The town itself is famous for its temples and night bazaar where you can pick up some of the superior handicrafts fashioned locally.
Hotels in Chiang Mai
Essential information for Chiang Mai
The ‘Rose of the North’ is one of Thailand’s off-the-beaten-track treasures. Yes, you can spend your Thailand holidays lazing on the beaches of Phuket, dabbling your toes in azure water in Koh Phi Phi, or haggling like a native in the streets and boutiques of Bangkok. But if you really want to see the ‘real’ Thailand then Chiang Mai offers the best of Thailand holidays all packaged up into one neat bundle.
Don’t be fooled – Chiang Mai isn’t some tiny little village tucked away in the mountains. It’s Thailand’s fifth biggest city, although with so much amazing mountain scenery surrounding it, the city still manages to cling onto that village feel. Morning sunrises are magically misty and mysterious, reflecting off the red sandstone rocks and making the entire city look like it’s made of liquid gold. Holidays to Chiang Mai introduce you to a more authentic side of Thailand, but with some little luxuries thrown in for good measure, too.
It might be pretty compact, but there’s a lot to pack in on your Chiang Mai holidays. The best bet is to pick Chiang Mai packages that bundle everything into one deal, including flights, hotels and transfers, so you can focus on enjoying your holiday. Hotels in Chiang Mai are suave, sophisticated, and super-swanky, making them a great choice if you’re looking for a touch of luxury. Most have glorious swimming pools surrounded with comfy loungers are the ideal spot to chill out at the end of a hard day’s sightseeing. Here’s a pick of our favourite Chiang Mai hotels:
The Thai adore kids, so expect the little ones to get spoilt rotten on a family holiday to Chiang Mai. There’s plenty of attractions to keep the kids busy, and all of the hotels in Chiang Mai have great kids clubs and activities specifically for younger guests so that they’re never bored. The swimming pools are amazing, seriously…
Our favourite family-friendly hotel is the dusitD2 Chiang Mai. You’ve hit the jackpot with this one, from the exceptional facilities right down to the ‘Delight Box’ that welcomes you when you walk into your room. Slap-bang in the heart of the city (so you’re just a few steps away from some amazing restaurants and shopping), it’s uber-cool and sophisticated, offering a surprisingly contemporary experience in the middle of such an ancient city. It’s also kid-friendly, with a playground and one heck of a swimming pool that the kids will make a beeline for.
Classified as having a ‘tropical savanna climate’, you can expect warm temperatures all year round, making it a top spot for holidays at any time of the year. Want to escape the dull and dreary British winter, and grab a spot of sunshine in the middle of February? You’re looking at average highs of around 32°C and very low rainfall.
Hit Chiang Mai in July and you’re still pretty much guaranteed the same kind of temperatures. The driest months are January and February, where you’ll rarely see any showers to ruin those blue skies. Compared to other regions of Thailand, humidity is relatively low (comparable to the UK), so evenings are pleasantly cool without being sticky.
Those huge pools are just so tempting, it could be tough to try and pry yourself away from the sun lounger and the keep-‘em-coming cocktails. However, change out of your bikini or board shorts, pop your shoes on and get ready for an adventure, as there’s plenty to see and do on Chiang Mai holidays.
If you’re big on Thai temples then you’ve got a staggering 300 of them to choose from in Chiang Mai and the surrounding countryside. Try and find the smaller, less touristy ones for a more authentic look at the culture of this part of Thailand.
What do you fancy – a Mall or a market? A night-time bazaar or an air-conditioned ultra-chic experience complete with fountains? Chiang Mai holidays are a shopper’s delight, with everything from top-quality boutiques in malls like the Central Plaza at Chiang Mai Airport, to the gloriously quirky night Bazaar. For a more authentic Thai experience check out the Warorot Market. It’s where the locals go to do their shopping, so it’s filled with spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, and some awesome street food vendors.
Holidays to Chiang Mai mean access to some of the best food in the world. Keep a look out for restaurants and street stalls where the locals are eating – that’s where you’ll get the best truly authentic Thai food. A great staple is Khao Soi, which is a noodle broth with a bit of a kick, and traditionally served with chicken or beef. A local favourite is hang lay, which is a pork curry with attitude!
Expect plenty of spices in your food, and if you want to try a little bit of everything then book yourself a Khantoke dinner (Khantoke means ‘small bowl’, so you get to try lots of different dishes in one go). If you’ve booked onto Chiang Mai package holidays then your food and drink may be included, but it’s well worth tracking down a few taste experiences for yourself.
Package holidays to Chiang Mai introduce you to a unique and lively location that’s completely different from its cousins in the south. Check out our Chiang Mai hotels to start planning your Thai adventure today.