General Information on Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, the cityChiang Mai is the largest city of Nothern Thailand and also the capital of the province of the same name, Chiang Mai. The city, built on the Ping river, stands among the highest mountains of Thailand.
Chiang Mai is nowadays an increasingly modern city that attracts more than 1 million visitor each year. The city has a large choice of schools and internationally renowned universities, among them Chiang Mai University, Chiangmai Rajabhat University, Rajamangala University of Technology, Payap University, Far Eastern University and Maejo University. Chiang Mai University was the first government university established outside of Bangkok. Payap University is the first private institution in Thailand that was granted university status.
Chiang mai is also an international hub. The international airport of Chiang Mai welcomes every year more than 2 million visitors, with 130 flights a week from and to Bangkok, Phuket, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Laos and Myanmar.
The climate of Chiang Mai
rainy seasonFrom May to November, this is the period of the year during which time the rainfall is at its heaviest in Northern Thailand.
cold seasonFrom November to February, with cooling breezes and fresh nights
dry seasonFrom March to May, high temperatures and no rain, it is advised to stay away from the sun during the day.
Famous festivals in Chiang Mai
Loi Krathong and Yee PengThese festival are held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, being the full moon of the 2nd month of the old Lanna calendar. This usually falls in November in the Western calendar. Thousands of people assemble floating banana-leaf containers, called Krathong, decorated with candles and flowers. The krathong is then left floating on the Ping river and the waterways of the city, to worship the Goddess of Water.
More info on Loi Krathong and Yee Peng festivals here.
SongkranSongkran festival is held during April, and celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. Chiang Mai is nowadays the best location to celebrate this festival. Many religious and fun-related activities take place each year, such as parades and a Miss Songkran beauty competition (and of course the good-natured city-wide water-fight).
More info on Songkran in this article.