With the steady-rising of the number of airlines operating flights to Chiang Mai International Airport, at present there are 26 such flights, and ever-growing hotels in the city and beyond, Chiang Mai will surely become the main gateway for long-haul travelers to neighboring countries such as Viet Nam, Laos and Myanmar.
There are now flights from Chiang Mai to Hanoi by Bangkok Airways to reach destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. For Myanmar, tourists can fly from Chiang Mai to Yangon and Mandalay to indulge at the emerging southern coast in Dawei and Myeik or explore the ancient city of Bagan and new adventurous places in Chin State,Kachin State and Shan State. From Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, there is a daily flight with Lao Airlines to continue to Vientiane and Pakse in the southern part of the country, from where it is easy to reach popular destinations in Cambodia. Even direct flights from Chiang Mai to China, not only Hong Kong, are becoming more and more popular. Also, direct connections to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Singapore offer travel options never known before.
Actually, Chiang Mai is rich in historical sites and old temples, some 40 temples within the old city alone, and outlying natural sites in all four directions. What is needed are more marketing efforts by the tourism authorities and active advices to tourists, how to plan their holiday times in Chiang Mai and combine the northern part of the country with interesting programs to visit the neighboring countries of Viet Nam, Laos, and Myanmar.
Written by : Reinhard Hohler