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One of the many questions Thais may ask a foreigner visiting Thailand is ‘Have you been to Chiang Mai yet?’, underscoring the feeling that Chiang Mai is a keystone of any journey to Thailand.
Located more than 700km northwest of Bangkok, Chiang Mai has in excess of 300 temples – almost as many as are in Bangkok – a circumstance that makes the old city centre visually striking.
Thais idealise their beloved northern capital as a quaint, moated and walled city surrounded by mountains with legendary, mystical attributes. In reality, Chiang Mai is a dynamic and modern city, which has successfully managed to combine its rich history and traditions with its increasingly modern side.
Chiang Mai has always had many feathers to its bow with its cultural riches, relative peacefulness, fantastic handicraft shopping, delicious food and proximity to many natural treasures, and this northern capital still manages to retain the relaxed, temple-sprinkled, cultural capital atmosphere of yore.
Chiang Mai is a one hour flight from Bangkok.
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Weather and when to go
Chiang Mai is in North Thailand and enjoys average temperatures around 25°C all year around. The temperature peaks in April when it reaches 36°C dropping off to 13°C in January which is also the driest month with less than 1cm of rain. The wettest month is September when 30cm will fall, however due to its location this tends to be in short heavy downpours before the sun breaks through again!
The best months to visit Chiang Mai are from November to May when the rainfall is fairly low. Temperatures range from about 30°C – 36°C with April being the hottest month.
chiang mai, thailand 7 nights from £1,595
Four Seasons Chiang Mai is one of the most established and luxurious resorts in the region, offering the wonderful combination of elegant suite accommodation and a delightful location overlooking a working rice field. With legendary hospitality and service, imaginative cuisine and a truly exquisite spa, it's easy to understand why this resort is so popular.view