Chiang Mai - A Personal Guide

One of the many maps on the site
Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand, has a charm that makes many visitors return again and again - some never leave! I hope to make your time in and around the city more organized and fun by providing you with detailed, hand drawn maps, photos of guesthouses and hotels....and much more!

What's great about Chiang Mai is its laid-back feel. Sure, it has a rush hour like the capital, Bangkok (the population is officially 200,000 but it stretches to other towns to total a million). But it has endless quiet, leafy streets that are superb for leisurely strolls and bike rides. Trees, temples, monks and friendly smiles are everywhere!

The city has a unique 2 kilometer square moat, a 700 year old defense system.

A striking corner moat wall
Part of the walls remain. It's a lovely feel to be 'inside', in the old city, where most of the oldest temples remain.

Chiang Mai was cut off from much of the outside world until the 1920's. Before then, riding on an elephant or a river journey were the only ways to get here. So this isolation has helped keep its allure!

Looming over the city is the impressive Doi Suthep Mountain ('doi' means mountain), just a few kilometers away. If you get lost in the city, it's a great way to get your bearings! Find out about this and other places to visit, including information about massage and cookery schools, restaurants and more by navigating to my 'Things to Do and See' page.

Picturesque moat along Moon Muang Rd, near Tha Pae Gate
Accommodation is excellent value. You can stay in a simple, clean room for as low as 5 or 6 US Dollars. You can also stay in some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

I also have detailed information on the site about other places in Thailand, particularly Bangkok, the north-east region, known as Isaan,
as well as the Thai visa destinations of Penang Island and Vientiane.


My name is Iain. I'm from England, about 100 kilometers north of London, in rural Buckinghamshire. I first came to Asia in 2003 and liked it so much I now spend most of my time here.

I taught English in Vietnam for a few years before deciding that I'd love to work at something I really enjoy - travel! I also enjoy playing many sports and since being in Asia have become interested in awareness/clarity....if you're interested, is very supportive. I love to walk and explore, which helps when it comes to making maps for a travel site!

The more time I spend in Thailand, particularly Chiang Mai, the more I like it. On top of the opportunities for adventure and its intriguing culture, it has an amazingly tranquil feel. Come and see for yourself!


Hi Iain, Thanks for such a thorough website. Just spent several hours reading your site - absolutely incredible.
Daniel, Israel

I want to thanks u a lot because of your super website. It's full of good infos and we clearly feel your heart in it! Bravo monsieur!
Yann, France

Hi Iain, In essence, a brilliant site. I often spend long periods in Chiang Mai - a site that lists all the guest houses, with monthly prices and pictures, saves me so much time and effort. It's what I was wishing for. Unbelievably useful.
Jay, England

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