ISYA 2014 will be held mainly at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, on Huay Kaew Road, in suburban northwestern Chiang Mai (see the map below).  This hotel is part of the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex, which offers ready access to restaurants, food courts, Central Department Store, a large supermarket, banks, numerous ATMs, cinemas, pharmacies, hair-dressing salons, massage shops, a wide variety of other types of shops, karaoke, gymnasiums and 10-pin bowling.  In addition, there is a 24-hr convenience store (Seven-11) across the road from the Hotel and the Shopping Complex.  

Map showing Chiang Mai and the surrounding area. Key: 1 = Doi Pui Mong Hill-tribe Village; 2 = Sirindhorn Observatory; 3 = Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium;    4 = NARIT Headquarters; 5 = MAYA Shopping Complex; 6 = Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel (ISYA 2014) and Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex; 7 = Ram Hospital; 8 = Sripat Hospital; 9 = Wat Phra Singh (temple); 10 = Wat Chedi Luang (temple); 11 = Thaphae Gate; and 12 = Royal Park Rajapruek



As the map shows, NARIT headquarters is nearby, as are Chiang Mai International Airport and local attractions (such as Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium).  Another Shopping Complex (MAYA) is just 5 minutes away (by red bus or tuktuk) up Huay Keaw Road, and this has cinemas that screen the latest English-language films (with a special discount price of just 100 baht per seat every Wednesday night).  Meanwhile, downtown Chiang Mai is just 10-15 minutes away from the Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, by red bus or tuktuk.


Observing sessions will take place at the Thai National Observatory, a 2-hour drive to the south of Chiang Mai and at Chiang Mai University?s Sirindhorn Observatory, in the mountains immediately west of suburban Chiang Mai and a half-hour drive away (see the map).  Transport will be provided to both observatories.


Chiang Mai is located in the far north of Thailand, and is served by an international airport, with direct flights to and from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Taiwan.  From other countries Chiang Mai is reached via Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.  Note that Chiang Mai is far from Bangkok: the aeroplane flight between the two cities takes a little over an hour.  Meanwhile daytime and overnight bus and train trips from Bangkok to Chiang Mai take 10-12 hours.


Citizens of most countries can obtain visas upon arrival in Bangkok or Chiang Mai that will remain valid for the duration of ISYA 2014.  However, those coming from the following countries must apply beforehand for visas from the Thai Embassies in these countries: Cambodia, China, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Taiwan and Uzbekistan.  Sometimes obtaining visas can be time-consuming if you are from these countries, so it is best to make your application to the Thai Embassy several months before the start of the School.  For more information about Thai visas click here


In Chiang Mai, shared accommodation in twin rooms (two persons per room) will be provided at the Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, the venue of ISYA 2014.  During the visit to the Thai National Observatory the accommodation will be in shared twin rooms or dormitories at the Doi Inthanon National Park Headquarters.  All accommodation will include breakfast, lunch and dinner, and morning and afternoon tea.  Free wireless internet access will be available in Chiang Mai, but not on Doi Inthanon. 


There is a plentiful supply of red buses (which hold up to 10 people) and tuktuks (which at most carry 3 people) directly outside the Pang Suan Kaew Hotel and Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex on Huay Kaew Road.  A trip from the Hotel to the Taphae Gate region of downtown Chiang Mai (see the map), where there are night markets, Buddhist temples, Thai boxing, and many restaurants, massage shops and bars, takes 10 minutes and should cost 100 Thai baht (total) in a tuktuk and 20 baht per passenger in a red bus (these are the standard prices for all local travel, but if it is obvious that you are a visitor to Thailand they may try to make you pay more).