Travellers Choice magazine has awarded Chiang Mai a top five position in the ‘best destinations’ category for Thailand, ranking this large and welcoming city as one of the most popular places to be according to TripAdvisor travellers.
Known as the friendliest city in the ‘land of smiles’, Chiang Mai is well equipped to wow the crowds, with an abundance of classy accommodation, trendy nightspots, charming natural sites, glorious spas and adventure activities to enjoy.
Accommodation in Chiang Mai is available at rates far lower than in Bangkok and for this reason, it is accessible to backpackers as well as the more sophisticated traveller. From the centre of the city to the outlying areas, you will always find somewhere suitable to hang your hat and it is easy to get around by renting a motorbike, or taking a songthaew – Chiang Mai’s unique answer to the taxi.
The city centre bustles with day and night markets, bars, and restaurants serving… you got it – delicious Thai food. This area is not devoid of cultural sights either, with chedis, old pagodas and temples peeking out amongst the city hubbub, such as Wat Prasingh, towering at the end of Rachadamnoen Road.
As you move towards the outskirts of the city, you will come across charming riverside hotels on the banks of the Mae Ping River. These are a great place to stay if you want quick access to both the city and country attractions of Chiang Mai, while enjoying superb river-views and the option of hopping aboard a range of cruises.
The countryside is where you will find most of the large temples, monuments and crumbling ruins that you came to Thailand to see, like Wat Prathat Doi Suthep with its magnificent seated Buddha, which is one of the most visited Tourist sites in the country.
An added bonus of staying in the country is the tranquillity of untouched nature and glorious scenery, along with getting to enjoy the company of uncomplicated rural folk who will welcome you with a natural unaffected hospitality.