Dangers & Annoyances
Compared to Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a breeze for tourists. There are few hassles or rip-offs to watch out for.
The biggest annoyances:
Traffic During rush hour, especially. Take care when crossing busy roads, as motorcyclists and rót daang (literally 'red truck'; shared taxi) drivers rarely give way.
Haze In March and April, smoky, dusty haze can be a problem because of farmers burning off their fields.
Dengue fever Outbreaks are common in the monsoon; take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, especially in the daytime.
Grand Canyon Water Park A number of travellers have drowned after losing consciousness when hitting the water.
Embassies & Consulates
UK Visa Application Centre While there is currently no UK consulate in Chiang Mai (the nearest is in Bangkok), other nationals can apply for UK visas here.
US Consulate Has murals on the outside walls honouring Thai and US friendship.
Almost all hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and cafes in Chiang Mai have free wi-fi access. The city has excellent mobile-phone data coverage, but roaming charges for Thailand can be crippling.
- The weekly English-language Chiangmai Mail is a useful source of local news.
- Look out for the free tourist magazines Citylife, Chang Puak and Chiang Mai Mag; all have interesting articles as well as maps and blanket advertising.
All of the big Thai banks have branches and ATMs throughout Chiang Mai and most operate small exchange booths with ATMs in the old city.