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Chiang Mai Province

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Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Northern Thailand : Chiang Mai Province
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Chiang Mai Province is one Thailand's 77 provinces and occupies a region in Northern Thailand. The provincial capital is Chiang Mai.

Cities and Towns[edit]

  • Chiang Dao - gateway to hill tribe trekking
  • Chiang Mai - largest city in the north, urban and sophisticated
  • Fang - gateway to hill tribe trekking, close to Chiang Mai
  • Samoeng – mountain valley home of the February Strawberry Festival
  • Thaton - small village with good guesthouses in the vicinity of Chiang Mai Its relaxed atmosphere induces some to hang out for a few days before moving on

Other destinations[edit]


The City of Chiang Mai lies at 300 m elevation in a vast mountainous area. Approximately 700 km from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and its province is known for its relatively high mountain ranges (Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon, Doi Luang Chiang Dao, etc.), abundant flora and fauna, and cooler weather at higher elevation. The province is one of the country's largest in area, covering 20,107 square kilometers.

The meaning of "Chiang Mai" is "new city". It was founded as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in 1296 by King Meng Rai. Chiang Mai not only served as capital of the kingdom, but also as its religious centre, thus innumerable temples were built there.


North Thailand's predominant culture is Lanna in origin and its people are proud of their northern roots. The region is home to distinctly different food, music, arts, way of life, and even language. Chiang Mai is also overlain by mosaic of hill tribes, each with its own unique culture.

Maintaining their traditional lifestyles, the major hill tribes: Akha; Karen; Hmong; Lahu; Lisaw; Tai Lue; Tai Yai; and Yao (and others). The more remote villages still live in relative isolation, independent from Thai society, though all are integrated through various government agencies including healthcare and education. All of them, in their villages anyway, still wear their unique dress, speak their own language, and eat their own food.

  • Akha have the largest population of any hilltribe in the region. Originally from Tibet and south China, they dwell on high ground around 1,200 m above sea level. In their villages they build "spirit gateways" to protect themselves from evil spirits.
  • Karen inhabit river valleys.
  • Hmong from southern China are prefer higher elevations. They raise livestock and grow rice, corn, tobacco, and cabbage. They are known for their embroidery and silver workings.
  • Lahu are from the Yunnese area and live in high elevations. They are known as hunters and planters.
  • Lisaw from southern China and Tibet are renowned for their colourful dress. They build their dwellings on high posts. They harvest rice and corn and their men are skilled in hunting.
  • Tai Lue live in single-room wooden dwellings usually built on pillars. They are skilled weavers.
  • Tai Yai, known as "Shan" in English, are in greater numbers found in neighboring Shan State in Myanmar. They harvest rice, farm, raise cattle and trade. Their forte lies in weaving, pottery, wood carving, and bronze ware.
  • Yao reside on mountainsides and grow corn and other crops. They are skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths, and embroiderers.

Chiang Mai Province is well-regarded as a centre of cottage industries. The area is thick with workshops turning out traditional handicrafts made by people using skills handed down over countless generations. Their products include silverware, lacquer ware, celadon pottery, silk and cotton cloth, and hand-painted paper umbrellas.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 30 32 35 36 34 32 32 31 31 31 30 28
Nightly lows (°C) 14 15 18 22 23 24 24 23 23 22 19 15
Precipitation (mm) 7 5 13 50 158 132 161 236 228 122 53 20

Check Chiang Mai's 7-day forecast at

The dry, cool season is from October through February. At that point the hot season takes over into June. Then the rainy season begins. However, it can be cool during the rainy season, and rain during the dry season.

Note that the climate data on the right is Chiang Mai City. Chiang Mai Province can vary quite a bit, and at higher elevations is generally cooler and more wet. Dress warm for night.


Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]


  • Samoeng Loop
  • Doi Inthanon the highest mountain in Thailand
  • Chiang Dao for trekking and caves
  • Fang

Do[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Stay safe[edit]

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Air Pollution At the end of the dry season, in March, air pollution levels in Chiangmai often reach unhealthy levels. To give an example, at 3:00 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - the air quality index was 167 at Chiangmai University reporting station - a level considered unhealthy - but not hazardous. Please inform yourself about ways to stay safe.