More natural and relaxed than Bangkok, Chiang Mai (meaning "New City") is the second largest city in Thailand. Located in the north of the country, 700 kilometers from the capital, Chiang Mai has the highest mountains in Thailand (Doi Inthanon) and is traversed by the River Ping. Its metropolitan area has grown a lot in recent years, while being able to somehow maintain a characteristic peacefulness that Bangkok lacks. Chiang Mai has become increasingly popular with tourists from all over the world. It is a city that is definitely worth a visit, especially for the amount of its religious buildings. In Chiang Mai you’ll find over 300 religious buildings. The oldest "wat" (i.e. Buddhist temple) you’ll find here is the Wat Chiang Man, which dates back to the thirteenth century and was the residence of the king Mengrai, founder of the city. One of the most majestic temples is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, perched on the hills and on the 300 steps!
Chiang Mai is the local market of handmade items and it fascinates world travelers for its lively spirit while keeping a very traditional atmosphere. You’ll breathe in the feeling of its market places, particularly on the evening of the Night Bazaar and during the day of the Sunday Market. You won’t want to miss a visit to the Botanical Gardens, where you will be intoxicated by the sweet fragrance of orchids in Thailand.Thanks to its strategic location, this city is the starting point for unforgettable tours in nature. Every one of your dreams can come to life, from hiking to rafting, to exploring spectacular waterfalls. You can take part in a safari in the forest, or browse through the rice fields and traditional villages of the tribes that inhabit the hills. If you leave from Chiang Mai for excursions you can also go to the Golden Triangle, the Mekong River and the border with Burma and Laos.