Chiang Mai is situated 700 km north of Bangkok, the capital, and many has given it the name “The Rose of the North” because it’s... got over 300 temples and wonderful architecture ruins which are known worldwide. Though it has a lot of tourism flow all year long, Chiang Mai is still a quiet place where its past traditional essence remains and keeps it different from Bangkok’s racket. It’s the perfect spot to go deep into Thai culture and to explore its treasures, habits and food. It’s also the starting point to set off towards the wildest areas in the region.
Besides that, the northern Thai people’s kind, cautious and friendly personality makes the visitor feel at home. The inhabitants and their traditions –such as the festivals held in the city, filled with light and color- are one of its central themes. If you travel to Thailand, Chiang Mai and its surroundings are a must see.
Chiang Mai Overview
Thai is the country’s oficial langue. In the north, especially in Chiang Mai’s area many ethnic groups talk different dialects such as Isan, Nyaw, Galung, Lü, Phuan… It’s a long list. But in most tourist zones people working face-to-facxe with customers can manage English. Miming is also an option and it’s universal!.
Chiang Mai’s climate is divided in 3 seasons according to temperature/rain, but Chiang Mai is in the tropical climate area and so has quite temperate temperatures all year long. From November to March it’s the dry season: it rains little and the temperature is nicer than in other months, though it gets cool during the night. The hottest months are from March to May and it gets suffocating. The rain season is from June to October, which doesn’t mean it rains non-stop! There may simply be more storms, especially in the late evening. October is usually the wettest month.
Bhat (THB). The official currency in Thailand is the Bhat. In chian Mai there are many exchange posts, though the best ones are banks or exchange houses, where the rate is usually much better than in hotels or the airport. Paying by credit card can prove tricky. You can probably do it in touristic areas, which are better equipped. But most small shops and many areas don’t provide such a service. It’s best to carry some cash to make sure everything’s fine!
When to go
From Novermber to February. Rain chances are lower and temperatura is warm and nice. Still, during the rain season -June, July and August- the landscapes look a lot greener, rivers run deeper and the air is cleaner. Rain during this period is not excessive and it usually comes in the evening or late evening.