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best way to spend two days in Chiang Mai

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Nov 9th, 2017, 09:53 AM
  #1
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best way to spend two days in Chiang Mai

We will have two full days in Chiang Mai and there is so much calling us. Curious as to your recommendations - visit Elephant park? Doi Inthanon National Park? cooking school? museums and Wats...We love nature, culture,history, food, - if you had two full days what would you do? thanks
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Nov 16th, 2017, 06:11 PM
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please, any chiang Mai suggestions?
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Nov 16th, 2017, 06:32 PM
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Doi Intahanon is a nice half day trip up into the mountains. Some pretty views, a number of walks to waterfalls.

Doi Suthep just outside the city is worth a look. Again, some nice views and the Temple is worthwhile. There are also a few walking tracks from the top to explore.

With just the two days, I don’t think I would spend one in cooking school, much as I loved the Experience. The old city is quite compact and it is nice just to wander around, popping into the odd wat as and when you stumble across them. The food is wonderful and very different from the south of the country. Aroon Rai is one of the oldest restaurants around, nothing fancy, just good value and great food, especially the curries. There are many Khao Soi places around which is te regional speciality and very worth trying.

A trip on the river.

The one thing I would avoid is the night market - tacky beyond belief! The Saturday /Sunday walking markets are marginally better but only just..
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Nov 16th, 2017, 06:40 PM
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There are some nice places to enjoy great food too:
https://knycxjourneying.com/2017/05/...ous-chiangmai/
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Nov 16th, 2017, 11:28 PM
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Doi Suthep is worth a visit - go early in the morning before it gets crowded.
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Nov 17th, 2017, 05:31 AM
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I hired a private tour guide from untouchedthailand, they took me to an elephant poo paper center (more fun than I expected), to an elephant rescue park (I'm more scared of elephants than I expected), white water rafting, and a site that, I wish I knew the name but it had about five temples together, all different styles. It was an amazing use of a bonus day and cost about $150 US. Truly, I'm not sure how much of that was an extra charge for arranging it at 3am on WhatsApp for same day, or how much of those expenses are per person, so YMMV, but they did a bang up job last-minute.

Another fabulous day I went to a Lanna royal burial ground, then took an uber up the mountain to Doi Suthep. Then I rode down in a frightening red truck with a bunch of twenty-somethings. Also an excellent day.

Agree about avoiding the night market. Go to any market, once, buy how ever many silk table runners and embroidered pencil cases you need, and you're basically done.
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Nov 17th, 2017, 06:47 AM
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Chaing Mai is close to the elephant camps. But beware! Many of them treat the elephants terribly! Do your research if you wan to visit one. The Elephant Nature Park is highly respected, as is the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. Most of the commercial camps are just awful, including the ones rated highest on TA.
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Nov 17th, 2017, 07:43 AM
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Wats, coffee shops, khao soi (my fave thai dish!), ladyboy cabaret, night market, Doi Suthep, foot massages.
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Nov 19th, 2017, 07:38 PM
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Thanks - this is so helpful. we are torn between taking a guided trip outside of the city - I would love to see the elephants, though not if it involves participating in the exploitation/abuse, and a cooking class (maybe half day) and as crellston suggests just wandering the city. It sounds like if we wait till the last minute it is still possible to get guides...?
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Nov 19th, 2017, 08:29 PM
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Elephant Nature Park is amazing. They rescue elephants from abuse and you can spend a day walking with them and feeding them - no riding - that is painful for them.
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Nov 20th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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You don't really need a guide in or around Chiang Man. If you know where you want to go, just here a taxi. They all have flat rates to Doi Suthep, for instance.
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Nov 20th, 2017, 10:49 AM
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You can do a "short" day at Elephant Nature park - they will pick you up at your hotel between 8 and 9 a.m. and you will be done at 3:30 p.m. We are going in mid-January and have booked a short day.

We visited an elephant sanctuary in India a couple years ago, and it was an amazing experience. I am excited to do this once again.

Just be sure you are not at a "camp" where the elephants are made to work - giving rides, doing tricks, etc.
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Nov 20th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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scdreamer, I didn't know that ENP offered short day trips - good info!
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Jan 4th, 2018, 02:58 PM
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Hire a car and drive to Chiang Dao. Stay overnight.
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Jan 9th, 2018, 10:20 PM
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@Kathie
Do you mean the red songthaews to Doi Suthep? Because then we had a different experience again ;-)

We hailed one over to go to Doi Suthep and his first price was 900baht. In the end I managed to get it down to 500 for the two of us. This included waiting for us at the temple and taking us back to the hotel.
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Jan 10th, 2018, 03:31 PM
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Transportation in CM can include: dedicated Tuk-Tuks which are rather like open-air taxis but must decide beforehand cost, no meters; hired 'song thiows' or red cars, which also can be hired and cost negotiated, no meters; ordinary metered taxis, not so common, found at airport, can also be hired by day cost negotiated, and UBER if you are involved with that.

But also the red cars, pickup trucks with covered back with 2 benches, roam the city and take on passengers, once destination and cost agreed beforehand but these cars may also take on more passengers who may also direct the driver but the end result is you do get there but journey time very unknown. The city operates small buses which do not seem to serve very well.

To get out of the city on public trans, yellow, blue, green 'song thiows' ply a dedicated route from early morn to about 6pm. If you can find the city terminus for your direction (N,S,E,W) then this is fine and very cheap. But no deviation from route. Also tuk-tuks can take you out of city at a cost. Also the govt/private operates big buses towards far cities often very convenient to get to Chiang Rai, or Bangkok.

Trains also go between CM and Bangkok with stops along the way. At least 12 hrs and said to be enjoyable, but no alcohol allowed or served.
Near the big city markets along the river we can hire a 'rickshaw' pedaled by a driver for local and short journeys. Cost unknown to me.
Bicycle and motorbike rental very common and at this time of year a bloody nuisance as many 'drivers' esp of motorbikes are rank amateurs and cause headaches and some accidents. Walking very popular with tourists in and around city but crossing the moat road challenging.
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