Chiang Mai Travel Guide

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Chiang Mai Travel Guide

Chiang Mai Local History

The second largest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai's full name is Nopburi Si Nakhon Ping Chiang Mai meaning New World City, was given to it by Thai King Mengrai in 1296. The city rapidly expanded through the 14th and 15th century but the Burmese captured Chiang Mai in 1556 and ruled for over 200 years.

Thai King Taksin recaptured the city in 1775 from the Burmese and 25 years later built the empossing brick walls around the inner city. In 1921 the city was linked to central Thailand by the completion of the Northern Railway. This new accessibility meant that the tourism industry became Chiang Mai's main source of outside income.

Chiang Mai Attractions

Top Attractions

Tribal Museum - an interesting collection of artifacts such as costumes, jewellery, musical instuments and utensils representing the culture of major hill tribes in Thailand.

Wat Chiang Man - View two important Buddha statues, the impressive and much loved Phra Sila and Phra Satang Man, a 10cm seated Buddha made of crystal. This is the oldest Temple in Chiang Mai and has characteristic Northern Thai architecture.

Chiang Mai National Museum - learn more about the history and culture of the city. Particularly interesting is a four-piece inscribed stone slab from Wiang Kum Kam which provides information on the origin of the Thai language and writing.

Thai Kitchen Cookery School - spend a day learning traditional Thai cooking with which you can dazzle your friends when you return home. A full day course in English is available including a recepie book, introduction to Thai ingredients at the local markets and transport to and from the school. Located at 25 Moon Muang Soi 9 Moon Muang Road.

Herb Garden This is a new restaurant run by Ian and his Thai partner Mai. Their coffee is freshly ground and delicious and the food is all home cooked. They do a mixture of English - ploughman's lunch, chicken pies, lemon meringue pies, vegetarian dishes - and Thai food (Mai is a trained chef). It's near the Sunday market and is well worth a visit.
submitted by Sue Clarke, 15/03/06

International Cuisine & Vegetarian The-Hole-In-The-Wall Chiangmai serves very good quality food and very cheap for its value. Clean, spacious, friendly, honest and kind people. Located near Thapae Gate, 39/7-8 Rachamanka Rd, Chiangmai.Tel:053-283824.Highly recommended.
submitted by Frank Manikon, 24/10/05

Chiang Mai Shopping

When in Chiang Mai, the best souvenirs to buy are some of the many handicrafts that represent the city's Lana heritage such as Hilltribe crafts, delicate ceramics and umbrellas made from sa paper. Also pick up gorgeous jewellery and gems, silverware, wickerwork and unique wood carvings.

Chiang Mai Activities

Chaing Mai Zoo - a great place for the whole family, see the Humboldt penguins, fur seals, gibbon island and a children's zoo area.

Orchids and Butterflies - see the beautiful butterfly avaries and orchid nursery in the Mae Sa Valley.

Chiang Mai Restaurants and Bars

Thai food in general is a fantastic combination of flavours and draws on spices and tastes from India and China. Most dishes are quite spicy, like the many curries from different regions.

While in Chiang Mai try Som Tom, a salad of papaya, peppers, tomatoes, peanuts, shrimp and lime or some Tom Yam, a spicy soup made with chicken, pork, shrimp or beef.

Chiang Mai Restaurants

Smilling Monkey - 40/1 Bumrungburi Road. Located in the heart of the city in the former Burmeses embassy and offering fantastic Thai food and drink. Sit at the bar or eat outside in the garden that features live music and beautiful waterfalls. Menu highlights include Roast Duck Red Curry and Thai vegetable salads.

White Lotus Restaurant and bar - 68/3 Chareon Prathet Road. The friendly atmosphere and delicious Thai and international cuisine ensure that it is a favourite among locals and regular travellers to Chiang Mai. Enjoy an excellent breakfast between 8am-noon daily.

Khumkaew Palace Khantoke - 252/19-23 Phra Pok Lao Road. Serving traditional Northern Thai cuisine such as Kang Hung'le (pork curry Northern style) and Nam Prik Nhum (spicy chilli sauce with fresh boiled vegetables). This elegant, sophisticated Khantoke dinner also has colourful local dancers to entertain you while you eat.

City Coffee Shop - Felix City Inn Hotel, 154 Ratmanka Road. A great place for a fantastic cup of coffee.

The Red Lion English Pub and Restaurant - 123 Loy Kroh Road, Night Bazaar. A favourite with tourists and locals, sit at the bar or eat traditional English meals such as fish and chips and bangers and mash on the terrace overlooking the Night Bazaar. Live sports via satellite including football and Formula 1 are screened.

Chiang Mai Bars & Clubs

Agassi Pub and Karaoke - Star Inn Hotel, 36 Soi 4 Loi Kroh Road. A lively pub where you can fulfill your dreams of becoming the next pop idol.

Bunny Night Club - 186/1 Loi Kroh Road. An adult night club featuring music, dancing girls, karaoke and a pub style menu and low priced cocktails.

Viking Bar - Soi 9, Moon Muang Road. This friendly bar frequented by travellers to Chiang Mai, has a pool table and TV and makes a great Green Curry Chicken.

Chiang Mai children's activities

Chaing Mai Zoo - a great place for the whole family, see the Humboldt penguins, fur seals, gibbon island and a children's zoo area.

Orchids and Butterflies - see the beautiful butterfly avaries and orchid nursery in the Mae Sa Valley.

Useful Chiang Mai Links

Thailand Photo Gallery
Thailand Photo Gallery, a thousand beautiful pictures of Thailand and Information for travelers.

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