I decided to fly to the northern capital of Thailand in company with my friend Max, who lived in Chiang Mai for 2 years. He flew to me in Hua Hin, from there he went to the island of Koh Tao, and then we went to Chiang Mai together.
I immediately apologize for the photo – the camera was covered during the trip 🙁
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How to get there
There are many flights to Chiang Mai from both Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang (Bangkok’s second airport). Between these two air gates runs free shuttle.
When boarding, you must present a plane ticket from the airport to which you are heading on this shuttle. It is not necessary to print the ticket, you can just show it from your phone.
Travel time depends entirely on traffic, which, to put it mildly, is very heavy in Bangkok. On average, you need to lay an hour.
Don Muang pretty small airport. There are literally a couple of restaurants and a few shops. The flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes an hour and a half. We flew with Tiger Airlines. Round-trip tickets cost about 5,000 rubles. I can’t say anything bad about the guys. But, as elsewhere in Asia, the air conditioners on their planes are running at full capacity. Therefore, even in the 30-degree heat, a jacket is simply necessary.
We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel. I don’t remember exactly what it cost us, but it’s not much more expensive than if we got on a tuk-tuk, which is called here songteo. Songteos are colored red. The cost of the trip varies from 20 to 100 baht depending on the distance. When landing, you need to specify whether this songteo is heading exactly to the part of the city that you need to get to. In general, as elsewhere in Thailand, in Chiang Mai it is best to travel by bike. If you yourself are afraid to drive, then you need a friend who is not afraid, and to whom you can always fall on the tail. Of course, you can also do without a bike, but it’s sad without it in Tae. Very sad. For 2 weeks of renting a good bike, Max paid about 3,500 baht.
Accommodation in Chiang Mai was booked for us by Max’s girlfriend. The condo we stayed in was outside the old town but about a 10 minute walk from it. Before the new part of the city of Chiang Mai was about the same. To be honest, I didn’t like our place very much. But it can’t be called terrible either. Plumbing and furniture are old, bed linen is gray. Of the pluses – a small balcony and pretty decent internet. The cost of a 2-bed room per day is 350 baht. If we consider housing of the same condition, but in the old city, it will be about 2 times more expensive.
Eating in Chiang Mai is not difficult at any time of the day or night. In addition to Thai, you can find any cuisine. Well, almost any. Max and I once had a very good time in a Mexican establishment, and one night with his friends on the road we ate too much pat-ay for 30 baht. There are, of course, some rather pathetic places. Especially in the new part of the city. All of us (me, Max and his friends living in Chiang Mai) turned out to be not poor enough to arrange gatherings in non-budget establishments, and not at all squeamish to eat in Thai canteens along the road for pennies. I think it’s more interesting that way.
It’s pretty cold in the north. If in Hua Hin it was +27-30, then in Chiang Mai – only 23 degrees of heat during the day, and when the sun went down, then +13 at all.
What to see
First, it must be said that Chiang Mai consists of two squares. Inside the first square Old city, surrounded by the same old wall and surrounded by a moat. Outside this square is the new part of the city. All major city attractions are located within the first square. And first of all, these are, of course, temples. Northern temples of Chiang Mai famous all over the world.
Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to get to the most famous White Temple and the lesser known Black Temple, but I already managed to visit, probably, a dozen different temples. Some of them were very, very ancient, some newer. Some are white, some are red. Some decorated with ivory, and some with carved wood. Indescribable beauty. All the details are so small that you just wonder how people did all this. As usual, I tried to avoid super-hyped sights, because all the reverent atmosphere disappears when a couple of hundred people stare at all this beauty with you in the temple.
If you get tired of looking at the temples, you can go on mountainwhich is located right on the edge of the city. From this mountain you have a view of the whole of Chiang Mai, there is also a very beautiful temple (yes, again), and most importantly – northern residence of the king. The residence has a chic garden, the entrance is paid (about 100 baht). Yes, by the way, you can’t climb the mountain on foot. Purely theoretically it is possible, of course, but in reality it is better to ride a bike or a songteo.
On the opposite side of the city are thermal springs. They are a huge park, the territory of which is dotted with canals. Entrance fee – 200 baht. Separately, you will need to pay for parking the bike, but there are some pennies. On the territory there are places to stay, a swimming pool (for an additional fee). If you don’t want to pay for the pool, but you can only warm your feet in thermal water, because there are no thermal baths as such. Channels only. You can also buy eggs there, including quail eggs, boil them in the same water and eat them.. In general, the place is very pleasant. I recommend.
Another attraction of Chiang Mai – zoo. As I have repeatedly written, I don’t like such establishments, so I don’t visit. But everyone who is interested, praise.
Chiang Mai is amazing night markets. These are not just markets, these are entire cities. Their visit must be included in the program and put on it for more than one hour.
WITH nightlife everything is fine there too. There are a huge number of bars in the old city with different themes and different music.
Finally, I will say that in Chiang Mai I met Russians only once. Of course, except for Max’s friends. The northern capital of Thailand is not at all a popular destination among our compatriots. And in general, Tai in the minds of Russians is, first of all, a resort, and not mountains and ancient temples.