GETTING THERE AND AROUND
EVA Air and Thai Airways fly from London and Manchester via Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Throughout the year, including during Songkran, Intrepid offers small-group tours around the Chiang Mai area, ranging from the three-day Chiang Mai and Elephants Tour, with guests meeting an abbot of a Buddhist temple and visiting an elephant sanctuary to the eight-day Explore Northern Thailand Tour, which includes a homestay in Baan Ma on village and time in the ancient capital Sukhothai. Alternatively, Urban Adventures has one-daytrips such as Chiang Mai Mind and Soul, which gives the chance to meet Buddhist monks and learn meditation at a 600-year-old temple.
WHERE TO STAY
OLD CITY LUXURY
Next to the Old City’s most revered temple, Wat Phra Singh, the Rachamankha is a serene complex of hidden courtyards, poolside massage pavilions.
HEART OF THE ACTION
Just east of the Old City moat and close to Tha Pae Gate — the focal point of the Songkran procession — Raming Lodge is a smart hotel offering great bang for your baht, with an onsite spa and swimming pool.
PEACE AND VALUE
Located in the quieter southern part of the city centre, Gord guesthouse has spacious rooms, a small tranquil garden and complimentary bicycles for guests to borrow.
WHILE YOU’RE IN CHANG MAI…
SAMPLE STREET FOOD
Sizzling barbecue and lemongrass aromas are omnipresent in Chiang Mai. The best places to try Thai food here include Warorot evening market and the Sunday Walking Street market on Thanon Ratchadamnoen Road.
VISITAN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Offering an alternative to circus-like shows with poor animal-safety standards, the Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary where visitors help look after rescued pachyderms in a semi-wild environment.
MEDITATE WITH MONKS
Chiang Mai brims with Buddhist temples and many offer short meditation courses and retreats for English-speakers, including the one-day and two-day courses offered at Wat Suan Dok.