Chiang Mai International Airport, formerly Suthep Airport, is a primary international gateway to the north of Thailand. It is located in Chiang Mai, the capital city of Chiang Mai Province. The airport is owned by Royal Thai Air Force and operated by Airports of Thailand. It serves as a hub for Kan Air, Nok Air, and Thai AirAsia. The facility has two terminals, one for domestic flights and another for international flights.
What to see & do
Chiang Mai National Museum - The Chiang Mai National Museum features exhibits on the history of the Kingdom of Lanna. It is located in Wat Chet Yot and is run by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand. Exhibits include the natural and cultural background of the Lanna Kingdom, the details of the establishment of the city of Chiang Mai and being controlled by Burman, the trade and economy of the Lanna King Dom, the modern way of life and social development, the development of the Lanna art style, and the history of art in Thailand.
Doi Suthep–Pui National Park - The Doi Suthep–Pui National Park, formerly Doi Oi Change, is a protected area in Chiang Mai Province that includes Bhubing Palace, the winter residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and the Buddhist Temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Outdoor activities available in the park include cycling, hiking, camping, waterfalls, birdwatching, cultural and historical sightseeing, and cave touring.
Elephant Nature Park - Approximately 60 kilometres from the city centre is a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants called the Elephant Nature Park. The park covers an area of 250 acres in the Mae Taeng valley. Mistreated elephants are rescued and bought to the sanctuary to allow them to heal and to live as naturally as possible with their self-chosen family groups. The park has rescued over 37 elephants throughout the country, including orphaned, disabled, and blind elephants of all ages, and there are also young elephants that were born in the park. The park hosts several tours and programs that allow visitors to spend time with the elephants and even take a walk through the dense forests side by side with these gentle giants. Anyone is welcome to volunteer their services at the sanctuary, most especially qualified veterinarians and nurses, as well as veterinarian students. Apart from elephants, the sanctuary also houses several rescued dogs, cats, buffalo, pigs, and other animals.
How to get around within Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is small and safe enough to be explored via a rented bicycle. If you would rather have someone else do the peddling for you then you can ride the pedicabs called the samlor or the famous 3-wheeled tuktuk. The most popular means of transport in Chang Mai is by riding a songthaew, which operates kind of like a tiny non air-conditioned bus service. These are basically covered pickup trucks with two long bench seats on either side of the back. The routes are fixed, and passengers are picked up en route. The red songthaews don't follow a specific route; rather they simply roam around the main streets. The yellow songthaews operate to Mae Rim in the north, green songthaews travel to Mae Jo in the northeast, white songthaews operate to the eastern suburban city of Sankampaeng, and blue songthaews travel to Sarapee and Lamphun in the south. You can find songthaews around the Warorot Market or flag one down on the streets. Chiang Mai is also served by taxis, but the driver may need to be persuaded to turn the meter on.
How to get there
Chiang Mai International Airport is served by several airlines, including the following; Air Asia, Air China, Bangkok AIrways, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Express AIrways, Jin Air, Silkair, Spring Airlines, Thai AirAsia, and Tiger Air. Flights are mainly from cities in Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, Beijing, ShangHai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei.