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kcheepv Chiang Mai - A travel report by Kim
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Chiang Mai,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Chiang Mai
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kcheepv's travel reports

My Short Stay in Chiang Mai

  19 votes
Page: 1 2
I really didn't know what to expect from Chiang Mai. I have been all over Thailand many times but this was my first venture in Chiang Mai. Also my first venture traveling with mom in Asia. We opted to stay at the Lai Thai which was an ok choice.

Karen (Padung) child
Karen (Padung) child
I am sure there are better places around but it worked for us. Approx $15 US per night. AC, HW, TV. Clean enough although I have seen better. ok food but they have a pool. Most people come here for trekking adventures to the northern areas. We only had a few days so stayed around the city. So our first night we walked down to the Night Bazaar. More like a flea market of clothes, shoes, crafts and knock offs running up and down the streets. There is an actual indoor night bazaar as well with more permanent type shops. I found the prices to be average. There is also a food court type place. You buy coupons from the counter and spend them at the different food windows. Everything from Indian to Japanese. Very cheap. There are also some vendors set up along the streets as well. They next day we did a short hill tribe type tour. I think it cost about $18US each. It was only for a day. Not really what I expected as the places were fairly close by and very small villages. I really didn't want to do the tour but my mom was curious so we did it. I felt very akward taking pics and walking through their home areas. The next day we walked all through the old city area within the walls. We visited almost all of the Wats which was nice. I did notice a lot of men hanging around the Wats trying to get you in their tuk tuks or on tours. Reminded me a lot of the ones around Grand Palace and Wat Po in Bangkok. That evening was Sunday and a huge weekly market sets up starting at the main gate on the East side. I found the prices and selection here to be awesome. Lots of things I haven't seen other places in Thailand. Great food as well tucked off to the right and left along the main stretch. Musicians play in the center of the walking traffic as well. Great Place! Buses run all day and night to Bangkok and many other destinations. Overnight trains as well. Slow trains to more local places. Buses to Sukhothai no problem. Lots of tour offices arrange Laos by boat and visas.

Favourite spots:
Chiang Mai travelogue picture
Favorite spots for the visitors might include the many Wats around town, night markets and sunday market, river cruises, traditional dance performance, Orchard Farm, Elephant Riding, side trips to Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Golden Triangle area, hop over the Myanmar border for the day, traditional massage, river rafting, hiking or visit a hill tribe. For me the sunday market was special because in my four times in Thailand, this is the first market that had incredible deals and excellent selection of merchandise. I went crazy! Warorot Market is where most locals shop. Accomodation is cheaper here than in Bangkok. The local truck taxis are cheap as well for getting around town. Food off the street is cheapest of course. There are loads of restaurants, pizza, coffee, mcdonalds among others.

What's really great:
North of Chiang Mai
North of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers. The city is as modern as Bangkok minus some of the skyscrapers. Internet cafes everywhere as well as Starbucks. Travel outside the city is easily done through either and organized tour found at any of the numerous travel companies around town or by hiring a truck taxi for the excursion. Many truck taxis hang by Pratu Chang Phuak for trips to Doi Suthep. Walking is a good way to see the old city area. It really isn't that big. I felt pretty safe walking around at night. Some of the streets really are not lit well but I didn't feel unsafe. Most internet seemed to close around midnight.

Of course the best sites all depends on you own personal taste. For me the surrounding countryside is beautiful. I enjoyed the car rides out to other towns. Coming across a funeral precession and stopping till the last member walked by. Drums pounding and a few carrying a large stupa type object in the air.
Finding the best price at the markets is always a treat. Having a great meal or just wandering around a Wat for a while.
Maybe take in a Muay Thai match. Spend the day visiting a hill tribe and rafting or riding elephants.
Whatever you decide to do it can be done in Chiang Mai so enjoy.

Lai Thai: 111/4-5 Kotchasarn Rd.
+66 (0)5327 1725
Double or single room $15US. AC HW TV. Clean enough. Pool and restaurant onsite. Motobike rental and massage on site. Free airport pickup when booked in advance. Can be loud sometimes when groups of people are coming home late at night. Staff is nice enough. Par for the room daily.

Sunday Market food vendors were the best. Fried chicken with garlic, shrimp puffs, fried noodles yum.

Published on Friday August 12th, 2005

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Sat, Aug 20 2005 - 11:25 AM rating by eirekay

I enjoyed your report! It sounds like there is so much available to do!

Sun, Aug 14 2005 - 02:15 PM rating by magsalex

Just been back to revisit one of my favourite places - good reporting

Sat, Aug 13 2005 - 04:14 AM rating by mahuam

hey this sounds interesting...

Sat, Aug 13 2005 - 02:01 AM rating by davidx

Splendidly informative.

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