Chiang Mai International AirportIATA Code: CNX
Location: The airport is situated 2 miles (4km) from Chiang Mai.
Time: GMT +7.
Contacts: Tel: +66 (0)53 2702 2233.
Transfer to the city: Taxis are available for travel to Chiang Mai, 100 Baht/15 minutes. A shared taxi will cost 40 Baht. Fares should be agreed in advance. The Airport does not allow public tricycle and pick-up cars to enter the airport area; those can be accessed outside the airport area. Many hotels arrange transport and public buses are only advised for serious budget travellers.
Car rental: Avis and Budget are represented at the airport, as well as some local car rental companies.
Facilities: Facilities include a bank, bureaux de change, ATMs, bars, restaurants, shops, a tourist desk on the first floor, first aid on the second floor and a left luggage office. There are limited facilities for disabled travellers; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.
Departure tax: None.
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Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city, and an excellent starting point for excursions into the northern territories. Its name means 'new city', even though Chiang Mai is much older than Bangkok, having been built in 1296 under the rule of King Mengrai. The city straddles the gap between urban and rural Thailand, and offers the best of both worlds in terms of attractions and activities for Thailand tourists.
While Chiang Mai has more than 300 ancient temples, including the one at Doi Suthep, which offer breathtaking views over the area, its popularity is largely due to the elephant treks in the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also use Chiang Mai as a launching pad for excursions to the Lisu Hill-Tribe, Bhubing Palace, and Chiang Rai. Thai cookery classes are also a popular tradition, and the city also has an extensive night market, with dozens of street vendors selling a variety of traditional Thai wares that can be obtained at very low prices if you have the patience to bargain for them.
Chiang Mai is small enough to get around on a bicycle, has several attractions, and offers excellent accommodation, although tourists are advised that it can be difficult to find a room in peak season, between December and March.