Luxury holidays in Chiang Mai

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Areas in Chiang Mai

When to go

The weather is nice and cool between December and February (well, cool by Thai standards). March through May is unbearably hot. The mid-April Songkran water festival might be fun for some, but it’s boisterously celebrated here and can be a bit much.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Chiang Mai’s international airport (+66 (0)53 2702 2233) is 90 minutes from Bangkok by plane, and receives domestic and regional flights from Phuket, Singapore, Hong Kong and Luang Prabang, among others.
  • Trains

    Bangkok to Chiang Mai is the most enticing rail journey in the country ( Each day, six trains rattle up this 10- or 12-hour route, providing ever-changing landscape views; the sleeper services are excellent, with private two-berth cabins in first class. Train food is poor, but many hotels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai will happily pack you a picnic.
  • Automobiles

    Chiang Mai’s compact centre is easily navigated on foot, but if you want to venture further afield, it’s best to rent a car. Book a luxe tour or hire by the day from Limousine Thailand ( It’s possible to drive from Bangkok, but only the bravest motorists should consider it.
  • Taxis

    There are few metered taxis in Chiang Mai. Three-wheeled tuk tuks are ubiquitous, but tend to charge farangs (that’s you) double fares. There are also numerous songtaews (covered pick-ups with two bench rows in the back) that can be rented by the hour or for certain trips – negotiate a price beforehand.