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Book a flight to Chiang Mai with Qatar Airways and you’ll be introduced to a Thai city that has earned the nickname ‘The Rose of the North’. Chiang Mai is one of the few destinations in Thailand where you can see ancient and modern Thai culture living side by side. This is perhaps most evident in the architecture where you’ll find ancient ruins from a bygone era rubbing shoulders with expansive and pristine modern buildings.
You’ll also find the city bubbling with creative arts, from surreal street performances to innovative art installations. Chiang Mai is a vibrant city with a laid-back atmosphere to it. Flights to Chiang Mai can be purchased through most international airports, bringing you one step closer to a holiday destination where the past, present and future are all intertwined.
If you’re travelling to Chiang Mai with children, then be sure to pay a visit to the city’s zoo. Located in a lush forestland at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain, the zoo is home to an astonishing array of wild animals including pandas, lions and bears. However, if you want to get up close to one of Thailand’s best loved animals then take a trip to the Elephant Nature Park, where you’ll encounter rescued and orphaned elephant in beautiful surroundings.
For those wanting to take in some history, a visit to the Chiang Mai National Museum is a definite must. Housed in a beautifully ornate building, you’ll find artefacts and exhibits dating back as far as the ancient Lanna civilization. To delve deeper into the region’s past, the Tribal Museum details the lives of Thailand’s hill tribes, making for a fascinating day out.
Equally interesting is the Baan Haw Mosque, which is one of the largest in the province. With whitewashed walls and a beautiful, blue dome, it’s easy to spot and serves as a cultural attraction for thousands of visitors each year.
Many people take a trip to Chiang Mai to be immersed in the relaxing atmosphere offered up by the local scenery. The Mae Sa Waterfalls are an idyllic network of waterfalls, with their own natural swimming areas. You’ll find rickety, rustic bridges and a number of different climbing routes, ranging from easy to difficult. This is one of the city’s hidden gems and tends to be only frequented by those in the know, who come to enjoy a picnic or cool off in the waters.
Visiting the Bhubing Palace is another great way to appreciate the city’s noble history and to see Thai architecture at its very best. Set in stunning, sub-tropical gardens, there’s plenty to enjoy. Entry to the palace requires traditional dress for both men and women, but these can be hired on-site. Bhubing Palace is also close to Hmong Village, where you can see how local farmers lead their daily lives.
If you’re travelling to Chiang Mai with food in mind, then you’ve made an excellent choice. While there are plenty of restaurants dotted around the city, serving everything from fast food and international cuisine to fine dining experiences, the only way to enjoy a true taste of Thailand is to sample the street food.
Chiang Mai’s streets are virtually alive with the sounds and smells of cooking, from elaborate stalls to a single chef with a wok. Spicy noodle soups are very popular, featuring a variety of meats, such as duck (pet), chicken (kai) and seafood (talay). Vegetarians will find plenty on offer, as much of the Thai diet relies of fresh vegetables and many dishes are even served in fragrant banana leaves. Look out for Tam Khanum – a salad made from jackfruit, shrimps and spices – and the world-famous green curry.
Chiang Mai boasts virtually every kind of shopping experience you could wish for, from high-end shopping malls and designer stores to bustling markets. However, as with the food, if you want to hunt out unique and hand-crafted goods then the best place to go is to the street. Street markets are almost a way of life within the city walls and your trip to Chiang Mai wouldn’t be complete without experiencing this busy, animated and aromatic way of shopping.
Each market has its own distinct character, from the intricate wood carvings at Baan Tawai Night Market, the Sa paper goods and ornate umbrellas of Bo Sang and the local crafts on offer at Sankampang.
Qatar Airways' direct flights to Chiang Mai land at Chiang Mai International Airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. Click here before you fly to Chiang Mai to check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Voltage: 220-240V 50 Hz
Language: Kham Muang (Northern Thai) / English
International dialing code: +66-53
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