Chiang Mai

Old Jul 31st, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Chiang Mai

Hello. We're pulling the details of our itinerary together for a 4 night / 3 day stop in Chiang Mai this Nov. Any help is greatly appreciated! Here is what we have so far:

Tues. afternoon - Fly into Chiang Mai from Bangkok
Wed. - Full day at the Elephant Nature Park
Thurs. - Doi Inthanon, Wachirathan Water Fall, the Royal Gardens
Fri. - (open day) see below about Doi Suthep.

Here are my questions:
1) Can Doi Suthep be included in our day Thurs. or is it a completely separate excursion? This is a must see for us.

2) Does anyone know how much it costs to hire a private car for the day for something like the Thurs. excursion?

3) Does anyone have good dining recommendations? I read that we should try Khao Soi noodles and have several recommendations for where to try them.

4) I know it's a brief stop but anything else recommended as a must see? We want to stay away from tourist traps…monkey shows, elephant rides etc.

Lastly, we're staying at the Arte House Chiang Mai. It seems to be highly rated across the board from various sites. We booked via For the life of me, I can't find a website for them or a way to email them. I've tried to message them on their Facebook page but no response (over 2 weeks ago). Has anyone stayed with them? Know how to contact them besides calling internationally? People rave about how awesome the owner (Pop) is.

Oh, I'm sure some of you will say slow the pace down which I appreciate. We have this short window to get a taste of Chiang Mai before leaving for the beaches .

jbaileyATX is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2015, 03:39 PM
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1) not really. Doi Inthanon really requires a full day on its own. Doi Suthep is not far from the city centre and so can be easily visited in a couple of hours. Go early or late in the day.
2) No idea really as we usually rent a self drive car when there. I would guess at 2-3000 baht
3) check out Mark Wiens website for food rec. here is the link for his KS rec. haven't been so I can't say whether I agree or not. I would have said Just Khao Soi on Bprathet Charoen but I think it may have closed. My all time favourite, that I never miss when in CM, is Aroon Rai. One of the oldest restaurants in the city, the house curries are sublime and some of the best I have ever tasted in Thailand.
4) lots of wats to see. Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang are IMO the top two. Avoid the night bazaar as it is really tacky. The Saturday and Sunday walking markets are worth a look maybe but are very busy.

Can't help with the hotel contact. have you tried sending a message via website. has that facility and it has always worked for me.
crellston is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2015, 04:26 AM
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Thanks crellston! I appreciate your reply.
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 10:44 AM
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When do you arrive in CM? Depending on this, you might be able to go to Doi Suthep. If you add it to Friday, you might stop at Wat Pha Lat temple on the way to Doi Suthep. It was a really unexpected treat. Our driver ($50 for half the day) wanted to stop for himself so we agreed. I'm so glad he did, it's beautiful. A monk had just arrived from the six hour walk. There's a waterfall that runs through the area--it's beautiful. Doi Suthep is breathtaking too but you don't need all day. Elephant Nature Park was great! You'll enjoy it. We stayed at Tamarind Village and their restaurant was really fantastic. They said people came from all over to dine there. I don't know if that's true the their Northern Thai dishes were excellent.
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 03:39 AM
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I don't know how much time you need for your other attractions, but for Doi Suthep, we spent 80 minutes up there, and it's enough (especially if you take the short cable car up there). The drive from our hotel near the Night Market takes about 40-50 minutes each way, depend on traffic. Shorter from other attractions from city center. So, you can budget about 3 hours.

When we took the fixed-fare taxi from airport to hotel, we liked the driver, so we just arranged her to drive us for to Doi Suthep, which she seemed very happy about. She came at 9:30a, and dropped us back at hotel at 12:30p for 1,000Baht (about US$30). You figure how much is fair for whole day or half day.
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Taxis will normally have posted standard prices for a trip to Doi Suthep and standard prices for half day or full day. If you re going some distance, there may be a mileage surcharge. Lenlu's price of $50 for a half day seems high to me.

I recommend getting to Doi Suthep early in the morning. I've been there both early and late and would choose early.
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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We've stayed at Pak Chiang Mai the two times we've been there (just in case you decide to bag Arte House); they have email and respond promptly. Elephant Nature Park is awesome. I second crellston's suggestion for Aroon Thai. It's a typical dive, but the food is good and cheap. As everyone has said, Doi Suthep should only take a few hours at the most. We really liked our day trip to Doi In and the Royal Gardens. Make sure you stop at one of the markets enroute for the dried fruit and nuts. They make delicious snacks.

Have fun. I wish I was heading back there this year.
internetwiz is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2015, 12:16 AM
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The ordinary Thai dishes, Kao Soi Gai, Pad Thai, etc are found everywhere and even the busy corner shop may offer a plate of food for 20% of big restaurant/hotel and taste better.
And you can easily rent a car, if of a mind, for 1000 baht per day. Few headaches at North Wheels, right along the moat, near the Tha Pai gate. If from USA, suggest renting at 10 am, when traffic along the moat somewhat less hectic. You will be on the wrong side of the car/road and took me once around the moat to acquaint with left hand drive. It's really no problem. The biggest nuisance is the very poor highway road signage in T'land.

Many western/indian/hotel/thai restaurants in CM. There is NO best one.
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Old Aug 9th, 2015, 05:22 PM
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Has been a while since I hired a song thaew (car with 2 rows of seats in the back) driver for a whole day (I provided money for the driver to buy his own lunch while we were having ours). The rate was about 1500 baht for the whole day (all inclusive of fuel) but I think you could expect about 2000 baht per day given that fuel pries has not gone up that much but the cost of living has risen somewhat.

A taxi hire will likely cost more but it's airconditioned after all.
PhiMeow is offline  
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