Touring Thailand


Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai City Overview

Chiang Mai is often hailed as Thailands Cultural Capital, certainly the inhabitants of this city are by far and away vastly different to the Bangkokians further south. Indeed traditional practices and ritual still hold sway here more than southern Thailand. The local language and dialect differs even down to the tempo of the speech (Northern Thai is at a slower pace).
Chiang Mai province has a rich and vibrant history stretching back to the mid-13th Century. Indeed a lasting legacy of this are the city walls and moat which ring the old city of Chiang Mai. The vast and flowing Ping river is, in many peoples eyes, superior to Bangkok's Chao Phraya. In recent years Chiang Mai has started to become an increasingly modern city with development taking place at various positions around the city.
While lacking the futuristic skyline and intensity of Bangkok it holds a special 'olde worlde' charm that brings thousands of visitors to the city each year. The vast number of temples here in Chiang Mai is unrivalled elsewhere in Thailand, over 300 temples or 'Wats' are dotted all over the city.
Nightlife is a key factor to many businesses east of Chiang Mai city center and either side of the Ping River. The night-market and immediate surroundings are where most of the tourist traffic is.
Bars and nightclubs catering to the tourists are concentrated on the east-side also.
First time tourists to Chiang Mai will notice the overall cost of food and drink is cheaper here than Bangkok, also the traffic is generally less intense. The air is cleaner but can suffer from the 'slash and burn' effects by Thai farmers further afield. This normally becomes noticeable in the summer months (May - August).
Since about 2001 the city authorities have been encouraging big hotel building and a drive for the 'high quality' tourist to come to Chiang Mai. This has changed the foreigners quarter into a place of high ride hotels but comparatively few condos for expats.

Chiang Mai Zones

Chiang Mai is a city within a city; The old city is within the old city walls and is surrounded by a moat and five gateways. A northern gateway, two southern gateways, an eastern and a western.
Surrounding them is the new city which stretches out in every direction.
Day or night there can be some interesting places to wander and visit within Chiang Mai. The tourist masses tend to descend on masse into the old city and east of it into the Night Market or Night Bazaar. This place is great for some shopping, but be aware the prices are up to treble what you'd pay in a normal thai shop and the crowds seem to bigger and bigger each year!

The Old City Quarter - Slap bang in the center of the city is Chiang Mais Old City Quarter. Surrounded by walls and a moat it has some of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai as well as scores of back-packer style haunts.

The University Quarter - To the west of the city center lies the University Quarter which includes - Huay Gaew, Siri munkhalajan, Nimmanhaemin. Suthep and Klong Chon Prathan.

The Foreigners Quarter - Several of these areas exist: Areas around Central Chiang Mai, Loi Kroh Road, Tha Phae Road and further east is the Night Bazaar area. At the beginning of Huay Gaew Road is a small expat 'colony' in several of the apartment blocks there.

The Expats Quarter - Anywhere away from the tourist areas and often in the outer parts of the city as far as the outlying towns and villages in Chiang Mai Province.

Road Traffic in Chiang Mai

Chang Mai Facts

Founded: 1296 A.D

Population: 205,000 (Provincial)

Size (Municiple): 25 Sq. Miles

Distance from Capital by Air: 370 miles

Distance from Capital by Road: 450 miles

Typical Visa Run Destination: Mae Sai

Seasons and Weather.

Despite Chiang Mai being one of the most northerly of the Thai cities the heat can still be brutal in the month of April. The wettest is normally September and the coldest is usually December and January.

Cool Season - October to February. Avg Temp - 22 C

Hot Season - March to May. Avg Temp - 29 C

Wet Season - June to September. Avg Temp - 26 C.

Provincial Map of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Province Lamphun City Mae Wang Ban Thi Hang Dong Saraphi San Kamphaeng Saraphi San Kamphaeng Doi Saket Doi Saket Mae Rim Phu Ping Palace Doi Suthep Doi Suthep Phu Ping Palace Sa Moeng Mae Sa Valley Chiang Mai City Chiang Rai Route 1001 Chiang Mai Province Route 1001 Chiang Mai Route 107 Chiang Mai Province Route 107 Chiang Mai Province Mae Sa Valley Route 1096 Route 1269 Chiang Mai Province Route 121 East/West Chiang Mai Route 121 Route 121 South Chiang Mai Province Highway 11 Chiang Mai Provice Route 1006 Chiang Mai Province Route 118 Chiang Mai Province Route 1004 Chiang Mai Province Route 118 Chiang Mai Mae Rim Sa Moeng Route 108 Bikes The Hill Tribes Route 107 Chiang Mai Highway 11 Chiang Mai Province

On The Road Thailand (OTRT) is the standalone information gateway to Chiang Mai. Unlike many website's which blatantly over-hype destinations we independently review many of Chiang Mai's attractions and night life so that you the guest are given an unbiased, balanced opinion of a venue.



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