I would certainly agree with the 'Bulldog' that Chiang Mai has the best Songkran in Thailand.
Best that is, assuming you enjoy being wet, and making EVERYONE else wet.
note: Prersonally I wish it was a one day event instead of +four; but hey, it is fun.
I suspect the rainy season has different starting dates depending on the region, but the last four years, we've had rain in Chaing Mai within the first week after the Thai New Year (Songkran).
It's not the heavy rains we get here in August and September, but it does put an end to many of the fires, and the air quality is dramitically improved.
So, it's ALL GOOD!
I really think that it depends on what you have planned on your visits. It appears that you are leaning on being in Chiang Rai longer than Chiang Mai. If you have more things that you want to do in Chiang Rai then I would spend more time there. Another option is to do 2 nights in Chiang Mai, go to Chiang Rai for your two nights and then fly onto Bangkok from CR. You could also do the reverse and fly into CR from BKK and then onto CM, then back to BKK. Again depending on flight times and what you have planned. But as I said, your itinerary is or should be dependant upon what you want to see and what you have planned. If you have open plans and are just looking around for the first time then 2 nights in each will give you a flavour of what is in each place. Can't really be more specific without knowing what you want to do and see.
Good luck! and have fun!
Couldn't agree more. It would also help to know your point of origin, where are you coming from?
You could also get another guide or even do it yourself. There are hundreds of web sites out there for you to plan a really good daily itinerary to keep the students busy and for them to learn something, again, not sure what your goals are, (fun, educational??) or where you are coming from. The monsoon season is somewhat educatioal it of itself. If you are coming from a non tropical point and have never experienced a monsoon in all it's glory it can be an experience!! Rain gear and proper footgear is a must if you do end up going. But that is not to say that it rains constantly either, you will have some decent weather as well, just that when it does rain, it can really come down, it thunderous!
A far as safety, using common sense and staying off the rivers, there shouldn't be any problems for you. It's like any big city with all the same cautions, although Chiang Mai isn't really all that "big."
Personally, I would never pass up a trip to Thailand. I would be very interested in what the problem was so if you are inclined write me back and let me know, I would also be more than happy to answer any other concerns that you may have.
PS; Thailand is probably (my opinion) one of the most tourist friendly destinations in Asia.
Favorite thing: When you arrive at your hotel and check in ask the receptionist for their buisness card, the buisness card is in ENGLISH on 1 side and in THAI on the other. This makes it easy to get home after an enjoyable meal or a day of shopping, as many of the taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers don't understand english very well.
Favorite thing: A major tourist destination in the Lower North, situated 377 kilometres from Bangkok. Most of the terrains are flatland, with mountain ranges running on the east where waterfalls and national parks offer opportunities for nature treks.
Favorite thing: Thailand is like a country museum and the traditional sulptures of the temples and holy grounds are the art pieces of this museum.
Fondest memory: The silverware in Chiang Mai is also very beautiful and it is worth visiting a silverware making factory.
Stunning boutique hotel hotel with a Zen-Thai Temple charm. The hotel has open, frangipani scented...more
We stayed at the Dusit in April 2007. The hotel facilities were 5 star but the best thing about the...more
We recently stayed in the Ruean Thai Hotel for three nights. We arranged pick up from Sukhothai...more