where and what to do? I have been to Thailand but never Chiang Mai .
We are two 30 y/o . only have 2 1/2 days . what cant I miss , I know markets , temples . What trek must i do ?
where to stay for central location . Near night market . ( price not big deal , with in reason ) location more important . any and all opinions appreciated
with search down , i figure this is way to go
Last edited by maspablo; Mar 31, 05 at 2:14 pm.
Reason: left out
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The Mae Rim Valley is beautiful and is worth a day trip.
In February, we hired a driver he drove us around the Valley. We went to the elephant farm, orchid nursery, the botanical garden, and a couple of hill tribe villages.
We ended the day with dinner at the Four Seasons. Reserve a table on the terrace overlooking the valley at around 6:00pm and you'll enjoy dinner with a beautiful sunset. The prices at the Four Seasons weren't outrageous; our bill came to US$50 for three people, two courses per person.
__________________ British Airways. To Fly. To Surcharge.
Anyone else with some hotel suggestions? Will check out the new MANDARIN ORIENTAL and FOUR SEASONS, but do not want to stay there -- too pricey and we're not exactly couples on honeymoon.
I'd recommend the Imperial Mae Ping where I stayed last September. http://www.imperialhotels.com/maeping/index.html
Hotel Rates: http://www.imperialhotels.com/maeping/roomrate.php
Very comfortable, friendly staff, fantastic breakfast buffet (included), in the heart of the night market. Nice pool. Convenient location.
Also it's a short walk to the inexpensive travel/agency cyber cafe Good Trip Travel (say Hi to Peter for me, a friend I made duirng my stay) who can book travel for you -- up to the Golden Triangle by ground. Also, he booked a short flight for me to Mae Hong Son where I then took a 30-minute river cruise to see the long neck Karen tribe. Fascinating!!! Here's a generic link (not nec. the tribe I visited) http://www.discountthaihotel.com/dis...Karen_Village/
THere is another VERY nice Imperial hotel at Mae Hong Son (the launching point for the cruise to the Long Necks). Rooms were modest but the setting, decor and restaurant were lovely. Incredibly diverse menu too.
As mentioned in a post above, I concur that the Mae Rim Valley is beautiful. And if you've never ridden an elephant here's your chance, definitely worth the experience and can be done in the valley. It's hard to believe how high off the ground you are while you hope that the wooden seats and metal bar can keep you secure while the gentle giants wobble up and down the slopes, sloshing into foot-deep mud. You can also watch the elephants paint w/ their trunks, and even purchase the masterpieces...for a steep fee.
Doi Suthep offers FANTASTIC views of CNX.
The Queen's Garden http://www.mytravelguide.com/attract...l_Gardens.html
is a tranquil escape. I was there off-season but even then it offered some beauty. There is a resort-like hotel on the grounds, but it would be more of an escape than adventure stay, as the garden is a good ways from town.
If you are looking for a beautiful escape outside of town, I'd recommend the Lanna Resort. Stayed here for like $30 per night. Had the pool to myself, surrounded by lush, green hills. The facility is beautifully landscaped. The bungalow was not luxurious, albeit quite large. Nonetheless, the gorgeous grounds made up for utilitarian room. http://www.sawadee.com/chiangmai/lannaresort/pictures/
Upon my arrival at the Chiang Mai airport I saw several taxi drivers standing around waiting for a fare. I found an English-speaking, friendly looking one and we chatted for a bit. I then hired him to drive me around the area for about $50-$60 per day, gas included (I don't recall the exact amount). What a great idea! He offered insight not only into the sightseeing spots, but also into the culture and mindset of the natives. On the 2nd day he even invited me to dinner at a local restaurant with his friend, both Thais (the friend spoke no English!!).
Hmmm...Can you tell I'm ready to return to Chiang Mai!?!?!!!!
We spent several days near Chiang Rai (about 3 hours by car from Chiang Mai) to avoid the backpacker crowd. From there we did day trips to Mae Salong (on a rented moto), boat rides along the Mae Kok river, elephant rides (30 minutes of this was plenty for me), and hikes in hill tribe villages. You can also arrange a multi-day trek from Chiang Rai.
There are flights from Bangkok and Chiang Mai on Thai Airways and Phuket Air.
Location: HKT; UA_Premier_Gold, AC Tangerine, SPG_Plat
The charm in Chiang Mai lies in the old city... inside the old walls and moat. Try to stay in the old city and stroll around. Life has a different pace when you get into the back alleys ('soi's).
At Tapae Gate and along Ratchnadamneon Rd is the incredibly charming 'Sunday Market' or as the Thais call it 'Road that people walk' Lots of people, but prices CHEAP. You're usually buying straight from the person that made the items (clothes, art, nick nacks) or a Thai that hasn't marked up as much as a 'market stall' would. How about a 30 minute foot massage for $2.75US Sunday Market ~ Sunday only ~ after about 3pm... the crowds build through 'til 10pm.
In the Newer Downtown core of Chiang Mai at the Warrorat market, you'll find local food cooked and ready to take back to your room and eat. Fresh, affordable, and delicious. Flower markets, spices, the list goes on.
Of course, Doi Suthep too. In fact this post is full of great ideas.
Eat Local. Don't be shy. Restaurants along the river have a great charm. Too many too list.... it's like you can't go wrong.
OR you can do my favorite thing in Chiang Mai.... relax! The people there will show you how.... if by chance you've forgotten
You've received some very good suggestions. Wat Doi Suthep is a MUST, and while in that area overlooking the city you can visit the PhuPing Palace, one of the Thai Royal Family's several residences. It can be visited only during certain months when the family is not there. The day I visited there were many upper class Thais there, very few western visitors. You pay at the entrance and pay a little extra to ride an electric golf cart around, stopping at several spots to walk around and take photos. It made me think of Camp David, with rustic cabins, a lake, gardens.
There are several good hotels in the Night Market area, my favorite is the Imperial Mae Ping (suggested already). I paid $37 last year, the rate included the very nice breakfast buffet and all taxes. Tamarind Village is a compound located inside the Old City walls. It has become very popular and I was unable to secure reservations there, so book ahead if you want to stay there. I walked around the hotel grounds, very very nice. Do try "La Villa Pizzeria" near Tamarind Village, in an old wooden house with ceiling fans and lots of nineteenth century atmosphere.
Do sample the spas, especially the foot and Thai (clothed) massage services. There are two locations for Let's Relax in the night market area.
Shopping is better at the Worowot Market, during the day, than at the night market. The surrounding streets are full of flower markets, clothing, etc. There is a multi-storey western-style indoor a/c mall near the airport (can't remember the name) with large sections of shops for tourists. The prices are pretty good there and it's great for one-stop a/c shopping. The fast food places in the mall are great, no English spoken, point to what you want on the menu.
Chiang Mai is definitely worth at least 3 full days, busy but not frenetic like BKK. I rode tuk tuks everywhere, about 40-50 baht per ride. On my departure the hotel couldn't find a taxi (rush hour) so I took a mad tuk tuk ride to the airport, certainly got my adreneline pumping.