The mountainous city of Chiang Mai functions as the cultural capital of northern Thailand. Home to hundreds of beautiful Buddhist temples, a great shopping scene, and vibrant nightlife, Chiang Mai is an essential stop on any trip to Thailand. Flights to Chiang Mai fly in to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), just about three miles southwest of the Old City.
You can find a few Chiang Mai hotels just outside the airport and many more in and around the nearby Old City. Some hotels offer transportation from the airport for customers landing on Chiang Mai flights. Get in touch with your hotel before arrival to find out whether this service is offered and what the fees are. CNX hosts several car rental agencies, but it's quite easy to navigate the city relying on public transportation, including cheap, local songtaews and tuk-tuks, and it's also easy to get around on foot, especially if most of your activities keep you exclusively in the Old City. If you're taking a taxi from the airport, be sure to stop at one of the taxi booths inside the terminal to get a receipt. Take this to the dispatcher outside and you will be assigned a licensed driver. There is typically a flat fee to get most places in the city. Once you're settled in, pick your ideal adventure! Hike the steps up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep to explore the city's most famous Buddhist temple and for an incredible view of Chiang Mai, wander one of the weekly walking street markets along Ratchadamnoen Road, or sign yourself up for a cooking class!
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All set to book the airfare for your unforgettable adventure to Chiang Mai? A total of 5 airlines advertise flights to this city. Some of the most reliable ones are:
Chiang Mai Airport (CNX-Chiang Mai Intl.) is about 2 miles (4 kilometers) from the center of Chiang Mai. It's the only airport in the city, so there's no possibility of your cabbie dropping you at the wrong one!Where to stay in Chiang Mai
With 830 enticing places to stay in the vicinity of Chiang Mai, you shouldn't have issues finding a place to lay your head. Scroll through our bookings page and choose from 830 properties a short distance from the center.
Unfortunately, Chiang Mai isn't overflowing with options when it comes to places to rest your head. The Plearn Hostel is the only listed property within a brief drive of the center, so we suggest you book early.
If you're a fan of Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center, Sri Phum, you're in luck! You won't have to commute far from this iconic attraction to find a comfortable place to snooze. The Plearn Hostel and the Sabai House come recommended.Places to visit in Chiang Mai
Set up base in Chiang Mai and not only will you be minutes from the world-famous attraction, the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center, you'll be able to wander over there whenever the mood takes you!
You won't have to travel far at all to find things to keep you busy here. If you're feeling spritely, the Wat Chiang Man can be reached on foot.
Find some unique and locally made gifts for your family back home and relax for a short while with a snack at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Need more close by options? Wat Chedi Luang is an important local temple where one can reflect on life and spirituality. And that's not all. Wat Phra Singh is the ideal place to visit if you're feeling the need for spiritual enlightenment.How to get through airport security fast when traveling to Chiang Mai
If you like the thought of spending more time at the airport cafes and less time at the security checkpoint on your way to Chiang Mai, follow these useful tips: