Hidden Gem Chiang Mai | We are constantly wondering, which place might be the best for our next vacation. But each of us has different requirements when it comes to rankings of tourist destinations. Some like it hot, others cheap, Chili and Churp prefer smaller towns instead of mega cities. Single women look out for female friendly destinations, many make their decision based on beach access etc. Pieter Levels did put all this into perspective. Check out his Nomad List. He found a smart way to rank 500+ popular tourist destinations based on cost of living, weather, safety, air quality, internet speed, and many more data points. The result is controversial but somewhat realistic. We found our gem: Chiang Mai, situated amongst high mountains in Northern Thailand …
Nomadlist #2: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is ranked #2 in Pieter Levels Nomad List. But it’s our personal #1. Affordability, 24/7 cafes, and reasonable internet speed make Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand a destination worth visiting. No beaches, no mega big city life, still Chiang Mai has enough infrastructure that tourists can feel comfortable. A relaxed lifestyle, the availability of short-term rentals and good food make it a nice, well-rounded location. Chiang Mai is small enough to be navigated by scooter (population: 131,000). It’s easy to get out of town and experience the countryside, lakes and mountains. There is a bit of history to explore, and many national festivals will keep you from sleeping. Chiang Mai is a place where one can still experience traditional Thai culture. The only real bummer: During March and April heavy air pollution is unavoidable due to nearby crop burning.
How to get to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai can be a 70 minutes flight, a 12 hours overnight train or an 11 hours bus ride from Bangkok. You will travel 700 km. Let’s take a look at the options:
Train | Chiang Mai’s train station is a 10 minute drive to the city centre. There are six trains daily commuting between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The first one leaves at 8.30am, the last one departs at 10.00pm. Journey times vary from 12 to 14 hours. Train fares vary. A 3rd class ticket is $10, 1st class sleeper ticket: $44. Be aware! Train transport is popular in Thailand. Make an advanced booking to avoid being left behind at the platform in Bangkok.
Bus | Head to Moh Chit Station for a bus ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You find it near the Chatuchak Market area. Most trips take around 11 hours. To survive the ride you may pick an air-conditioned VIP bus. It’s the most comfortable, and will cost you about 500+ THB ($15).
Last not least some nice photos of our hidden gem Chiang Mai. The first one shows Huai Tueng Thao, an artificial lake just northwest on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. The northeastern shore of Lake Huai Tueng Thao is dotted with eateries in small huts with seating for just 4 to 6 peeps, some in the water, and some right on the shore.
Hidden Gem Chiang Mai. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.