Thailand is strategically situated at the center of the Indochinese peninsula, making it the natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar and Southern China. Its shape and geography naturally divide into four regions – the mountains and forests of the North, the rice fields of the Central Plains, the farmlands of the Northeast plateau, and the tropical islands and endless coastline of the South. Thailand is the world’s 51st largest country in size, and 20th in population, with about 66 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok – the country’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub.
Thailand is the #1 tourist destination in Southeast Asia, with good reason: with its world-class beaches, thick green jungles, magnificent temples, extraordinary cuisine and vibrant capital, you will certainly not be bored. Despite the massive tourist numbers, Thailand has retained its ‘Thainess’, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and fun-loving lifestyle. Delegates should be advised that many people who come to Thailand for a brief few days find themselves extending their stay well beyond their original plans, and we recommend that you free up some time on your calendar for this eventuality.
Welcome to Chiang Mai!
Located 700km north of Bangkok, the 700-year-old city of Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom (“the kingdom of a million rice fields”), which covered most of Northern Thailand as well as neighbouring parts of Myanmar, China and Laos in the late 13th century.
Chiang Mai is nearly as well serviced as Bangkok, welcoming nearly 400 scheduled flights from 52 countries. Only 7 km from the city center, Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) ensures that visitors arrive quickly at their hotel or event. Tourist arrivals in the city have been growing 15% a year since 2011 and last year the city welcomed 9.1 million visitors. It is also becoming a top destination for business events in Thailand and the ASEAN region and a global conference and exhibition city.
Chiang Mai is a favoured getaway for urban Thais seeking an escape from the hectic pace of the capital. While a sprawling 21st century city has grown up around ancient Chiang Mai, the lush green countryside of northern Thailand is only a short drive away, and we encourage delegates to explore the rainforest reserves, waterfalls, forest temples, hot springs and serene country villages that surround the city, as well as the elephant sanctuaries and souvenir markets.