Chiang Mai, the capital of the Chiang Mai province, is the largest city in northern Thailand, and its cultural significance makes the city a perfect tourist location. Chiang Mai is located on the Ping River and is located approximately 450 miles west of Bangkok. Founded by King Mengrai in 1296 AD, the city was known for its strategic importance. Today, it is popular for some of Thailand's most famous attractions and activities. Every year, approximately 1 million visitors travel to Chiang Mai to visit its exquisite temples and celebrate various cultural festivals.
Chiang Mai Thailand hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. Notable Thailand festivals celebrated in the city include the Flower Festival, Thai New Year (Songkran), Loi Kratong, and Tam Bon Khan Dok. Of these, the three-day Flower Festival is celebrated exclusively in Chiang Mai, especially when the tropical flowers are in full bloom. The festival spirit is filled with traditional dance shows, beauty contests, and parades. Travelers on a Chiang Mai vacation can find out more about the city's cultural importance by visiting the City Arts and Cultural Center as well as popular museums such as the Chiang Mai National Museum.
Besides museums, Chiang Mai's temples reflect the heritage and culture of Northern Thailand. There are several Buddhist temples displaying intricate architectural styles. The city center and its outskirts have more than 200 temples, with 36 temples constructed within the old city and many more in the greater Chang Mai area. A Thailand vacation will be more interesting if you take time to visit the well-known Chiang Mai temples. A visit to the Wat Chiang Mun temple on Rajpakinai Road can be particularly special as it is the most ancient temple in Chiang Mai. The Buddha images of the temple are more than 2,000 years old. You will also love Chiang Mai's Wat Phra Singh temple located in the city center. It is one of the most well-known temples in Chiang Mai because of its exquisite gold engravings and the Lanna-style architecture. The temple is quite popular for its Phra Singh Buddha image, which was stolen in 1922 but replaced with a new one.
Elephant Nature Park
There are several national parks and gardens in Chiang Mai Thailand. The most popular and the nearest one is the Doi Inthanon National Park. The forests around the Doi Inthanon mountain became one of Thailand's fourteen National Parks in 1954. Today, the park boasts many bird species and is known for its ecological importance. The Dokmai Garden in Chiang Mai Thailand is also one of the key natural surroundings, having 600 species of plants and more than 100 different vegetables. The Elephant Nature Park is also one of the best Chiang Mai vacation attractions. It is located 37 miles from the city of Chiang Mai. A kind of a sanctuary, the Elephant Nature Park is dedicated to provide aid to Thailand's injured elephants, and it also provides various volunteer opportunities for travelers such as giving daily baths to elephants and feeding them sugarcane.
Travel to Chiang Mai means opportunities for loads of activities such as elephant riding, bicycle tours, fishing, golf, go-karting, and hill-tribe trekking. You will also find many other outdoor sports activities including cricket, tennis, snorkeling, and diving. Thai boxing is Thailand's national sport, and a Chiang Mai vacation would be incomplete without watching some great boxing. You can also learn some Thai boxing techniques if you visit the Lanna Muay Thai, which is located off Huay Kaew Road in Chiang Mai. It offers expert coaching and also has a very nice swimming pool. With several things to do in Thailand's Chiang Mai city, travelers won't get bored at all during their visit.
A flight to Chiang Mai can be an easy way to reach the city, thanks to the international airport that handles both regional as well as international flights. The huge distance between North America and Chiang Mai can result in expensive flights, so make sure you do a bit of online research, or consider flying into Bangkok first. Popular airlines from New York City to Chiang Mai include Thai airways, Korean Air, and Air China. There are also several Asian airlines operating direct services to and from the city. These include Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, and Silk Air. Budget travelers will find good opportunities to travel to Chiang Mai via Air Asia, which is a popular Asian cheap airline. Air Asia operates arrival and departure services from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok and the Kuala Lumpur international airport.