The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai is welcoming more direct regional flights. Low-cost carrier (LCC) Thai AirAsia launched a new daily direct Chiang Mai-Hong Kong service this week, and announced a plan to launch a Chiang Mai-Hangzhou (China) flight next month.
Thai AirAsia’s new services join the recently launched regional flights from the mainland by Air China, comprising the twice-weekly Wuhan-Chiang Mai starting from 10 December, 2013, and thrice-weekly Beijing-Chiang Mai from 7 November, 2013. (Read more on TAT Newsroom: Air China to Launch Wuhan – Chiang Mai Flights)
The LCC becomes the third airline to operate on the Chiang Mai-Hong Kong route, joining Dragonair and Hong Kong Express Airways, which are already operating on the route. Chiang Mai is also connected to other Chinese cities – Chengdu, Kunming, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing, as well as Macau – by several other airlines, including Thai AirAsia (Chiang Mai-Macau service).
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “This is great news for Chiang Mai and the Thai tourism industry. More direct international flights to key cities, such as, Chiang Mai, will allow tourists to cut short the connecting time through Bangkok thus have more time to enjoy the many cultural and natural attractions that the destination has to offer.”
Chiang Mai is connected domestically with daily direct services from key Thai cities, including Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports), Phuket, Hat Yai and Krabi. Often known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is also a convenient jumping off point to neighbouring northern Thai provinces, including Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son.
The city is well known for a diversity of cultural and natural attractions, ethnic cultures, and unique Lanna-style traditions in celebrating many Thai festival, including Loi Krathong (known as Yi Peng in Chiang Mai), Songkran and the Khantoke merit-making ceremony. It is also known for the much-hype Thailand International Balloon Festival and the Chiang Mai Fest International Music and Heritage.