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Why fly to Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai sits in the north of Thailand with the Ping River running through it.
The city is peppered with ancient Buddhist temples with some of the largest and most popular including Wat Phra that Doi Suthep and Wat Phra Singh. Wat Phra Singh looks like a secretive place as it is housed inside walls, once you walk inside it becomes more welcoming and incredible. The site has three beautiful old structures complete with the old style Lanna architecture. There are also a number of murals to check out that have been restored and provide a glimpse into life in the old days.
In addition to the temples are several museums including the Chiang Mai National Museum and the Tribal Museum, which is great for learning about the region's mountain people.
Chiang-Mai is surrounded by national parks like Doi Pui Suthep National Park and Doi Inthanon National Park which provide a great chance to go for a hike and check out the area's foliage. There are several waterfalls that come off the mountainside in Doi Pui Suther Park.
A visit to Chiang-Mai's markets is a must there is no better way to soak in the culture of the city while scoring some truly wonderful keepsakes. The city has a massive night market that takes up several blocks where you can purchase handmade goods as well as local delicacies.
Thai cuisine has spread far and wide with most major Western cities hosting several Thai restaurants. In Chiang Mai you are promised the real deal with the hundreds of street food stands in addition to the numerous restaurants.
The special sausage unique to Chiang Mai called sai krok is a street food favorite. The average pork sausage is hyped up to put on a show of galangal, cilantro, lime leaves, lemongrass and hot thai chili. The final product is really quite a symphony.
Other street foods include honey-roasted chicken, khao soi, which is essentially a heavy coconut curry with cabbage, yellow noodles and a squeeze of lime, stewed pork with egg. The chicken curries are delightful, and for a taste adventure try the ant egg soup.
Chaing Mai is a party for the senses and offers everything from a happening nightlife, oodles of history as well as a chance to relax in natural beauty at its surrounding national parks. And if that's not all, the taste adventure alone could keep you busy for several weeks.
Chiang Mai Weather
The weather in Chiang Mai ranges from very warm to hot in the daylight hours throughout the year. The average temperatures in the summer months range from the high 20s to the low 30s. The winter numbers are slightly lower with temperatures in the teens to the low 20s. The city is wet for at least six months with the rainfall beginning in April and reaching extremely heavy proportions at the end of summer and into the beginning of fall.
When to fly to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is one of those cities that travelers pop into anytime of year because of its tropical climate. The June and July months are very popular as it is hot and before the beginning of heavy rain. December is also a popular time to visit as winter holidaymakers head to warmer climates. During these heavy travel months flight ticket prices are quite high.
The heavy rains of August and September tend to keep many tourists away which means flight ticket prices drop at that time.
Getting into Chiang Mai
Your portal to Chiang Mai Airport opens up at Chiang Mai International Airport, which is located 10 minutes outside of the city center. From the airport you can take a traditional taxi or if you're ready to immerse yourself in city culture right away. Hop into one of the tuk-tuks or songteaws located outside of the terminal.
Getting around Chiang Mai
There are a few interesting options to get around Chiang Mai. You can take a songthaews, which is essentially a pick-up truck that has been fitted with benches and a roof in the rear, which is a less expensive option than a taxi as you are sharing the fare with your fellow passengers. If you are traveling alone or with one other person, the auto-rickshaws called tuk-tuks are also an option. There is limited bus service in the city and traditional taxi service is also available.
- Take a trip out into the jungles of Chiang Mai. Here you can spend a day or night with a mountain tribe and learn old ways of surviving in and with nature. It is a chance to camp out under the stars, breathe in some fresh air and get a feeling for the heartbeat of the people that understand the old way of life.
- Visit Wat Chedi Luang for a taste of the 14th century. The temple's pagoda is part of the city's skyline and on the site you will find numerous pieces significant for the city and culture. The city pillar sits on the site and is flanked by gum trees, which are regarded as protectors of the city
- A beautiful treasure is located just outside of Chiang Mai. Travel just 10 minutes south and you will encounter an ancient underground city that dates back to the 8th century.
- Visit the Elephant Nature Park, which is located approximately an hour outside of Chiang Mai. The park has rescued numerous distressed elephants since it opened its doors in the 90s. Visitors can participate in a variety of programs hosted at the site such as feeding and bathing the animals or even stay orvernight for an intensive educational experience.
- Compare flights to Chiang Mai from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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