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Asia travel and leisure guides for hotels, food and drink, shopping, nightlife, and spas | Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

Hotels

Villa Mahabhirom

Food & Drink

Cafe Mini

Shopping

Koland

Nightlife

Warm Up Café

Spa

The Dheva Spa & Wellness Centre

Chiang Mai

Known as the “northern rose,” Thailand’s second largest city continues to bloom. Apart from the mountain views right from the city, reminiscent of Hong Kong or Vancouver, the city has become a focal point of arts and fashion, antiques and handicrafts. Just take a drive down the “Handicrafts Highway” or cruise the local galleries. With car-free street markets on the weekend, a café culture brewing, and chic boutiques on the rise, Chiang Mai is no longer Bangkok’s dowdy little sister. If anything it’s starting to out-cool and outshine the capital. Startlingly, these developments are juxtaposed against the old city gates and moats enclosing temples that date back to the Lanna Kingdom of five centuries ago. Smack dab in the middle of the mountains, Chiang Mai is a base camp for trekking to hill-tribe village and it’s a big wheel in the mountain-biking scene with spokes spreading across the hill-studded north.

Hotels

Occupying such choice real estate, the city offers a wealth of upscale accommodations up in the mountains, to plenty of boutique options around the old city walls and the backpacker ghetto of Moonmuang Road.

Food & Drink

Chiang Mai’s amazing array of dining options would make any glutton rub his or her hands in glee. From spicy street stalls to hip eateries to authentic Western-style pubs and bars, never fear when for your stomach when you are here.

Shopping

Hailed as a major hub of Thai handicrafts, jewelry, silk items and ceramics, Chiang Mai is a treasure chest of discoveries for those who love their antiques and other decorative items.

Nightlife

Increasingly popular among tourists and expats, Chiang Mai’s nightlife is growing by leaps and bounds as new nightlife venues spring up in the city’s lively entertainment zones such as Tapae Gate, Loi Kroh Road and along Charoenrat Road.

Spa

Chiang Mai’s blissful and indulgent spas emulate the city’s elegant and laid-back demeanor. Mostly housed in ultra-luxurious hotels and boutique resorts, these temples of harmony act as natural sanctuaries in the city.

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