Chiang Mai

Located 700 kilometres north west of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is often referred to as ‘Rose of the North’ not only for the masses of flowers that thrive in the cooler mountain climate, but also for its ethnic hill tribes, historic temples, scenic mountain beauty and distinctive culture. Close to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand meet, the mountains around Chiang Mai are home to a number of hill tribes still following many of their traditional ways and producing handicrafts which keep their culture alive.

Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai has deep historical roots. Founded in 1296, this former capital of the independent Lanna Thai Kingdom, flourished as a major religious, cultural and trading centre until the Burmese invasion in 1556. Expelled in 1785, Lanna Thai once again became part of Thailand and has continued to thrive, evolving slowly into a modern city with a unique character and heritage that can still be seen in the temples, houses and sculptures.

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Fact File

CapitalBangkok

LanguageThai (English widely spoken)

ClimateThailand’s climate is tropical, high both in temperature and humidity. April and May are the hottest months of the year. June sees the beginning of the South West Monsoon, and brings with it the rainy season, which continues intermittently until the end of October. From November to the end of February the climate is much less trying with a cooling north east breeze and a reduction in the humidity level. The north and north east are generally cooler than Bangkok in winter, and hotter in summer. In the far north, temperatures can occasionally drop as low as 2°C

CurrencyThai Baht (THB)

VisaRequired for stays exceeding 30 days

HealthAdvised immunisation against malaria, hepatitis, polio, typhoid, tetanus and cholera

PassportsMust be valid for more than six months after proposed date of departure from Thailand

Time ZoneGMT + 7 hours