Every year, Thailand welcomes tens of millions of tourists, and this figure is only expected to keep rising. Before you arrive in the Kingdom, it will be beneficial for you and the local people you meet along the road if you have a fundamental understanding of what to anticipate when you get there.
Chiang Mai is a playground for seasoned tourists and a thrill for adventurers because of its foggy mountains and colorful hill tribes. Chiang Mai is located in northern Thailand. Curious tourists can broaden their views during their visit to this peaceful city by enrolling in Thai massage or cooking classes while they are there. Others will be blown away by the extensive collection of antiques and handcrafted goods. There are a great number of exciting nightlife venues as well as superb restaurants that focus on regional cuisine.
Located around 700 kilometers to the north of Bangkok, the city of Chiang Mai can be found within a green valley on the banks of the Ping River. The city was established in 1296 as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, and even today, it proudly displays its distinct culture and extensive history for all to observe. Its history dates back to the 13th century. On the other hand, it is currently a site where the present and the past are in perfect harmony with one another, as seen by the fact that contemporary structures coexist peacefully alongside ancient temples. Chiang Mai is a city that, despite its relatively compact size, manages to pack a lot into its offerings.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Thailand’s Chiang Mai
Stay Away from Animal Tourism
- One of the most popular things to do in Thailand for tourists is to schedule an encounter when they may get up close and personal with some of the country’s most unusual animals. During your time there, you can have the opportunity to participate in activities such as elephant trekking, visiting temples devoted to tigers, and taking pictures with monkeys.
- It is recommended that you do not visit any of these places of interest if they are on your list of things to do in the future. Many tourists are oblivious to the fact that these creatures are neglected and subjected to cruel treatment. Before coming to Thailand, you should make sure that you have done sufficient research regarding how it is morally acceptable to interact with the local wildlife. If you can’t wait any longer to see elephants, go see elephants. Just ensure that you act responsibly.
It Becomes Hot
- Chiang Mai experiences high levels of both heat and humidity throughout the year. The city’s climate can be described as a tropical monsoon. It could be difficult for you if you are not accustomed to the heat. Bring along clothing that is breathable and lightweight, stay hydrated, and try to avoid the warmest part of the day. If at all possible, try to schedule your vacation outside of the warm season, which lasts about from the middle of March until the middle of June.
There Are Numerous Stray Dogs
- It is estimated that there are over 300,000 strays just in the streets of Thailand’s capital city. It is not known how many soi dogs, also known as street dogs, there are in the country; nevertheless, one thing is for certain: throughout your time there, you will come into contact with at least a few of these canines. Some of the conditions that stray dogs living on the streets are suffering from include rashes, fleas, and skin lesions. These animals are provided with food and water by well-meaning residents, yet many of them are still mistreated. When you can, lend a helping hand, but keep a watchful eye on everything.
Never Give the Monkeys Food
- In Thailand, you won’t have any trouble finding beaches that are teeming with monkeys. These creatures are not only adorable but also quite intelligent and fascinating to observe up close. However, this does not imply that you should provide them with food. If you give the monkeys food, it will make it harder for them to locate food on their own, which will make them more vulnerable in the wild. It also indicates that they will rely on people for the food they eat.
- It is not unusual to witness monkeys stealing bags, clothing, and other items from tourists to acquire food. When they start ripping your purse to shreds, these monkeys lose some of their endearing qualities. Please keep in mind that these are wild animals. A pleasurable experience may very rapidly turn into something quite hazardous if you were bitten by a monkey and did not receive a rabies vaccination or if there was no hospital in the immediate area.
- The skill of bargaining can be a lot of fun in Thailand. There aren’t many places in the Western world where you can go back and forth with a salesperson about prices until you find one that you’re both happy with. Having said that, there is never a wrong moment or location to try to haggle for a lower price.
- If you’re going to be in the Chatuchak Weekend Market, you should try your hand at some bargaining. You should suggest a retailer lower the price they initially stated for an item if the item in question does not have a visible price tag attached to it. Move on to the next shop if you can simply see that you are making the merchant uncomfortable or if the bartering no longer feels like casual banter. Be careful not to be the tourist that gets into a brawl over a single dollar.
The Best Time to Visit
- The months of November through February in Chiang Mai experience both the lowest average temperatures and the lowest average humidity levels for the entire year, making this time of year the ideal time to visit. Festivals such as Loi Krathong and the Chiang Mai Flower Festival are held during this time of year as well.
Watch Out for Attractive Offers
- If something looks too good to be true, there’s a strong probability that it is. If a taxi driver informs you that a specific temple is closed but is willing to take you to another temple, there is a good possibility that he is lying to you. Ask them why they can’t use a meter if they tell you they can’t use one. It is common practice to take advantage of tourists and foreigners because of the perception that they are easily duped and naive.
- Doing your homework is the most effective approach to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Get familiar with the opening hours and admission prices of some of the most popular tourist attractions that you want to visit. Purchase a map. Acquire a few keywords and phrases in Thai. When traveling, you can prevent receiving a poor price by utilizing any one of these methods. Having said that, the vast majority of people in Thailand are trustworthy and friendly, and they will go out of their way to make sure your trip goes according to plan.
Bring Your Own Toilet Paper or BYOT
- It is always a good idea to bring along a little container of tissues or toilet paper while you are traveling throughout Thailand. This is because you never know when you might need them. It is impossible to predict when you will run out of money. It’s possible that Westerners won’t be used to the squat toilets and hoses that are used in place of toilet paper that can be found in many of Thailand’s public restrooms.
Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
- Several major airlines provide service between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the most well-known of which are Air Asia, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air. Flights depart and arrive at the Chiang Mai International Airport daily and start as little as $16 for a one-way ticket. After you have collected your luggage, there will be taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers standing by, ready to transport you to one of the available lodging options.
- You also have the option of taking a train that runs through the night to get there. These are typically the more cost-effective choices. The overnight train trip in and of itself is an experience not to be missed. During your time in the Land of Smiles, it is highly advised that you embark on at least one of these amazing trips if you can do so and have the leisure to do so. For individuals on a particularly tight budget, taking a bus overnight is an additional option that is even more cost-effective.
- It is unlikely that you will be able to become competent in the language before your trip. Instead, commit a few phrases to memory before you go so that you can connect with the people who live there and make the most of your time there. This will ensure that your vacation is as memorable as it can be.
Accommodations in Chiang Mai
- The accommodations in Chiang Mai are remarkable in both their affordability and their level of comfort. You may spend the night in a dormitory room with air conditioning for only a few dollars, and there is a wonderful community vibe to go along with it. There is a wide variety of lodging available in Chiang Mai, so whether you came for the nightlife or just a soft bed to sleep off your hangover in, you won’t be disappointed.
- In Chiang Mai, there is no shortage of party hostels to choose from, which is great news for anyone who enjoys tequila or is traveling alone and hoping to connect with other travelers with similar interests. Pub crawls are events that allow people to socialize while drinking, and Bodega and Sunday Backpackers are two organizations that put on these events.
Day Trips from Chiang May
- It’s possible that some tourists won’t ever want to leave the crumbling walls of the Old City, but if you venture beyond the city’s core, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of things to see and do. A trip to the Doi Inthanon National Park is a fantastic way to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is in this area that you will find an abundance of waterfalls, breathtaking scenery, and lovely pagodas that were built as a tribute to the previous monarch and queen.
- Huay Tung Tao Lake is an excellent alternative if you do not feel like visiting a national park. After a few too many days spent in the city, it is a sight for sore eyes to see this vast body of water that is almost seldom visited by tourists from other countries.
Mai Pen Rai
- You are going to hear variations of this sentence rather frequently while you are away. When something goes wrong, this phrase, which can also be translated as “Don’t worry” or “Everything is OK,” is the standard response. But that is not the whole story by any means. The saying known as Mai Pen Rai is the quintessential illustration of Thailand in its entirety. The people have a fairly laid-back attitude, and they bounce back quickly after experiencing setbacks.
The laid-back city of Chiang Mai, which is located in the highlands of northern Thailand, has more than its fair share of attractions. This city, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, is renowned for its stunning scenery, vibrant art and handicrafts, and historic landmarks, all of which are fitting for the city’s former role as the capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom.