General Information ††† Experiencing the merging of the past into the present in Chiang Mai where locals are proud of the city's 700-year history. Its rich traditional heritage and unique culture is a perfect foundation for the development of the city. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to find in the heart of the city centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. The original city layout still exists as a neat square surrounded by a moat with vestiges of the fortified wall and its four main gates offering prime access to the old town.
For years, tourists have mistaken Chiang Mai as the northern junction and the base from which they can explore other provinces. The phrase "a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around" was common. Today, tourists are surprised by the fact that there is always something new to discover Chiang Mai. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes coupled with breathtaking scenery makes Chiang Mai one of Asia's most attractive tourist destinations. Two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for serious travelers.
The old city of Chiang Mai with its fascinating indigenous cultural identity such as diverse dialects, cuisine, architecture, traditional values, festivals, handicrafts and classical dances is a prime location in its own right. In addition, the presence of hill tribes and their wealth of unique cultures enhance Chiang Mai's distinctive diversity.
Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources of mountains (dois), waterfalls, and other nature-based tourist attractions. At the same time, Chiang Mai residents are warm, gracious and congenial providing authentic hospitality making visits memorable and meaningful. Moreover, visitors from all walks of life can collect handicrafts of silk, silver and wood produced locally as timeless souvenirs. Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy themselves to the fullest.
The Past Chiang Mai literally means new city and has retained the name despite having celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai founded the city as the capital of the Lanna (A Million Rice Fields) Kingdom on Thursday, 12th April 1296 during the same period of time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai the Great conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded.
From then, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also the centre of Buddhism in northern Thailand. King Meng Rai himself was very religious and founded many of the city's temples, which are still important today.
At the height of its power, the Lanna Kingdom extended its territory far into Burma and Laos, and southwards to Kamphaeng Phet a province above Sukhothai.
The Burmese conquered the Lanna Kingdom in 1556 ending the dynasty founded by King Meng Rai that lasted over 250 years. As Burma had occupied Chiang Mai for nearly 200 years, Burmese architectural influences are visible in many temples. At the end of the 18th century, King Taksin the Great regrouped the Thais in the south and finally drove the Burmese out with the help of King Kawila of Lampang thereby regaining Thai independence from Burma. Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. In the late 19th century, King Rama V appointed a high commissioner in Chiang Mai and it was only in 1939 that Chiang Mai finally came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok the same time the country was renamed Thailand.
In the past, Chiang Mai was only accessible by river and elephants. More convenient access was achieved only when the railway line was completed in the late 1920's. Moreover, the first motor vehicle driven directly from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai in 1932. Such isolation was more favorable to Chiang Mai as it helped to nurture and preserve the unique Lanna culture.
When we look at Chiang Mai today, it is the economic, cultural and communications hub of northern Thailand complete with excellent infrastructure, good roads, by passes and road tunnels, and reliable communications infrastructure.
How To Get There
By Car from Bangkok (approximately 8 hours)
Route 1: Drive on Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin) and turn left to Highway No.32 (Asian Highway) which passes Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, and Nakhon Sawan, then take Highway No. 117 to Phitsanulok and Highway No. 11 to Lampang, Lamphun and Chiang Mai. The total distance is 695 kilometers.
Route 2: From Nakhon Sawan, take Highway No. 1 passing Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Lampang, and Chiang Mai. Total distance is 696 kilometers.
There are ordinary, 2nd class and 1st class air-conditioned buses leaving for Chiang Mai daily (8.00 a.m. to 09.00 p.m.) from the Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal). Call 02 936 3600, 02 936 2852, and 02 937 8055 for a more updated bus timetable. Private buses, which can be conveniently booked in tourist-oriented places in Bangkok, are also available. However, the public buses from the Northern Bus Terminal are generally more reliable. The journey takes approximately 10-12 hours, depending on traffic.
From Chiang Mai
If you travel to any districts in Chiang Mai, use Chang Phuak Bus Terminal located on Chotana Road, tel. 053 211 586. Destinations include those located along the northern route (Highway No. 107) which passes through Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Chiang Dao, Chaiprakan, Fang and Mae Ai. Some buses continue to Tha Ton, the northern-most province of Chiang Mai.
If you wish to travel outside the province, use Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station. Contact tel: 0 5324 2664 for a more updated bus timetable. Destinations include Golden Triangle, Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Lampang, Lamphun, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Mae Hong Son (both old and new routes), Mae Sot, Mae Sariang, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat), and Udon Thani.
Express and rapid trains operated by the State Railways of Thailand leave for Chiang Mai from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong Station 6 times a day from 8.00 a.m.-10.00 p.m. The trip takes about 11-12 hours for express trains. For more information, contact tel. 1690, or 02 223 7010, 02 223 7020. Chiang Mai Railway Station, tel. (053) 24 2094, 244 795, .247 462 245 363-4
Domestic airlines including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Nok Air, Orient Thai Airlines, Air Andaman and Phuket Air operate several flights daily between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Thai Airways also operates domestic flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Phuket. International flights to and from Chitakong, Luang Phrabang, Khunming, Yangon and Japan (Narita) are also provided. Call 02 628 2000 (Bangkok), 053 211 044-7 (Chiang Mai), or visit www.thaiairways.com for more information.
Bangkok Airways also offers several flights daily on the Bangkok - Chiang Mai route, some with a stopover at Sukhothai. International routes to and from Jinghong and XiAn are also available. Call 02 265 5555, 265 5678 (Bangkok Office) or 053 27 6176 (Chiang Mai Office) or visit www.bangkokair.com for more information.
Phuket Air offers 2 daily shuttle service flights from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with YS-11 aircraft. The journey takes only 40 minutes and the flight times are at 07.30 a.m. and 6.00 p. m. For more information, call Bangkok Office 66 2679-8999 or Chiang Mai Office 66 5392 2118-9 or visit www.phuketairlines.com.
For Nok Air call 1318 or visit www.nokair.co.th for reservations. Apart from Bangkok-Chiang mai flight, the airlines also operate flights between Chiang mai and Udon Thani twice aweek.
For Orient Thai Airlines, call 02 267 2999 or visit www.orient-thai.com†for more information.
Foreign Airlines operating flights from Chiang Mai to several destinations are:
Air Mandalay operates flights between Chiang Mai and Yangon on Sundays and Thursdays. Contact 053 818 049 (Chiang Mai office), visit www.myanmars.net/airmandalay or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mandarin Airlines operates flights between Chiang Mai and Taipei three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information call, 053 201 268-9 (Chiang Mai office) or visit www.mandarinair.com
Lao Airlines operates flights on the Chiang Mai Luang Phrabang route three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 223 401 (Chiang Mai office), visit www.laoairlines.com or write to email@example.com for more information.
Silk Air operates flights between Chiang Mai Singapore three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Call 053 276 459 053 276 495 (Chiang Mai office) or visit www.silkair.com for reservations.
Travelling within Chiang Mai
From Airport, Train and Bus Terminal to town
There is a licensed airport taxi service available at the taxi kiosk outside the baggage-claim area. Purchase a ticket and present it to the drivers waiting by the arrivals exit area. The trip will cost approximately 100 bahts for a sedan car that seats 4-5 people (with luggage).
From the airport, train station and bus terminal, you can easily get a song taew (red mini-bus). To charter a minibus or car, please check the correct fare at the TAT counter first.
Normally, first-class hotels provide complimentary transportation between the airport, railway station or bus terminals and the hotel for guests who have made advance reservations.
1. For relative short distances you can take a sam lor or tuk-tuk (a tricycle). Fares must be bargained in advance. Short rides within the city costs between 20 and 30 bahts. Longer rides may cost as much as 50 bahts.
2. Just new in town is the taxi-metre, the same as those running around Bangkok. The minimum (starting) fare is 35 bahts.
3. Song taew (red mini-bus) is the most common means of transportation in town. Passengers can hop in and out as they wish. Simply tell the driver the destination and negotiate the price before boarding. Fares range from 10-20 bahts depending on the distance.
Some travelers prefer to ride a bicycle around the city as most of the roads and alleys are accessible by bicycle. Bicycles can be rented from bicycle shops and certain guesthouses.
5. Rental cars
All major car rental companies such as AVIS, Budget, and Hertz, as well as Thai car rental companies are ready to provide suggestions on travel itineraries. The easiest way to locate a car rental company is to ask at the airport or the hotel, as those are the places where most companies are located.
Chiang Mai roads are in good condition with signs posted in English. Why not take a car for a spin?
This temple is situated in Chai Prakan Sub-district along the Chiang Mai-Fang route between Km.120 and Km.121. Temple attractions include a scripture hall located in the middle of a pond and Tap Tao cave which houses several unique Buddha images.
Doi Luang Chiang Dao Doi Luang Chiang Dao is a limestone mountain in the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve area, Amphoe Chiang Dao. This cone-shaped mountain is 2,195 metres from sea level, which makes it the third highest mountain in Thailand after Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok. Narrow plains on top of the mountain overlook spectacular views that include a sea of fog on the Amphoe Chiang Dao side, Doi Sam Phi Nong, the Chiang Dao mountain range, and the far end of Doi Inthanon. The peak is cool and windy. It is full of rare highland flowers, birds, and butterflies. Visiting Doi Chiang Dao needs an approval letter from the Director of Wildlife Reserve Division, Royal Forest Department. Travel must be arranged at least 2 weeks in advance. Contact tel. 0 2561 2947 for more information.
How to get there: The peak is accessible on foot. At Chiang Dao cave, guides, porters, and chartered transfers to the starting point of the trail are available. Rented local truck costs around 900 baht and, a porter is 300 baht per person. There are no tourist facilities on Chiang Dao Mountain. Visitors must bring their own sleeping bags, food, and water.
Descending the mountain is possible on the trail near Ban Tham, which is located near Chiang Dao cave. The trail is rather steep; nevertheless, it could shorten the walking distance upon descending. It is quite difficult to climb up.
Huai Luek Royal Project Development Centre
Location: Ban Huai Luek, Bueng Khong sub-district, Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai Tel. 0 5345 1116 Fax. 0 5322 9635
The center serves as a demonstrative development model for the hill tribe people based on the philosophy of promoting proper agricultural technology to hill tribe farmers. The site is open for the public to explore pilot plots of vegetables, flowers, fruits, Hmongs plantation and the Poi River. In addition, the Royal Project Foundation has its own shop selling daily fresh produce. Tours complete with a lecturer can be arranged in advance and advanced reservation is recommended for group visits. Toilets and parking areas are also available.
King Naresuan Stupa
Located at Mueang Ngai Village. The locals built the stupa to mark the stay of King Naresuan the Great before he led his troop to invade Angwa in Myanmar in 1604.
Chiang Dao Cave (Tham Chiang Dao)
Tham Chiang Dao is a charming cave located in Amphoe Chiang Dao. It is situated 72 kilometres from Chiang Mai town, turn left at the entrance route and proceed for 5 kilometres on an asphalt road. Convenient parking is available. Climb a staircase with a zinc roof to reach the cave. The lovely cave greets visitors with various kinds of fish swimming in a stream in front of the cave.
Touring in and around Tham Chiang Dao with a local guide is possible by contacting local guides in front of the cave. A service fee is charged.
Doi Tao Lake The lake is located approximately 133 kilometers from Chiang Mai town along the Chiang Mai-Hot-Doi Tao route. This large reservoir is actually situated above the Bhumibol Dam in Tak province. The lake offers many recreational opportunities during the rainy and cool seasons, including rafting and cruise services to Bhumibol Dam. Accommodations are also available.
Op Luang This national park offers a breathtaking view of the natural scenery of a steep river valley amidst scenic mountains and teak forests. It is about 105 kilometers from Chiang Mai town on Highway 108.
Phra That Doi Noi Temple (Wat Phra That Doi Noi) Situated in Doi Lo, Chom Thong District along Highway No.108 between Km. 43 and 44, the temple was built by Queen Jamathewi in 658 AD. During excavations, numerous marble Buddha images, Buddha image containers, and a chapel were discovered. The hilltop temple provides visitors with a panoramic view of the scenic beauty of the Mae Ping River and surrounding hills and valleys. The temple can be reached on foot by climbing 241 steps.
Phra That Si Chom Thong Temple (Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong) This temple is situated approximately 58 kilometers from the town in Chom Thong District. The temple can be dated back to the mid-1400s and houses a collection of bronze Buddha images while the secondary chapel contains a holy Buddha relic.
Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station Location: Ban Khum, Mae Ngon sub-district, Fang District, Chiang Mai. Tel. 0 5345 0107-9; Fax. 0 5345 0106
Located in the valley of Doi Ang Khang, the station is designated for conducting experiments on possible temperate plants to be grown in Thailand. The experiment is aimed at promoting the cultivation of cash crops to replace hill tribes' opium plantations. Inside the station, there are beautiful landscaped flower gardens, a restaurant and plantations. Advanced contact is recommended for a group visit with lecturers available upon request. Facilities include guesthouses (inside the station), food and beverage, parking space, toilets, etc.
In addition, there are many guesthouses and a hotel located around the station. The entrance fee is 50 bahts per vehicle (including driver) and admission fee of 30 bahts per person. The morning market in front of the station, which is the hill tribes market, is stunning and charming.
Doi Ang Khang National Park
Famous for its cool climate all year round, visitors can explore the Royal Angkhang Station Project and visit hill tribe villages to learn more about their daily life. To get there, take Highway No. 107 (Chiang Mai-Fang), turn left at an intersection around Km. 137 (Mae Kha Market) and proceed for another 25 kilometers to Doi Ang Khang. As the route is filled with steep s-curves, an experienced driver and vehicles in good condition is required. The local truck (song taew) from Mae Kha Market offers chartered service to the mountain.
Fang Hot Springs
These hot springs are situated at Ban Pin, which is located approximately 8 kilometers northwest of Fang city. The hot springs originate from simmering granite with temperatures from 90 to 100 degrees Celsius. Most notable is the largest spring which constantly jets out strong sulphur scented steam.
Chiang Mai Nigt Safari Chiang Mai Night Safari was established as evening and night tourist attraction. It is the first night safari in Thailand. Chiang Mai Night Safari is committed to be a world class destination and is constantly upgrading to international tourism standard. Exhibition zone is divided in three main areas: Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl and Jaguar Trail.
Chiang Mai Night Safari is located in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park area of Mae Hea and Nong-Kwaii district in Hang-Dong and Suthep district in Muang, Chiang Mai province. The total area in 131 hectares. It takes only 10 km. driving from the town central to Chiang Mai Night safari.
This is at Ban Mae Ha, tambon Ban Pong along the Samoeng-Hang Dong route. It is approximately 300 metres from Km. 17. From Chiang Mai, it can be reached via 2 routes: Chiang Mai-Mae Rim-Samoeng-Hang Dong route which is 32 kilometers in length and Chiang Mai-Hang Dong-Samoeng route that is 43 kilometers in length. The project is responsible for collecting, researching, and breeding roses. One of the highlighted attractions in this project is the Royal Rose Garden, which covers an area of 8.4 acres where various kinds of roses have been planted along the mountain ranges. The best time to visit is from October to February.
A number of pretty resorts decorated with highland flowers are located along the route to Huai Phak Phai Royal Project and are open to the public and for camping. Accommodations are available at Kritsada Doi and Lanna Garden. Please refer to the accommodation sheet for more information.
Ban Rai Phai Ngam
Located between Km.69 to 70 along Chiang Mai-Hot route, the place is famous for its high quality traditionally woven cotton. To get to the village from the main route, turn left and proceed for 1 kilometer until you seethe village sign.
Mae Tho National Park
The park is located approximately 160 kilometers from Chiang Mai town. To get there, drive along the Hot-Mae Sariang Road to Mae Tho for 16 kilometers, at Km. 55, turn onto the unpaved roads which are steep and curved. Only vehicles in good condition are recommended. The Mae Tho National Park Office overlooks Karen highland paddy fields that resemble a flowing stream. Camping and trekking is possible by contacting the national park office.
Op Luang National Park
Op Luang National Park is an amazing natural attraction comprising both splendid natural charms as well as mysterious scenery. A zigzagging river flows in front of a picturesque gorge. The area is a high, steep cliff with a narrow passage, creating strong currents and powerful echoes. An area in the north of this stream is teeming with various kinds of plants that provide a pleasant ambience all year round. Magnificent views of Op Luang National Park can be seen from the bridge that links with the gorge. An interesting prehistoric archaeological site is also located in the park.
How to get there: The Op Luang National Park is located 105 kilometres from Chiang Mai town along Highway No. 108 (Chiang Mai-Hot-Mae Sariang). The road stretches alongside the Mae Chaem River and zigzags along mountain ranges. Blue buses originate from the Hot-Mae Sariang roundabout. There are 3 lines of buses: Hot-Mae Sariang, Hot-Mae Chaem, Hot-Om Koi. All of them stop at Op Luang National Park.
Tha Ton Tha Ton is Chiang Mai's most northern village situated in Mae Ai sub-district. It is a place where the Maenam Kok (Kok river) flows to Chiang Rai town. Here, one can observe the simple, traditional but splendid riverside lifestyle as well as that of the hill tribe villages. For trips to Chiang Rai, visitors may chose from long-tail boat services with a fee of 200 bahts per person departing at 12.30 p.m. (reaching Chiang Rai around 4.00p.m.) or travelling by bamboo raft which takes 3 days. Activities include rafting to hot springs, visiting a Lahu (Musoe) village and elephant riding around the village and forests. For more information, contact Chan Kasem Shop tel. 0 5345 9313, Thip Travel tel. 0 5345 9138, and Tha Ton Tour tel. 0 5337 3143.
Tha Ton Temple (Wat Tha Ton) A charming temple situated on top of the hill, Wat Tha Ton occupies an area of more than 160 acres spreading over several rolling hills along Maenam Kok. A school for monks, novices, and youths as well as a drug rehabilitation centre and a hill tribe support unit are part of the temples compound.
Wat Thaton Vipassana Meditation Center
Tambon Thaton, Amphoe Mae Ai, Chiangmai Thailand 50280
Wat Thaton Vipassana Meditation Center is an excellent place where meditation is taught and practiced. For more information, contact Buddhaleelamahasati Dynamic Vipassana Meditation Retreat at 0 5345 9468, 0 7817 7522 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The minimum number of days for each individual retreat is 7 days. Lineage: Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (1911-1988) Meditation Master: Ajahn Suthep Chinawaro, Interpreter: Phra Ratha Mahaviriyo (Vayagool). For more information, call 0 7062 1834 or email email@example.com
Luangpor Teean (1911-1988) was an important Thai Buddhist teacher who introduced a new technique of meditation that can be characterized as "dynamic" in contrast to the more conventional techniques of "static" meditation. Luangpor Teean's Sati (mindfulness) meditation incorporates rhythmic bodily movements as a way to stimulate, develop and strengthen a mindfulness/awareness.
This practice is regarded as a way through which the body and the mind are harmonized. This harmony is the first step to "seeing" thought and is the foundation of the path towards enlightenment. In order to overcome greed, anger, and delusion, Luangpor Teean suggested that we have to go to the roof of mental impurities. He taught that we should let thought flow freely and let awareness see thought and break through the chain of thought. If one persists in this practice, wisdom will arise in an orderly process, level by level.
Ajahn Suthep Chinawaro was ordained in 1988, one of the last disciples of Luangpor Teean Jittasubho. Ajahn Suthep intensively practiced vipassana meditation under the guidance of Luangpor Teean. He speaks Thai, English and Lao. He has developed Buddhaleela Mahasati, and extension of the traditional Luangpor Teean's technique. This technique basically follows the Luangpor movements - breathing, walking, hand movement, but adds additional movements.
The retreat is widely open for both beginner and experienced meditators. On the retreat, all meditators are expected to keep silence at all times except when giving meditation reports. All meditators must keep the eight training precepts. Meditators need only bring conservative clothing (preferably white colored clothing), personal hygiene accessories and essential medication.
Doi Inthanon National Park This national park which covers an area of 1,005 square kilometers is located on Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain which is 2,565 meters above sea level. Located between Mae Chaem and Chom Thong, the park is comprised of the largest tract of upper mountain forest which ranges across Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and ends in Northern Thailand. The mountain ranges gave birth to the main tributaries of the Ping river and formed the beautiful waterfalls, namely Siriphum, Wachirathan, Mae Pan, Mae Klang and Mae Ya. The moist and dense evergreen forest is abundant with lichens and wild orchids. The park is also a paradise for bird lovers. Visiting Doi Inthanon is possible throughout the year however, the best period for viewing the waterfalls is May through November while the best period for viewing wild flowers is December through February and for ornithologists is November through March.
How to Get There: Travel 58 kilometers west of Chiang Mai via Highway No. 107 to Chom Thong, then turn right into Highway No. 1009 and continue a further distance of 48 kilometers along Highway No. 1009 to the summit. A good but rather steep asphalt road takes visitors up, thus the vehicle must be in a good condition. Visitors could pay for the entrance fee at Km. 8.
Doi Inthanon Royal Project Research Station
This is located at Ban Luang, Chom Thong District, on the way to the Doi Inthanon peak. The research station is operated under the Royal Project. The facilities are for research and development of pilot projects for cash crops, which include coffee, cold-climate fruits, and cut flowers. The research station also provides services and information regarding the application of advanced technology to help alleviate poverty, natural resource conservation etc. In addition, information on production and marketing of the products is also available. Tourists can visit the stations charming garden of temperate-climate flowers and a cut-flower nursery. The research station is located approximately 90 kilometers from the city and near Inthanon peak. The research station is ideal for flower lovers and is a recommended stopover for travelers heading up or down Doi Inthanon. Advanced contact for a group visit is recommended. Tour guide services are also available. For more information call 0 5335 5196.
Traditional Cotton Woven Village
The village where the unique northern style Sarong is made is located approximately 3 kilometers from Mae Chaem District Office in Tha Pha Sub-district. The uniquely woven fabric is in great demand because of its striking color and indigenous style.
Phutha Oen Temple (Wat Phutha Oen)
The temple is located in Chang Khoeng Sub-district, Mae Chaem District. According to legend, it was built in the early Ratanakosin era. One of the most intriguing features in this temple the Water Chapel, a chapel surrounded by water battlements instead of the ordinary cement battlements.
Ban Hmong Mae Sa Mai This Hmong village has preserved their simple but splendid traditions and lifestyles. The village can be reached by taking a left turn at Km.12 and proceeding for 7 kilometers. Only four-wheel vehicles in good condition can make the trip. Along the route, you can visit resorts which are open to visitors, including Mae Sa Valley, Mae Sa Resort (offers a 9-hole golf course), and Kangsadan Farm.
Mae Sa Snake Farm The farm is located approximately on Km. 3 along the Mae Rim-Samoeng route. It is home to various kinds of snakes native to Thailand. The farm, which also conducts snake breeding, provides 30-minute snake shows daily. For more information, contact tel. 0 5386 0719.
Mountain Orchid Location: 320/1 Mu1, Rim Tai sub-district, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180. Tel. 0 5329 7343, 0 5329 9853.
This plantation has been established for over 20 years and is famous for breeding a variety of species of orchids using appropriate technology. In addition to learning about orchid breeding, it is also possible to learn about various butterfly species. Facilities for tourists include toilets, parking area and beverage and souvenir shops. A lecturer is provided upon request. Advance contact is recommended for group visits.
Mae Sa Waterfall (Nam tok Mae Sa )
This famous 8-tiered waterfall which is located at Km. 7 along the Mae Rim-Samoeng route is situated in a natural setting among towering trees and has a lovely breeze flowing throughout the year. It is an ideal recreational spot for both residents and visitors.
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
This botanical garden, which covers a mountainous area of 560 acres, is located around Km. 12 along the Mae Rim-Samoeng route. This international botanical garden with a fine collection of Thai and foreign plants exhibited according to species and climate was established in 1992 to honor Queen Sirikit. Visitors can drive around the area in order to see include the Tourist Information Center, the Thai Orchid Breeding Center, Herbs Museum and the Research Center. The garden is open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. For more information, contact tel. 0 5329 8171-5 ext. 4736, 4739, fax: 0 5329 9754.
Supha Bee Farm
Location: 779 Mu 1, Rim Tai sub-district, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180. Tel. 0 5329 7329, 0 1960 5330 or 0 29708 0258; Fax. 0 5329 9501.
Supha Bee Farm mainly deals with bee-keeping. It shares its accumulated knowledge and research results regarding bee-keeping technology to the public and the building where honey is produced is worth a visit. In addition, bee products such as honey, beehive capsules and bee pollen are also on sale in the farm. Basic tourist facilities are provided. Advanced contact is recommended.
Tribal Museum is in King Rama IX Lanna Garden on Chotana Road. This is an ethnology museum featuring the indigenous culture of 9 hill tribes including Karen (Kariang), Hmong (Meo), Mien (Yao), Lisu (Liso), Akha (Iko), Lahu (Musoe), Lau,Thin, and Khamu including the minority tribe of Malabri. Each tribe possesses unique identity and culture.
The museum exhibits ways of life, culture, beliefs, and local wisdom of those tribes, which have been intellectually conveyed through artistic objects displayed in the museum. It is open daily to the public from 09.00 to 16.00 hrs. For more information, contact tel. 0 5321 0872.
Huai Nam Dang National Park
The park occupies an area of 180 square kilometers in Mae Taeng Sub-district, Chiang Mai and Pai Sub-district, Mae Hong Son Province. The mountain, which is mostly ranged highlands, has verdant forests that are the sources of tributaries and various streams. Notable attractions in the park include Huai Nam Dang Viewpoint and Doi Kiu Lom, which overlooks Doi Chiang Dao. To get there, drive along Mae Malai-Pai Road to between Km. 65-66, and then take a 6-kilometer access road to the park office.
Another attraction, Doi Chang Viewpoint, is located 20 kilometers beyond the Huai Nam Dang Viewpoint and is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle. The scenic views of natural mountain ranges and early morning sea of clouds can be seen from this view point. Camping is possible provided that visitors bring their own tents and food. Nearby attractions in Mae Hong Son Province worth visiting include Tha Pai hot spring (Pong Nam Ron Tha Pai) and Mae Yen waterfall.
Mok Fa Waterfall (Namtok Mok Fa)
This one-level waterfall is located on the Mae Malai-Pai road. To get there, take a left turn at Km. 20 onto a dirt road and proceed for 2 kilometers. The waterfall, which is surrounded with lush green trees, is full of water all year round.
Bee Conservation and Breeding Centre 1, Chiang Mai Location: Mu 1, Ban Tong Kai, Nong Khwai sub-district, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230
Basically a research center on bee-keeps and breeding of crickets. Bee products are collected here while crickets are bred for animal food. The research findings are disseminated to farmers within the area. Visitors to the bee-keeping and cricket breeding research area are provided with a lecturer. Tourist facilities are available, however, the center does not offer accommodations. Advanced contact is required.
Royal Agricultural Research Centre, Chiang Mai
Location: - Mu 1, Ban Tong Kai, Nong Khwai sub-district, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230 and Mu 10, Tambon Mai Win, Amphoe Mae Wang, Chiang Mai, Tel. 0 5343 2275; Fax. 0 5343 2276
The Royal Agricultural Research Centre in Chiang Mai consists of 2 sub-stations. The first station is composed of demonstrative fields for research, collection, and breeding of various plants. The second station, located at Mae Win sub-district, mainly deals with research of temperate fruits, flowers and coffee (Arabica). The centre also serves as a source of information complete with lecturer for educational tours and training. Accommodations and basic facilities are available. Advanced contact is recommended.
Activities in Chiang Mai Trekking
A center for treks into the mountainous northern areas, especially home of hill tribes, Chiang Mai offers unique opportunities for the adventures. Lush hills and virgin forests are scenic backdrops that will make your trekking by foot or on elephant back truly memorable. The most popular trails are in Doi Inthanon National Park where over 300 bird species and a wide variety of orchids and other flowers can be seen.
See elephants at work and ride them into the forest, where you can enjoy being closer to nature. Maetaman Valley, just 50 kilometers north of Chiang Mai, provides an excellent base for this activity. The whole trekking package may include trekking on foot, bamboo rafting, whitewater rafting or kayaking, an ox- cart ride, and an overnight stay at a hill tribe village. Call 053 206047 or visit www.elephanteco.com for more information.
Endowed with rich natural deposits, Chiang Mai has a lot to offer to bird lovers. Its forests, perfect wildlife sanctuaries, are good observation spots for bird watching activities. Among several popular places are Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep. Contact your local agents for more information.
Cycling tours/ Mountain biking
Chiang Mai's mountainous terrain and scenic destinations make the province perfect for both cycling and mountain biking. Many tour companies offer biking tour programs that include guides, food and overnight equipment. There are also an increasing number of travel agents providing full-day cycling tours to several interesting destinations.
The tours usually head north from the Asian Games Stadium through the Mae Sa Valley. Alternatively, it is possible to experience the scenery along Maenam Ping, which flows peacefully through villages, old temples, farms, etc. For those who are serious about cycling, a longer route to Chiang Rai is available which includes visits to small villages of Lahu, Lisu and Akha hilltribes. Call 053 234239 for more information.
Experience the rugged terrain of Chiang Mai on an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), imported 4-wheel motorbikes. The tour offers daily treks. Call 053 939113 or visit MAC ATV Tour at Km. 10 Mae Rim Samoeng Road. (near the Maesa Elephant Camp)
Chiang Mai also provides good opportunities for rafting using bamboo or rubber rafts, as there are lots of rivers and streams flowing throughout the province. Popular routes include Mae Kok, Mae Chaem, and Mae Tuen rivers. All rives flow through lush forests and hill tribe settlements. Contact your local agents for more information.
To see most of Chiang Mai from a different perspective, take a leisurely boat trip from the Nawarat Bridge. The trip operates five times daily, 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., and 5.30 p.m. Call 01 885 0663 for more information.
Sightseeing in the air
An alternative way to get a bird's eye view of Chiang Mai is to board a Micro-light craft to see the city's environments and its localities. Flights are available daily from 6 to 12 noon and 3 6 p.m. The pilot, your guide, will point out and explain places of interest visible from the air. At the end of the flight, you will receive a photograph taken by a camera mounted on the planes wing. For more information, call 053 868 460 or visit the Chiang Mai Sky Adventure at 143 Moo 6, Chiang Doi, Doi Saket sub-district.
Enjoy the speedy go-kart at 254 Mu 8, Hang Dong District. There are 4 types of rides available, ranging from beginners to competition models. Call 053 430059 for more information.
Thai cooking classes are fun and delightful. An increasing number of foreign tourists join Thai cooking classes to learn new skills that can be used at home. The Banthai Cookery School offers mostly vegetarian cooking lessons, conducted in an old-Lanna style house. It is located on 11 Ratrchadamnern Road Soi 5, opposite Wat Pan On. Call 053 357339 for more information.
Alternatively, the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School (tel. 054 206388) offers a 5-day course that includes an introduction to Thai ingredients, paste-making, a tour to the market and vegetable carving. Call 053 206388 for more information.
Holistic healing for your wellness and well-being
There are plenty of stress relief services such as traditional Thai massage, Swedish, Shiatsu and Aromatherapy massages available in spas in the city and in resorts. A highly recommended place, which offers a renewed sense of wellness, is the Tao Garden located on Doi Saket. The Tao Garden offers appropriate therapy to balance the body and mind, thus enhancing a peaceful inner self. The spa offers five unique therapies including aromatherapy, Chi Nei Tsang massage, Ayurvedic oil, and acupuncture as well as body wrapping. Tai Chi Chuan offers an intensive 10-day course three sessions daily, 7.00 to 9.30 am, 1.00 to 2.00 pm & 4.00 to 6.30 p.m. Call Keith at 0 5330 6012 ext. 201
Yoga and meditation class
After a long adventurous day, one may choose to be pampered in one of the spas in the area. Alternatively, it is possible to achieve freedom from the routine and mundane life by finding your inner path through either yoga or meditation lessons. Take time to heal the body, mind, soul and spirit and let time stand still. Many tourists and locals have found the practice extremely beneficial and awakening. Contact Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidialai (053 278967) for more information on a 2-day program on meditation for foreign visitors. It is offered at Wat Suan Dok and Wat Phalad. Yoga enthusiasts can call 053 271555, Hatha Yoga Center, www.hathayogachiangmai.com, for more information.
For an adrenaline rush, Bungee Jumping in Chiang Mai operates in accordance with New Zealand Standards. It is a fully licensed and insured company, which operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 053 298442 or 01 885 1912 for more information. The site is located at 229 Mo 1, Mae Rim District. A lakeside bar and restaurant are also available.
Chiang Mai Cultural Centre
The Centre is situated at the beginning of Chiang Mai-Hang Dong road. The center has an exceptional collection of Lanna art, and intriguing displays of traditional northern culture. A spectacular folk dance and tribal shows are performed while the typical northern dinner Khan Tok is served. For more information, contact tel. 0-5327-4 540, 0-5327-5097.
Chiang Mai National Museum
Located on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Super Highway near Wat Chet Yot, the museum has been designated by the Fine Arts Department as a regional center for education and preservation of the art and culture of Chiang Mai and upper northern Thailand the Lanna Kingdom. Their Majesties the King and Queen graciously presided over the opening of the museum on 6 February 1973. The museum was built according to traditional northern architecture, with a Lanna Thai rooftop. Interesting exhibitions include:
Topic 1: The natural and cultural background of the Lan Na Kingdom including the geology, ecology, geography and prehistoric settlement of the north.
Topic 2: The history of the Lan Na Kingdom from the establishment of Chiang Mai city to its peak and decline under Burmese control from 1558 to 1769.
Topic 3: The city of Chiang Mai under the Kingdom of Siam, from the time Chiang Mai regained its freedom from Burma, to the reestablishment of Chiang Mai city in 1782.
Topic 4: Trade and economy of the Lan Na Kingdom from 1782 to 1939.
Topic 5: The modern way of life and social development: agriculture and industry, banking, international relations, education and public health.
Topic 6: The development of the Lan Na Art Style, and the history of art in Thailand from the Dvaravati period to the present day.
Not far away from the Chiang Mai National Museum is the Tribal Museum, which displays information on the history and culture of each hill tribe as well as their traditional handicrafts. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed on National Holidays) Contact tel. 053 221328 for more information. Admission fee is 30 baht.
Chiang Mai Zoo
Situated next to Huai Kaew Arboretum at the foot of the mountain where Phra That Doi Suthep is located, the zoo houses a pair of cuddly Pandas on loan from China. Inside the zoo, there are over 200 types of Asian and African mammals and birds for visitors to observe. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., the admission fee for an adult is 100 baht and a child is 20 baht. There are excellent facilities for tourists with restaurants and a camping site. Advance booking is required for large groups. Contact: tel. 0-5322-1179, 0-5322-2283.
CMU Art Museum (Chiang Mai University Art Museum)
The Art Museum is situated on Nimmanhemin Road opposite the Chiang Mai University Auditorium. There are a lot of interesting exhibitions on display in the museum art gallery, check the schedule at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University 239 Huey Kaew Road Chiang Mai 50200. Or Tel/Fax: 66-53-211724, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park
Doi Suthep & Doi Pui National Park
Covering an area of 262 sq. km., this luxuriant park is home to more than 300 bird species and nearly 2,000 species of ferns and flowering plants. Some hiking trails in the park pass Hmong villages while others lead to a few small waterfalls where local people come to picnicking on weekends. Accommodations are available near the park headquarters. To get there, take Highway No. 1004, its only 16 kilometers drive northwest of Chiang Mai town. The Park has interesting attractions, which include:
Namtok Huai Kaew
This waterfall is located near the Chiang Mai Zoo and is a pleasant place for relaxation and picnics.
Doi Pui Tribal Village
This village is a Hmong village situated on an asphalt road approximately 3 kilometers from Phu Phing Palace and approximately one hour from Chiang Mai. The village presents the typical lifestyle of the Hmong as well as a scenic view of Doi Inthanon.
Phu Phing Palace (Royal Winter Palace)
The palace is located further up the mountain and approximately 6 kilometers from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The royal winter palace was built in 1962. Its landscaped gardens are decorated with plenty of colorful, exotic flowers. It is open every day from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. except when the Royal family is in residence which is usually from mid December to early February.
Huai Kaeo Arboretum
Situated next to the famous Chiang Mai University and the Chiang Mai Zoo, Huai Kaeo Arboretum, is a mixed blessing of landscaped gardens with many kinds of tropical trees and exquisite flowers. Locals love to relax and do morning and evening exercise in the compound.
Insect and Natural Wonders Museum
Exhibiting an awesome collection of domestic and foreign insects including animal fossils, the museum is located at 72 Nimmanhemin, Soi 12 (Sirimangkhlalachan Soi 3), Huai Kaew, Muang District. For more information contact tel 053 211891 or email to email@example.com
Kad Suan Kaeo Art & Cultural Centre
This newly developed centre is located in Kad Suan Kaeo Shopping Mall. It is a centre where traditional arts and cultural performances are performed using state-of-the art stage technology. For more information contact tel 053 224333 ext. Kad Silpa.
Most of the northern dishes can be sampled at a "Khantoke Dinner" in Chiang Mai. It is a perfect event where you can learn more about traditional northern cuisine while enjoying traditional music and dance. Khantok in the Northern dialect means a wooden tray used for carrying dishes. Round in shape, it is made of wood, varnished or lacquered with 5 or 6 short supporting legs.
Guests are invited to sit on the floor around a Khantok, a circular tray with Northern dishes on it. They can enjoy watching traditional northern dances as well as hilltribe culture shows while their meal is being served.
The main dishes on the Khantok usually are steamed sticky rice, kaeng hang-le (northern-style pork curry), kaeng ho (spicy curry of bean vermicelli), kaeng om (spicy curry of entrails), sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage), lap (minced meat, half cooked and highly seasoned), nam phrik ong (chili paste with minced pork and tomatoes), which usually goes with khaep mu (crispy pork rinds) and khao soi (chicken/ pork /beef curry soup with noodles. Guests are encouraged to eat with their hands, as the locals do. The eating procedure is easy: take a handful of steamed sticky rice from the bamboo basket, roll, and dip it into the curry or chili paste and then taste it.
After the meal, a dessert called khao taen fried sticky rice covered with caramel is served. Also served are khiyo cigars and fermented tea, which is chewed to help digestion. The khiyo cigar is made of shredded tobacco and ground tamarind bark (khiyo), which can reduce the strong odor of tobacco.
During the Khantok Dinner, several dances and shows are performed. The most popular Northern dance is fon lep or fingernail dance. This show is impressive as female dancers are dressed in Northern Thai style, and wear long pointed brass fingernails.
Khruba Siwichai Monument
Located at the foot of Doi Suthep, the monument was built in 1935 to honor Khruba Siwichai a famous Lanna monk who initiated construction of the road leading up to Phra That Doi Suthep. Throughout his life, Khruba Siwichai organized many temple related renovation activities.
Lanna Woodcarving Art Museum
Ban Roi An Phan Yang Museum is the exhibition center of antiques and woodcarving masterpieces located at Chiang Mai-Sanpatong Road, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230.
The Night Bazaar is a shopping haven where one can find handmade products and souvenirs from many Chiang Mai villages and hill tribes. Local cloths and fabrics are reasonably priced for purchasing. The shopping street opens around 6:00 p.m.
Sao Inthakil or Sao Lak Muang
The city pillar was built when the founder of Chiang Mai, King Meng Rai, ruled the city in 1296. Located in front of Wat Chedi Luang and enshrined in a small Thai chapel, the pillar is made of log and kept underground. The Khao Inthakil or city pillar celebration is held annually in May.
Sbun-Nga Textile Musuem
Address: 185/20 Wua Lai Road, Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 200655 or 01 8836713
This is the largest textile museum in Thailand which is situated at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. See over a thousand ancient and rare textiles revealing the elaborate weaving skills of both royal and local ancestors in Southeast Asia. Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m..
The temple is located on Tha Phae Road, Muang District. Interesting attractions include the chedi constructed in the Burmese architectural style, the carved wooden main chapel roof and the small wood chapel constructed in the local style.
Wat Chedi Chet Yot
Located on the Super Highway Road (Chiang Mai-Lampang) only 4 kilometers from the town, the temple is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai. One of the main attractions is a seven-spired square chedi, which was inspired by the design of the Phuttakaya stupa in India. More importantly, the stupa contains the ashes of King Tilokkarat, a king of the Meng Rai Dynasty who built this temple.
Wat Chedi Liam or Chedi Ku Kham
The temple, situated in newly developed tourist destination, Wiang Kum Kam, was built in 1288 during the reign of King Meng Rai. Hundreds of years later, the temple was left abandoned until a Burmese tycoon renovated the temple in 1908. As a result, the temple has some Burmese influences in addition to its former Khmer style of which only some parts were rebuilt.
Wat Chedi Luang
This 14th century temple, where the City Pillar Shrine is located, is famous for its enormous chedi, which is measured at 282 feet high and 144 feet wide (at the base). Located right in the middle of the city, it is considered to be the largest chedi in Chiang Mai. Its spire collapsed in 1545 due to an earthquake. A pair of magnificent Naga staircases at the front porch of the chapel is among the most beautiful manmade serpents in the North. Chao Khun Uba Lee Poramacharn (Sirichantathera) and Chao Kaeo Navarat built the front chapel in 1928.
Wat Chiang Man
The oldest temple in Chiang Mai town, Wat Chiang Man was built in 1296 by King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai. The temple is famous for its Lanna-style chedi supported by rows of elephant-shaped buttresses and an ancient and invaluable Buddha image named Phra Kaeo Khao. Wat Chiang Man is situated off of Ratchapakhinai Road in the northeast corner of the old city.
Wat Gate Museum
The temple museum, Wat Gate Museum features an eclectic collection of artifacts discovered from the attics and storerooms of the temple. One of the most interesting art objects is an old Siamese 'White Elephant' flag and a collection of old phonographs going back more than 100 years to the western trading era in Chiang Mai. There are pictures of scenes from daily life in Chiang Mai including old riverboats, markets and even examples of criminal prosecution. It is possible to see what many of the town's temples looked like after the Burmese occupation, when they were mostly abandoned, and before the modern influx of tourists resulted in their restoration. There are also displays of records and record players. The museum opens daily from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Wat Ku Tao
Formerly known as Wat Veru Vanaram, the temple is located in Sri Phum Sub-district, near the Chiang Mai Stadium. Wat Ku Tao, ku tao being the local term for watermelon, is famous for its unusual watermelon-shaped pagoda. According to the legend, Ku Tao chedi contains the ashes of Prince Saravadee, the son of King Bureng Nong who ruled Chiang Mai from1579 to 1607.
Wat Phan Tao
The temple that was a throne hall for King Mahotara Prateth whose symbol is the peacock is located on Phra Pok Klao Road, next to Wat Chedi Luang. The peacock- shaped doors were thus built to represent the King.
Wat Phra Sing
Built in 1345, the temple is located on Sam Lan Road. It houses the North's most revered Buddha statue, Phra Phuttha Sihing which is enshrined in Vihan Lai Kham, a chapel that features exquisite woodcarvings and northern style murals. Every year on April 13, Songkran Day, the image is paraded through the streets of Chiang Mai for local people to sprinkle scented water on. This area was formerly Wat Li Chiang Market until 1345, when King Pa Yu, the fifth king of the Meng Rai Dynasty commanded the construction of this temple and a 24-feet chedi to contain his father's ashes.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Wat Phratat Doi Suthep
Locals would say, You havent really gone to Chiang Mai unless youve been to Wat Phratat Doi Suthep. Truly, the place is the most important and famous Chiang Mai landmark. Built in 1383, this mountaintop temple has a chedi (pagoda) that houses holy Buddha relics. The gold-plated chedi lies in the middle of a square marble-tiled courtyard. The four corners of the chedi are adorned with parasols which represent royal regalia. The temples courtyard is lined by a cloister, which contains images and murals depicting Buddhas life. There are also two viharns situated in the middle of the east and west sides of the cloister.
This temple is 15 kilometers from town and is 3,520 feet above sea level. It is the perfect place to get a birds eye view of the city. The temple can be reached via a steep Naga staircase comprised of 290 steps or railcars. The temple is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To get there, drive along Huay Kaew Road up the mountain. Alternatively, there are song thaew services available at the foot of the mountain. It costs 30 baht/head to go up to Doi Suthep and approximately 50 baht/head to go further to Doi Pui and Phu Phing Palace. Note that these are one-way fares. (This is the added text)
Located on Inthawarorot Road, near Wat Phra Sing, is Wat Prasat where a rare Lanna style Buddha image is enshrined. The temple is composed of a traditional Lanna style chapel, with its roof is decorated in colorful glasses and carved wooden lions.
Wat Saen Fang
Located on Tha Phae Road, Wat Saen Fang is an old Burmese-style temple. According to history, King Intavitchayanontha, the seventh king who governed Chiang Mai commanded that the residence of Phra Chao Gavirorossurivongs (Chao Chevit Ao), the sixth ruler of Chiang Mai be destroyed. Later, his former residence was rebuilt in this temple.
Wat Suan Dok
Another temple located on Suthep Road, Wat Suan Dok was built in the 14th century and houses the 500-year old bronze Buddha image which is one of Thailands largest metal images. Several of the white chedis around the temple contain ashes of Chiang Mai's former royal family.
Wat U Mong
Built in 1296 by King Meng Rai, it is situated in a rustic forest setting on Suthep Road and was renovated during the reign of King Keu Na. This famous meditation temple is unique in its large tunnel-like construction.
Wiang Kum Kam
A recently discovered ancient city believed to have been built during the reign of King Meng Rai in 1286, the city was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until the Maenam Ping flooded and wiped out the whole city. To visit Wiang Kum Kam today, drive south east of Chiang Mai, between Km. 3-4, on the Chiang Mai-Lamphun route in Saraphi District. Just drive along the road at Nong Hoi Police box to the Ko Klang Pa Kluai intersection and proceed to Chedi Liam Police box. There are more than 20 ancient ruins inside and around Wiang Kum Kam including Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi, Wat Pu Pia, Wat Ku Koa, Wat E Kang, Wat Hua Nong, and Wat Pu Song which are dated from the 21st 22nd Buddhist centuries.
Si Lanna National Park This national park has an abundance of wildlife and verdant forests, which are the sources of various tributaries of the Mae Ping River. The park covers a mountainous area of 260,800 acres in Phrao, Mae Taeng, and Chiang Dao Districts. Attractions within the park include Namtok Mon Hin Lai, Nae Ngat Sombun Chon Dam, Pha Daeng Cave, etc. Getting to the ranger office is easy, drive along Highway No. 107 (Chiang Mai-Fang route), and then turn right to Sombun Chon Reservoir and proceed for 12 kilometers.
Bo Kaeo Botanic Research Station
This station, which plants pine and eucalyptus on an area of 828 acres, has a cool and moist climate throughout the year.
San Kamphaeng The village is located 13 kilometers the east of Chiang Mai town in a district that is famous for silk and a cotton weaving. The silk and cotton souvenirs produced in this village are high quality. Factories and souvenir shops selling woodcarving, silverware, earth ware, lacquer ware and cotton fabrics are located along the way from Chiang Mai to San Kamphaeng.
Located in San Kamphaeng is Bo Sang a village that produces handmade umbrellas. In addition to umbrellas, visitors will also be able to find various woodcarving and Thai silk products here.
San Kamphaeng Hot Springs
The hot springs set amidst natural surroundings of trees and verdant hills, are located 36 kilometers from town. The water is high in sulphur content and possesses curative and restorative properties. Basic facilities for tourist available are accommodations, a swimming pool, dining facilities and separate mineral water bathing rooms.
Phra Borom That Saen Hai
This temple is situated in Wiang Haeng, San Pa Tong District, which can be dated back to the early Buddhist times, was renovated in 1914. The pagoda is a unique blend of Myanmar and Lanna Thai architecture. According to the legend, King Naresuan the Great rested his troops here and built a pool at the foot of the hill for his use and that of his elephants.
Wiang Tha Kan
Built before reign of King Meng Rai, this ancient walled city can be dated back to the Hariphunchai period. During excavations, sandstone and earthen Buddha images, earthen amulets, brown jars with bones and Chinese porcelains from the Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368) were found in the area. Don't miss out on a chance to visit the well preserved ruins the pagoda and the foundations of the vihan, which are constructed from bricks and laterite. Wiang Tha Kan is located about 34 kilometers to the south of Chiang Mai along Highway No.108.
Maejo University Location: Nong Han sub-district, San Sai District, Chiang Mai 50120. Tel. 053 498148-9. Fax. 053 498151
The research and studies area in Maejo University which is open to visitors include the orchid garden, flower plots, flowering plant research plots, non-chemical vegetable plots, mushroom shed, experimental field crop plots, aquatic animal breeding, etc. Lecturing services along a touring route is provided upon advanced request. A shop selling agricultural produce is also available.
Chiang Mai Healthy Products Company Limited Location: 193 Mu 2, Chiang Mai Lampang Road, Saraphi sub-district, Chiang Mai 50140. Tel. 053 420568 69; Fax. 053 420570.
This company is a well-known honey-product producer. While spending time here, visit a demonstration apiary and see bee-keeping equipment as well as observe the honey processing and packaging procedures.
Festivals Yi Peng Festival
Yi Peng Festival is held annually on Loi Krathong day. It is a very interesting event of Chiang Mai. The festival features launching lanterns into the sky to worship the gods. There are also fireworks, lantern contests, and beauty pageants.
Bo Sang Umbrella Festival
Bo Sang Umbrella Festival is held in January in Bo Sang Handicraft Centre. The festival features paper products, paper parasols in particular, cultural shows, a parade showing traditional ways of life, and several contests.
City Pillar Inthakin Festival
City Pillar Inthakin Festival is held to invoke blessings of peace, happiness and prosperity for the city and its residents. Buddha images are paraded around the city. It is held at Wat Chedi Luang for 7 auspicious days and nights in the 7th lunar month.
Doi Suthep Pilgrimage
On the night of Visakha Bucha Day, worshippers gather to light candles and make the 7-kilometre pilgrimage up to the temple on Doi Suthep.
Flower Festival is held in February. The festival includes ornamental garden flower contests, floral floats parade in the morning and beauty pageants. The parade begins at Chiang Mai Railway Station and passes Nawarat Bridge and ends at Nong Buak Hat Park.
Songkran Festival is held annually from 13 to 15 April. The 13th of April is the Great Songkran day featuring the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image parade around Chiang Mai town for bathing, sand pagoda making, blessing of elders, and water splashing.
Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. This tradition has been passed on for generations so it can be preserved in different ways. Furniture carving is considered one way of preservation. Teak, rosewood and rattan are being crafted both in traditional and modern designs. Woodcarving products range from gracing screens, chairs, tables, beds, to carved elephants, figurines and tableware. You can easily find them in shops located in San Kamphaeng and Ban Tawai (apparently Thailand's woodcarving capital).
Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies
Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated in 24 carat gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace pendants, hairpins and earrings.
Hill tribe Products
Exotic, traditional and unique, products are sold by hill tribe people dressed in traditional costumes. It is not possible to resist buying one of the hand-made silver ornaments, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, hairpins, pipes, and embroidered items that are available. In addition, there are tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths, colorful embroidery, hand-woven textiles and other handicrafts made of bamboo and other natural materials to be chosen from.
Products are interestingly made by decorating wooden, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay items with layers of black lacquer and then finishing with golden designs. The classic texture has made them a perfect gift, souvenir or ornament for visitors. Factories and shops can be found along San Kamphaeng and Chang Khlan Roads.
Local Food Product
Nam Phrik Ong
Chile paste made from minced pork and tomatoes. Normally it is eaten with soft-boiled vegetables, crispy pork rinds (Khaep Mu) or deep-fried crunchy rice cakes. It can also be served with plain white rice as a meat dish.
Nam Phrik Num
This green chili paste is very common cuisine for the locals. The chili paste is usually accompanied by boiled locally grown vegetables. The best condiment for the dish is Khaep Mu. Sai ua is normally eaten with Nam Phrik Num.
Sai Ua - A local Chiang Mai sausage that is very aromatic and spicy and usually is eaten with steamed glutinous rice.
Kaeng (curry) - A special feature of the northern-style curry is that it is coconut-free.
Kaeng Hang-Le - Northern style pork curry.
Kaeng Om spicy curry of entrails.
Kaeng Khae spicy curry of vegetables.
Khanom Chin Nam Ngiao is a very traditional noodle dish of the North. It is Thai rice vermicelli with spiced chicken curry accompanied with vegetables.
Khao Soi is also a well known, not to be missed local dish. You can choose from chicken/ pork /beef in curry soup with noodles. It is different from other Kaeng dishes in that Khao Soi is a noodle dish mixed with meat and coconut cream and garnished with garlic and crunchy noodles. It has a sweet, but spicy taste.
If you are under time constraints, the Khantok Dinner is one way to sample most of the Northern dishes all at once.
Celadon, the unique Thai ceramic in soft green and blue tones, is produced locally in many forms. They include dinner sets, vases, tea sets, burners, lamp bases and other decorative home items. Recommended places to visit are Hang Dong sub-district where a large number of factories are located. For art lovers, a visit to Nimmanhemin Road is worth it, as there are many interesting art galleries offering intriguing celadon products.
Sa (Mulberry) Paper Products
Chiang Mai is also famous for its Sa paper products a handmade, multi-purpose natural fiber. Sa products that come in different, distinctive designs include cards, notebooks, stationery, boxes, bags, photo frames, lanterns, gift wrapping paper, etc.
Silk, Cotton & Textiles
First-class Chiang Mai silk, cotton and other hand-woven fabrics (hill tribe products) are famous for its uniqueness and classic quality that shines over time. The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphaneg.
Visitors can stroll along Wua Lai Road to discover exquisite silverware made with traditional skills, which have been passed on from generation to generation. A guaranteed content of at least 92.5 % pure silver is a mark of their quality. Recommended items include investiture bowls, receptacles and decorative items.
Located on San Kamphaeng Road, Bor Sang is dubbed as the umbrella village. It is the place where villagers have been engaged in umbrella making based on their local wisdom for over 200 years. All materials, including silk, bamboo, sa paper (mulberry paper), are found locally.
Be amazed at hundreds of hand-painted umbrellas in different designs and sizes, from miniature ones to the super big. Apart from the umbrella, fans and other handmade products of Sa paper are also available in both classic and modern designs.