Hotels in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Surrounded by mountains and bordered by rivers, Chiang Mai is the gateway to northern Thailand. The 13th century capital of the Lanna Kingdom which grew out of the banks of Ping River, Chiang Mai, 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, is a top mountain retreat of locals who want to escape the busy holidays in the capital city and the throngs of tourists in southern Thailand beach destinations. As a culturally and commercially important centre of the region, the “New City” is well-equipped with requisite tourist infrastructure and hundreds of hotels in Chiang Mai, Thailand to accommodate the heavy flow of visitors during the cool months of November through February.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Because of its location, Chiang Mai enjoys the misty and cool climate favourable to winter retreats and floriculture. Make the most of your visit and come during the widely attended Chiang Mai Flower Festival held every February at the end of the winter season. Chiang Mai accommodation, hotels, guesthouses and resorts in Chiang Mai and other types of accommodation are hard to come by around this time, so be sure to book early to take advantage of early-bird hotel deals. But if you are willing to give up a bit of comfort for more spending money, there is a plethora of backpackers and hostels in Chiang Mai that are very easy on the wallet.
You don’t need to splurge to appreciate Chiang Mai’s innate charm. Start at the Night Bazaar on Chan Klan Road a short distance from your Chiang Mai boutique hotel, and grab great bargains for Thai silk, ceramics and portraits; a similar but less touristy scenario unfolds at the Tha Phae Gate during Sunday Night Market. Spice up your itinerary with a hot bowl of Burmese-influenced “khao soi” or cut rice noodle soup in one of the many food stalls that pop up during these events.
Temple fatigue easily sets in in Chiang Mai. Inside the walled city alone – the focal point of Chiang Mai’s history – there are more than 30 ‘wats’ that date back to the founding of the kingdom. Wat Chedi Luang is a 600-year-old Lanna Buddhist temple that once housed the Emerald Buddha. If you are planning for medium-term stays, a few serviced apartments in Chiang Mai can be found in Old Town where hundreds of other hotels and boutique houses can also be found.
Outdoor attractions from accommodation in Chiang Mai
Outside the moat which is what remains of the New City today, there is the fabled Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, 13 kilometres from the town center. The 309 steps you take uphill is said to purify as well as reward you with fantastic city views.
Then get lost in wonder at the Tribal Museum along Chotana Road featuring an ethnology-oriented look into the lives and histories of Karen, Mien, Hmong, Lahu and other hill tribes of the north. Should you want to meet them in person, the best hotels in Chiang Mai should be able to connect you with tour operators offering overnight stays with the Akha, Hmong, Karen and Lisu hill tribes.
While out in the jungles, you may want to volunteer with the Elephant Nature Park an hour’s drive north and help care for the animals under rehabilitation. Or perhaps you love birds and high mountains, in which case leave your hotel in Chiang Mai and pack for a trip up Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand and one of the richest birding sites in Southeast Asia. Find where to stay in Chiang Mai online and book your accommodation in Chiang Mai, Thailand.