Bangkok/Chiang Mai

Jun 8th, 2004, 01:41 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Bangkok/Chiang Mai

I will be spending 8 days in Thailand at the end of June. I plan on spending 5 days in Bangkok and 3 in Chiang Mai. What are the key things that we should do in that time particularly in Chiang Mai?
Boose is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 07:28 PM
  #2  
 
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We have friends arriving in Chiangmai on the 17th for a week and we spent yesterday afternoon working out what to do with them! There is quite a lot that you can do; it depends on what your interests are.

On the cultural side I would suggest visiting Wat Doi Suthep (which is high above the city) and Wat Phra Sing at the centre of the old city. A Kantoke show one evening is also a good idea. There are many around, we prefer the one at the Old Cultural Centre as it includes some hill tribe dances.

On the ?adventure? side there is elephant riding, rafting and trekking. Elephant riding and rafting can be combined in a half-day trip but trekking is probably not an option in the time that you have.

For shopping, the various shops along the Sankhampaeng Road are ?up market? and many give you the opportunity to see tradesmen at work. The shops include, silk, lacquer ware, celadon, silverware, leather ware and candles as well as the umbrellas and Saa paper products. The area near Baan Tawai, some distance out of town, is good for antiques (authentic and copies) and various wooden products. The Northern Village in the Airport Mall offers the same or similar products in air-conditioned comfort. The Night market should be visited at least once, if only for the spectacle.

You can get whatever food you like here. Our favourite Thai Restaurant is The Gallery, which is housed in an old Chinese merchant?s house on the riverside. The House serves interesting European food with a Thai input.

Other places you might find interesting are a Snake Farm, the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens and various Orchard farms; these can all be combined in a half-day trip.

When you arrive, try to get a (free) copy of ?Guidelines Chiangmai? which will give you lots of information and maps.

Email me at [email protected] if I can help further.

Tangata is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 05:47 PM
  #3  
CFW
 
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Tangata, What is a Kantoke show? Also, can you make recommendations for a driver, which is what many on this board have suggested. How is Sargeant Kai? And last question (well, actually, I know I will have many more....), are you familiar with the trips offered by Lisu Lodge? One that seemed like it might be relaxing was a day trip to a place called Lanna farm, which included a visit to a hilltribe village and a cooking class and lunch at the farm, which looked beautiful on the website. What is Lanna farm, exactly? I know you live in Chiang Mai, so thought you would be the one to ask!
CFW is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 07:04 PM
  #4  
 
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A Kantoke consists of a meal and dancing. The food in generally Northern style, normally adapted a bit for Western palates and the dancing is classical Thai and Thai country-dances. Generally there is a chance for audience participation, but not obligatory.

I haven?t used a driver as I am happy to drive myself and unfortunately the one that I did know has now closed down. Mr Mike phone 012874072 offers a car for 1,400 Baht a day inclusive of petrol and Mr J phone 018837832 offers the same for 900 Baht a day plus petrol.

I have heard of Lisu Lodge, but we have never used them or sent friends their way. Nor do I know Lanna farm. Although it does look nice on their web site, it is a 200 km round trip, you might also like to have a look at www.norththai.com, www.journeycnx.com, www.chiangmaitour.com and http://www.norththaitour.com all of whom offer a variety of one day tours.

My wife kicked me for not mentioning yesterday that Spas are very big here ? she is a Spa fan, I am not. She patronises Ban Sabai, they have a place in town and another a little out of town where they also offer accommodation.

If you are interested in Thai cooking classes, a couple of weeks ago we were fortunate to be asked to lunch at Kao Hom which is a cooking school in a garden setting. The proprietor, Khun Kanchana, cooked for us and it was some of the best Thai food that I have tasted. She has a web site www.kaohom.com.
Tangata is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 02:24 AM
  #5  
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Thanks, Tangata. Very helpful info. I assume we can make reservations for a Kantoke show through our hotel? the cooking school you mentioned & spas sound great! How many days/nights would you recommend for Chiang Mai? Sounds like two nights might not be enough. Maybe three? Then we were thinking of going to the Anantara in the Golden Triangle.
CFW is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 06:22 AM
  #6  
 
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Your hotel should be able to arrange for bookings. I?m sorry I didn?t realise that you were a party of six, you will therefore need something bigger than a car, maybe a mini bus, but the cost per head should be cheaper.

Really not fair to ask me how many days in Chiangmai! I live here and I love the place! So as much as you can manage! I lived in Bangkok for 8 years, after over 20 in Hong Kong, and found it difficult, but it does have things to offer to tourists.

I don?t know Anantara, but IMHO the golden triangle is just a tourist trap.
Tangata is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 08:00 PM
  #7  
CFW
 
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Tangata, That was someone else with 6 people. This trip will be just my husband and me -- we're in our 50s with a married daughter. We really hadn't thought about the golden triangle until we read raves about the Anantara on this board from Kathie. Just beginning our planning for our first trip to Thailand in February, so I'm sure things will evolve and change as we collect more info. And from what everyone says, I think we'll love it almost anywhere we go! Thanks for your tips, and I know I'll have lots more questions as time gets closer.
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