Chiang Mai, Thailand - Stein Travel
Email us: sarah@steintravel.ie
Call 01 517 5990

Licensed by Commission Aviation Regulation TA 0796 Holidays 100% protected

request a quote

OUR DESTINATIONS

 

Let us help you find your perfect holiday by phoning us on 

(01) 517 5990

 

We offer holidays to the four courners of the globe.  If you want specialist advise please phone our travel team and we will be happy to help. 

Alternatively, check out some of our holiday offers below. 

 

Holidays Portugal

Holidays Spain

Canary Islands

Holiday Offers

Escorted Holidays

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city, and an excellent starting point for excursions into the northern territories. Its name means 'new city', even though Chiang Mai is much older than Bangkok, having been built in 1296 under the rule of King Mengrai. The city straddles the gap between urban and rural Thailand, and offers the best of both worlds in terms of attractions and activities for Thailand tourists.

While Chiang Mai has more than 300 ancient temples, including the one at Doi Suthep, which offer breathtaking views over the area, its popularity is largely due to the elephant treks in the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also use Chiang Mai as a launching pad for excursions to the Lisu Hill-Tribe, Bhubing Palace, and Chiang Rai. Thai cookery classes are also a popular tradition, and the city also has an extensive night market, with dozens of street vendors selling a variety of traditional Thai wares that can be obtained at very low prices if you have the patience to bargain for them.

Chiang Mai is small enough to get around on a bicycle, has several attractions, and offers excellent accommodation, although tourists are advised that it can be difficult to find a room in peak season, between December and March.

Information & Facts

Climate

Chiang Mai has a tropical climate, but is cooler and less humid than elsewhere in Thailand. Chaing Mai experiences monsoons. The south-west monsoon arrives from India at the end of May and lasts until November, with the heaviest downpours in August/September. Rain usually occurs in the late afternoon. Between November and May cool air blows in from China and northern Vietnam, bringing a dry season with mild days and balmy nights. Temperatures are at their lowest in December/January, and it is chilly enough to require a warm jacket at night.

Getting Around

Chiang Mai is tourist-oriented, and it is therefore relatively easy to get around, with several transport options. Three-wheeled tuk tuks, also known as samlors, are usually the quickest means of transport, and fares should be negotiated before travelling. Songthaewsare another novel (if slightly hair-raising) way to travel. Songthaewsare small, usually red, pickup trucks with benches fitted along the side; they have no fixed route but pick up and drop off passengers like buses and need to be flagged down. Be sure to check the destination with the driver. The Chiang Mai bus service is very limited; catching a metered taxi can be difficult at times as well. Renting a motorbike is a popular option, and car rental agencies are also available, though traffic can be heavy, and it is advised to rather hire a car with a driver. Bicycles are another good way to explore Chiang Mai and can be hired in the old city, though one does have to watch out for drivers.

Kids Attractions

Far more family friendly than Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a great place to take the kids while on holiday in Thailand. The national way of life of sanuk(fun) is enough to keep the kids on their toes. Couple that with the friendly, child-loving and sometimes even child-like quality of the Thais, and you've got a recipe for a fun-filled holiday with the family in Chiang Mai.

Take the kids to watch the animal shows in the Mae Sa Valley where monkeys ride tricycles and play basketball, hold a cobra at the Mae Se Snake Farm, enjoy the views from an elephant's back at the Elephant Conservation Centre on the Chiang Mai-Lampang road, swim and play under a waterfalls in the Soi Suithep-Pui National Park, go fishing in a local pond, or visit Chiang Mai Zoo's two giant pandas from China, Chuang Chuangand Lin Hui.

Be sure to make sure the kids have plenty of sunscreen on and kit them out with a sunhat as the temperatures can be searing. With all these attractions and more, children on holiday in Chiang Mai will be entertained from dawn to dusk.

Language

Thai is the official language, although English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Money

The unit of currency is the Baht (THB), which is divided into 100 satang. Currency can be exchanged at the airport, banks, hotels and bureaux de change. Banks are open Monday to Friday. ATMs are available in most cities and tourist resorts. Most large hotels and shops accept travellers cheques, but a better rate will be given at banks. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels and larger businesses.

Shopping

Shopping in Chiang Mai is an extremely rewarding experience! There is a vast array of goods available, most often at very good (if not dirt-cheap) prices. As one of the handicraft centres of Asia, Chiang Mai is the place to buy anything from silk, silver and ceramics to antiques and Buddhist art. DVDs, CDs and electronic equipment are also readily available, although sometimes of dubious origin.

The first stop has to be the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan road, with stalls and arcades offering all kinds of Northern Thai handicrafts including silk, cotton, wooden carvings, silver and saa (mulberry) paper. During the day, there are also some vendors around selling crafts and food. Another good market is held on Ratchadamnoen Road, in the old city. Near Chiang Mai, Bor Sang village also sells its famous colourful umbrellas.

In the centre of Chiang Mai there are numerous shops trading in fabric, shoes, antiques, jewellery and hill-tribe products. Gadgets, western-style clothes and multimedia goods are best stocked at the Kad Suan Kaew mall and Airport Plaza, while computer equipment can be found at the Panthip Plaza.

Sightseeing

Chiang Mai is a magical wonderland for visitors to explore and with so many breathtaking natural and cultural attractions travellers will be hard-pressed to know where to begin. The best time of year for sightseeing in Chiang Mai is between November and May when the cooler weather makes for perfect days spent outdoors.

A must while on holiday in Chiang Mai is the Maesa Elephant Camp where visitors can enjoy an elephant ride and even watch them play football or paint a picture, and check out the Mae Sa Waterfall in the Soi Suithep-Pui National Park, while the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center will teach visitors about the region, its culture, religion and its history. And if you're into cultural activities, check out the Lisu Hill-Tribe display at the Hill-Tribe Research Institute Museum to learn about the lives of the hill-tribe people.

There are plenty of temples to visit too, such as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which overlooks Chiang Mai from the slopes of Mount Suthep and Wat Phra Singh, the city's best-known temple which houses the Phra Singh statue, which dates back to between 1385 and 1400.

Time

GMT +7.

Call us
Our experienced travel consultants
are always here to help on:
(01) 517 5990

ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.