Chiang Mai Destination Guide
Chiang Mai is recognized as Thailand's
Northern Capital, "The Rose of the North", It's
a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own.
In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty
in nature. As well as guest from overseas, regard Chiang
Mai as the holiday place to visit.
Chiang Mai was founded in the late 13th century and is one
of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in Thailand.
It was once the capital of Lanna, an independent Thai Kingdom
and has preserved its unique cultural heritage to a marked
Chiang Mai is Thailand's principal northern province. It
is some 700 kilometres north of Bangkok and covers an area
of 20,000 square metres. The city is located in a fertile
valley some 300 metres above sea level,which accounts for
its slightly drierand cooler climate than most other parts
of this country.
The population is estimated to be 250,000persons.The province
itself is large,measuring 130 kms from east to west,and
320 kms from north to south .As well as Thai national,it
is the home of various colourful minorities,many with Thai
citizenship,including the Lua,Mon,Lisu,Akha,Hmong and Muser
Culture of Chiang Mai is architecture reflects Lanna Thai,Burmese,Sri
Lankan and Mon influences.There are some 300 temples in
the city and on its outskirts. The Golden Age of Lanna-Chiang
Mai lies some 500 years back in the time of king Tilokarat,but
the city has recently been undergoing a process of regeneration,and
while full of the bustle of modern life,it hasn't lost touch
with its glorious past.
When you come to Chiang Mai.You can be sure that its people
will welcome you with their traditional charm and hospitality.
Unless you don't mind almost daily torrential rain, the
best time to visit Chiang Mai is between October and April,
with the other months a virtual monsoonal washout. The mildest
temperatures are in December and January. Nights in Chiang
Mai are regularly cooler than in southern Thailand.
(late October to end of February). average temperature 21C
and much cooler at night. The coldest months are December
(early March to end of May) Average temperature 29.9C. The
hottest month is April.
(early June to end of October). Average temperature 25.5C.
The wettest month is September.
Wat Suan Dok
Wat Suan Dok has the north largest chapel royal.
It's built in a 14th century Lanna Thai monarch's pleasure
gardens and is a favourite spot for photographers, particularly
for striking sunsets.The principal Buddha statue is a huge
cast mage named Phra Chao Kao Tu
Wat Phar Sing
Wat Phar Sing has the most complete version of lanna chapel
and is home to Phra Buddha Sihing,considered Chiang mai's
important and sacred Buddha image.
Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man is situated in town.It was the first temple
built in chiang mai around 1300 A.D. Formerly it was the
residence of King Mengrai,the founder of chiang mai. It
is noteworthy for a chedi supported by rows of elephantine
buttresses Phra Buddha Sila inside is a copy of the original
Indian image brought here from Ceylon in 1290.There are
two famous Buddha images in this temple.
Wat Chedit Luang
Wat Chedit Luang is situated in town.It was built in 1411A.D.
At one time, Wat Chedi Luang housed the revered Emerald
Buddha image now enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo.The
big Chedit was damaged by an earthquake in 1545 A.D.and
has never been retired.
Saam Lor (3-wheel)
For relatively short distances you can take a bicycle "Saam
Lor" (three-wheel). Short rides within the city cost
between 20 and 30 Baht. Longer rides may cost as much as
40-50 Baht. It's a nice leisurely way to look around.
If you want a faster and some adventure services try Tuk
Tuk. For a short ride, it costs about 20-30 baht per trip
and 40-60 baht for a longer ride. Do negotiate the price
for your destination. Remember sit back, relax, but hold
The red taxi so-called "Se-Lor", a modified pick-up
truck with a roof over the back, is the most common taxi
for commuters in the urban area. Visitors just tell them
the destination and negotiate the price before making a
trip. They normally pick up and drop other passengers along
the way until they reach a final destination. It normally
costs about 10 baht per person, however it may cost up to
20-30 baht, depending on either his or your destination
as well. If you or your group are the only passengers,Let
him name his price-and bargain until both you and the driver
Chiang Mai is, quite simply, Thailand's major center for
quality handicrafts. The visitor need merely visit the nearest
city emporium or night market to purchase handicrafts. A
major advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that the visitor
may watch artisans working within the city and in several
outlying villages, particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng
road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk
and cotton weaving, jewellery, woodcarving, silverware,
celadon, and lacquerware are manufactured, and number among
These are inextricably associated with Bo Sang where villagers
have been engaged in their manufacture for at least 200
years. All materials, silk, cottons, sa paper (manufactured
from the bark of the mulberry tree) and bamboo are produced
or found locally. Visitors to Bo Sang will see literally
hundreds of design and sizes ranging from the miniature
to the gigantic.
Furniture / Woodcarving
Chiang Mai is a major center of furniture making. Major
woods and materials include teak, rosewood and rattan. Items
may be unadorned or, especially with teak and rose wood,
artfully carved in traditional or modern designs. Woodcarving
is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous
temples. In recent years, wood carving has increasingly
embellished furniture, gracing screens, chairs, tables beds,
indeed anything bearing a wooden surface large enough to
be carved. Carved elephants, figurines and tableware number
among other popular purchases.
The finest Thai silverware is exquisite, and is made in
Chiang Mai, where certain families have practiced their
art for several generations. Traditional skills and a guaranteed
content of at least 92.5% pure silver invest bowls, receptacles
and decorative items with authentic value. Silver shops
are concentrated on Wua lai Road, where silverware artisans
and their families live.
Cottons & Silks
First-class Chiang Mai cottons and silks are of incomparable
quality. Cottons and silkshave innumerable fashion and furnishing
applications. The largest possible selection is available
in San Kamphang.
Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies
Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated with 24-carat
gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace pendants,
hairpins and earrings.
Striking black and gold designs give lacquerware its visual
appeal and sheen. This decorative are enhances items made
of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the form
of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.
These include silver ornaments, such as bracelets, necklace,
pendants and pipes of intricate design, and embroidered
items including tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and
Chiang Mai is the major center of Thailand's pottery industry.
Prized items include high-fired celadon which is produced
in many forms, including dinner sets, lamp bases and decorative