top of page

Chiang Mai
Travel Guide

5C5G Guide > Thailand > Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand, is renowned for its cool climate and rich cultural heritage. It was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom (1292-1775), a tributary state to Burma and Siam (now Thailand) before officially being incorporated into Thailand in 1899. Chiang Mai still retains its distinctive traditional culture and offers a culinary experience different from any other region in Thailand.

The heart of Chiang Mai is the Old City, characterized by its square-shaped fortifications, which date back to the 13th century. This vibrant area is home to numerous ancient temples and bustling markets. In addition to exploring the city, visitors can venture to the summit of Inthanon Mountain, Thailand's highest peak, or indulge in the natural beauty of northern Thailand by staying at one of the many glamping sites or resorts.

Chiang Mai.jpeg

Suggested Itinerary

For first-time visitors, a 4-5 day trip to Chiang Mai is ideal. Dedicate 2 full days to exploring the charming Old City area, immersing yourself in its temples and markets. The remaining days can be spent venturing into the picturesque mountain areas. With Chiang Mai Airport located just a 15-20 minute drive from the city center, you can maximize your time by making the most of your first and last days.

Airport → Warorot Market → Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Jing Jai Market → Old City Stroll → Wua Lai Walking Street / Sunday Night Market
Mon Jam Day Tour
Doi Inthanon National Park Day Tour
Chiang Mai Zoo → Nimman Area Shopping → Airport

Chiang Mai's surroundings offer fantastic travel options, including Mon Jam, Doi Inthanon National Park, as well as farther destinations like Pai and Chiang Rai. If you have sufficient time, consider arranging a day trip by hiring a car or staying at local accommodations to thoroughly explore these enchanting places.

Top Attractions

Best Areas to Stay in Chiang Mai

Depending on your itinerary, the old city area is generally the most convenient district, with temples, small shops, and massage parlors just a short walk away. If you're planning day trips to different places, it's recommended to stay here as many tours only offer pickups from this area. However, if you prefer a peaceful mountain setting, consider staying in the mountains or outskirts of Chiang Mai, like Mon Jam or Inthanon Mountain. These areas provide a wider range of luxurious camping or resort accommodations.

    Old City   ✓ most convenient

     The Inside House

     Aksara Heritage

    Nimman   ✓ newer options

     Travelodge Nimman

     Moose Hotel Nimman

    Outskirts   ✓ more villas / resorts

     Flora Creek

     Raya Heritage

4 Flora Creek a.jpg
2 Thantara a.jpg

More Thailand Guides

Bangkok  •  Pattaya  •  Hua Hin  •  Phuket  •  Chiang Mai

bottom of page