Things to know


Things to know about Chiang Mai


The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna) among themselves, though central Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses. The Kham Muang alphabet is studied only by scholars, and Northern Thai is commonly written with the standard Thai alphabet.



  • Wat Chom TongBan Luang, Chom Tong (About 60 km southwest of the city), +66 53-826869, +66 53-826180. The home temple of the meditation master, Achan Tong. Offers residential courses in Vipassana meditation.
  • Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. The International Buddhist Centre offers short and long residential courses in Vipassana meditation in English. A brand new centre, including accommodation and a vitara (chanting hall), is now open.
  • Wat Ram PoengSuthep Rd (4 km SW of the city), +66 53-278620. Facilities for retreats and meditation instruction. Ten-day minimum stay required for introduction to Vipassana meditation techniques. English-speaking monks are available to assist foreigners. For non-native English speakers, long-term students from your home country may be available to offer translation services.
  • Wat Suan DokSuthep Rd (1 km W of the Old City Moat),  +66 53-278967. Has a meet-and-greet for tourists and monks, every M W F afternoon between 17:00 and 19:00. Offers a 24-hr introductory meditation retreat on Tuesdays.
  • Wat UmongSuthep Rd (~3.5 km W of Chiang Mai. Easiest way is by tuk-tuk or bicycle. Or take a songthaew W 2.5 km on Suthep Rd (not the same road to Doi Suthep Temple) to Wang Nam Kan, then follow signs S 1 km to the wat),  +66 53-277248. 08:30-16:00. Offers meditation courses and dharma instruction in English by Phra Charles every Sunday at 15:00. Please call only from 08:30-16:00.


  • Hypnotherapy Chiang Mai,  +66 91-0674352, e-mail: . Personal therapy using hypnosis. Hypnotherapy sessions by appointment with Nick, a member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis.


  • Reiki Chiang Mai,  +66 91-0674352, e-mail: .Usui Reiki workshops and treatments. Small intimate groups with an 8th-generation Reiki master/teacher.


  • Life Events Shamanic Studies (Behind Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center), +66 53-894708. Provides spiritual consultations, shamanistic initiation workshops and meditation retreats in English and Russian. An initial one-on-one consultation is held before attending events.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong

  • Green Dragon Tai Chi Center and Personal Training459/4 Nong Hoi (Behind the Nong Hoi Market, 2 min from the Holiday Inn Riverside), +66 85-6245776, e-mail: . Offers customized weekend courses for health and relaxation, especially for beginners, in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, the 18 Movements, the 8 brocates/Shaolin style, 24 Yang Form, 108 Yang Form old frame, Inner Qi Gong after grandmaster Zhi-Chang-Li and standing meditation after Grand Master Frankie Dow (Chan Kwaan Chung).

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

  • SEE TEFL 4 week TEFL certification course86/2 Kaew Nawarat Rd (About three blocks east of the Ping River), +66 53-266295, e-mail:. SEE TEFL offers a standard 4 week, 120 hour TEFL Certification course. TEFL certification is required for many English teaching positions in Thailand and throughout the world. USD1,295 with USD200 Early Bird discount (prices in USD, can be paid in THB).

Thai boxing (muay Thai)

  • Team Quest Thailand114/3 Moo.1, Phadeed (ป่าแดด) Rd (A 5 min walk from Central Airport Plaza or a short drive from the airport), +66 86-0911536, e-mail:. A gym for muay Thai and mixed martial arts. Train with top trainers and the current Thailand champion, Hong Thong Lek. 500 baht/day, 9,000 baht/month.

Thai cooking

  • Air's Thai Culinary Kitchen9/1 Nongprateep Rd,  +66 53-249326, +66 81-9936564. On 1.6 acres of the tranquil, landscaped grounds of a private house. The kitchen's unique design draws from professional experience and is purpose-built and surrounded by herb and spice gardens. Offers Course A and Course B. Each is 3 days in length, 08:30-15:00. Free transport to/from hotel. 2,700 baht.
  • Baan Thai Cookery School11 Ratchadamnoen Rd, Soi 5 (Near Tha Phae Gate),  +66 53-357339, +66 16-714120. Courses include a cookbook and market tour. Day or evening classes. 700-900 baht.
  • Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School1-3 Moon Muang Rd,  +66 53-206388fax: +66 53-206387. Offers 1-2-3-4-5-day courses. 990 baht for 1 day course.
  • Classic Home Cooking,  +66 53-219056. Choose any dish from more than 50 dishes on their menu. 6 dishes per day for morning class and 4 dishes for evening class. The cooking class runs every day.
  • Grandma's Thai Recipes48 Chaiyapoom Rd (15 min out of the city, transportation provided), +66 53-121656. Traditional Thai cooking instruction. Vegetarian-friendly. Restaurant and booking office located near Tha Phae Gate.
  • A Lot Of Thai Cooking School+66 53-800724. A family-run home cooking class, taught by the owner. Vegetarians and people with any kind of food restrictions welcome. Courses includes a market tour and a recipe book is provided for later use.
  • Siam Rice Thai Cookery School,  +66 53-329091. Friendly and knowledgeable staff provide a course on local and traditional recipes. The course includes a market tour and provides you with the recipes for the dishes that you create.
  • Smart Cook Thai Cookery School21 Moon Muang Rd, Soi 5,  +66 53-418309. Market tour, cook book. Accommodates vegetarian cooking. Small classes and fun staff.
  • Sompet Cookery School56 Patan Rd,,  +66 53-214897. Learn to cook traditional Thai food at a riverside home. Daily courses, morning and afternoon. A recipe book with colour photographs provided for each dish, suggesting many ways to prepare and serve Thai food.
  • Thai Cottage Cookery School25/2 Ratchadamnoen Rd, Soi 1,  +66 53-326608. Participants learn 5 dishes in a full day, including making curry paste from scratch, 800 baht. 3-course half-day courses are available, 600 baht. Market tour and cook book included. Modifications for vegetarians are easily made. Tu and Kat are excellent teachers and a lot of fun. 600-800 baht.

Thai language

  • AUA (American University Alumni), 73 Ratchadamnoen Rd (c. 100 m inside Tha Phae Gate),  +66 53-278407, +66 53-277951fax: +66 53-211973, e-mail: . M-F 08:30-18:00; Sa 09:00-11:30, 12:30-16:00; Su 08:30-12:00. AUA offers seven different 6- and 8-week courses M-F. Group courses start monthly with a minimum of 5 students. Individual instruction any time. Great library for student use, 100 baht per term. Caveats: they use the Haas transliteration system, not everyone's cup of tea. And they also have some petty rules, such as no shorts in class although no one observes the rule. No Wi-Fi.4,800 baht per course.
  • Effective Thai86/2 Kaewnawarat Rd,  +66 53-266295/6, e-mail:. 1-to-1 and small group classes. ED visa available. 500 baht/hr for 1-to-1 classes, 250 baht/hr for small group (2-4 students) classes.
  • Payap University (Superhighway Chiang Mai-Lampang Rd),  +66 53-241255 x7238. Run by the Southeast Asian Institute of Global Studies, the Thai and Southeast Asian Studies Program at Payap University is a one- or two-semester academic program for students primarily interested in becoming proficient in the Thai language and knowledgeable about Thai culture.
  • YMCA11 Mengrairasmi, Sermsuk Rd,  +66 53-221819, +66 53-221820.1,800+ baht for 30 hrs instruction.

Thai massage