Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand, after Bangkok, and one of its most interesting destinations, mainly for its relaxed atmosphere and the fact that it is one of the main cultural hubs of the country. It is a cosmopolitan city, featuring the same contrasts that can be seen in Bangkok in terms of tradition Vs modernity, but here there is this feeling of being in a more authentic and genuine environment, where you truly understand why Thailand is called the “Land of Smiles”. It is undoubtedly a mandatory destination to include in a Thailand travel itinerary. In this Travel Guide of Chiang Mai, you’ll find several useful tips to help you plan your trip the best possible way.


Chiang Mai is located in the north of Thailand, about 800 km from Bangkok, in a mountainous area with dense forests.

How to get to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai can be reached from Bangkok by train (12 hours of travel), bus (11 hours) or plane (flight of 70 minutes). Both the train and the bus trip can be made overnight which is the best option if you’re looking to save one night of accommodation in a hotel. You’ll also be able to enjoy the day visiting the city instead of waisting it travelling across the country.

For more info check out: How to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

Chiang Mai


Accommodation in Chiang Mai

The central area of the city, known as “Old Town” is the heart and the main tourist centre of the city. This is where you can find a large variety of accommodation for different budgets, from Hostels to more upscale hotels. Depending on the type of accommodation you chose, the rates may go from €2 per night up to €800 per night. The intermediate accommodations will be within the range of €15 to €40 per night in a single room.

For longer stays, the modern neighbourhood of Nimman, 10 minutes by car/motorbike from the center, can be a good option. Here you’ll find fully equipped and very comfortable apartments for rates as low as €16 per night.

For more info check out: Where to stay in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

What to do in Chiang Mai

The city is filled with temples scattered all over the city and worth visiting, but also with opportunities for more adventurous and outdoors activities such as trekkings in the forest that surrounds the city, cliff diving in the Grand Canyon or zip-liningThe countless original cafes scattered throughout the city, as well as the peaceful city park are also excellent options to spend some time. You’ll always have something to do, that’s for sure!

For more info check out: What to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai

What and where to eat in Chiang Mai

If there’s one thing that this city has in abundance, as in so many other cities in Thailand, are places to indulge insome delicious Thai food. From the most humble street food stalls and typical restaurants on every corner, to more sophisticated and modern restaurants and cafes.

Some of the most popular dishes to find here are the Pad Thai (Thailand’s official dish), fried rice with chicken, Khao Soi or Massaman Curry. If you’re not a big fan of spicy food, then don’t forget to say the magic words: “No spicy“!

Chiang Mai

Transports in Chiang Mai

It is quite easy to move around the city and although there are no public buses or subway, there are several other transport options, such as the Tuk Tuk, the Songthaew, the traditional taxis, or alternatively, you can always rent a bicycle or a motorbike.

For more info check out: How to get around Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

For more useful tips, photos and videos, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

This post may contain affiliate links.


For accommodation bookings, I always use Booking or Airbnb.

For the best flight options, I recommend Jet Radar

Travel Insurance:
For safe travels, hire travel insurance with World Nomads 

Tours and Activities:
For tours and activities' bookings in several destinations around the world, I recommend Get Your Guide or Viator

Car Rental:
For car rentals, I always use Discover Cars

For transport tickets in Asia, I recommend or Baolau

Maria João Proença

Born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, but in love with the world. I love sharing my travel stories, photos and videos and inspire those who are just as fascinated with exploring the world as I am.

Did you like this post? Leave your comment here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.