Quick Guide To Chiang Mai

    Martens Hardison
    By Martens Hardison

    Chiang Mai City is one of the few destinations where visitors have the option absorbing both modern and traditional Northern Thai culture. This provincial capital boasts many ancient Buddhist temples next to luxurious boutique hotels, lively markets and modern shopping malls.

    This dichotomy is most ideal enjoyed within the moat-encircled historical centre that retains a large part of the fortified wall, which once protected the old part of town along with the four principal gates that provided a gateway to the former capital of Lanna.

    Strangely, for decades travellers had mistaken the city simply as the point from which they could start white water rafting and trekking trips to picturesque hill tribe communities and discover other northern destinations. However, once tourists visit the "Rose of the North," they are amazed by the fact that there are numerous things to explore other than its majestic and historical religious structures.

    Chiang Mai night safari among ethnic peoples, several elephant camps, numerous massage and cooking schools, plentiful recreational outdoor activities, a wide range of handicrafts workshops, excellent portrait art galleries, many cultural performances, and stunning vistas make this city one of the most rewarding travel destinations in Asia.

    The statement "one day staying in Chiang Mai will be enough time seeing things around town" once was a commonly shared opinion. Today, 14 days in the city might not be enough time for visitors soaking up all that this vibrant place has to offer.

    Historic Chiang Mai is Northern Thailand's perfect showcase of the intriguing indigenous cultural melting pot, which features diverse local languages, mouth-watering cuisine, brilliant architectural styles, vibrant festivals, traditional values, countless handicrafts workshops, classical dances, beautiful art and traditional Thai massage. The provincial capital represents old-world charm as well as a modern and comprehensive tourist infrastructure.

    In addition to several excellent shopping places, such as the bustling Night Bazaar with its many professional portrait painters, and ancient temples, Chiang Mai boasts fantastic surroundings with scenic rivers, sparkling waterfalls and cool mountains.

    Home to various hill tribe communities, which offer an abundance of unique cultural attractions enhance the city's distinctive diversity. Hill tribe trekking, usually combined with elephant riding and white water rafting adventures has always been one of the most popular visitor attractions.

    Another tourist highlight is the busy Night Bazaar in the city centre, which comes alive every evening after sunset. Many visitors strolling around this lively market decide to purchase some lifelike portrait art. Chiang Mai is famous for housing the world's greatest portrait painters, creating high quality artwork at very affordable rates.