Chiang Mai is the center of Northern Thailand and the Capital City of the Province of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai, though the fifth largest city in Thailand, boasts such natural treasures and tranquility that it’s mostly visited by tourists who just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of a large city.
This isn’t to say that it’s completely secluded – no: it’s surrounded by countryside and mountains, but it also has a genuine city center and is you’re completely in touch with the civilization.
This city is a prime example of what Thailand is: it has resisted the heavy flows of tourists, and kept its innate Thai identity, keeping its rich culture, religions, and history safe.
Warnings & Dangers in Chiang Mai
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Generally speaking, Chiang Mai is a safe city, though there are some scammers and petty thieves. You better apply all possible precautious measures, just in case you stumble upon them.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a great risk when it comes to transportation conditions in Chiang Mai. Thailand roads are the place where many motorbike accidents happen, especially in the mountainous areas of Chiang Mai. These places have completely new traffic rules for tourists, that they are not used to, which makes it difficult to be a part of the transportation system. Avoid public transport too, as this is where the pickpockets operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Since Thailand is a growingly popular tourist destination, Chiang Mai is also more visited than it used to be, and it's actually to be expected that pickpockets operate around the city, usually in crowded places filled with foreigners. Excessive vigilance is highly recommended.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
As for natural disasters, Chaing Mai is known for flooding and severe rainy seasons.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Kidnappings are not that often, though they have been reported. Muggings are also rare, but they're also possible, especially in the remote areas and the outskirts of the city.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Though there haven't been any recent terrorist attacks in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s main cities have been assessed as a medium-threat location for terrorist activity
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
There are two known scams in Chiang Mai: the gem scam, where they convince you to buy worthless gems for a lot of money; and the tuk-tuk scam, where a tuk-tuk driver tells you a tourist attraction you want to see is closed, and instead offers you a tour for - again - a lot of money, which usually consist of touring the gift shops.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Even though Chiang Mai could generally be considered a safe city for women, they are still highly advised to follow the basic rules of precaution. Avoid dark alleys, walking alone along with dark, poorly lit or deserted areas, or finding yourself late at night in areas filled with bars or clubs as you might receive some unwanted attention.
So... How Safe Is Chiang Mai Really?
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to say that Chiang Mai has no dangers at all – it certainly does, but for a city in this part of the world, they’re mostly insignificant.
Chiang Mai is perfectly safe and its dangers come down to petty crime and scams.
Petty theft like pickpocketing or bag snatching is more than common and you should expect it at every step.
Violent crime has been on the rise during the past couple of years and muggings and robberies are not rare at all.
Avoid any confrontations at bars and clubs as you might get severely beaten up.
There have, of course, been reports of getting ridiculously overcharged by taxi drivers, street vendors, practically anyone providing any service, so do be careful about getting scammed.
Again, one of the most important things here is not to mess with the Royal Family – in any sense: you should never, under any circumstances, say or mumble anything negative, or make jokes about the Thai royal family, as you might get attacked – and, we mean – severely.
And of course, given the fact that this area is already sort of secluded, by all means, avoid poorly lit, deserted areas, especially at night – Thailand is safe, but don’t push your luck.
How Does Chiang Mai Compare?
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- Visas - US citizens planning on traveling to Chiang Mai for less than 30 days do not need a visa. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months past the date of arrival into this city. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Thailand embassy for further information.
- Currency - Thai BAHT is the official currency of Chiang Mai. In this country and, by itself, this city, you should treat the money well: never step on a coin, or throw, tear or burn paper bills, because it shows disrespect to the royal family.
- Weather - The climate in Chiang Mai is tropical, with mostly high temperatures and an abundance of humidity throughout the year. The best time to visit this city is between November and February.
- Airports - Chiang Mai International Airport is an international airport serving Chiang Mai, the capital of the Chiang Mai Province in Thailand. It is currently the fourth busiest airport in the entire country. It is a gateway to Northern Thailand.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Chiang Mai, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Chiang Mai Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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