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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Thailand > Chiang Mai

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Local time Chiang Mai

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Things to see in Chiang Mai

Tourist Offices

TAT Information Office

Address: Wat Ket and Chang Khlan, 105/1 Thanon Chiang Mai-Lamphun, Chiang Mai, 50000
Telephone: +66 53 248 604.
Opening times:

Daily 0830-1630.

Website: http://www.tourismthailand.org/Chiang-Mai

Oddly, Chiang Mai's official Tourism of Thailand office is located away from the city centre. You will find it across the Mae Ping River in the Wat Ket neighbourhood. For information on the city, a better bet is to scour the maps and brochures available at hotels and tour shops across town.

Attractions

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without a visit to Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep, a temple on Suthep Mountain with a glittering, golden chedi (stupa). Legend has it that in 1371, an elephant had been carrying an important relic (believed to be Buddha's shoulder bone) up the mountain for three days before it collapsed. Its exhausted body marked the spot where this Buddhist temple would be built. In its glory, it is one of the most ornate and impressive religious shrines in Thailand and offers views overlooking the city and surrounding hills.

Address: Suthep, Thanon Sriwichai, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai, 50000
Telephone: +66 53 295 002.
Opening times:

Daily 0600-1800.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Nimmanhaemin Neighborhood

Want to know where all the cool kids are? Look no further than the area surrounding Nimmanhaemin Road. Thanks to its close proximity to Chiang Mai University and its popularity among expats and 'digital nomads', Nimmanheamin is the place to see and be seen. With its growing collection of trendy bars, artisan coffee shops and quirky boutiques, the neighbourhood has become an attraction in itself. Wander the little sois (streets) off the main drag for plenty of photo opportunities (a giant Godzilla here, a funny store facade there) as you never know what you'll come across.

Address: Suthep, Thanon Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Wat Chedi Luang

This central temple boasts a giant, partially-ruined chedi (stupa), which was reduced from 90m (295ft) tall to just 60m (197ft) by an earthquake in 1545. Formerly covered in bronze plates and gold leaf, it was home to the famous Emerald Buddha for 80 years before the statue was transferred to Bangkok. Parts of the chedi were restored in the early 1990s, but the new additions are easy to spot amongst the original stuccowork. The temple is one of the most important in Chiang Mai, housing the venerated city pillar, and home to several local festivals and Buddhist celebrations throughout the year.

Address: Phra Singh, 103 Thanon King Prajadhipok, Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone: +66 53 276 140.
Opening times:

Daily 0500-2230.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Wat Phra Singh

The defining example of traditional Lanna architecture in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh takes its name from the revered 'Lion Buddha' statue enshrined inside the viharn (prayer hall) at the back of the monastery compound that is said to have come to Thailand from Sri Lanka. The walls of Wat Phra Singh are lavishly decorated with stucco angels, intricate glass mosaics, gold stencil-work and murals of Thai legends, and the compound also contains an elegant raised library and an imposing chedi (stupa) which was constructed in 1345. Wat Phra Singh is one of the most respected temples in Chiang Mai and the temple grounds house many buildings, shrines and meditation gardens.

Address: Phra Singh, Intersection of Thanon Ratchadamnoen at Thanon Samlan, Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 0600-2230.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Wat Sri Suphan

If you're starting to think that all of Thailand's temples look the same, hold off until you've seen Wat Sri Suphan. Located just off Thanon Wualai, this holy spot sits around the historical home of the city's silver craftsmen. In an attempt to keep the tradition alive, Wat Sri Suphan is set to be the world's first all silver shrine. Skilfully hammered, intricate metalwork designs can be seen to the right of the main building, while over the over side of the complex is an onsite workshop where artists are working away.

Address: Haiya, Thanon Wualai, Chiang Mai, 50100
Telephone: +66 53 200 332.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-2100.

Website: http://watsrisuphan.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre

More than 700 years ago, Chiang Mai was the capital of the north. While much has changed, the city's importance and influence has continued through the years. For anyone interested in better understanding the region and its history, the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre (located behind the Three Kings statue) is the place to start. Situated in an attractive building, smack-dab in the centre of the Old City, the museum was built in 1924 and offers visitors a look into the city's past, as well as explanations and demonstrations about northern Thailand's Lanna culture.

Address: Sriphum, Thanon Phra Pokkloa, Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone: +66 53 217 793.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0830-1700.

Website: http://www.cmocity.com/indexEng.html
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Huay Kaew Waterfall

There are several waterfalls in the area, but the most accessible is Huay Kaew Waterfall at the foot of Suthep Mountain. It's also one of the only waterfalls with free access. Not as stunning as some other locations around, it's still an enjoyable spot to wander around and get a little off the beaten path. Spend a day walking by the waterfall and taking a dip in the stream with locals.

Address: Suthep, Thanon Huay Kaew (at the base of the mountain), Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone: +66 53 210 244.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0800-1700.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Huay Tung Tao

A manmade reservoir at the base of Suthep Mountain, Huay Tung Tao is the ideal getaway from the buzz of the city. Surrounded by green hills and misty clouds, you'd never know you're less than 30 minutes from Chiang Mai's centre. Here you can wander the walking and biking trails, lounge in a lakeside bungalow or simply soak up the scenery. Huay Tung Tao is a local favourite, especially on the weekends, so visit during the week if you like your breathing space. The reservoir is a little too far to reach by tuk-tuk but you should be able to take a songthaew (shared taxi) here.

Address: Don Kaew, 107 Canal Road, Mae Rim, 50180
Telephone: +66 53 121 119.
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1800.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Talat Ton Lamyai

Facing the Mae Ping River on the east side of town, Talat Ton Lamyai is Chiang Mai's open air flower market. Certainly worth a morning or evening stroll, you can even go in the middle of the night to see sellers unloading freshly cut flowers from trucks and making the elaborate floral wreaths you see decorating temples and spirit houses. There are a few floral shops specialising in arrangements, but for the most part visitors simply gawk at the never-ending bunches of roses, marigolds, orchids and jasmine blossoms sitting by the side of the street.

Address: Chiang Moi, Thanon Praisanee (starting at the corner with Thanon Chiang Moi), Chiang Mai, 50300
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Chiang Mai Zoo

A children crowd pleaser, this impressive gathering of thousands of different birds and animals set in pleasant grounds at the foot of Suthep Mountain began as a small collection of missionary family pets. Today you can see elephants, lions, giraffes and tigers as well as pandas from China, just by walking through the park or making use of the tram and monorail system. There is also an aquarium housing nearly 2,000 species of marine animals and a snow dome that creates a winter wonderland in the midst of Thailand's tropical heat. Entrance fees apply to the aquarium and different section of the zoo.

Address: Suthep, 100 Thanon Huay Kaew, Chiang Mai, 50200
Telephone: +66 53 210 374.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1700.

Website: http://www.chiangmaizoo.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No