Ancient temples, colorful markets and breathtaking natural scenery all set against a background of a rich regional culture make this northern Thai city stand out in a country filled with an abundance of tourist hot spots. Chiang Mai which is also fondly referred to as the Rose of the North is situated to the southwest of the cities Chiang Rai and Phayao while Nan lies to its east. The cities of Lamphun and and Lampang are also located to its south while Phrae and Uttaradit lie to its southeast.

During your vacation in the 'New City', you will be able to visit the famous San Kamphaeng Road to admire and even purchase skilfully created silverware, carvings and silk cloth. You will also get to immerse yourself in the rural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Chiang Mai is a haven of natural beauty and one of the very best spots to admire it is the Doi Inthanon National Park. Visiting this vast enclave of unspoilt nature also means the opportunity to view the highest peak in Thailand. If you love birds, you will also especially enjoy your visit since the park is also home to the greatest variety of birds in the entire nation.

Chiang Mai is the very image of a dreamy, marvelous getaway thanks to its abundance of beautiful traditional architecture, impressive wildlife sanctuaries and countless opportunities for retail therapy. The Venus of the East, Bangkok is really close by with just a 75-minute flight separating it from this amazing holiday spot. The rather boisterous Phuket and the much calmer Krabi on the other hand, happen to be slightly further with flight times from either destination averaging a couple of hours.

The ubiquitous songthaews in red, white, blue and green are very popular options for traveling around Chiang Mai and may even be hired for a trip or the entire day. Taxis are also readily available and are often only a phone call away while motorbikes and bicycles are also quite handy for discovering the city's best kept secrets.

A visit to the Night Safari will bring you face to face with a plethora of animals including tigers, lions, reptiles and even a few wild canines. But to enjoy a closer look at the world's largest feline all you have to do is visit the Tiger Kingdom where you will be able to observe its regal residents and even get to bottle feed a cuddly little cub too.  The city also boasts the largest number of tame elephants in the nation and at Maesa Elephant Camp, you will get to splash about with the sage, happy pachyderms and watch the little ones receive a healthy dose of maternal care from their doting mothers.

To immerse yourself once more in the pulse of the city a visit to Nimmanhaemin Road comes highly recommended. Here you will not only be able to enjoy an unforgettable meal at one of its restaurants, but will also be able to treat yourself to loads of shopping too.