We spent two months in Chiang Mai as it is a cooler climate than Bangkok and the south. We found a condo and rented a car to give us freedom of movement. Located in the northern area of Thailand in the Mae Ping River Basin, 710 kilometres from Bangkok, and 305 metres above sea level, the original city layout still exists as a neat square surrounded by a moat, and vestiges of the fortified wall. Four main gates offer principal access to the old town, which is criss-crossed by main roads, and veined by charming narrow lanes with traditional teakwood houses and lovely everyday images of Northern Thailand, all begging to be admired.
Chiang Mai province has a population of around 1,547,085 with 170,348 currently living in Chiang Mai’s city area 80% of the people in Chiang Mai are locals by birth, and speak a dialect that is a slight variation of the central Thai language. The remaining 20% are Thai nationals and foreigners who have moved to Chiang Mai to work, study, or retire.
Chiang Mai also has a vast array of street stalls and restaurants all selling beautiful Thai cuisine. The Wombats intend trying as many as they can. Every night many of the streets in this city (as with others) magically transform from “ordinary” daytime dress into vibrant colourful night time “attire” with hawker stalls, lights, music and throngs of people. However with a condominium secured there will be plenty of time to go to the native markets and shop so we can cook at home on occasions. It is also mango season in Thailand and The Wombats will try to help deplete the mango numbers during their stay. Along with mangosteens, rambutans, lychees, dragon fruit, bananas etc. 🙂
Wombats comments on Chiang Mai.
1 = bad 10 =good
Based on a stay at Riverside Condominiums.
Accommodation where we stayed: 8.5 out of 10
Ease of using local transport. No buses.6 out of 10
Atmosphere of Chiang Mai: 9 out of 10
General cleanliness: 8 out of 10
Locals friendliness: 9 out of 10
Ability to communicate: 9 out of 10 (Easy)
Foods varieties: 9 out of 10
Restaurants and eateries: 10 out of 10
Comments: We stayed in a condo which was cheap and private, a bit noisy in the daytime due to constant renovations in neighbouring condos. But there are thousands of places to stay from $10 a night up. A more “relaxed” city with a lot of old world charm. As there is no public bus system and no trains getting around is by taxi or songthaew. Many visitors hire motor bikes which are abundant and a European or Aussie is a menace on a bike. Many seen with legs and arms in bandages. Food is abundant ranging from hawker stalls to high class restaurants and it seems everybody in Chiang Mai eats out every night so sometimes getting a seat and parking can be a problem. Shopping is great ranging from the many markets to large shopping malls. Rental cars are available from 800bht a day and driving is easy and mainly fun.
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