the “Rose of the North”

CHIANG MAI

C

hiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai culture coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old pagodas and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city center as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city. Strangely, for many years tourists had mistaken Chiang Mai simply as the base from which they could plan trekking and rafting trips to hill tribe villages and explore other provinces. Once in Chiang Mai, however, tourists are surprised by the fact that there are so many things to discover other than its beautiful and historic temples. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes, a number of elephant camps, many cooking and massage schools, numerous outdoor activities, a variety of handicrafts workshops, various cultural performances, and breathtaking scenery make Chiang Mai one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations. (credit: Tourismthailand)

Hotels

Useful info

POPULATION
175,000 (estimated, 2010)

population

WHAT TO WEAR

Chiang Mai has a tropical climate influenced by monsoons . Rainy season is from May to October. Average temperatures stay around 30C throughout the year. DRESS CODE: light cotton clothing, comfortable shoes, sandals, hat, sunglasses. When visiting temples it is advisable to dress modestly and wear shirts with sleeves. Some classy venues such as restaurants require a smart casual attire.

SHOPPING

Chiang Mai has a great variety of shopping: local markets, shops and shopping malls. Most shopping malls open at 10 am to 10 pm.

NO SMOKING, PLEASE

In Thailand smoking is forbidden in all temples, public transport, airports (they may have designated smoking areas), train and bus stations, indoor public places including office buildings, hospitals, restaurants, shops.

TIPS

Tip is discretionary and up to you, of course gratuities for a good service are appreciated.