1 Thing You May Not Know about Chiang Mai Thailand


Doi Suthep Non Hunting Area, Chiang Mai, Thailand


I meditated wearing a sweat shirt today.


Hoodie pulled up.


I looked like Gandalf. A little bit. He did not don sweat shirts. But he did wear long robes during meditation sessions. Or was it Sauruman? Whatever.


Chiang Mai, Thailand – where I am now – gets chilly at night. 50 to 60 degree F type chilly.


This stunned me nearly 7 years ago during my first trip to CM.


I recall strolling down the road in town during the evening. Up and at ’em at 9 PM. Walking outside shocked me; I expected warm temps. Maybe a smidge of humidity. Thailand, after all.


But the cool, crisp, dry air surprised me as the chill cut to my bones. Well maybe it was not that bad. But I did feel it more than expected because Kelli and I had flown in from Phuket a few hours prior.


Folks here dressed for the cool weather. I never knew though if the long pants, heavy jackets, gloves and scarves were cool weather or light skin motivated.


Oh yes; this is another thing you may not have known about Chiang Mai or Southeast Asia in general.


Folks tend to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants even in brutally hot climes.


SE Asians do this for a few reasons:


  • light skin effect; people crave lighter colored skin, as it indicates the individuals didn’t have to toil in the fields all day long (darker skinned folks)…..yep, social class thing
  • avoid nasty skin injuries during motorbike accidents
  • keep warm during chillier evening hours


I slowly adopt the long sleeve deal on chilly mornings like today. After being in a wicked motorbike accident in Bali and seeing my arms slowly evolve into a California raisin like tan I see the other reasons too.


Why Cooler Temperatures?


Chiang Mai sits in a different clime than the hot, humid weather of Bangkok. Working southward, you get even more humid weather in the jungle regions of Southern Thailand, where islands like Phuket and Koh Lanta introduce you to proper jungles.


Chiang Mai is Northern Thailand. We are not far from China. We are way up there so subject to a wider temperature spread from low to high season, a bit different that tropical climates.



Make no mistake; in a week temperatures sprint to the mid 90’s. Right now we are low 80’s for the high temperatures. The thermometer drops to the 60’s nightly. Some evenings see 50’s.


December in Chiang Mai is brilliant; 50’s and chilly at night, low 70’s, clear, crisp, dry and cloudless during the day. Like fall time weather in my native New Jersey.


February sees a quick shift. Night time temps feel cool enough but day time temps soar to near 100 on some days. Dry conditions evolve into more humid deals but far from the steamy climes of say, Phuket, way down in Southern Thailand.


As for now, I don jackets for morning meditations at 5:30 AM.


By 12 PM though I see quite a different story.


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