Roads, tel: 053-944833. Tue-Sun 9AM-5PM (free). There are exhibitions by undergraduates from the Fine Arts Department at Chiangmai University. These change often and the standard of work on display by the students is of a high standard. Each month there is usually at least one art exhibition featuring the works of artists from South East Asia. The museum also hosts musical concerts - often free - in the adjoining theatre. Within the same grounds there is a traditional Thai massage school which is associated with the university's Department of Physical Therapy.
- Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, Srimankalajarn Road, Soi 13 (the road links Huay Kaew Road and Suthep Road - the entrance from the latter is near Suan Dok Hospital); Tel: 053-211891. One of Asia's most unusual museums housing butterflies, beetles and beyond. Daily 9AM-5PM (200 baht).
- Postal Museum, at Mae Ping Post Office, (1-2 km south of Wat Phra Singh). Tu-Sa 08:30-16:30 (free).
- Art Galleries and Exhibitions  There are many art galleries and exhibitions in Chiang Mai, featuring contemporary artwork of both local Thai and Myanmar artists.
Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai show off a mixture of architectural styles that reflect the varied heritage of Northern Thailand. Elements from Lanna Thai, Burmese, Sri Lankan and Mon temples have all been used in one form or another. Intricate woodcarvings and protective Naga serpent staircases add a flamboyance that reflects an awesome reverence for the Buddhist religion. Gilded umbrellas, guardian figures from the tales of the Ramayana and stupas trimmed with gold filigree combine to heighten the overall effect.
To date, there have been some 300 temples constructed in Chiang Mai and its outskirts. Visitors should take the time to visit the most revered temples in the city, built during the noble Lanna Thai dynasty. The largest ones draw crowds, but it's well worth wandering off the beaten path and finding a temple not on the tour bus circuit. If you are short of time, and want to see contrasting architectural styles, three temples to visit are: Wat Chet Yot, Wat U-Mong and Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. Wat U-mong is best visited early evening between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. when you will hear the monks chanting their Buddhist prayers. There is a lake within the temple grounds, home to hundreds of catfish and terrapins, where locals gather at sunset to feed the fish.
The Thai patrons of Chiang Mai's temples are pleased to see that visitors take an interest in the images and traditions of Lord Buddha's teachings. All that they ask is that temple visitors show respect by wearing appropriate attire (long pants for men, modest tops and skirts for women, no bare shoulders or plunging necklines and women must wear a brassier) so that monks and worshippers will not be offended within the sacred temple grounds. Shoes are removed before entering the temple (but may be worn in the outer courtyard). Watch and follow the example of locals on how to behave when entering that part of the temple housing a Buddha image. There is no problem taking photographs of Buddha images but it is polite to ask before taking pictures of monks or locals.
- Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, . Established in 1383, this magnificent temple overlooks the city from its 1,073m elevation on the slopes of Doi (Mount) Suthep, which peaks at 1,685m. It is famous for its large gold-plated chedi, visible from the city on a good clear day. Although Wat Doi Suthep is the most recently built of the temples dating from the Lanna Thai period, it is the symbol of Chiang Mai. The site was selected by sending an elephant to roam at will up the mountainside. When it reached this spot, it trumpeted, circled three times, and knelt down - which was interpreted as a sign indicating an auspicious site. Clearly marked songthaews to Doi Suthep leave from Pratu Chang Phuak, passing Chiang Mai University and the zoo on the way. Prices are fixed at 40 baht up and 30 baht down; the drivers wait until they have sufficient (up to 8) passengers before they depart. Most guidebooks advise picking up a sawngthaew from Th Mani Nopharat, but these seem to have increased in price from a reasonable 40b to a ludicrous 500b. Don't encourage these charlatans to milk the tourist cash-cow any further - if you are going from the centre take a regular sawngthaew to the zoo and change there. The trip takes about 30 minutes one way. Alternatively, the 18km journey from town can be made by motorcycle or a bicycle with appropriate gearing. The final 12km from the zoo onwards is entirely uphill and will take 60-90 minutes if cycling. Entrance to the temple is free for those who wish to climb the 300-plus steps; alternatively, there's a cable car with a 50 baht fare.
- Wat Phra Singh, in the centre of the city at the intersection of Singharaj and Rajdamnern Road (west end) and is probably Chiang Mai's best-known temple, housing the Phra Singh image, completed between 1385 and 1400. Of particular note historically is Wihaan Lai Kham in the back, featuring Lanna-style temple murals and intricate gold patterns on red lacquer behind the altar. The large chedi was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu to house the remains of his father King Kam Fu. A typical scripture repository is located at this temple as well. These repositories were designed to keep and protect the delicate sa or mulberry paper sheets used by monks and scribes to keep records and write down folklore. The high stucco-covered stone base of the repository protected the delicate scriptures from the rain, floods and pests. The walls of the chapel are covered with murals illustrating Lanna customs, dress, and scenes from daily life. The lovely Lai Kam chapel houses the revered Phra Singh Buddha image. Sadly, the head was stolen in 1922, and a reproduction is now seen.
- Wat Chiang Mun, Rajpakinai Road. The oldest temple in the city. Presumed to date from the year Chiang Mai was founded (1296), it is famed for two Buddha images, which according to legend are 1800 and 2500 years old. King Mengrai allegedly lived here while the city of Chiang Mai was being constructed. Enshrined in Wat Chiang Mun is a tiny crystal Buddha called Pra Seh-Taang Kamaneeee, which is thought to have the power to bring rain. Another image, called Phra Sila Khoa, reflects the fine workmanship of Indian craftsmen from thousands of years ago.
- Wat Chedi Luang, Prapokklao Road. Located directly in Chiang Mai centre, this is the site of a formerly massive pagoda that was unfortunately destroyed in the great earthquake of 1545. The temple was originally constructed in 1401 on the orders of King Saeng Muang Ma. In 1454, reigning King Tilo-Garaj enlarged the chedi (pronounced jedee) to a height of 86 meters. After the earthquake, the chedi lay in ruins until 1991-92, during which time it was reconstructed at a cost of several million baht. A magnificent testament to Lanna (northern Thai) architecture and art, it is now every bit as impressive as it was when it was first built, and one of Chiang Mai's top tourist attractions. Wat Chedi Luang is also home to the "Pillar of the City", a totem used in ancient Thai fertility rites.
- Wat Phra Jao Mengrai, off Ratchamankha Road (near Heuan Phen). An atmospheric wooden temple away from the beaten track, quiet and gently crumbling in the absence of tourist hordes.
- Wat U-Mong, off Suthep Road, near the main entrance to Chiangmai University. An ancient temple in the forest just outside Chiang Mai. King Mengrai built this temple for a highly respected forest monk who liked to wander in the countryside, hence the isolated location where the monk could stay quietly and meditate. It is unusual in that it has tunnel-like chambers in the ground, some of the walls of which still have the original paintings of birds and animals visible. Proverbs or wise sayings, written in Thai and English on discreet signboards, are displayed on many of the trees in the gardens, adding to the Temple's mystical ambience. Recently renovated (2007), it is well worth a visit.
- Elephant Nature Park, . Approximately 60km north of Chiang Mai. This is a sanctuary for rescued and distressed elephants. They are not here to perform or do tricks but people visiting here will leave with a whole new understanding of these magnificent creatures.
- Maesa Elephant Camp, 119/9 Tapae Road, Muang District, +66 53-206247 or +66 53-206248, . An elephant camp in the hills about a half hour's drive north of the city center. It has an elephant show, which includes elephants playing football and painting. You can also take half hour or one hour elephant rides. Not exactly a place to bring a PETA activist, but many do enjoy the performances.
Gardens and nature
- Bhuping Palace is located on the same road beyond Doi Suthep (22 km from town). This royal winter palace has lavishly landscaped gardens and is open to the public daily 08:30-11:30 & 13:00-15:00 when the Thai royal family is not in residence. 50 baht for foreigners, 20 baht for locals, 10 baht for children. Dress code strictly applied. A sign at the bottom of the hill near the zoo will indicate when it's closed.
- Chiangmai Zoo, at the foot of Doi Suthep, . Home to over 7,000 animals in a wooded natural environment.
- Dokmai Garden, . This garden displays 120 different edible fruit plants, 115 different vegetables, in total more than 640 vascular plants. Of these, 500 have been selected for pesentations on aluminium signs (English, Japanese and Thai). The plants have scientific names. The area is compact (4 ha or 10 acres) and surrounded by plantations of teak, bananas, longan and dry dipterocarp savannah. It is very near Opkhan National Park, and between the famous Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep national parks. The garden also hosts natural populations of the Atlas moth and the Golden Birdwing butterfly. The garden collaborates with Chiangmai University (mushrooms), Maejo University (fish), Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden (plants), Tourism Authority of Thailand and Opkhan National Park.
- The Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery is a serene place of history and remembrance. It's on Thanon Chiang Mai-Lamphun about 800m north of the Holiday Inn (formerly the Sheraton). It's on the east side of the Ping River to the southeast of the old city.
- Trekking near Chiangmai . Trekking in the beautiful Pai area near Chiangmai
- hot springs Sankhamphaeng , Pong Duet and Fang
- night safari
- orchid and butterfly farms
- puppet shows
There is a multitude of things to do in Chiangmai. For example, aerobics, ballooning, bird watching, bungy jumping, cinema, cooking classes, cricket, cycling, elephant riding, fishing, flying, golf, go-karts, hill-tribe treks, horse riding, karaoke, line-dancing, massage schools, pool, rafting, river boat trips, swimming, tennis, walking, water sports, zoo. Three of the most popular tourist activities are learning the art of Traditional Thai Massage, learning to cook Thai food, and bargaining at the many local markets.
Thinking of trekking..?
There are several social and politcal concerns with trekking in Chiang Mai - for which the "non-touristy" treks will not help you to escape. Many of the treks will see you visiting villages already destroyed by tourism, and expecting you to purchase many of thier "handicrafts" - much of which are manafactured in Chiang Mai.
Be aware that the highly promoted "long neck" tribes are actually refugees from Myanmar.
Indoor and Outdoor Activities
- 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.
- 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 
- 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.
- Fishing, Spend a half day or more game 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.
- 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.
- 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. 
- Motor-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.
- 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, near Centre of the Universe Chiangmai Swimming Pool. Muay Thai coaching.
- 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.(http://www.rivertang.com)
- 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.
- River Cruise in Scorpion Tailed Boat 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 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
- 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.
- There is an Olympic Pool at the Seven Hundred Year Stadium - a huge sports complex built for the SEA Games, which were held in Chiangmai in the early 1990's, and now a public sports and recreation center. This is located along the Irrigation Canal Road, Route 121, towards Mae Rim. It takes about fifteen minutes to get there by taxi from the city center. The pool is sanitized using chlorine.
- In the same area as the 700 Year Stadium there is a private swimming club which tourists can use on a temporary membership basis. This relatively new Chiangmai swimming pool (opened 2008), known as the Centre of the Universe, opens at 6.30am everyday. From 6.30-9.00am, and 5.00-7.30pm, the main pool is reserved exclusively for lap swimmers; it is possible to book a lane in advance. In addition to the main pool there are two children's pools, bar and restaurant. The website has a map and directions to the pool in both English and Thai. This is a good choice for tourists staying in accommodation without a swimming pool in Chiangmai. The pool is sanitized using a salt water system.
- Chiang Mai land Swimming Pool is located in "Chiang Mai Land" off Chang Klan Road. Open to the public current (2008) prices are 50 Baht per Adult and 30 Baht per child. It has a pool deck and also has a restaurant and pool-side service. The pool is sanitized using chlorine.
- Some hotels, e.g. The Orchid and the Amari Rincome Hotel on Huay Kaew Road, allow "outsiders" to use their pools on payment of a fee. These older hotel pools are sanitized using chlorine.
- For 20 Baht entrance fee you can take a dip in the lake at Huay Tung Tao. This is a reservoir within surrounding woodlands, and is located further along the Irrigation Canal Road than the Centre of the Universe and the 700 Year Sports Stadium, as you head towards Mae Rim (Route 121)
- There are also water falls and natural pools at the foot of Doi Suthep on Huay Kaew Road. Look out for a large Buddhist Shrine on your left after travelling past the the entrance to Chiangmai Zoo. Turn left into the market at the back of the Shrine, and keep walking up the hill. You will come to the waterfalls after about 5 minutes. There is no charge for entry. The pools at the bottom of the water falls are not really big enough for swimming but are a great place to cool off at the height of the summer. During the dry season some of the water falls dry up - head for the high ground and you will still find pools full of fresh water! There are usually quite a few students hanging out there from the nearby university, who will happily practice their English conversational skills with you.
- There are several places to play tennis in Chiang Mai. Three of the more popular with tourists (as they are relatively easy to find) are Chiang Mai Land Sports Centerhas 3 courts, the 700 year stadium has 6 courts and the Amari Rincom Hotel has 1 court. At each of these locations, which can all be booked in advance, floodlighting makes it possible to play in the evening when it is cooler. There is an additional charge to cover the cost of electricity.
Festivals & exhibitions
- Chiang Mai Flower Festival is staged every year during the first weekend in February. The city is awash with vibrant colors ranging from the electric orange and lilac colors of the bougainvillea to the velvety blossoms of petunias in all shades of pink, white and purple. The strident red of the poinsettias, bought by many at Christmas and New Year, is echoed by beds of scarlet salvias. Homes and shop owners alike line the city streets with colourful flower boxes. The sheer profusion of colour that the flower festival and carnival brings to Chiang Mai aptly gives the city its name "Rose of the North". On all three days of the festival, prize blooms are on display at Suan Buak Haad near the city centre. Every type of flower, miniature tree and orchid is put on display for the judges to choose the best of the species. Landscape specialists put on an elaborate display, which includes patios and waterfalls with exotic decorative plants and flowers. The best part of the flower festival is on Saturday. The parade lines up from the train station to Narawatt bridge so the police close most of Jarenmuang Road around 8AM. The VIP viewing stand is right next to the bridge in front of the Chiang Mai Governor's home. The parade route goes down Thapae Road to the Gate and turns left and follows the moat to Suan Buak Haad City Park. The parade moves at a slow pace and stops several times so there is plenty of time to take pictures of the colourful floats, pretty girls and hilltribe people in costume. The people in the parade hand out roses to spectators lining the road. When the parade finishes everyone heads to Suan Buak Haad where all the floats, award winning flower growers and landscape projects are all on display. There are plenty of food stalls in the park, and in the late afternoon the Miss Chiang Mai Flower festival starts. The party goes well into the evening until the new Flower Festival Queen has been chosen. This is a great time to visit Chiang Mai, as the air is cool and the evenings fresh and clear. If you want to see the festival make sure you book your hotels and flights well in advance.
- Loi Krathong Festival If you like candles placed in colourful paper lanterns, fireworks, beautiful girls in traditional dress, parade floats, lots of food, and parties, don't miss the Loi Krathong festival, which in Chiang Mai lasts for 3 full days, the last night being that of the 12th full moon of the year (which is usually in November). In the small town of Mae Jo, north of Chiang Mai, they start the festival on Saturday night by simultaneously launching thousands upon thousands of hot air balloons called "Khom Loy".
- Bo Sang Umbrella & Sankampang Handicrafts Festival Takes place 20th-22nd January at Ban Bo Sang, Sankampang. The festival is in the form of a "street fair" in which the central road of the village is used, with stores on both sides. Stores are decorated in Lanna style, most with the well-known umbrellas, as well as with traditional lanterns. In addition there are contests, exhibitions, cultural performances, local entertainment, and assorted shows day and night. There is a grand procession decorated with umbrellas and local products, a variety of handicrafts for sale, northern-style kantoke meals, and the Miss Bo Sang pageant.
- The 2nd Orchid Fair (January) is the biggest orchid fair of the year, with an orchid market, activities and more.
- Royal Flora Exposition, . A magnificent showcase of 50,000 orchid plants representing nearly 10,000 orchid species, plus much more.
A large area of land in the northwest is home to Chiang Mai University , one of Thailand's most prestigious institutions of higher education with around 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its main campus is situated at the base of Doi Suthep, and CMU buildings can be seen all the way up to Suandok Gate at the west end of the city's center. Other institutions of higher education, include:
- Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts
- Chiang Mai Commercial College
- Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
- Chiang Mai Technical College
- Mae Jo University
- Payap University
- The Far East University
Chiang Mai is also unusual in its high concentration of international schools that cater to both local and foreign students living in the city looking for kindergarten, elementary, and secondary education. Many schools are American-run and several are funded by Christian missionary organisations. Some of the more prominent schools include:
- American Pacific International School (formerly Ake Panya International School)
- Wat Chom Tong, Tambon Ban Luang, Amphoe Chom Tong (about 60km south-west of the city) +66 53-826869 / +66 53-826180. the home temple of the meditation master Achan Tong, and offers residential courses in Vipassana Meditation on an on-going basis.
- Wat Ram Poeng, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang (4 miles south-west of the city) +66 53-278620, . Offers facilities for retreats and meditation instruction.
- Wat Suan Dok Th Suthep, Chiang Mai (1/2 a mile west of the Old City Moat), +66 53-278967. Has a meet and greet for tourists and monks, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon between 15:00 and 17:00 hrs. Also, you can sign up for a 24-hrs introduction meditation retreat.
- Wat Umong, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang (3 and a half miles out of town) +66 53-277248 (08:30-16:00), . Offers meditation courses and Dharma instruction in English every Sunday 15:00-18:00.
- LifeEvents.org Center for Shamanic Studies, +66 53-894-078 / +66 86-196-6264,  the center of Russian clairvoyant healer and Mongolian initiated shaman, Diana Manilova, offers shamanic initiations, karma cleaning workshops and spiritual consultations for groups and individuals at least 25 years old.
- A Lot Of Thai Cooking School, +66 53-800724, . A family run home cooking class. Teach by the owner for every class. Welcome for vegetarian and any kind of food restriction. Courses included Market tour and provides a recipe book from which you can cook by yourself at a later date.
- Baan Thai Cookery School, 11 Ratchadamnoen Road, Soi 5, near Thapae Gate, +66 53-357339 / +66-16714120, . Courses include a cook book and market tour. Have full day or evening classes
- Chiang Mai Kitchen Cooking School +66-97002099, . Just 20 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai, and offers a fresh approach to Thai cooking instruction. The organic herb and vegetable garden supplements ingredients are purchased at the morning market. Before and/or after your day in the kitchen, stay overnight in their charming, traditional Thai bamboo house.
- Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, at 1-3 Moon Muang Road, +66 53-206388 (fax: +66 53-206387), . Offers 1/2/3/4/5-day courses. 990 Baht for 1 day course. Recommended by Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide, Frommer's and Stefan Loose guide books.
- Cooking Class Asia, . Cooking Class Asia offers interactive cooking class vacations to people who want to make Thai cooking and culinary discovery the focus of their holiday in Chiang Mai.
- Gap's School Of Thai Culinary Art Has its office at Gap's House, 3 Rajadamnern Soi 4 +66 53-270143, . High standards, proper organisation, your own stove, 1 teacher per 5 students.
- Kao Hom Cooking School, +66 53-862967 
- Siam Rice Thai Cookery School, +66 53-329091,  Friendly and knowledgeable staff provides an extensive course on local and traditional recipes. The course includes a market tour and provides you with the recipes that the dishes that you create.
- Smart Cook Thai Cookery School, 21 Moonmuang Road, Soi 5, +66 53-418309. Market tour, cook book. Accommodates vegetarian cooking. Small classes and fun staff. Highly recommended.
- Sompet Cookery School, 56 Patan Road, +66 53-214897. Learn to cook the way Thai people do - at home. Visit their riverside home and learn to cook traditional Thai food. They have courses every day, morning and afternoon. A recipe book with colour photographs will be provided of each dish to suggest the many ways to prepare and serve Thai food.
- Carving lessons, +66 53-285056. Learn how to carve on fruit and vegetable, with pictures and notes to take away and refer to later at home.
- Smile Thai Cookery School If you want to experience the real Thai food and learn to prepare good Thai dishes with the real techniques that you can take back home. The class runs Monday – Friday in a fun environment, you’ll discover that the good Thai food is not that difficult to make. (+66-53-800-567-8) 
- Classic Home Cooking, (+66 53219056) We are the only one cooking school in Chiang Mai where you can choose any dish from more than 50 dishes of our menu. 6 dishes per day for morning class and 4 dishes for evening class. The cooking class is running every day in our own house. 
- AUA 
- Easy Study Thai 
- Language Institute CMU 
- Payap University 
- YMCA 
- Wild Rose Studio and Sauna 
Chiang Mai has great shopping and an internationally renowned night bazaar. There are also vendor booths that line other streets after dark, selling all types of merchandise including antiques, silks, silver, art, electronics, and knock-off and copycat merchandise, such as watches, handbags, and designer label clothing, all at very negotiable prices.
There are two large shopping malls...Airport Plaza and Central Kad Suan Keaw. Both have shops found in large cities in most countries.
- Airport Plaza apears the more modern of the two, is about half a mile from the airport...a somewhat adventurous walk from the terminal. It has several floors, with a food court, banks/ATMs, and multi-screen theater. It also has a "Cultural Center" attached where many crafts can be seen/bought, as well as a large food market and an extensive selection of Thai ready-to-eat stalls in the basement.
- Kad Suan Keaw is much closer to downtown, and has many decent shops, restaurants and banks/ATMs.
- Night Bazaar is a huge market covering a long outdoor stretch of Chang Khlan Road between Tha Phae Road and Si Donchai Road, with the centre of the maelstrom in the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar Building, three stories of shopping under a Thai temple-style roof. The bazaar area ACTUALLY straddles both sides of the street, with a gauntlet of street vendors along both sidewalks at night. It opens at about 5 PM, but many vendors open about 7 PM until 11 or so. It's not just a place to shop, but possibly Chiang Mai's largest tourist attraction, with products from Northern Thailand and neighboring countries, especially those associated with Thailand's hill tribes - but take all claims with a grain of salt and bargain hard for good prices.
- Sunday Market starts around 14:00 and lasts until 22:00, (during the rainy season it doesn't start until 17:00 hrs) with local craftpersons operating stalls along Rajdumnern Road on the inner-east side of the moat near Tapae Gate. The street is blocked off from traffic so there is plenty of room to walk. Unlike the sellers on Chang Khlan Road, who peddle many fake designer goods, excellent hand made items are displayed and sold. At the 5 temples on this road you can enjoy real Northern Thai food and snacks.
- Saturday Market on Wualai Road (the street that shoots off at an angle just outside the Chiang Mai gate on the south side of the old city) officially starts at 17:00, but don't come till around after 18:00 as can be very hot, most months of the year and vendors arrive later, although the road will be closed to cars from about 16:00 onwards; it's pretty much over by 23:00. It's the old silver working district, and some shops stay open late on this day. It is more popular with locals and the also called the Wualai Walking Street is a must see. Like the better-known and more tourist oriented Sunday Market, there's lots of food and local crafts.
- Warorot Market (กาดหลวง Kad Luang) - north of Nawarat Bridge and west of the Ping River between Thapae Roads and Chang Moi Road. This sprawling outdoor market is where the locals shop, and is well worth a visit for those who enjoy shopping for fabrics, clothes, herbs and spices and hard to find items. It also includes a beautiful flower market and fruit, and out-of-this-world fireworks stands.
- Neramit Tailor - small shop at the corner of Ratchawong Rd. and Nakornping Bridge , makes excellent suites to fair prices. The owner is very nice and understands his job very well. If you want tailor made cloth skip all the shark shops in Bangkok and come here.He even organzies the transport by mail back home to you. Check http://neramit-custom-tailoring.com
Chiang Mai's restaurants offer a wide range of food, second only to Bangkok. Naturally it's a good place to sample northern Thai food: in particular, hunt down some khao soi, yellow wheat noodles in curry broth traditionally with chicken (kai')) or beef (neua), but available some places as vegetarian or with seafood. Another local speciality is hang ley, Lanna-style pork curry. For those tired of eating rice or noodles there's also a wide range of excellent western food restaurant in Chiang Mai, from cheap hamburger stands to elaborate Italian eateries.
- Anusarn Market, Chang Khlan Road (same side of road as "Galare Food Centre" but much further up beyond Loi Kroh crossroad towards Sri Dornchai) is a busy outdoor night market with lots of little Thai restaurants and food vendors. Great atmosphere.
- Brick Road Cafe, 141/8 Ratchadamneon Road,053 272012 English-Thai run cafe with a relaxed atmosphere.
- Kalare Food Centre, Chang Khlan Road (opposite the Night Bazaar Building), has a large open-air food court, featuring free Thai classical dance performances nightly. All food is paid for with coupons; most mains 20-50 baht.
- Kuaytiaw Reua Koliang, Moon Muang Road (near Ratchamankha Road; no English sign) serves authentic kuaytiow reua (literally "boat noodles", rice noodles in dark broth with beef). It's good stuff anyway at 25 baht a pop.
- Ratana’s Kitchen, Tha Pae Road (near Tha Pae Gate), has a wide range of Thai dishes at low prices (30-60 baht for many) and a huge vegetarian selection.
- Re-Feel Café, 48/4-5 Rachavithi Road offers great (cheap) Thai food, good atmosphere, friendly staff and free billiards.
- Sailomjoy Restaurant, 7 Rachadamnoen Road (near Tha Phae Gate) Inexpensive and delicious food (Thai, Western and vegetarian), friendly service, and simple and relaxed atmosphere. Open: Daily 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
- Suthep Road - By the University, past the Canal Road, has dozens of food carts set up every evening around from around 17:00 until about 22:00, with a huge variety of very inexpensive food, and tables set up along the sidewalk.
- Muan Baan, Moon Muang Soi 7 (about 100m in from Moon Muang road, on right) offers a variety of both Thai and Western meals, for breakfast and lunch. The food is excellent & inexpensive, and the owners and staff are very pleasant and helpful. Highly recommended.
- All Star Burgers - budget burgers and western meals Loi Kroh Soi 1 - outside Centerplace Guest House. Great Cocktails, Fruit shakes, Beer and soft drinks. A good range of tasty western meals at budget prices. Delicious burgers start from 59 Baht - Home baked cookies YUM!- free WiFi.
- "Daily Delight" Coffee Shop & Restaurant 119/4 Thapae Rd, ph 053 209070. Great coffee espresso, cappuccino and specialty coffees. A good range of western and Thai food (most dishes 50-65 baht).
- Mike's Hamburger Stand, on the corner of Chaiyapoom Road and Chang Moi Road (along the east side of the moat) and on Nimmanhaemin Road (across from Soi 1) are brightly-lit, "old-school" joints - just stools and a counter in an open shop.
- Woody's Fine Fast Food, 56 Chaiyapoom Road(On the moat road, half-way between Thapae Gate and Spicy Pub, next to the 7/11.), ☎ 0857 229708. Open 5pm to late. Serves Kebabs (Gyros), Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Falafel, Chips (Fries), Beer, Liquor and Soft Drinks. Stays open after most restaurants have closed.(18°47'27.60N,98°59'35.39E)
- Joe Jets Burger Emporiun 237/1 Huay Kaew Road. Great Burgers in a 50's style themed diner.
On the east bank of the Ping River north of Nawarat Bridge is a cluster of restaurants that double up as nightlife spots - see the listings under Drink
- Huen Phen, 112 Ratchamankha Road, specialises in Northern Thai food, and is popular with Thais and foreigners alike. Lunch in the air-conditioned hall is decent enough, but dinner in the profusely decorated old house in the back is little short of magical. Best of all is the price: a bowl of khanom jiin naam ngiaw (Shan-style pork rib noodles), a plate of som tum (green papaya salad) and some sticky rice will still leave you change from 50 baht! Open daily 08:00-15:00 & 17:00-22:00.
- Just Kao Soy - a reasonably priced restaurant with excellent kao soy and vegetarian curry broth.
- Ob Luang - serves genuine Thai-Chinese cuisine at reasonable prices in a secluded garden setting directly on the Ping River. Open daily 10AM-2PM and 5PM-12AM.
- Sila Aat - Located on the southern edge of the Kalare Market (sometimes referred to by farang as the 'Kalare Food Centre'), the Sila-Aat Restaurant offers fresh seafood (fresh on ice or from the huge tanks) as well as a wide selection of Thai and Northern/Lanna specialties. Operated by two sisters, the restaurant has [by far!] the best seafood in Chiang Mai. Open daily from 15:00 to 24:00, the Sila-Aat offers a good selection of Thai and western alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Ghekko Garden Bar and Restaurant - Located opposite the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. Offers good priced Thai food as well as a small western selection. highlights are lemongrass beef and sundried beef. Their chilli crab is also worth a try. Also make wonderful drinks such as mango daquiry. Enquire at the bar blackboard to daily specials.
- Fuji, 1st branch Central Airport Plaza, 2nd branch Panthip Plaza is a great and reasonably priced Japanese restaurant. While perhaps not a special restaurant in that it is not unique to Chiang Mai (it's actually a large chain) for those seeking reasonably priced Japanese food Fuji is a must. Expect to pay 120 baht and up for each dish (for instance a single sushi roll), however there are several spectacular sets that offer great "bang for you buck", for instance the Fuji Sashimi Set which can easily fill a sushi lover for 190 baht.
- Amazing Sandwich, 20/2 Huay Kaew Road (north-west corner of the moat, opposite the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel; plus two other locations)  - choose from a million and one items on their list and they'll build a sandwich for you your way. They also serve breakfasts and have bagels. Open daily 8AM-10PM (Sunday close 4PM).
- El Toro Restaurant & Pub, 5/2 Loi Kroh Road. New Mexico style Mexican food at its finest prepared by experienced cook. Free food 5PM-7PM every Friday.
- O'Malley's Irish Restaurant, Anusarn Market, 149-14/15 Changklan Road +66 53-271921 - international cuisine and Guinness on tap.
- Red Lion English Pub & Restaurant , Loi Kroh Rd, just past McDonald's and Burger King in the Night Bazaar +66 53-818847 - International and Thai food. Draught Guinness and John Smith's.
- The Dukes  +66 53-249231 is located 50 meters north of the Tourism Authority of Thailand office at 49/4-5 Chiang Mai - Lumpoon Road, south of the Narawat bridge on the east side of the Ping River. Excellent American style dishes and desserts - ribs, burgers, pizza, cheesecake, etc. Full bar with local and imported beers and wines. Great family atmosphere, no loud music or entertainment, just good food.
- The Olde Bell: British Pub: Located on Loi Kroh Rd, next to the Raming Lodge Hotel and about 300m from the moat. Modern British cuisine, Indian Curries, Thai and Hill Tribe dishes are served up by attractive bar staff. British and Continental Cheese boards are a speciality of the house. Traditional British Pub Atmosphere: A wide range of beers, ciders and wines are kept in the well stocked bar.
- The Meeting Restaurant & Café, 6/1 Soi 1, Kotchasarn Road. Have a talk with the friendly managers. Closed Sundays.
- Kosher Restaurant, 89/15 Changklan Road (100 m from Empress hotel).
Vegetarian: It can be hard to find safely vegetarian food in Chiang Mai, as fish and oyster sauce are used frequently, and the local Buddist monks themselves often eat fish. (Thus, asking for your dish to be prepared "like the monks," which works in other places, does not get the same results in Chiang Mai.) There are a few completely vegetarian options, however.
- Khun Churn, 120/2 Nimmanhemin Road, Soi 7 +66 53-224124 - Thai vegetarian. Open 9:30AM-2:30PM & 5:30PM-10PM, closed the 16th of every month.
- Taste from Heaven 237 Thapae Rd, Chang klan, Chiang Mai. 053-208803. Thai vegetarian with vegan options. Owned by a friendly English ex-pat, proceeds to go Elephant Nature Park. A short walk or ride from the Night Market, this restaurant offers curries and noodle dishes in a comfortable and clean setting, with both indoor and garden seating
When you come to Chiang Mai you should try a traditional Khantoke dinner and show. This is not just for tourists as the Northern Thai people have been enjoying the Khantoke dinner for centuries. There are also many garden restaurants where you can enjoy an excellent Thai meal in a beautiful setting.
- Baan Rom Mai Garden Restaurant, Changklan Plaza, 191/12 Changklan Road +66 53-820031 /2. Open daily 10:00-midnight.
- Galae Garden Restaurant, at the end of Suthep Road +66 53-278655 / +66 53-811041 - Doi Suthep foothill location at edge of a sparkling reservoir. Thai & Northern Thai food and grilled specialties in delightful outdoors.
- Khum Khantoke, in Chiang Mai Business Park +66 53-304121 - be entertained while you dine on traditional North Thailand Cuisine. Reservations are a good idea to get a good seat. Family style all you can eat 350 baht. Nightly 19:00-22:00.
- Le Grand Lanna Garden Restaurant, 51/3 Sankampaeng Road +66 53-262569 is a must see for its architectural teak splendor. Open daily.
- Old Chiang Mai Culture Center 185/3 Wualai Road +66 53-275097 - the first commercial Khantoke Dinner in Chiang Mai more than 30 years ago. They have the best Northern Thai food of any of the Kantoke establishments however the seating, show and music are not as good as at Khum Khantoke. Nightly 19:00-21:30.
- Palutside Gaad Tawanron Garden Restaurant, on a reservoir. Thai and English food. Wat Fai Hin behind CHiang Mai University, Suthep Road +66 53-216576 / +66 53-216039.
- Saenkham Terrace Garden Restaurant, Clubhouse Ban Naifan 2, 199/163 T. Maehea +66 53-838990 - open daily 11:00-22:00.
- A Star Burgers, Loi Kroh soi 1, Outside Centerplace Guest House, great burgers and snacks at economy prices..Friendly service.
- Alois Bavarian Restaurant, Soi 8, Phrapoklao Road +66 53-278515 - authentic Bavarian specialties - open Tue-Sun, 11:30-23:00.
- Arcobaleno Italian Restaurant, (in front of Watket Temple), ☎ ''+66 53''-306254, . Open lunch & dinner.
- Fillmore East Bar & Grill, Charernrasd Road +66 53-262416 - seating on two dining terraces facing Mae Ping river. Delicious USDA Beef, lamb, veal, chops, burgers. Excellent homemade deserts such as pecan, pumpkin and apple pie with large choice of toppings. The bar is separate from the riverside dining area so you can enjoy a romantic dinner in peace.
- Piccola Roma Palace Italian Restaurant, at corner of Charoenprathet Road & Sri Donchai Road near Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel +66 53-820297 / +66 53-271256 - open lunch & dinner. An unforgettable dining experience amid beautiful surroundings. Serving residents over 15 years.
- The House, 199 Moonmuang Road +66 53-419011 - old 1930's colonial style house in town center. Pacific rim & fusion food. Open 18:00.
- Whole Earth, 88 Sridonchai Road +66 53-282463 - open 11:00-21:00.
(See note about tap water under "Stay Safe" below)
Chiang Mai's nightlife scene is the most happening in the North, although still a far cry from Bangkok's. There are discos, karaoke bars, and live music everywhere. The busiest nightlife zones are near Tapae Gate, Loi Kroh Road and along Charoenrat Road on the eastern bank of the Ping River.
Bars and pubs
Most of Chiang Mai's bars and pubs are located along Loi Kroh Road and Moon Muang Road. Here you can find small expat hangouts, go-go bars and sports bars. Most have pool tables and hostesses, along with music videos or various TV sports programs. Be aware despite their charm and friendliness, the pressure to purchase lady drinks can end up with a very surprising "check bin" (tab) at the end of the night. A few of those similar bars are:
- 2gether Bar, Loi Kroh Soi 1, just one short step beyond Bar 1. Very reasonable prices 20-30% less than others in the neighbourhood, and no pushy "Lady Drink" ripoffs here. Your hostess is the very charming Mai, free pool table but don't expect an easy game if Mai is playing. Great music and interesting mix of more discerning and witty expats PLUS a bevy of beautiful, single female visitors are always dropping by, (including Mai of course!) .
- Crank Tavern, Bottom of Ratchapakinai Road (Near Chiang Mai Gate) +66 819 527699  is a beautifully recycled wood furnished bar with free Internet, great tunes and friendly staff. Now with what are becoming known as the best pub meals in Chiang Mai its a great place to have a meal and spend a relaxing evening. Also home of Crank Adventures (see above) for excellent mountain bike tours and bike hire.
- Half Moon Pub, Soi 2 Moonmuang (around the corner from Topnorth Guesthouse), +66 853 205023, . Open 10am till late, late. Sports bar with many regulars and tourists. Darts & pool area, big TV, really nice international cuisine, especially the burgers but also good Thai & Indian dishes. Excellent (can be loud) music, friendly atmosphere and beautiful women.
- Number One, Loi Kroh Road Soi 1 - friendly bar with free Internet and pool table. Plenty of talkative expats and pretty hostesses.
- Tuskers, Chaiyaphum Soi 1, +66 871 804 665,  - bar and restaurant with a touch of Thai style and international standards of service, free pool table and live sports.
There are also some bars with a different atmosphere:
- Café Souvannaphoum, 20/1 Ratchamankha Road, (near Moon Muang) +66 53 903-781. A decent wine bar with comfortable seating and relaxing music, great escape from the busy street life, open M-Sa: 17:00 - 01:00.
- The Pub 189 Huay Kaew Road (near Amiri Rincome Hotel) +66 53-211550, . long established olde worlde English pub in the true tradition, has had a makeover and extended the bar and the restaurant but kept its charm. Great selection of food and drinks, including roast dinners on Sundays. Has an outside area where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility of a tropical garden, and has recently added bungalows for those wishing to linger longer.
- The Red Lion: Located on Loi Kroh Rd, just past McDonald's and Burger King in the Night Bazaar.Draught Guinnes and John' Smith's bitter. Imported ciders as well as Belgian and German beers. A great place to relax after shopping in the Night Bazaar. Live sports on big screen including Premier League and Formula 1. A good place for watching the activities of the vibrant Night Bazaar,
- The Olde Bell: British Pub. on Loi Kroh Rd (next to the Raming Lodge Hotel and behind the Bank of Ayuthaya foreign exchange booth) in the heart of Chiang Mai's entertainment district, within walking distance of most hotels. Draught beers including Guinness, ciders including Strongbow and a good wine selection as well as Great British food, are the hallmarks of this traditional British Pub with a cosy and friendly atmosphere. Open from 10am for Western and Continental Breakfasts.Monday night is Irish night with various Irish themed promotions, Tuesday: Quiz Night,Wednesday '70's Night & Thursday: British Comedy Night. At the weekend live sports are shown including English football,Rugby, F1, Golf, Tennis and A.F.L. Aussie Rules
West of the city center, the area around Nimmanhaemin Road is a popular hangout for younger Thais, perhaps due to its proximity to Chiang Mai University. The pubs, as they are called here, tend to straddle a fine line between bar, restaurant and nightclub, and feature loud music interspersed with live bands fronted by musicians who are most likely hitting the books in the daytime. Tourists looking for something racier are better off staying in the east side of town. Little English is spoken in this part of town.
- BangRak, Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 6 - hangout spot for a primarily student crowd. Weekend nights are standing-room only and the clubbing atmosphere is complete; weekday nights are a little slower. Well air-conditioned, and no cover charge, but you'll be expected to purchase some drinks. Open 18:00-01:00.
- Mo'C Mo'L, Huay Kaew Road - pub and restaurant near Chiang Mai University, there are many zone in the restaurant: coffee shop, dining outdoor near the small pond, dining indoor with live music.
- Monkey Club, Nimminheimin Road Soi 9 +66 53-226997 -8 - another hot spot for the students, with a variety of live music. Open 17:00-01:00.
- Simmbar - decent prices and good crowd. very nice staff.
- Warm Up Bar This chain bar / restuarnt / club has several venues in Thailand. The venue in Chang Mai is a lot less touristy and the dancehall packed to the brim of Thai students.
The area along the east bank of the Mae Ping River on Charoenrat Road is famous for jazz, rock, pop, Thai and country and western live music, along with restaurants serving Thai, western, and Chinese food. Coming from the center of the city, just walk from the night bazaar across the Narawatt Bridge, from where all the restaurants can be seen along the river on the left.
Most bands in Chiang Mai play for about an hour, and then move on to do the same at another restaurant or pub, so don't be surprised to see the same band twice if you switch venues.
- La Brasserie, 37 Charoenrat Road +66 53-241665 - this riverside venue is not famous for its food, but the music is great, and there's a good selection of cocktails and spirits. Acoustic guitar is played outside (19:00-midnight) while in the bar you can catch the famous Took and friends (23:00-01:00) who play old Hendrix, Dylan, Marley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and other favorites.
- Tha Chang Jazz Club, 25 Charoenrat Road (next to Gallery Restaurant) +66 53-248601 - good for a drink any day, but best visited on Saturdays for live jazz.
- The Chiang Mai Riverside Restaurant, 9-11 Charoenrat Road +66 53-243239 . The live music starts around 19:00 with dinner music from the Eagles, Beatles, or soft jazz. Starting at 21:00, the music changes to more rock and pop songs. Full bar service serving wine, beer, and spirits are available. The restaurant gets very crowded, so get here early to get a table. The Riverside also offers a nightly dinner cruise departing at 20:00 for 70 baht/person extra.
- The Good View, 13 Charoenrat Road +66 53-241886, . Thai and western varieties of rock, jazz, pop and country music entertain in the evening. Their extensive menu offers more than 150 Thai, Chinese, and western dishes, including curries, noodles, rice, and pizza. Soft drinks and a full bar serving wine, beer, and spirits are available. Again, if you want a good, riverside-view table get there early.
- The North Gate, inside the city moat and east of Chang Puak Gate, . The North Gate has easily become one of the most popular, regular destinations for Chiang Mai's young ex pat community. With nightly jazz performances starting around 9:30 PM with different performers and occasional guests from the audience, the North Gate offers something unique to the often repetitious Chiang Mai live music scene. In addition to nightly music performed by true lovers and technicians of jazz, the North Gate offers a variety of drinks not normally found within Chiang Mai- notably red and white wine, mojitos, and other mixed drinks. The staff is quick and efficient and prices are damn cheap!
- Bubbles - B1, Porn Ping Tower, 46 Charoen Prathet Road. Would be just another cheesy hotel disco if not for some good DJs and enthusiastic crowds; now it's a cheesy, packed and fun hotel disco on weekend nights. Cover charge 100 baht including one drink; open until 02:00.
- Hot Shots almost next to Bubbles this is a much more 'Thai' place with live music most nights, cheaper drinks than bubbles and no cover charge for foreigners or locals
- Discovery - opposite Kad Suan Kaew shopping centre and Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. Is a small club with live band, DJ and huge screens showing music videos, good for drinking nights and letting loose. Bring ID/passport as they can be strict with entry especially on weekend nights.
- Spicy is a hectic after hours place with good drinks, dancing and lots of girls looking to party - be warned, they are almost always ask for money. Also be warned of the washroom 'staff' who will provide you with an invigorating massage whilst you are washing your hands or worse when you are at the urinal and then ask for a tip. This club is good fun with a group of friends who'll protect you from middle-aged Thai women coming on to you.
- MandalayYoung Thai crowd. Foreigners pay acover charge - which locals don't. The manager doesn't seek Western tourist business, but if you don't mind dual pricing, this is a great insight into the world of young Thais at play!
Chiang Mai is a popular destination for gay tourists and many gay people have retired here. It has a vibrant gay scene, highlights include:
- Friendship Bar, Thapae Road Soi 1 (between the Peak Climbing wall and D2 Hotel). Small oudoor bar popular with Thai gays, ex pats and tourists alike. 50 baht up for small beer.
- Glass Onion, Room 1 project, 61, Nimmanhaemin Rd., Telephone: 66(0)53218479. Sophisticated wine bar popular with gays, opposite "Warm Up"
- Golden Ball (Bon Tong in Thai), Santitham Road (At Junction with Tewan Road), Chang Phuak Tel: 66(0)53406043, . Northern Thai style outdoor bar and restaurant. Local prices: Drinks start from 45 baht for a large Chang beer. Packed with very friendly staff and fun atmosphere.
- Garden Bar & Restaurant 2/25 Soi Viangbua, Chotana Rd., Chang Puak Telephone: 66 (0)53215376. Outdoor garden bar and restaurant serving Lebanese, Western and Thai food. Popular meeting place for gay ex pats and tourists.
Accommodation in Chiang Mai is generally cheap even by Thai standards. All types of lodging are available from inexpensive guest-houses with little or no service to the typical high rise hotels and elaborate garden resorts. The latest boom is Thai-style boutique resorts located near the old city center - several have been built since mid-2005, and offer excellent service in quiet garden settings; most are fairly small with as few as 8 rooms and a pool, and are decorated with Thai crafts and antiques.
Some of the cheapest accommodation may refuse guests who are not also booking a trekking package. Evenings in Chiang Mai are cooler than Bangkok and the south during the dry season, so air conditioning may be less of a priority
- Baan Lanna Moon Boutique Apartments, (Loi Kroh Soi 2 : See Google map on our website www.lannamoon.com), ☎ +66 53 271169(email@example.com). http://www.lannamoon.com" for inspection and checkin, call at Centerplace Guesthouse Loi Kroh Soi 1. Brand new budget longstay boutique studio apartments. Fully furnished, 5 minutes walk from Night Bazaar and Chiang Mai nightlife, free WiFi, private pool, very quiet and discrete. Monthly rates from 5,000 Baht Daily 600 Baht when available.
- Baan Sammi Nature Resort, ☎ +66 89-6339517(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Lake-front bungalows, pavilions and chalets in a quiet rural area, 10 miles northeast of Chiang Mai, with natural swimming pond, private rooms with shared bathroom from 190 Baht/night, free wireless internet.(18.8356681,99.1077518)
- Backpacker House, ☎ +66 53-811700 or +66 81-9939911, . Simple lodging near the airport and university. 6-bed dorms (en-suite and hot water) 170 baht/person; standard rooms from 560-720 baht including breakfast.
- Baan Kwanta, Soi 8, Jedyord-Uyen Road, Changpheuk(1.2 km. from Chiang Mai University), ☎ +66 869-713-054(email@example.com), . A brand new apartment (en-suite with hot water) opened in Jan 2008. This place is suitable for quiet and non-smoking residents.From 500 baht per day or 2,600 - 3,200 baht per month.
- Ban Kong Rao Boutique Guesthouse(http://www.bankongrao.com/), 2, Soi 4, Morakot rd, Chang Puak(near Santitham roundabout, one-minute walk from ITM), ☎ (+66)53 404 909(firstname.lastname@example.org), . A friendly, family-run boutique guesthouse with a taste.Check the web site.
- Ben Guesthouse, 4/4, 4/11 Chiangmai-Lamphun Rd, Soi 2 Muang, . Very friendly staff200 baht a room. Good food. Free bikes! Fun, but not touristy location..
- Brick Road Cafe/Restaurant, 141/8 Ratchadamnoen Rd(opposite U Chiang Mai Hotel, 20 mins from airport,train or bus station), ☎ +66 053272012(email@example.com). checkout: 12 midday. Gay owned but mixed clientèle. From 100 baht to 250 baht a night.100-250baht. Restaurant/Guest house.
- Centerplace Guest House, 17/2 Loi Kroh Soi 1(100 metres down Loi Kroh Soi 1 on right hand side, 15 mins from airport,train and bus station), ☎ +66 053 271169(firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 1pm or earlier if room clear; checkout: 12 midday. Friendly, clean and centrally located 5 minutes stroll to nightlife, restaurants and Night Bazaar.from 200 baht.
- Eagle House, 16 Changmoi Gao Road, Soi 3, ☎ +66 53-874126(fax: +66 53''-874366), .
- Golden Fern Guest House, 20 Soi 8 Thanon Phra Pokklao (southeast inner moat), ☎ +66 53-277665, .
- Green Tulip Guest House, 18 Samlan Road(near Wat Phrasing), ☎ +66 53-278367, . Brand new guest house with a restaurant, roof top garden, Internet café and large screen TV in the lobby. Beautifully decorated and designed with elegant wood floors throughout the building. Choice of fan and air-con rooms with shared or private bathrooms.250-650 baht.
- Hollanda Montri Guesthouse, 365 Charoenrat Road (bit north on same road as The Riverside and Good View) +66 53-242450  - family style guesthouse with a tropical garden on the banks of the Mae Ping River, 10 minutes from the center of town by taxi. Fan/air-con rooms 500 baht.
- Home Place Hotel, 9 Soi 6 Tapae Road. +66 53-276468 offers double-bed rooms and twin-bed rooms with fan or air-con (250-450 baht). All rooms have hot shower and cable television. It's very clean and staff is quite friendly.
- Julie Guesthouse, 7/1 Prapokklao Road Soi 5, +66 53-274355  - familiar and chilly Guesthouse located in a quiet part of the Old City 5 minutes from Tha Phae Gate. Fan rooms with or without bathroom (100-300 baht), restaurant (Thai and Western Food) and Adventure-Tour specialized travel agency.
- Kavil Guesthouse, 10/1 Ratchadamnoen Road Soi 5 +66 53-224740 - A family run guesthouse on a popular, but quiet lane. Fan and air-con rooms, all with bathrooms and hot water. Walking distance to many tourist sites including the Sunday Walking Street and Wat Phra Singh. On-site "no-pressure" tour agency available for booking treks, cooking classes, and other activities. Wi-Fi available as well as good western breakfasts and Thai food. Rooms start at 180 baht per night.
- Marlboro/Joe Guest House, 138 Sithiwongse Road +66 53-2325989  - clean and cheap guest house, more like a small family run hotel that really makes you feel at home.
- Pachkit House, 8/1 Arak Road Soi 7  - Clean family-run guesthouse/apartment in the Old City. 15 minutes walk to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital and Central Kad Suan Kaew Department Store. Bathroom in every room with hot/cold shower; each room has fridge, TV with cable and free 1024 Kbps ADSL hook-up. There are also a few computers for free Internet use in the café next to reception. Rates from 650-850 baht/day with daily cleaning and sheet change, monthly rental rate also available (starting at 4500 baht). Can be quite noisy, especially in the mornings, due to a large number of barking dogs in the neighborhood.
- Rendezvous Guesthouse & Café, (3/1 Rajchadamnoen Road Soi 5 : See Google map on our website www.rendezvouscm.com), ☎ +66 53 213763 or +66 53 419009(email@example.com, fax: 66 53 217229). http://www.rendezvouscm.com" Very nice family run guesthouse (Preecha and Juliwaan). Both fan and air-con rooms, all with refrigerator, cable TV, balcony, 24 hour WiFi and ensuite bathroom. Wonderful convenient location just off the Sunday Walking Market Street inside the old city near the Thapae Gate. Delicious food both Thai / Western (good steak also) and excellent coffee / espresso. Restaurant open 7 am till 10 pm but closes early Sundays. Great place to book quality tours since owner has been in business over 30 years and knows the better operators. Quiet lane directly overlooking Wat Samphow (วัดสำเภา) with motorbike rental and laundry service nearby. Staff is very friendly and owner speaks good English, German and some French also.
- Tawan Court, 15/1 Charoenprathet Road, ☎ 66 (53) 284 212 to 9(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 66 (53) 284 221), . Small family-run hotel. Free Wi-Fi.
- The Garden Guesthouse Chiang Mai, 139 Rachadamnorn Road, T. Pra Singh +66 84-8098768,  is situated in the center of the old town. Live music nights including "The Chiang Mai Blues Club"  every wednesday at 8:30 PM. Free use of their PC, Internet and Wi-Fi for customers.
- The Royal Guest House, Kothchasarn Road, Soi 4 T.ChangKarn, A.Muang +66 53-282460 .
- Top North Guest House, 15 Moon Muang Road, Amphur Muang +66 (0) 5327 8684  is situated just inside the city walls. Old but clean rooms, internet cafe, ticket office and a bar represent excellent vaue for money (Twin room without a/c 400-500bht).
- Wanasit Guesthouse, 6 Ratchamankha Road Soi 8  - modern, clean guesthouse located in a quiet alley in the historical centre next to the Wat Phra Singh temple.
- Wild Orchid Guesthouse, Loh Kroh Road, near The Saloon - Very clean and comfortable rooms with cable TV, fan, free wifi from 250 Baht single or 300 Baht double. Friendly owners, daily cleaning. We stayed a week here, was the best wifi connection we've had in a long time.
- Yourhouse Guesthouse 8 Soi 2 Ratvithi Road +66 53-217492  - traditional Thai teak wooden house, conveniently situated in a small lane in the old part of Chiang Mai, just a 5-minute walk from Tha Phae Gate. Excellent restaurant, and offers a variety of traveller services (e.g. tickets, visas). Very friendly staff. Offer TAT-licenced treks.
- Smile House Guest House(+66-53-800-567-8) located in the heart of old city offer economical cost accommodations, clean and comfortable. Near by Thapae Gate and within 200 meters walking distance of Chiang Mai walking street and 5-10 minutes to the famous night bazaar. Our swimming pool sits adjacent under the shade of a big tree and beautifully decorated garden. (400-700 baht)
- Parami Guesthouse +66-53-266-139  - A small cosy family run B & B Guesthouse with travel agency and massage studio. Rooms from Bath 300 per night. TAT (Tourist Authority Thailand) -licensed travel agency.
- 3Sis Bed and Breakfast, 1 Soi 8 Phrapokklao Road, ☎ +66 53-273243(email@example.com), . Opened in early 2006, this quiet guesthouse with friendly staffs is right in the middle of the old city. Clean, very comfortable, and tastefully furnished in contemporary Thai style. Bed and breakfast from 1000 baht, vacation lodge from 1650 baht (rooms are much nicer and worth the extra money, discount possible).
- Affordable Chiang Mai, Huay Kaew Road +66 48-098768  is a comfortable, clean and convenient place to stay. One month stay from USD320, including motorbike.
- Baan Orapin, 150 Charoenrat Road +66-16164016  - this "boutique B&B" with just 6 rooms is in beautifully restored old Thai house set in a small garden. Air-con, hot water and far more character than any other hotel in this price range. Walking distance to the Night Bazaar and the riverside restaurants. Rates from 1600 baht for a double.
- Bossotel Chiang Mai, 10/4 Soi Railway Road(next to the Railway Station), ☎ +66 (0) 5324 9045-8(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +66 (0) 5324 9099), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. THB 1200 and up.
- Central Duangtawan Hotel, 132 Loi Kroh Road, . Excellent four-star hotel with Internet rates at affordable prices and the night market at your doorstep. However Internet connection speed there is terribly slow. Probably a little cheaper than similar competitors as it's in the red-light district, but the area seems quite safe and the hotel is of very high quality.
- Centre of the Universe, Chang Khian (near Phucome Hotel and Lanna Muay Thai Boxing School) . With only 3 detached Thai-style bungalows in a private garden, this has to be the smallest boutique hotel with the biggest swimming pool in Chiangmai. Very quiet and a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown, yet only 15 minutes from the city centre. Very friendly and helpful staff. 1,200 Baht (low season) includes breakfast. Each room has aircon, TV, WiFi, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities. There are 3 swimming pools - a 25 metre lap pool, a junior pool for children, and a shallow pool for toddlers.
- Chiang Mai Gate Hotel, 11/10 Suriyawong Road (south of the moat) +66 53-203895 -9 
- Elliebum, 114/3-4 Rachamakka, www.elliebum.com, +66 53-814723, email@example.com . Friendly boutique guesthouse and coffee shop in the historical city. Beautifully furnished, spacious, spotlessly clean, air conditioned, en-suite twin or double rooms. Rates 1000 to 1400 baht, breakfast included.
- Hub53 is located along Kan Klong Chon Pra Tan Road. It is a five-minute walk to Nimman Haemin Road, which is popular for its nightlife, and Chiang Mai University. It has seven (7) air-conditioned rooms that has handsome wood furniture, cable TV, coffee/ tea maker, hair dryer, room safe, telephone, keycard access, and refrigerator, a balcony, private toilet and bath with hot shower, free Wi-Fi Internet connection, and a free English newspaper daily. Address: 53 Kan Klong Chon Pra Tan Road, Suthep, Chiang Mai, Mueang, Thailand. Phone Number: 66 89 118 8810. Price: THB 1,100
- Lai-Thai Guest House, 111/4-5 Kotchasarn Road, Chiang Mai 50100(200 m. south of Thapae Gate, 5 min. to Night Bazzar), ☎ +66 53-271725 or +66 53-206438(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +66 53 27 27 24), . A large northern Thai style guesthose with hotel-like facitities and services. All 110 air-conditioned rooms en suit with hot shower are decorated with traditional wooden floors and bamboo walls, equiped with minibar, cable & satellite TV. Its swimming pool and restuarant are popular hangout for travelers and families. Other services are sight-seeing & trekking tour, Thai massage and free Wi-Fi throughout the place. Rates from 500.- to 780.-Baht, family rooms available.
- Lotus Hotel, 2/25 Viangbua Road, Tambol Chang-Phuak, +66 53-215376  advertises itself as "The Hub of Chiang Mai's Premier Gay Entertainment Center" (sic). Rooms are individually decorated and have air-con, TV, radio, 'phone, 'fridge, and safe; rates 900-2500 baht.
- Pornping Tower, 46-48 Charoenprathet Road +66 53-270099 (fax: +66 53-270119)  offers not only an amusing name, but slowly fading grandeur at affordable prices. Located near the Night Bazaar, the hotel has a pool and the Bubbles disco, among the most popular in Chiang Mai - and a source of some noise pollution if trying to sleep. The newer and quieter Tower Wing is a bit more expensive than the older Front Wing. 1,000 baht and up (with breakfast).
- Raming Lodge, 17-19 Loi Kroh Road, T. Chang Klan, A. Muang +66 53-271777 (fax: +66 53-270039)  - great boutique hotel between the night market and the old city. Unique Lanna architecture. Recently added a new swimming pool right outside the hotel by the car park. Food at the restaurant is reasonably priced as are the massages (Thai massage 300 baht/hour). Great place to stay with prices starting at 1,800 baht (Internet rates start at 75 baht/hour).
- River View Lodge, 25 Charoenprathet Road Soi4 +66 53-271109-10  - overlooking the Ping River. All rooms are twin, decorated in Northern Thai style with individually controlled air-conditioning. Private shower, telephone and personal safe. Has a beautiful tropical garden with several intimate pavilions, patios and riverside swimming pool. Less than 10 minutes Walking distance to the Night Bazaar. Rates from 1,450 baht for River Side room with balcony.
- Sri Pat Guesthouse, 16 Soi 7 Moon Muang Rd +66 53-218 716
Nice guesthouse close to the city centre. Rooms start at 900 Bath, have air conditioning, TV, private shower, fridge and a little balcony. Basic breakfast is available for an extra 100 Bath. Try getting a room on the street side, since the other side has a water pump working in the night which can be annoying in some rooms.
- Scorpion Tailed Boat Village,Riverside Resort,381/1 Near Farham Temple,Charoen Rad Rd.,T.Wat ket A.muang Chiang Mai 50000 +66 53 245888,+66 81 9609398[]The good one Riverside resort in Chiang mai just a few minutes’ walk from many of the top local tourist attractions, including the revered Night Bazaar, the Ping River’s shop houses, and Warorot Market and the nearby flower market.Scorpion Tailed boat village It s a wonderful place to stay. It s located along the river. The surrounding is so tranquil with green trees and nice flowers. The room is clean and customer friendly. There is also a clever dog, quite funny. The price is not high. It' s a nice place with good combination of quality and price. , these countrified bungalows are located. The Thai cabins are formed like a boat , the park win over thanks to the calm, intimate atmosphere and the traditional tranquillity.Rate from 1,200Bht.-2,500 Bht. Excursions along the Ping River by Scorpion Tailed Boat River Cruise.
- TaNiTa (Riverside) Resort, 25/2 Moo 3, Chonpatan Road, A. Sarapee +66 81-8846334 (fax: +66 53-892110)  - Northern Lanna Thai style from teak with beautiful garden a hotel mainly visited by foreign tourists because very quiet and private place, in a good location between the Ping River and Baan Tawai. Some rooms offer wonderful mountain and river views. It's a good mid-range option with prices starting at 1,200 baht for River Side room with balcony.
- YMCA International Hotel, 11 Mengrairasmi Semsuk Road +66 53-221819  - tucked away in an area northwest of the moat, the hotel is just a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride away from the Night Bazaar and many tourist venues.
- Smile House Boutique (+66-53-800-567-8) a ‘wooden’ house which is simply decorated to create sense of simplicity that brings you an amazingly peaceful atmosphere. The rooms are beautifully decorated and in an economical cost. Only 150 meters to the Chiang Mai Gate and Saturday (Wua Lai Street) walking street. (700-1200 baht)
- Chedi Chiang Mai, 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 +66 (0) 53 253 333  - a new stylish, modern design hotel located on the banks of the Mae Ping River on the grounds of the former British Consulate. Just a short walk from the Night Market and close to the inner city. 84 deluxe rooms and club suites, all with a private courtyard it also features a fitness and health club, 2 bars, a restaurant featuring Thai, Indian and Western cuisine, a spa and an outdoor swimming pool. Rates start at 10,400 baht.
- dusitD2 chiang mai, 100 Chang Klan Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 +66 5399 9999  - just outside the city walls right next to the Night Bazaar, probably more convenient than the Oriental or Four Seasons a way outside of town. Most of the sights are within walking distance (not a short walk, but a comfortable walk). Rates over 3,000 baht.
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road +66 53-298181 (fax: +66 53-298189)  - set in the lush and tranquil countryside amid working paddy fields and water buffalo (the downside of this being, obviously, a less than central location). Featuring a spa and Thai cooking classes within its grounds, if it wasn't for all the mystical temples and fabulous bargains to be found within Chiang Mai, you might never want to leave. If you can afford it, look into the residences, otherwise the garden rooms are equally spectacular and well worth the 17,000 baht they start at - if you can foot the bill.
- Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai, 108 Chang Klan Road · Tambol Chang Klan, , +66(53) 253 666, Just 7km from Chiang Mai International Airport, 384 guestrooms, Each room overlooks Doi Suthep Mountain.
- Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew, 21 Huay Kaew Road (northwest corner of the moat)  - rates 2000-6000 baht.
- Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, 51/4 Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng Road Moo 1 T. Tasala A. Muang +66 53-888888  - done in the traditional Lanna style of Northern Thailand, this resorts spreads across 60 acres of serene, natural landscapes, incorporating picturesque rice paddies, tropical hardwoods and exotic plantations. The resorts also includes a spa, cooking class, kids club, fitness center, as well as a cultural center. It's truly a unique experience, but the resort caused some local controversy when it built a 'fake' temple based on one of Thailand's most holy sites in its grounds.
- Pacific Mansion (long-term-splurge), 16 Hassadhisewee Road, T.Changphuak (northwest of the moat) +66 53-404515  is within walking distance of the "Central" shopping mall and a ten-minute tuk-tuk ride away from the Night Bazaar. Popular with many Japanese tourists.
- Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel, 104/1, Charoen Muang soi 2, Charoen Muang Rd., T. Wat Gate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 +66 (0) 53 302898  - Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel is a small luxury property, set amidst the backdrop of Chiang Mai’s rich architectural history, inspired by traditional Lanna design and fused with contemporary Oriental- colonial styles. The hotel has 30 rooms designed to complement the proximate natural aesthetics of Wat Gate while respecting the time-honored techniques of northern architects. Puripunn Hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from many of the top local tourist attractions, including the revered Night Bazaar, the Ping River’s shop houses, and Warorot Market and the nearby flower market.
- Viangbua Mansion (long-term-splurge), 3/1 Viangbua Road, Chang Puek, Muang +66 53-411202  - offers deluxe serviced apartments for daily, weekly and monthly rental. Perhaps one of the most expensive housing options in the city at a monthly rate of 12,000 - 100,000 baht, but they do offer a wide range of services and some degree of security. Located in a somewhat remote northwest area of the city.
- Lannawadee The Granary Resort, On Ping River bank, San pe sua Rd., Muang district, Chiang Mai 50300 +66 (0) 53 110 833, (0) 53 110 834  - All our houses are made from teak wood. The furniture and accessories have been carefully and lovingly handcrafted in an antique style. All houses are built in the authentic Lanna style of old rice granaries (storehouse). These two storey houses are our guestrooms and are our way of keeping alive the beauty of our Lanna architectural heritage. Stroll in the lush, beautiful garden, smell the gorgeous orchids and many, many other varieties of Thai flowers. Lounge by our lovely swimming pool right next to the Ping River. Rates 3,750-6,650 baht(nett) incl. Breakfast, Airport transfer, Tax and Vat.
- U Hotels, U Chiang Mai, 70 Rachadamnoen Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, ☎ +66 53 327 000(info@@uhotelsresorts.com), . Deluxe hotels in Thailand of the U Hotels Group.
Tap water is generally not potable. Liquids from sealed bottles nearly always are, and should be used wherever possible. Take care in restaurants and bars...some may use untreated/unsafe tap water to make ice for drinks that otherwise have bottled/safe ingredients. Some residents claim that ice with round holes is made by commercial ice makers who purify their water; others state that it is wise not to rely on that claim. Tap water in most hotels should not be used for drinking or brushing teeth unless explicitly labeled as safe.
Chiang Mai, like most of Thailand, is quite safe, even at night. The dark streets can look forbidding but crime is rare and visitors shouldn't worry unduly. As always, travellers should take extra care in all poorly lit or more remote areas.
Unfortunately some scams from Bangkok have started to rear their ugly heads in Chiang Mai as well. Two in particular are worth watching out for: the gem scam, where you are talked into buying near-worthless gems at far above their real value; and the tuk-tuk scam, where a smooth-talking tuk tuk driver tells you that the attraction you want to see is closed, and instead offers you a sightseeing tour for 20 baht (or some similarly unrealistic number) - needless to say, the tour will either consist of nothing but overpriced gift shops, or will smoothly segue into the gem scam. See Bangkok | Stay safe for more details.
Many guesthouses, hotels, cafes, shopping malls, and even swimming pools, offer WiFi connections. These are usually free or available for a small charge. If you are travel with your laptop you should be able to connect to the Internet within a 500 metre radius of your Chiangmai city-based accommodation at little or no cost.
Internet Cafes abound and can be found everywhere within the City. Prices vary from 10 baht/hour (in "gaming" places filled with local kids) to 60 baht/half-hour (2 baht/minute) and up. Most places charge per 15 or 30 minute block, others by the minute. The cheapest and most comfortable places with fast connections, webcam, microphone and Skype, can be found along Huay Kaew Road near the main entrance to Chiangmai University, where the cost is 10-15 Baht per hour.
- Crank Tavern, 3/2 Ratchapakinai Rd. (Near Chiang Mai Gate). Internet is free if you by a drink. They have fast ADSL equipped with Skype and you will be in comfortable surroundings. Also good for bike hire and tours.
- Buddy Internet, 12 Huaykaew Road (Northweast corner of the moat, opposite the Central Department Store), Tel: 053 404 550. Open 08:00-midnight.
- Main Post Office - Charoenmuang Road. Tel: 053 241070, 053 245376.
- Phra Sing Post Office - Singharat Road (a three-minute walk south of Wat Phra Singh)
- Directory enquiry service: 183/1133
- International and domestic operator assisted service: 100
- Overseas dial-out code: 001
- AT&T International operator for collect calls: 001 999 11111
- Chiangmai Mail - English; weekly
- Police - emergencies: 191
- Police - Tourist: 1155, 053-278559
- Fire: 053-241777
- Rescue Team: 053-218888
Embassies & consulates
- Australia, 165 Sirimungklajarn, T. Suthep, A.Muang, +66 53-219726 or +66 53-400232 / +66 53-221083 (fax: +66 53-219726).
- Bangladesh, 95 Huay Kaew Road, T. Suthep, A.Muang +66 53-53 212373 - 4 (fax+66 53-53 223524).
- China, 111 Changlo Road, Haiya District, +66 53 -276125, 272197, 200424 (admin office) (fax: +66 53-274614) email@example.com.
- Finland, 104-112 Thapae Road, +66 53-234777.
- Germany, Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, 199/163 Moo 3, Baan Nai Fun2, Kan Klong Chonpretan Road, Tambon MaeHia, tel+fax: +66 53-838735.
- Great Britain, British Consulate, 198 Bumrungraj Roadm +66 53-263015 (fax: +66 53-263016) firstname.lastname@example.org.
- India, 344 Charoenprathet Road, +66 53-243066 (fax: +66 53-247879),
- Japan, Airport Business Park, 90 Mahidol Rd. T.Haiya, A. Muang +66 53-203367 (fax: +66 53-203373).
- South Africa, 2nd Floor Chiang Inn Hotel, 100 Changklan Road, Amphor Muang +66 53-270070-6 (fax: +66 53-274299 / mobile: +66-1 8412629).
- South Korea, V Group Building, 3rd Floor, 50 Huay Kaew Road,Tambon Chang Puak, Amphoe Mueang +66 5322-3119 Ext : 206,210 (fax: +66 53-22-5661). 
- Sweden, Svenska Konsulatet i Chiang Mai, 11 Sermsuk Road, Mengrairasmi, +66 53-220844 (fax: +66 53-210877).
- USA, American Consulate General, 387 Witchayanond Road, +66 53-252629 (fax: +66 53-252633), .
- Chiang Dao - an hour north of the city, and a good starting point for treks into the mountains
- Doi Inthanon National Park  - boasts the highest peak in Thailand (2,565m), 60km southwest of Chiang Mai
- Lampang - urban Northern Thailand without the commercialism, 100km southeast of Chiang Mai
- Lamphun - a scenic town with a long history and a longan festival, 26km southeast of Chiang Mai
- Mae Hong Son - a picturesque little town with lush valleys, rocky streams and a lake
- Nan - the former capital of a small kingdom filled with history and temples and surrounded by mountains
- Mai Sei - Tachilek - 6 hours from Chiang Mai on the Thai-Myanmar border lie Mai Sei (Thailand) and Tachilek (Myanmar) best known for their border markets. Myanmar charges 500 Baht or 10 USD for a 15 day non transit visa to cross from Thailand to Myanmar.
This page was last edited at 23:34, on 27 March 2009 by Wikitravel user Chiangmaichimes. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Dmitriy Baranov, Matias and Alice Young, Wikitravel user(s) Katmanpu, Deano1960 and Thaiyaioo, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.