Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located some 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok, among some of the highest mountains in the country. The city stands on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river.
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city, although it lacks the cosmopolitan nature of Bangkok. It has many attractions for the thousands of foreign visitors who come each year. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its important strategic location on an ancient trade route. Long before the modern influx of foreign visitors, the city served as an important centre for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry and woodcarving.
Bus, train and air connections serve Chiang Mai well. A number of bus stations link the city to central and northern Thailand. The Central Chang Pheuak terminal provides local services within Chiang Mai province and the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal northeast of the city provides services to over 20 other destinations in Thailand including Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Phitsanulok. There are several services a day from Chiang Mai Arcade terminal to Bangkok (a 10–12 hour journey).
The state railway operates 14 trains a day to Chiang Mai Station from Bangkok. Most journeys run overnight and take approximately 12–15 hours. Most trains offer first-class (private cabins) and a second-class (seats fold out to make sleeping berths) service.
To get to cities such as Mae Hong Son or Chiang Rai a plane or bus must be used. No trains are available to cities north of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai International Airport receives up to 28 flights a day from Bangkok (flight time about 1 hour 10 minutes) and also serves as a local hub for services to other northern cities such as Chiang Rai, Phrae and Mae Hong Son. International services also connect Chiang Mai with other regional centres, including Hong Kong (China), Jinghong, (China), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kunming (China), Luang Phrabang (Laos), Mandalay (Myanmar), Manila (Philippines), Seoul (Korea), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Singapore (Singapore), and Taipei (Taiwan).
HERE you can find map of Chiang Mai city centre
Chiang Mai is a land of misty mountains and colourful hill tribes, a playground for seasoned travellers, a paradise for shoppers and a delight for adventurers. Here the curious can expand their horizons with Thai massage and cooking courses. The aesthete will be bowled over by the variety of handicrafts. The wild child will find plenty of lively nightlife, and the epicure can indulge in wonderful cuisine. Chiang Mai truly has it all.
Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Today it’s a place where past and the present seamlessly merge with modern buildings standing side by side with venerable temples.
Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located some 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok, among some of the highest mountains in the country. A charming discovery await.