Chiang Mai Airport Mini Guide
The Gateway to Northern Thailand
This is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination and the airport welcomes over 2 million visitors a year on around 130 flights per week. Chiang Mai International Airport is located less than 10 minutes from the city centre and it's international and domestic terminals are conveniently both in the same building.
A 21st Century Airport in a Traditional City
Chiang Mai Airport has been built to offer the most up to date facilities for the many travellers now visiting this area of Thailand, from backpackers, to more upmarket tourists, to business passengers. The airport has an extensive range of banking facilities, exchange booths and ATMs in the arrivals area if you need some Bahts immediately, along with numerous taxi and car rental offices for your onward journey.
There is also a pharmacy and first aid post should you need them, together with a small tourist police station, so you are well catered for there in any emergency. Should you have not already made a hotel reservation for your visit to Chiang Mai there are two reservation desks located on the first floor of the passenger hall.
A Souvenir of Your Visit to Chiang Mai
In the departure area there are several shops offering traditional Thai souvenirs such as Thai silk, Green Tea and even wine from the Chiang Rai winery, should you decide to spend your last bit of local currency on a present to take home. Also in the departure area are various cafes, fast food outlets and a Thai restaurant if you are hungry before your flight.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
There are no airport hotels there, as the airport is located so close to the city a few minutes in a taxi or tuk tuk (the local transport which sometimes makes for a hair raising ride, but great fun none the less), means you're in your city centre hotel before you have time to blink. There is every possible type of accommodation in Chiang Mai – backpackers hostels, guest houses and absolute luxury hotels. Several of these are 5 star and rate very highly on the reviews.
When to Visit
Chiang Mai, being in the north of Thailand has a much drier climate than some other resorts such as Phuket
, it usually has five dry months per year whereas the south of the country is lucky to get two months without heavy rain showers. Altogether the north is a much less humid area with the best time to visit when it's hottest being between March and May. If you however, you plan to visit over Christmas take a coat and sweaters as this is the coldest time of the year when temperatures drop to around 10 degrees Celsius at night – quite a contrast from up to almost 40 degrees Celsius in the day in April.
Chiang Mai is closer than you think to the Himalayas which can be seen from the top of some of the area’s highest mountains. Use your hire car to visit Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand at over eight thousand feet.
Near the summit, be sure to visit the two temples built there to celebrate the 60th birthdays of the king and queen. Finally, for a once in a lifetime experience, visit any one of the three Elephant Parks near the city to see up to thirty elephants being cared for.