advice for chiang mai - bankok trip

Jan 13th, 2005, 07:44 AM
  #1  
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advice for chiang mai - bankok trip

Hi! I need help in planning our trip to Thailand in February. I want to know if we have enough time to enjoy Chiang Mai within the time frame that we have or should we extend another night. We arrive Chiang Mai at 4PM. We will be staying at The Regent. We stay for 2 nights and our flight leaves for Bankok at 2PM. Do we have enough time to do the factory, temple and elephant tours as well as enjoy our hotel? How long do the tours go for? What is the best Elephant tour in the area or is there only one to choose from? HELP! Thanks.
Martinan is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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We love Chiang Mai, we were there for 5 days over the New Year, and were busy everyday.

There are at least 5 elephant camps in Chiang Mai province about a couple of hours from town, and there is the Elephant Conservation Camp in Lampang also a couple of hours away in a different direction. We went to the one in Chiang Mai and had a good time. We left the hotel with our guide around 9am and got back into town at 4pm. We visited the Monkey School and Orchid Farm on our way back.

There is a cooking school in Chiang Mai that we liked very much, 10am to 4pm, visited the weekend market nearby afterwards.

We went to the Doi Suthep and visited the factories in the same day. The umbrella factory is the most interesting because the artist outside will paint colorful drawings on anything you want for tips. So bring your camera bag/backpack/t-shirt to have them painted/personalized.

We went to the Golden Triangle and on the way stopped by Chiang Rai to see the Hilltribes, saw the Padong (long neck), Lasu (long ear), Akha, and Lisu. It was very interesting and a bit sad. Golden Triangle was a long ways away, I wouldn't do it as a day trip. But to see the Hilltribes is a little over two hours from town.

We went to Red Elephant Massage every night for a two your Thai massage, (500B per person).

There are so much to do there, I would definitely add at least an extra day to it.

You need a guide/driver for some of the things. Our guide Joe was great, his e-mail is [email protected], very reasonable, on time, speaks good English, and super nice. I can't imagine anyone better.
Pat_Rick is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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I think that you might want to add a day in CM to do all the things and be able to enjoy. Check out Sergeant Kai at ChiangMaiTours.com he is great for a guide and ride. He has a one day elephant ride and river rafting trip that is wonderful. We used a guyide named Nooy. She was very real and superb.
Gpanda is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 04:39 PM
  #4  
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Hi Pat_Rick and Gpanda! Thank you for your advice. We will definitely add another night in Chiang Mai. For sightseeing, is it better to join a tour or get our own driver/guide?
Martinan is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 05:18 PM
  #5  
 
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We used Joe for the whole 5 days, we liked it because it gave us more freedom, we don't have to stick to a fixed schedule, we stopped whenever and whereever we wanted. On the guided tour, you will have around 10 people in a small van.
Pat_Rick is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 05:00 PM
  #6  
 
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we are also planning ChiangMai- BKK.at the end of August. Would like to use Joe.as guide and driver .How costly would this be? Thanks
shirleyt is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:26 PM
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Joe charged us 900B for half a way (pick us up from the airport, take us to the hotel, then take us around Chiang Mai for half a day). 1500B for a whole day, 3750B for the three of us to the Elephant Camp (all inclusive), and 6000B to the Golden Triangle and the Hilltribe Village. On the day of our cooking class, he picked us up from the hotel in the morning, picked us up from the cooking school in the afternoon, take us to an internet cafe, then walked us to the weekend market, told us to call him on his cell phone when we are done and picked us up at 9pm. He didn't charge us for that day all all. He is very reasonable, reliable, speaks great English, just all around a great guy. You will not regret to hire him, we think he is the best. His cell phone number is 01-6716063.
Pat_Rick is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 07:08 AM
  #8  
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Hi Pat_rick! Just emailed Joe. Very prompt and accomodating in answering inquiries. We're just finalizing our plans and we'll get back to him. In the original plan, he suggested river rafting which we're not really into. He gave an alternative of the something to see with monkeys or the caves. which would you recommend? thanks.
Martinan is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #9  
 
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Martinan, the only time we were on the raft was part of the elephant ride, we rode the ox cart to somewhere, then the elephant back, then get on the raft to the final destination. The rafting trip was about 20 minutes, a slow moving scenic trip. Joe met us at the landing, and from there we went to the Monkey School and Orchid Farm before going back to Chiang Mai.

We went to the cave on our way to the Hilltribe Village, I wouldn't do it if the cave is the main attraction, but it was very nice as a short stop to the Hilltribe Village. The Cave contains interesting Buddhist statues from when the Burmese occupied the region.

At the Monkey School, a small monkey jumpped on Nikki's (my granddaughter) back, opened her backpack and tried to grabbed the stuff inside. Feeding the monkeys was nice, you buy a bowl of fruits and vegetables, but the monkeys all have their own tastes and throw back at you if you give them something they don't like. The monkey show was sort of sad, as all the monkeys were in chains.

The Hilltribe Village trip was very emotional for me, make me appreciate what I have because they have so little. It is always intereting to see diverse cultures. I would squeeze that into the schedule if possible.
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