Cheap flights to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the commercial and cultural center of northern Thailand. Located on the Ping River, it is the one of the oldest cities in Thailand and a capital of the ancient Lana Kingdom. Virtually unheard of in the western world 200 years ago, it has since become one of the top travel destinations on the Pacific Rim. The city is a gateway to some of the most untouched jungles still remaining in the world. This Thai metropolis also offers some of the great shopping experiences of Asia.
Chiang Mai International Airport
Flights to Chiang Mai arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), which is located on the southeastern corner of the Chiang Mai bypass off Route 11. You can catch direct flights to Chiang Mai from all the major hubs in Southeast Asia as well as China and Korea. The airport does not allow taxis or other conveyance up to the door of the terminal, so you will have to go to the front of the airport to get a ride to your destination. If you have already made hotel reservations, most hotels will send a shuttle for you.
Attractions in Chiang Mai
First-time visitors may be surprised to find that there are relatively few old homes and public buildings in Chiang Mai. While the area is the ancient capital of the Lana Kingdom, its architectural history is only preserved in its temples and religious shrines. Chiang Mai's most famous shrines are located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park northwest of town. Wat Phra That Doi Kham and Doi Suthep both offer spectacular views of the city. Wat Phra Singh is the oldest and most venerated temple in the city proper. Remember that etiquette is culturally important in Thailand; while it may be extremely hot, it is considered rude to wear shorts into a temple or shrine.
Chiang Mai is the jumping off point for trekking in the several national parks surrounding the city. You can tailor a hiking trip for any level of difficulty and length of time. If you are looking for something a little less adventurous for the family, then visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary or try out the Night Safari southwest of downtown.
Chiang Mai is a shopping paradise offering exquisite craftsmanship in textiles, gems, gold and many other handmade goods. Thailand has always been known for its great bargains, but the work of Thai artisans is second to none. At night, it is always fun to go to the Night Bazaar that spreads out for blocks near downtown.
Hints and Tips for Visiting Chiang Mai
Thai cuisine is legendary, so don't leave Chiang Mai without trying its wide variety of hot and delicious street food. Thai New Year at the beginning of April is the biggest celebration of the year when it will be impossible to go outside with being drenched in the never-ending water fights. Chiang Mai also celebrates Loi Krathong in November when people set light to banana-leaf boats on the river for good luck in a colorful ceremony. Chiang Mai has two basic seasons; the dry season lasts from November to May followed by almost daily showers.