Chiang Mai is an excellent compromise between the urban mayhem of Bangkok and the serene beauty of rural Thailand. With a population of roughly one million, the city has an active nightlife and excellent shopping without the chaos of Bangkok.

On the banks of the river there are a number of excellent bars and restaurants with live music every night, and for those who are inclined to get away from city life for a day or two there are a number of small, picturesque towns a short drive away. Within Chiang Mai itself, one can even drive (or bicycle) to the top of Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Suthep. Be sure to visit one of Thailand’s most sacred temples, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, while you’re there for a breathtaking view of the city among the temple gardens, shining golden stupas and sparkling brass prayer bells hung there by groups of locals who pay their respects every day.

Secret Garden Chiang Mai, traveler’s choice 213 Winner for best service- 54/1 Moo 5, T. Mae Khue Tel: 66 53 339 502.

The Chedi Chiang Mai, 123 Charoen Prathet Rd, Is a beautiful hotel on the Ping River. People love the club rooms. Tel: 66 53 253 333 123 Charoen Prathet Rd, Chiang Mai.

Mae- Sa Valley, Chiang Mai, In Old Chiang, Mae-Sa Valley, 86 Moo, 2,T Pongyang, A. Maerim. Tel: 66-53-290-051-2. The atmosphere is rustic, bungalow style with veranda. It is close to an elephant camp and near the highest peak in Thailand

The Regent Chiang Mai Resort, is  located at some distance from the city. The hotel has beautiful landscaped rice fields and great hospitality. Old Rd, Mae Rim. Tel: 66-53-298-181. Beautiful landscaped rice fields

Gossip Gallery Bar, 32 Intawarorot Rd, Si Phum, Tel: 66 086 191 1207. Live music, you may bring your own instrument.

Anchan Vegetarian, Nimmanhaeminda Rd, Soi Hillside 3 Opposite Soi 13 Tel:66 083 581 1689 Thai&, Asian Fusion.

Baan Suan Rim Ping, along the Ping River, designed by an award winning architect, 25 Moo 3 San Pee Sua North of the city Chiang Mai. Tel: 66-53-854-169-70. Mix of Thai and fusion. If you make arrangements you be part of a celebration during a festival. Loi Krathong (lantern festival) is one of them.

Sala Mae Rim at the Four Seasons Resorts, in Chiang Mai, 502 Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Rd / Mae Rim  Tel: 66-53-298-181. Try breakfast, tea or Northern Thai style cuisine. Enjoy the stunning views of the hills.

Giva Organic Vegan Raw food, Tapae Soi 1,Loi Khor Rd, across from D2 Hotel in Chiang Mai. Very tast , recommended for people with allergies as well.

The Tha Nam Riverfront Restaurant, 4313 Moo 2 Changklan Rd, Padag Muan Tel: 66 53 282 988. The main building has a guest house and art gallery. Northern and Central Thai cuisine.

China Palace Restaurant Chiang Mai, 318/1 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Rd Tumble Wat Ket. Tel: 66-53-222 300.  Located in the Holiday Inn Hotel Tel: 1 877 660 8550. Authentic Cantonese Cuisine ,the chef is from Hong Kong, Daily Dim Sum lunch.

Le Coq D’or restaurant, has been serving fine European cuisine for at least 30 years at 11 Soi 2 Koh Klang Rd, Nong Hoi, Amphur Muang. Tel: 66 5314-1555 66-53-282-024.

The Whole Earth Restaurant, since the 70’s offers a selection of vegetarian Thai and Ayurvedic Indian cuisine. Near the night market at  88 Si Donchai Rd. Tel: 66 53 282 463.

The Night Bazaar, at the corner of Chang Khlan and Loi Kroh Roads is lively and has a wide variety of hand-crafted items for locals and foreigners alike, as well as the usual tourist merchandise.

Ban Phor Liang Meun’s Terracotta Arts, is a show case of reproductions of terra cotta items for gardens also wood sculpture reproduction. A must to visit behind Chiang Mai Gate Market, 36  Spoi 2 Prapokklao Rd, Muang District. Tel: 66 53 278 187,277 463.

Chiangmai Hunfai Daingam, homespun cotton fabric made by local weavers. 145/2 Moo 3, ChiangMa –Sankampaeng Rd.,T Sanklang, A.Sankampaeng. Tel: 053 960 314
Gerard Collection Co.Lt
, Unique bamboo furnitures ,mats, crafts, opium trays, 6/23-24 Nimmanheimin Rd., Suthep, Muang Chiang. Tel: 66 53 220 604.

Gongdee Gallery, Thai furniture, trays, lacquer screens.  Nimmanhemmin Soi 1, Number 30, Chiang Mai. Tel: 66 53 225 032 / 66 53 217 403.

Hangdong Rattan, 54-55 Th Loi Kroh E of Pratu Tha Phae, Chiang Mai. Tel: 53 208 167. Rattan furniture and accessories.

Mae Rim Ceramic Studio, bowls and flatware with Japanese and Lanna influences. 165 M 8, Donkaew, Maerim, Chiang Mai. Tel: 66 53 214 676.

Mengrai Kilns R.O.P, an attractive showroom with handmade stoneware and pots. 79/2 Arak Rd,T. Phrasingh A. Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: 66 53 272 063.

Vila Cini Oriental Style Products Co, Lifestyle products and decorative art. Add: 36 Charoenrat Rd, Chiang Mai. Tel: 66 53 243 156

Sansai Celadon, handmade classic Celadon ware. 160 Moo 13 Tambon Pa Phai, Sansai, Chiang Mai. Tel: 66 5349 8412.

Sop Moei Arts housewares, wall hangings, hill tribe crafts, silk bedspreads. Chiang Mai Showroom: The Elephant Quay House, 150/10 Charoenrat Rd. Tel: 66-53-260-844.

Living Space Co, lacquered boxes, lamp, plates, silver lacquerware, silk fabric. 8/1.10 Nimmanhaemin Rd. Tel: 66 53 40