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Chiang Mai Travel Guide

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Who Likes This Place?

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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Budget Travelers
  • 73%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 72%
    Backpackers
  • 71%
    Adventure Travelers
  • 70%
    Wellness
  • 60%
    Family Travelers
  • 60%
    Nightlife Lovers
  • 55%
    Green Travelers
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Member Reviews (108)Write a review

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  • Chiang Mai
    Member of
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    Backpackers

    A much calmer, more scenic alternative to the crowded chaos of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a beautiful, walkable city in Thailand's northern hills. While certainly a modern city in many ways, Chiang Mai also has tangible influence from indigenous hill tribes and Hmong cultures. With an enormous night market and easy access to terrific jungle treks, Chiang Mai was a major highlight of my time in Southeast Asia.

    Recommended for:BackpackersBudget TravelersGreen Travelers
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  • Chiang MaiPro 2014
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    Adventure Travelers

    Thailand's second city, the northern hub of Chiang Mai may be as touristy as can be, but it's also an atmospheric place with tons of excellent food and good-value guesthouses, and the best party scene north of Bangkok. You can wander the wats, get a Thai massage, chow down on some green curry, take in the Sunday walking market, and then head into the surrounding mountains for a hill-tribe trek. That said, Chiang Mai's status as a tourist mecca has caught up with it, and for the more jaded traveller, it will be a place that's unlikely to inspire.

    Recommended for:BackpackersFoodiesLocal Culture
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  • Chiang MaiPro 2014
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    Adventure Travelers

    In northern Thailand near the hill country, Chiang Mai is a vibrant cultural capital. You could spend all day learning Thai cooking or massage, or trekking in the jungle. Then come back to the city after dark for its fantastic night market.

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  • Chiang Mai
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 8
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
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    • Green Travelers
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    • Backpackers
    • Luxury Travelers

    Havent been yet but this is highly recommended by trusted friends who travel SEA (South East Asia). Great for those into culture, food and Elephants!

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersHistory BuffsSpiritual SeekersWellness
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  • Chiang MaiPro 2014
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    + 2
    • Foodies
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    I think this is one of the more overrated places in Thailand. Very touristy. Sure, you can ride an elephant, but there are other places to do that. Much better (in my mind) to blow through Chiang Mai and get out to one of the smaller towns outsite like Pai.

    Recommended for:BackpackersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Chiang MaiPro 2014
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    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 8
    • Business Travelers
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    • Luxury Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    Exciting northern city. Gets the benefit of better (cooler) weather. Nice home base from which to explore the area.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Chiang MaiPro 2014
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 5
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    Chiang Mai is incredibly popular with backpackers and digital nomads for a reason--you can't beat it. Lots of culture, inexpensive cost of living, excellent food, lots of shopping, reliable Wi-Fi, tasty coffee, touristic sights, local life. The gateway to northern Thailand.

    Recommended for:BackpackersBudget TravelersWellness
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  • Chiang MaiCommunity ManagerPro 2014
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    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 8
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    Chiang Mai changed my mind! Northern Thailand is beautiful. Simple ways of life, the nature and landscape, friendly people, and filled with adventure. A Thailand visit wouldn't be complete without visiting Chiang Mai.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Chiang Mai
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    + 4
    • Backpackers
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    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters

    This was definitely my favorite part of my trip, and I wish that I was able to stay longer. It's beautiful and relaxing. Perhaps this can be the last part of your trip to recoup from all the other places you'll be going to.

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  • Chiang Mai

    I love to explore the Asian culture, especially here, you will feel calm, comfortable. I use relax and entertainment on http://www.friv10.co | http://www.friv4.info | http://www.friv3.co

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  • Chiang Mai

    Beautiful City in the North of Thailand. A very welcome respite from bustling and hot Bangkok where people are just a tad friendlier and nature a bit closer.

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  • Chiang Mai

    Great place, not far from Bangkok. Very studenty vibe, with lots of rooftop bars to visit. Not somewhere steeped in culture, but a good place to go with friends to enjoy the nightlife.

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  • Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai is the hippie, green area of Thailand. It's appeal is a mountain retreat, but has plenty of hidden gems like Patara Elephant Sanctuary and homestays with native villagers. It's the weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of the urban chaos with equally (and arguably better) wats, markets and restaurants.

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  • Chiang Mai

    Even after having lived here for years, I still come across things in Chiang Mai that excite me and make me obliged to show other people. For instance, exploring the countryside for no less than 20 minutes I found an amazing cave. There are many places that I have come across that make Chiang Mai an interesting city for me, since the specific finds are simple and unique micro environments that are worth visiting again. Since Thailand is host to many gifted artists and artisans, there are numerous shops that hold unique works of art and trinkets. The night market is an interesting place to wander around to see the merchandise, as well as the good restaurants that cater to your nationality and taste. There is a lively night life with your choice of poison always at hand, and quite an interesting live music scene. If you prefer costly accommodation, seek it out, if you enjoy the simple life, seek that out too. You are likely to be surprised by the quality and aesthetics of your surroundings. In Chinag Mai you can stumble across something ancient or find a picture perfect vantage point if you just take a stroll. Although Chiang Mai has been at the heart of the Thailand tourist boom, it is none the less a very wonderful place and a must see for anybody traveling through Thailand.

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  • Chiang Mai
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    Family Travelers
    Art & Design Lovers

    After the noise and bad air of Bangkok, we appreciated the relative quiet of the north. Chiang Mai makes a good hub to explore northern Thailand. The elephant camps and hilltribes were fascinating.

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  • Chiang Mai

    At night, groups of skinny jean wearing Thai teens ride around on fixed gear bikes by Tha Pae gate. Yeah, it’s pretty touristy, as it is a typical stop on the backpacker route, but whatever. For a pretty good cafe scene you can check out Nimanhemin Road. There you’ll find a bunch of independent cafes along with your black canyon and a bunch of quirky boutiques. For more generic tourist flavor the Night Bazaar will handle your souvenir needs. Sunday walking street is also worth a stroll for trinkets and an infinite variety of food. If you want to train Muay Thai, Chiang Mai isn’t lacking its group of reputable schools. Santai Muay Thai, Team Quest, Chai Yai and Burklerk gym by the Night Bazaar will wake the fighter inside you. See some of the many temples in the city and make sure you hit up Doi Suthep. Overall I’m lukewarm about Chiang Mai. If you want you can take care of elephants at a reserve or do some treks to the hill tribes. You’ll not lack for activities in this laid back city.

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  • Chiang Mai

    If you like nature and hiking, this is the place for you.

    During the winter months (in the US), it's hot still in Chiang Mai but not as bad as in Bangkok. It can actually be perfect weather in Chiang Mai because it's up north.

    I studied here for a bit and loved how many waterfalls were nearby and I was close to the mall and a lot of hiking trails. The night bazaar is only a few miles away. Everything was fairly close that I rented a motorcycle. :D

    Nature is around you... hence, wear a LOT of deet. It's still hot and lots of mosquitoes. Also wear sunscreen!

    Nature Lovers!

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  • Chiang Mai

    Pick a piece of Loy Krathong artistry from the streets, light the incense and candle, and set it afloat in the river. Better yet, make your way through the revelers swinging fireworks through the air and get a lantern to launch toward the full moon. The key to a successful launch is patience and a little technique. Light the wax ring and let the lantern fill will with hot air. You can see when it's ready to float. Then pull it quickly down to compress the air and launch it like a local.
    Make sure you catch the parade and more formal fireworks lighting up the river. The parade is fairly lengthy. It worked out well to walk opposite to the direction of the parade to catch all the floats, music, and dancing and still have time to launch a string of lanterns.
    If you want to take pics without a flash make sure you know you ISO, shutter and aperture settings to capture the warm glow of the night.

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  • Chiang Mai

    Serenely gorgeous landscape, amazing food, and some awesome shopping opportunities. Makes sure to pick up some silver jewelry handmade by the Karen hill tribe - it's like nothing you'll find anywhere else in the world, and it's stunning.

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  • Chiang Mai

    La mistica capitale del nord rende tutti (quasi tutti) migliori. Tra templi incredibili e fantastiche escursioni si nutre il corpo, lo spirito e il cervello.

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Description

Nestled in the heart of some of Southeast Asia’s most prominent mountains, Chiang Mai is a relic of Thai history and tradition. Thailand's second largest city serves as the economic and political hub of the north. Although this ancient farming city has undergone some modernization efforts in recent years, the main attraction here, the aptly named Old Town, retains much of the ancient charm that has made this city famous. Pass through the Old Town’s gates and you get a snapshot of what the city used to look like – temples, restaurants, and small shops line the streets. For a view, head up the mountain to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located approximately 4000 feet above the city. At restaurants, be sure to sample the northern Thai specialty of hang ley, a curried pork. Chiang Mai has some of Thailand’s cheapest rooms, so look in the old city center for some of the new boutique hotels built in the past few years.

OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
108 members' reviews
13,091 people visited Chiang Mai

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Chiang Mai Hotels

Empress Hotel
Empress Hotel
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Libra Guest House
Libra Guest House
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Things To Do in Chiang Mai

Night Bazaar
Night Bazaar
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Chiang Mai Restaurants

El Diablo's
El Diablo's
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Street Food
Street Food
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Huen Phen
Huen Phen
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