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Chiang Mai Destination Guide

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Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts

Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Chiang Mai , created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.


The capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai is located on the banks of the Ping River. One of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience the historical - centuries-old pagodas and temples – living side by side with the modern - convenience stores and boutique hotels. Chiang Mai has for many years been mistaken as a base from which to plan trekking and rafting trips to hill tribe villages or other provinces but stay awhile, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer.

General Information
CapitalBangkok is the capital of Thailand
LanguageThai, English is widely spoken
Time Difference3 hours
CurrencyThai Baht
Voltage220 volts


Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.


Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.


In comparison to Bangkok and Phuket, Chiang Mai's position - lying far to the north and surrounded by mountains, away from the influence of the sea - means its temperatures are more marked. The winter months from November to January are usually the nicest.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Chiang Mai.

  Temp °C Rain mm


Shops range from small family-run businesses to world-class luxury outlets and shopping malls. Hone your bartering skills at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar or Tha Pae Walking Street on a Sunday evening - packed with bustling activities and entertainment, this Sunday night event showcases sword dancing, music and jazz bands as well as various store vendors and Thai food stalls. Purchase hand-woven fabrics, ceramics, gems, lacquer ware and silverware or one of Thailand's famed umbrellas: these delicate, hand crafted parasols are made from bamboo and glazed rice paper and make the perfect post-holiday gift.

History & Temples
The moat-encircled Old Town, retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city centre as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city, and houses many historical temples and attractions within walking distance of each other.

There are approximately three-hundred beautiful gilded temples to discover, including Wat Phra That, Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep is actually the name of the hill) - the most historically and spiritually significant place in Thailand. This working Buddhist monastery, built in 1383, is situated at the top of wnding mountain road. A golden spire decorates the centre of this mountain top temple, whose riches are accessed via the 300 steps of the intricately carved mythical Naga Serpent Staircase. Here you'll find richly decorated historical murals and shrines, a beautiful replica of the Emerald Buddha as well as a shrine to the White Elephant. A wide walkway surrounds the main temple which leads to a large viewing terrace - affording wonderful views of Chiang Mai, weather permitting - and the adjacent world's largest gong.
Take an elephant-trekking tour in the wild or visit one of the Elephant Parks for a unique perspective of these gentle giants.

Situated at the foothills of Doi Suthep, the Chiang Mai Zoo houses over 200 types of Asian and African mammals including a Panda House. This family-must-visit attraction also offers Asia’s longest 133-meter underwater tunnel at its aquarium, the Nakhon Ping Bird Aviary, and for those with limited time, a mono-rail offering a bird’s eye view and stopping at four of the zoo’s major attractions.

Visit hill-tribe villages and learn about the villagers' traditional and easy-going lifestyles.

Getting There+

Flight Information
Via Bangkok with Emirates or Thai Airways from Dubai to Chiang Mai.
Via Bangkok with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Chiang Mai.
Via Bangkok with Qatar Airways from Doha to Chiang Mai.

Flight Time
From Dubai to Chiang Mai: 8 hours, 50 minutes.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

Wedding & Honeymoons
For a truly magical wedding or honeymoon, the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai tiny kingdom of Lanna-style pavilions, set amidst rice fields with mountain views, in the tranquil Mae Rim Valley is perfect.

Talk to our Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts

Our Travel Consultants visit our luxury hotels, villas and resorts personally.

Our dedicated Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Chiang Mai. Furthermore, we have 5 Travel Consultants who have personally visited Chiang Mai and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

Why Choose Elegant Resorts

As the foremost British pioneer of luxury travel – and boasting an ever-increasing collection of prestigious accolades that celebrates this – Elegant Resorts is a tour operator with the expertise, knowledge and reputation to deliver only the very finest tailor-made luxury holidays to our clients, honed by almost thirty years of experience in this niche travel business.

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