Chiang Mai is one of the main cities of Thailand situated North of Thailand. Located around 694km from Capital city of Thailand, Bangkok. Chiang Mai has recently risen to tourists visiting to explore the untapped places located north of Thailand. Often a pit stop for people who want to explore, Chiang Mai has raised its tourist inflow in the past few years. Chiang Mai means ‘New City’ was founded in the year 1296 and was a capital of La Na Kingdom of Thailand and Burma. It is located near to Ping River which is one of the major tributaries to Chao Praya River.
Chiang Mai was once the capital of La Na Kingdom who subsequently shifted their capital to Chaing Rai has been in history for many years. After the fall of La Na kingdom, the province came under the influence of the Thonburi Kingdom and from there on the city grew culturally, trading and economic growth happened in years to follow. Currently, Chiang Mai is awarded as UNESCO’s Creative City and is in the tentative list of UNESCO’s world heritage inscription, it was awarded as one of tourist destination to visit in Thailand by many travel aggregators. And Chiang Mai represents Prime Diamond to the crown of Thailand.
The city and surroundings of Chiang Mai have various places of worship and mostly that of Buddha due to the fact that Thailand is mainly into Buddhism. Buddhist Temples are known as ‘Wat’ in Thai, Chiang Mai boasts of having over 300 Wat’s in its province. However, it also has places of worship for other religions where they have a presence of Church, Mosque, Hindu temple and Gurudwara.
Travel to Chiang Mai is easy and requires valid Thai Visa. There are many bus running from Bangkok, Pattaya and other southern Thailand to Chiang Mai, typical bus journey will be of around 10-11hrs dependent on the roads, however, it is one of the cheap modes of transportation. The journey from Bus costs you around 19-24USD dependent on travels opted and time of departure however, most bus departure late evenings to night. The second mode of Transport will be via Railways where you can travel by Thai Railways a government-operated Railways in Thailand. Rail Journey will last around 12-14hrs dependent on departure, you have an option for Class 2, Class 1 Sleeper coach with AC and Class 2 sleeper coach with the fan. Ticket charges may vary dependent on the Coach which you choose, however ticket price starts from 24USD. Travel across the train is a bit costly but you get to enjoy a nice view of the countryside of Thailand. You can also take many flights that travel to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) from Bangkok. Please do note that there are many Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) to Chiang Mai like Nok Air, ThaiVeitjet, Thai Smile that operates from Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), however many other airlines like Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Asia operates from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).
#MTtips: There is a free shuttle connecting BKK-DMK operated by Airport Authority of Thailand.
To explore Chiang Mai you can rent a motorcycle however, there are developments to introduce Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) in the city by 2027.