Chiang Mai Essentials

No matter why you're visiting Chiang Mai or what you plan to do there, you still need a place to stay, a means of getting around and something to eat. Explore the links below to get detailed information on all the basics you need to know:

Getting There
As the north's major tourist destination, Chiang Mai is quite easy to get to. The city is even being promoted as something of a hub. Whether its planes or buses, you have several travel times a day to choose from to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Where to Stay
Chiang Mai is full of hotels, as well as a very large number of guest houses. Most hotels used to be tourist class, clean and comfortable but not necessarily anything special. That has changed in recent years with the opening of several new five star properties, with apparently more on the way. Hotels are concentrated in two areas, one along the river and the other along the road leading to Suthep mountain.
Getting Around
Chiang Mai is relatively easy to get around, since it's a very tourist oriented town. While there are now licensed taxis, they seem very hard to find on the street. They seem to all hang out at the airport. You will find a few men with cars hanging around outside many hotels offering to take you on tours, etc. Use them at your own risk.
Food & Drink
Chiang Mai is the best place to sample northern cuisine. The most distinct style is known as khan toke. A Khan Toke meal consists of several small dishes such as chicken or beef curries, crispy fried pork skin and northern style chili sauces such as the mild red nam prik ong or the firey nam prik on; all served with sticky rice. A Khan Toke dinner is traditionally served on a small round table. More...