Chiang Mai

Culturally dynamic

Named the 'Rose of the North' for the abundance of flowers that thrive in the cooler mountain climate, Chiang Mai is a great place to base yourself. Thailand's second-largest city has a stunning mountain backdrop, more than 300 temples, a quaint historical aura and a moat that encircles the original city. It is also modern, friendly and internationally flavoured with much to offer visitors - fantastic food, a wide variety of accommodation and entertainment, bargain shopping at some of Thailand's best markets and a welcoming population.

Rich in history and tradition, this 700-year-old city is northern Thailand's most culturally significant and arguably the nation's best vehicle for educating, enlightening and entertaining visitors. Here you have the opportunity to explore centuries-old temples, trek through the jungle or spend some time getting to know the northern hill tribe villages. Or why not enrol in a Thai cooking class or learn the art of Thai massage from the experts?

Chiang Mai is a great base for outdoor adventures such as rafting and cycling tours. Chiang Mai is also one of the best places in Thailand to kick your feet up at festivals, many of which take place between late December and April. One in particular to look out for is the 'wet' Songkhran Festival. Take a day trip to the border of Thailand and Myanmar to visit Pai and the town Thais call the 'City of Mists', Mae Hong

Insiders' Tips

  • Culinary Art with Heart: Tantalise your tastebuds and learn how to cook authentic Thai on the Air's Thai Cooking Class Tour.
  • Thai New Year, Chiang Mai-style: Celebrate Songkran, Thai New Year, in the spirited city of Chiang Mai. The procession runs annually from the 12-15 April.
  • Flight of the Gibbon Treetop Adventure: Zip up and zip-line through the treetops on this one -of-a-kind tour.
  • Traditional hill tribes: Experience the real northern Thailand, get off the beaten track and visit an authentic hill tribe, such as the Long Neck Karen. Known for their distinctive dress and culture, you will get an insiders' view into their way of life.
  • Visit Wat Phra Tat Doi Suthep Temple: Visit one of the most famous Buddhist temples of Chaing Mai, the amazing 600-year-old temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located near the summit of Doi Suthep.

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