Thailand - chiang mai tours
Jan 25, 12, 7:03 am
I am flying out to Chiang Mai from Bangkok on 26th Jan. I hope to find a tour for Doi Suthep, Kantoke dinner, local artisans etc. at as good a rate as possible. I found Khao san road agents to offer the best rates for bkk travel. Is there such a place in Chiang Mai where I can find good deals on the tours?
Also, I am staying at Le Meridien in Chiang Mai. Besides the night market close to it, any other places to check out for souveniors etc?
Jan 25, 12, 8:09 am
Turn right as you exit the main entrance of the hotel, and there are a few agents who could book the tours for you. I don't know whether they are the cheapest in town, but the tours are relatively inexpensive to begin with.
Jan 25, 12, 5:47 pm
It's likely cheaper to rent a car and drive up to Doi Suthep then across town toward Sankamphaeng to the village of Bo Sang if you're interested in parasols.
There are also many local artisan shops on Niemanhaemin Soi 1.
Jan 25, 12, 6:40 pm
I hired a taxi for the day to drive me around to all of the local sites much as you have outlined. We were out probably 6 hours. On another day I took the golden triangle mini bus tour. The taxi was much, much more comfortable! :)
Jan 26, 12, 5:07 am
I did a great tour with Paul Collins - Best Tuk Tuk Tours
Paul was born in Chiang Mai and he holds bual US and Thai citizenship.
He's only spent about 8 years in the US.
He is the only Farong who is a licensed tour guide and licensed Tuk Tuk driver.
We spent the day with him on his Tuk Tuk which I was unsure about at first as I thought it would be a bit hot and uncomfortable - I was wrong and we had a great time!
It was also really nice to have his perspective.
You can look his company up on Facebook - he also has great reviews on Trip Advisor which is how I found him.
Almost every hotel and guesthouse in Chiang Mai offers or can arrange for tour services. Plus it's hard to walk for more than 50 meters without passing a tour booking shop. As for shopping, on Sunday evenings the Walking Street Market on Ratchadamnoen Road and around Thapae Gate is definitely worth a visit. We always make a visit to the Wororot Market and the adjacent flower market (north of Thapae Road along the Ping River) as well.
In addition, tours of local artisan factories (celadon pottery, umbrellas, lacquerware, furniture, jewelry, silver, etc.) and their outlet stores are easily arranged with the tour bookers or negotiated with the many tuk tuk drivers who will be trying to get your attention. If you do visit one of the umbrella markets, bring along a bag or piece of luggage, and for a small tip one of the artisans will paint a Thai village scene, dragon, gecko or a design of your choosing on it. It's a nice way to have your suitcase stand out on the airport's luggage carousel.
You will definitely find some useful information in this thread:
Advice for Visitors to Chiang Mai Thailand (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/thailand/487966-advice-visitors-chiang-mai-thailand.html)