Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and located around 700 kilometres north of Bangkok near the highest mountains in the country. Chiang Mai is defined as ‘New City’ and named after became the new capital of Lan Na in 1296. The city is subdivided into four khwaeng which are Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is on the east bank. Nakhon Ping District includes the northern part of the city and Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the western, southern and eastern parts respectively. The Chiang Mai metropolitan area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province. Chiang Mai was the site of the Chiang Mai Initiative between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the "ASEAN+3" countries which are China, Japan, and South Korea in May 2006. It was also awarded the UNESCO title of Creative City in 2017 and one of two tourist destinations in Thailand on TripAdvisor's 2014 list of ‘25 Best Destinations in the World’.
1. Chiang Mai International Airport
Owned by Royal Thai Air Force, Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) handles both domestic and regional international flights. Thai Airways flies daily almost every hour, with additional flights in the peak tourist season. Currently, 31 different airlines fly into and out of the airport. There are facilities such as some money changing counters and ATMs in both terminals and on the ground floor. Many airlines cater to this connection such as Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Scoot 674, Thai Airways and many more.
Traveloka is a convenient travel website for travellers to find the cheapest flights to Chiang Mai. The step required is for visitors to enter the information in the search box and the application will suggest the top flight according to your budget. To receive a great deal, there is also a comparison of flight prices by various airlines. You can use Traveloka’s price alert feature for constant notification to check your preferred price range to acquire the best flight to Chiang Mai.
The best time to visit Chiang Mai is between November until mid-February when it is cool and dry. During the day, it is around 25 degrees Celsius, and during the night, it can be as cold as 13 degrees Celsius. The hot, rainy and humid usually occur from late April to October. This time also marks the cheapest time to visit Chiang Mai as flight and hotel prices drop.
1. Chiang Mai Night Safari - Similar to Singapore Night Safari, Chiang Mai Night Safari offers the same experience of seeing animals at night. It consists of three animal zones which are Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl and Jaguar Trail. Savanna Safari and Predator Prowl are accessible via open- sided safari trams whereas Jaguar Trail is a walking trail that you can wander along at your own pace. The safari covers 2.4 kilometres trail and houses mostly by herbivores and prey animals, such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, lamas, rhinoceros, elephants and various species of Asian and African wild deer. The tram ride for each zone consumes around 30 minutes. Besides that, there are also activities such as hand-feeding wild animals and petting tiger cubs and shows like laser light show and ‘dancing’ fountain. Visitors are required to plan your trip to night safari as each animal zones have different opening times. African Savana and Predator Prowl are evening zones and open from 6.00 pm to 11.00pm whereas the day zone (Jaguar Trail) is open from 11.00 am to 11.00pm.
2. Doi Inthanon National Park - Doi Inthanon National Park is natural beauty of rugged mountainous terrain surrounded by lush tropical forests, rivers and amazing waterfalls. This attraction is a protected park and provides a sanctuary for a wide range of animal species. There are about 362 different species of bird and makes this national park a perfect place for bird watching. Besides that, there are also other animal species and herbal plants. The park also showcases settlements of Northern Hill tribes and allow these unique villages to maintain their traditional cultures while co-existing with modern developments in terms of tourism and the Bhumibol Dam.
3. Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park - For those who interested in cultural heritage and history, you can visit Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park. The museum displays the kingdom’s 400-year history and showcases an amazing collection of secular and religious art and artefacts. Visitors also can go to the Haw Kham pavilion and learn about animist and Buddhist rituals from the Lanna culture. The culture is still practised today by locals. Besides that, visitors also can stroll around the landscaped lake garden with traditional styles of traditional Lanna and Tai hill-tribes. Also, there is also the museum’s crafts shop that sells many souvenirs and handmade crafts. The opening hours of this museum is from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays.