Nov-feb is the best time to visit (pack a shawl), Mar can be smoky and polluted due to field burning, rash-inducing heat Mar-may, wet monsoon Jul-oct Have your driver’s mobile number on you at all times Chiang Mai Airport to town: 15 mins / 120 baht by official Airport Taxi Shopping is spread out – for convenience hire a car and driver (see V. Useful), they’re rather affordable Rip-off tuk-tuks and red buses – call a taxi meter (see V. Useful) instead. Note it’s not illegal (or unusual) for taxis to turn off the meter and quote a fixed fare Addresses are confusing and many places are hard to find, but almost all establishments are used to giving directions over the phone (in Thai) Songkran festival (mid-apr) means you’ll be covered in flour and water; Loi Krathong (Nov) is lantern magic Hours can vary all year and in low season, some shops, restos and attractions may be closed – call ahead Many venues are open air and do not have air con Almost all bars and clubs close by 1am − pooh! Many clubs and attractions charge foreigners fees Many shops close Sun or Mon, some close Tue or Wed Shipping companies are everywhere, although most shops can arrange this for you. Beware of extra taxes and charges at the country of destination ATMS are plentiful, but carry lots of small notes for little purchases, attractions, taxis etc This is temple town, so keep your bits in when out Country code is +66 then 53 for Chiang Mai, when there, dial 053 for local calls, and 08 or for mobiles 191 for emergencies and 1155 for tourist police
The following Thai phrases will get you started...
Sa wah dee (kap) (m) / (kah) (f) : Hello/toodleoo Kop koon (kap) (m) / (kah) (f) : Thanks awfully Tao arai : How much? Poot len nam : Yeah, and I’m Marilyn Monroe
...’kay, let’s shop