From temples to gardens and festivals galore, if you want to really get lost in the history of Thailand come to Chiang Mai where the past meets the present. Here you can get lost in beautiful temples, romance your partner in a small local cafť or celebrate the culture with the many festivals that take place all through the year.
When to go:Frequent visitors say that the best time to travel to Chiang Mai is after New Yearís when the smoke hasnít begun and the weather is cool enough to travel and enjoy the sites on foot.
When not to go:The months of February, March and April are horrible times to visit. This is because the city pollution level is more than ten times that of the worst for American standards. This is often caused by illegal burning of forest land for both crop gain and development. While it looks like the government would do something about it, it seems that they simply sweep it under the rug when the rainy season comes.
Culture shock factor:Thais smile for all occasions. Smiling is part of the custom in Thailand and can help you fit in. Here Buddhism is very popular and posing comically with a Buddha statue can even get you arrested. So show respect around the religious sectors, avoid wearing tank tops and shorts into monasteries and if you are a female you shouldnít touch a monk as it is considered disrespectful.
What to do while youíre here:Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a beautiful golden city formed in the 1383 makes for a wonderful trip into the past and photographs that will take your breath away. Bhubing Palace is another must on your tour list. Itís open to the public year round when the royal family isnít in residence. The only thing to remember is that you must dress modestly or youíll be asked to buy a pair of fishermanís pants to cover your legs. This includes any skin shown above the ankle and includes both sexes. Chiang Mai is one of the most extravagant places on the planet. With golden cities and temples shining from afar, the photographs and memories you capture will be a thing of legend.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
View Larger Map
Northern Thai, Central Thai
|16 hours, 37 minutes|
Hotel Deals in Chiang Mai, Thailand