Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
Ever since King Mangrai founded the city, the market has been of fundamental importance. Today the commercial heart lies where it has always been - between the old city and the river.
Away from the traditional center, the National Museum and the zoo are some of the places of interest in the larger city area.
Chiang Mai National Museum
See location at Google Maps: Chiang Mai National Museum
(Chiang Mai - Lampang Superhighway, 09:00 - 16:00 except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays. Tel: 221308. No entry fee).
Located in a modern Thai style building, the museum has reorganized and modernized its exhibits. The first floor is devoted to history, while the second floor has displays of secular (trade, health, etc.) and religious artifacts arranged by theme and by historical period. A pottery kiln from San Kamphaeng has been reconstructed in the grounds outside the main building.
Chiang Mai University
See location at Google Maps: Minibus to Doi Suthep (CMU)
(km. 3 Huay Kaew Road).
The most prestigious educational institution in northern Thailand, the University was the first to be opened outside Bangkok in 1964. Competition to get a place is fierce, and there are over 14,000 students served by 5000 staff. The university includes the Maharaj Nakhorn Chiang Mai Hospital [popularly known as Suan Dok (Flower Park) Hospital]. A map in English and Thai near the front entrance on Huay Kaew Road shows where things are.
The Tribal Research Institute library contains much information on the hill tribes, and the main library is also open to the public. The Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture (on the south side of the canal road opposite Phayom market. Tel: 211552, 943621-7 Fax. 222680) periodically stages very interesting events associated with Lanna culture. Call for information on upcoming events or study the pages of the free magazines.
Chiang Mai Zoo
See location at Google Maps: Minibus to Doi Suthep (CMU) A little further up the road.
(km. 4 Huay Kaew Road. Open Daily 09:00 - 17:00; Website: Chiang Mai Zoo)
Chiang Mai Zoo has a new family member, a Giant Panda cub, born on 27/05/2009.
The Foreign Cemetery
See location at Google Maps: The Foreign Cemetery
(Old Chiang Mai - Lamphun Rd.).
A statue of Queen Victoria presides over the final home of some of Chiang Mai's most notable Western residents. The largest mausoleum is that of "War Wood", a former British consul general who wrote Consul in Paradise (Trasvin Publications, 1992).
The book is a delightful series of tales about life in Chiang Mai at the turn of the 19th century. The custodian at the gates also sells a memorial book called De Mortuis: The story of the Chiang Mai foreign Cemetery, which gives an account of the lives of the people buried there.
Malls and Markets
Shopping in Chiang Mai
The Airport Plaza
See location at Google Maps: Airport Plaza Shopping Center
(Mahidol & Hang Dong Rd. intersection. Robinson Dept. Store & Supermarket. Hours: 10:00 - 21:30.).
The basement food center is good and the supermarket is arguably the best in the city.
Kad Suan Kaew (Crystal Park Market)
See location at Google Maps: Kad Suan Kaew
(Huay Kaew Road. Central Dept. Store. Hours: 10:00 - 21:00 except Friday - Sunday 22:00, Supermarket 10:00 - 22:00).
Walk around this mega-mall to see where young people like to go.
Built around a small grassy park, the complex contains the Pang Suan Kaew Lotus Hotel, the Kad Theater, a 2,000 person capacity conference center and four levels of shops, restaurants and entertainment. The east side contains a food center (3rd floor) and a children's play land (2nd floor).
Wororot and Lamyai Markets
See location at Google Maps: Wororot Market
The eastern end of Chang Moi Road between Kuang Ma and Praisani Roads is known as Kad Luang (Big Market) - the central market. Two large covered halls contain upper and lower galleries that sell fresh and dry foods, clothing and many other products at local prices.
In the surrounding streets gold shops are numerous and Chinese and Indian merchants do brisk business.
The bustle of business in the narrow passages, the smell of spices and the fragrance of incense create a traditional vision of the east.
The Museum of World Insects
See location at Google Maps: The Museum of World Insects
(72 Nimmanhaemin Soi 13, Sirimangkhlachan Road. Hours: 08:00 - 16:00 Everyday. Tel: 211891. Ring bell if door not open. 100 THB donation requested for hilltribe staff)
Located in a new building, this museum will fascinate those interested in Thailand's insects.
The Postal Museum
(Praisani Road. Hours: 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Mondays. Free).
Displays show many of Thailand's stamp issues, along with some old postal equipment.
New issues are also sold.
Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion
(52 Ratchadamnoen Road. Tel: 224237-8. Hours. Monday - Friday 9:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 15:30)
The well displayed collection contains coinage dating from before the Kingdom of Lanna, as well as medallions from the Rattanakosin period.
See location at Google Maps: Tribal Museum
(Ratchamangkla Park, Chotana Rd. Tel: 210872, 221933 Fax: 222494. Hours. 09:00 - 16:00 Monday - Friday)
Located near KM.5 on H107, The Tribal Research Institute has set up an extensive collection of hilltribe artifacts in a pagoda-shaped building in a lake north of the Rama IX gardens. The library is still located at the TRI main offices in Chiang Mai University.
Lanna Artisans Boat Cruise on the Ping River
Places of General Interest