Chiang Mai

Old Dec 17th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Chiang Mai

I'm curious about what were other readers' favorite day tours. We are thinking of doing the hill tribes near Chiang Dao and the cave and possibly a day in Mae Hong Son by air. Sargeant Kai got back to us very quickly with a great rate for Chiang Dao -- what else should we be trying to do? Our main interests are temples/architecture/art and culture. Not really keen on the elephant camp/bamboo rafting ideas.

All suggestions most welcome.
jenskar is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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Don't discount the elephant/Bamboo rafting option if you are into the culture of the Thai. Seeing the treatment of the elephants by the Thai who handle them is an eye-opener. Also, when you are in Chiang Mai don't miss getting a massage at the Thai Massage School. It's suprisingly the best Thai massage in the country(and cheap too!). The "Monkey" caves is a nice little stop on the way to the Hill Tribes to the east where the monkeys hang out in the old temple inside the caves(but also everywhere else around that area).
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Old Dec 17th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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You can go to the umbrella village and also the hot springs.

Another day trip would be down to lampang and lamphun to the two historic wats there. V. interesting a very few tourists, especially in the southern one. Take the old road back from lamphun as it is bordered by old trees planted along the road almost all the way to Chiang Mai by one of the kings 100+ years ago.
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 02:15 PM
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We spent 3 days in Chiang Mai. Day #1: we visited Doi Suthep and then indulged ourselves with a treatment at the Oasis spa (worth it!). Day #2: Elephant trekking and bamboo rafting. Although it seems a little touristy, we really emjoyed it and the rafting was in a beautiful scenery. Day #3: hilltribes and Golden triangle. To be honest, I will only do the hill tribes. It was already 3 hours in car from Chiang Mai to go to the hilltribes. Adding the Golden Triangle makes it a very long day.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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I could not find my own thread for ages -- thanks for the suggestions. I've been corresponding with a the woman who has the site and have set up a trip to hill tribe villages with a Karen friend of hers. She has amazing stuff -- lives outside of Chiang Mai near the craft villages. The umbrella fest is the last day we're there (20th January) so we're going out for the parade. Is anyone else going to be in Chiang Mai from 16th to th 20th January??
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 09:20 PM
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Where are you seeing that the umbrella festival is running on January 20th? We'd written to the TAT to ask, but they told us to write back as they weren't sure of exact dates yet back in October. Wrote again a week ago and got nothing back. We're there that weekend of the 20th.

Everything we'd seen said third weekend of January, so we sort of set the trip up to be there on that weekend. But now I've found quite a few event calendars saying the umbrella festival is actually running the weekend of 1/13-1/15, which we'll miss. Hoping you've seen different somewhere!
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Here's where I found the information -- scroll down the page:

Susan Stem at tribal trappings seemed to think this was correct too.

We're there 16th - 21st -- where are you staying? It's our first trip but I think I've been planning it for about five years
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 10:25 PM
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It's our first trip to SE Asia too. Actually, anywhere in Asia for an real holiday length stay.

We're only in Chiang Mai a short stay and are staying at the Baan Orapin after coming in overland by car from Chiang Rai and parts north. Oddly, we found Baan Orapin on that very same website and didn't learn until later how much everyone here on this board liked the place.

I hope that site is right about the Umbrella Festival. I like hometown parades at home, so it would be interesting I thought, to see the Thai variation. But I think the confusion is the "third weekend in January" bit. Since Jan 1st fell on a Sunday, we always wondered if they'd count that as a weekend or not. My wife looked back over several year's past schedules until she found the same circumstances. Back then, they didn't count the split weekend as the first weekend. So we thought we were in good shape until an event calendar that has proved pretty accurate for other trips had this to say (currently):

And a number of others said the same. Seems to be running 50/50. LOL. We may see a parade, we may not! I think these sites are trying to figure out the Sunday the 1st conundrum too.
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