Chiang Mai Life and Visitor Travel Tips

(Chiang Mai, Thailand)

View of nearby elephant campLocated opposite the Iron Bridge (Saphan lek), Chiang Mai's Tourism Authority of Thailand centre, often referred to as simply 'TAT', was the first local branch of its kind to open and dates back to the late 1960s. Today, TAT offices can now be found all over Thailand and always dispense a range of useful travel information and maps. Also worth noting, the Municipal Tourist Information Centre lies on the outskirts of the walled city and within the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, along with a number of banks, cashpoints and currency exchange outlets.

Also within Chiang Mai you will find a number of foreign consulates, with the UK and Northern Ireland branch being located along the Th Bamrungrat, and the USA office sited on the Th Wichayanon. Helpful travel tips about general life in Chiang Mai is shown below.

Further picture of nearby elephant camp

Tourism and Tourist Information

Around the city you will find a number of useful amenities and offices, including the main post office, which is just a short walk from the train station and close to the river.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Address: 105 / 1 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road, Chiang Mai, 50000, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 24 8604
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 16:30

Municipal Tourist Information Centre
Address: 135 Praisanee Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 25 2557
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 16:30

Thai Immigration Office
Address: Route 1141, Th Mahidon, Chiang Mai, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 20 17556

Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
Address: 1 - 3 Th Moon Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 20 6388
Fax: +66 053 39 9036

Main Post Office
Address: Th Charoen Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 053 24 1070
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:30, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 12:00

Close-up picture of elephant at the nearby camp

Language and Dialect

Spoken throughout Thailand, the language of Thai is believed to have originated from southern China. Chiang Mai is actually home to a notable English population, while many locals also often understand varying levels of English, particularly within hotels.

Worth noting, many of the road signs around Chiang Mai shown the destinations in both Thai and English. Here are some simple Thai phrases.

Yes - chái
No - mâi chái
Sorry - khor toat
What is your name? - khun cheu aria?
How much is this? - nee tao-rai?
Where is the airport? - sanaam-bin yoo tenee?
Telephone - tour-a-saap
What is this called? - nii riak waa a-rai?
Where are you going? - pai nai
How long are you staying here? - ja yuu thiinii naan thao rai
I cannot speak Thai - chan phuut phaasaa thai mai dai


Smoking has never been more unpopular in Chiang Mai and in general, Thailand has one of the lowest overall smoking rates in the whole of Asia. You will find that many public indoor spaces and air-conditioned buildings are now smoke-free zones, where harsh fines are enforced should you be found smoking.


The Thai baht is the country's official currency and therefore used in Chiang Mai. Around the city you will find various ways to obtain local currency, including ATMs and banks, many of which are clustered along the Th Tha Phae and open between 08:30 until 15:30 Monday to Friday. In the most tourist friendly areas, such as Th Moon Muang, some foreign exchange booths stay open as late as 20:00.

General Dos and Don'ts

Here are some useful tips to help you understand how to behave when visiting Thailand and avoid potentially embarrassing situations.