Among its strengths are Chiang Mai, a city relaxed and welcoming offering a full range of interests: a partially walled old town and surrounded by a moat, ancient temples built with the income of teak, bustling markets and countless bars , restaurants and nightclubs.
The campaign explores the region easily and is home to two of the highest peaks in the country: Doi Inthanon (2565 m) and Doi Chiang Dao (2,195 m). With more forest than any other province in the North, it escapes the sweltering plains and allows activities such as hiking, biking and elephant, bird watching and rafting.
The cool season (November to February), when temperatures are mild with little rainfall, is the best time to visit the province of Chiang Mai. A jacket may be needed in the evening and early morning, especially at altitude.
During the hot season (March-June), Chiang Mai often knows a heatwave when a thick fog covers it, caused by the burning of rice fields nearby. In April, do not miss the Songkran festival.
Second largest city, Chiang Mai is nothing like Bangkok. The city embodies nonchalant what makes Thailand unique and fabulous.
Located in the foothills of the North nestled against the Doi Suthep, it has hundreds of sacred temples with stupa and tiered roofs that soar into the sky and bend plunging to the ground. Tanna characteristics of the city are evident in these shrines revered, as well as the old city surrounded by a moat. The surrounding mountains, the legendary mystical attributes watch over the city.
Relaxed, creative and polite, Chiang Mai is also a dynamic and modern city that has retained a charming simplicity. Open to others, it hosts most of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with Burmese refugees. Despite the traffic, pollution, ugly concrete buildings and Western influences, it remains authentically Thai and resolutely turned towards progress. The student population it is a youthful, particularly noticeable in bars and nightclubs Th Nimmanhaemin, the mecca of nightlife.
Culinary scene seduced by its diversity: sushi bars around the university, Burmese or Indian curries, western restaurants and countless delights Thai street stalls to elegant establishments riverside.
It is easy to find in Chiang Mai. Most visitors move into the old town, which is easily explored on foot or by bike. The main temples punctuate Th Ratchadamnoen.
The old town has four doors, which often serve as benchmarks: Pratu Tha Phae east leads to Th Tha Phae, a major artery that connects the banks of the river and the old town Pratu Suan Dok, the west, which leads to the green area at the University of Chiang Mai and Doi Suthep, Chang Pratu Pheuak, the north gate, and Pratu Chiang Mai, the south gate.
The historic district of Chiang Mai is known for its buildings on a human scale that only exceed the stupas temples. Bells adorning the eaves ring in the morning breeze before the roaring motorcycles.
Browse bicycle lanes and so that crisscross the old town is one of the best ways to explore the carriages are rare and many small streets dream ¬ surprisingly slow green and residential. All roads lead to the old rampart, partly preserved or restored and in places eroded and polished by time.
Circuit temples of the old town
A visit to Chiang Mai would be complete without a day spent visiting temples. This tour discover the most famous temples in the old city. Go early to avoid the heat and discover the daily activities of WAT: comings and goings of monks and ritual prayers to acquire merit. Put proper attire (shoulders and knees covered), remove your shoes before entering and sit in position “Mermaid” (legs folded towards the back) to look inside a sanctuary.
Start with the most remarkable, Wat Phra Singh, a superb example
tanna architecture, which houses the most revered Buddha of the city (Pra Singh). Th Ratchadamnoen down and turn right on Th Phra Pokklao to join the
Wat Chedi Luang, another venerable temple. If you want to learn about Buddhism, you can chat with the monks on the north side of the chedi. Retrace your steps to the charming Wat Phan Tao, a teak temple very photogenic. Then turn right and left Th Ratchadamnoen in Th Ratchaphakhinai to visit Wat
Here lunchtime arrival. Take the opportunity to vary the pleasures follow Th Ratchaphakhinai north, turn right into Soi 9 and appointments to, 10 Blue Diamond, a popular antidote rice expatriates. After regaining strength, take Th Ratchaphakhinai south and take Th Ratwfhi right, where you can greet the Anusawari Sat Kasat the monument desTrois Kings before proceeding to the cultural and artistic center of Chiang Mal, informative and conditioning.
If your feet hurt, Th Ratwithi follow up to the women’s prison in Chiang Mai. Centre where you will find massage Women’s Prison Chiang Mai. Do not try to enter the prison; join the building that bears the sign “Prison Shop” on the south side of the street.
The rafting is also an option. The Mae Taeng flows north from Chiang Mai through national parks Doi Chiang Dao and Huai Nam Dang. The river is marked by rapid and tumultuous nine months per year (around July-March), a surprisingly long season in a monsoon climate. The 10 km route crosses the rapids of level II to IV, and some level V. On a particularly exciting section, the river drops nearly 60 m 1.5 km away. After heavy rains, especially in September, the Mae Tang can be dangerous and cause drowning. Before choosing a tour opera ¬ tor, ask about its safety standards and training (check your travel insurance).
Thousands of visitors each year conduct treks in the mountains of the North, hoping to find some fantastic landscapes, villages and wander unknown elephant. Most arrive full of enthusiasm and leave disappointed walking in the jungle lasted less than one hour, the villagers showed no interest and the band was boring.
Most tour operators offer tours Chiang Mai identical: 1 hour minibus to Mae Taeng and Mae Wang (depending on the length of the circuit), a short walk to an elephant camp, 1 hour back elephant to a waterfall, rafting 1 hour and overnight in a hill tribe village or nearby. The day passes relatively quickly and then you have to spend time with strangers from dusk to bedtime.
Chiang Mai is not the only starting point for treks to meet the hill tribes, but the easiest to access. Most hostels of the city
charge of reservations in exchange for a commission (which compensates for the low cost rooms). It takes approximately 1000 B for a one day trek and 1500 B for a 3 day trek, transportation, guide and lunch, as well as accommodation for the trek of three days (prices are a little higher in the high season ). Treks more expensive with more interest may be offered.
MASSAGE AND BEAUTY
If Chiang Mai has some exceptional spas, the city is characterized by the ancient Thai massage. The massage can be summed up in a few mattresses on the floor, but the practitioner will perfectly bend, stretch and knead knotted body to expel any tension.
Many temples in the old city have a Sahlah (or wage) massage, perpetuating the ancient tradition of the monasteries which the custodians of knowledge and healing techniques.
Massage Centre women’s prison in Chiang Mai. Inmates of this prison lavish excellent foot massages and body through their rehabilitation program. Those working in the center must find freedom within 6 months. The money earned is given to them when they leave. Other rehabilitation programs include learning sewing and baking, you will find the results in the same building.
Ban Hom Samunphrai is a unique sanctuary of ancient traditions, 9 km from Chiang Mai near the institute McKean. Maw Hom (“herbalist doctor”), a qualified masseuse and herbalist, has a bath, herbal steam, once common in the villages, and offers traditional Thai massage.
-Thai Massage Conservation Club employs only blind masseuses, experts considered due to a more developed sense of touch.
-Dheva Spa. The finest spa in Chiang Mai can enjoy the luxurious surroundings of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi without spending the night. Try the massage tok sen, an ancient technique that uses a Lanna wooden hammer to tap on acupressure points.
-Oasis Spa. In a peaceful garden, raised walkways connecting private villas for individual care or couple: scrubs, wraps, massages and Ayurvedic treatments.
The budget travelers benefit from competition between the many pensions, which lowers prices. Institutions cheapest does not accept reservations; introduce yourself when rooms become available, usually around 11am.
Popular with students who come to Chiang Mai for long periods, boutique hotels, middle and upper classes, often offer discounts for rental by the week or month, or a monthly fee plus water and electricity.
Number of establishments and budget category average rent bicycles and motorbikes and offer internet access and Wi-Fi. By calling in advance, some owners will pick you up free of charge to the railway or bus station to avoid paying a commission to a driver.
Higher category consists mainly of large business hotels. Boutique hotels that combine intimacy, old and modern lanna elements are much more attractive. Top of the scale stand the resorts that have recreated a village with paddy fields and traditional architecture.