6 days in Chiang Mai -what should I do?

Jun 14th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
6 days in Chiang Mai -what should I do?

Hi there - I am making my first trip to Thailand this summer and am looking for any and all suggestions. The longest stretch will be in Chiang Mai and hoping we could get suggestions for places to stay, cooking schools, must-see sites, rafting, etc. Is renting a car a must?
Any and all suggestions welcome.
bostontravel is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
I would prefer not to rent a car, personally, but would hire a taxi driver to take me around to various places. You will get many suggestions on what to see/do and where to stay, as there are many who go to CM on this forum. I go to CM 3-4 times a year, but I am not sightseeing, although I have seen places such as Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon (beautiful!!!!!) and the highest point in Thailand with nice waterfall nearby, a monkey school, and a Thai dancing dinner theater a number of years ago. I go to CM for the market shopping. I have had the same driver for a number of years, so I do not consider renting a car, as he knows the way to all my favorite places.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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It might help a bit if you let us know what types of activities you enjoy. Do you enjoy going out in the evenings to a pub or bar? Music? Do you want to stay in a more upscale hotel in Chiang Mai? Give a bit more info and we can guide you better.

I do know this… you will have a great time there. Wonderful people and great place.
PSUhorty is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 03:10 PM
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You do not want a rental car in Chiang Mai. Some people do rent a car to drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai or the Golden Triangle. But I'd also suggest you hire a car and driver, especially since this is your first trip to Thailand.

What did you have in mind when you chose 6 days in Chiang Mai? Do you want to spend all of that time in Chiang Mai, or would you like to spend some time farther north?

Give us a per night budget to help you with hotel options.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 07:05 PM
Original Poster
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Hi everyone - Thanks so much for your feedback.

For accommodations: I would like to spend $80 or less ideally a night on hotel or guesthouse. We don't need super luxury but are not into hostels either. I was looking at Secret Garden but it is outside the city. Also was considering Pak Chiang Mai Bed and breakfast but open to suggestions.

For exploration: I do not want to spend the entire time in Chiang Mai. I'd like to travel further north to Chiang Rai and explore the region and do an overnight trip. I'd even consider Laos.
We'd like to visit one of the elephant parks or sanctuaries, take a cooking class, see the markets, possibly rafting.

I was told to be in Chiang Mai for the Sunday market.

Thanks again for all your help!!
bostontravel is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 05:40 AM
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If you have 6 days, you can spend some time in Chiang Mai and some time farther north in Chiang Rai or the Golden Triangle area. You don't really have time for a trip to Laos.

For an elephant experience, tale a look at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center at Lamphang. You can spend a day or several days there, depending on your interests.

There are lots of cooking classes in Chiang Mai. The Chiang Mai Cooking School and A Lot of Thai have both gotten rave reviews here.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Looking forward to more responses to this question from Bostontravel. I could have asked it myself, as I've now set flights to and from Chaing Rai a week apart in September, but am unsure of how I'm spending that time. I agree about the type of hotels too. I've been toying with renting a car -- outside of Chiang Mai and returning the car when I return there perhaps for my last two days or so, but really haven't done any specific planning for the area. I think I want to focus on places to stay north of CM perhaps for a couple days each where I can explore from there.
I'm also still toying with flying to Mae Hong Son for two nights, but not sure if it's "worth it" to do. I was thinking when I fly into Chiang Mai from Luang Prabang, I could connect right on to Mae Hong Son and then return two days later and head north?
NeoPatrick is online now  
Jun 15th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Having visited Chiangi Mai twice (last visit in 2007)excluding a cooking school I think 3 full 8-9 hour days of touring should be sufficient. the highlughts for us were the visit to Lampang Elephant conservancy with a 3 hour trek. That gives you a feel for the terrain to a degree of the jungle. If you leave CM ay 8:15 you will be there by 9. the exhibition went on at 10 and I think ended at 11:30 and with the trek you will be headed back to CM at 2:30 very hot and tired. If you use a guide for the day, I realize there is downtime so you might just need a taxi you could go to Do Suthep (spelling is off) for 1 hour, though you walk up a 100 steps it is a lovely temple not to be missed you could be back at your hotel by 4:30.
Anything else requires a car and i would NOT rent one so I rather not suggest destinartions that would be worth visiting for some are not that easy to find even with a up-to-date GPS.
StanKase is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
We are traveling to Chiang Mai this July. None of us have ever been there before, but a friend recommended staying at 3Sis Bed and Breakfast. Their website looks really nice, and my communication with them has been very positive (particularly when asking about the political situation).

Some activities we have planned, to give you an idea are: Thai Elephant Conservation Center (2 day Mahout training course), Gibbon Treetop Adventure (zip lining), night market, Asia Scenic Cooking School (as recommended on www.theroadforks.com). Trip Advisor has a variety of suggested activities for Chiang Mai. I'm sure we will hike the National Park and visit the wats as well.

Hope that helps a little (coming from someone who hasn't been there )
misserbee is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 26
We stayed at the Baan Orapin Bed and Breakfast in Feb. this year and loved it.I think it would be in your price range.It is within walking distance of many resturants and markets.
I took a cooking course from A Lot Of Thai and it was very enjoyable,in fact the owners have opened a resturant just down the street from the Baan Orapin.
Enjoy your trip
Katyt is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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Baan Orapin has gotten rave reviews from a number of Fodorites. It's worth e-mailing them. They don't book through the usual booking sites.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I should have mentioned the night market in CM it is worth a 2 hour stroll. On Sundays it is a bit larger and begins at 4 but it is too hot so we go at 5:30 and then to dinner at 7.
StanKase is offline  
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