Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Chiang Mai Area - Tangata or others - advice please!

Chiang Mai Area - Tangata or others - advice please!

Aug 24th, 2004, 06:50 PM
  #1  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Chiang Mai Area - Tangata or others - advice please!

Am starting to firm up plans for trip in January. We almost never do tours, but I keep wondering about a Lanna Farm overnight package tour on tours.sawadee.com (same trip is offered on many web sites, apparently by East West Siam). It involves an overnight stay at a teak house on a farm in Phrao called Lanna Farm, and includes visits to an orchid farm and Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens and a Lisu village on the way. Dinner at the farm, bicycling around the area followed by lunch and a short cooking class the next day. I can't seem to find anyone who has done this trip, but it sounds like a way to experience something of Northern Thailand outside of a city and standard hotels & luxury resorts (yes, we're doing that too). Tangata, since you live in the area I thought you might know something about this trip or Lanna Farm and be able to give me your opinion. If anyone else has had experience with this tour, please share. We will only have four full days in Chiang Mai, one of which we plan to spend at the Elephant Conservation Center in Lamping, so is it worth spending two days on this tour? That means we will only have one other full day in CM. Also, the teak house at Lanna Farm does not have air conditioning but there are fans in the four bedrooms. What can we expect the temp to be at night in that area at end of Jan? Sorry for such a long winded message, but appreciate any help and advice you can give. Thanks!
CFW is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 06:07 PM
  #2  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
ttt
CFW is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 06:44 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
I promise I will get back to you on this one, but I want to check a couple of points with ?Madam? and she is in Bangkok until Tuesday.

I am reasonably sure that this place has been discussed previously on this forum; a search should turn something up.

I presume you have seen http://www.lisulodge.com/html/2-day_lannatour.html I am not sure if this is the tour referred to, it seems similar.
Tangata is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 07:03 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
Actually, I was also wondering if this was the Lisu Lodge overnight stay. I did not make it but had friends in Bkk who did and they really enjoyed the experience.
hobbes is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 02:31 AM
  #5  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Tangata, Thanks so much! I brought my post back up to the top cause it had moved way down & didn't want it to get lost. Yes, this is one of the tours offered by Lisu Lodge, but the overnight stay is at Lanna farm, not at Lisu Lodge. I've done searches & can't find any "reviews". I did ask about this on this forum several months ago & only replies I got were for Lisu Lodge. Since we only have four full days in CM and one of those will be at the elephant camp I was concerned that if we do this tour we'll have enough time in the remaining one day to enjoy other things that CM has to offer. Everything is a trade-off! Never enough time on vacation! By the way, we'll be arriving on a Sunday. Will shops on Sankamphaeng Rd be open on Sunday? Thought we might use our arrival day to do some shopping & have dinner at Grand Lanna.
CFW is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 03:39 AM
  #6  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Just thinking some more. An alternative may be one day "tour" at Lanna Farm with a market visit, cooking class & bike ride in the neighboring area, and no overnight stay. Yes, we would miss the experience of staying in what looks like a quiet lovely place, but then we would have a "little" more time & flexibility in CM. What do you think?
CFW is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 12:24 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
My apologies for taking so long to get back to you, Madam did return when expected, but so did the rains and they got into our phone system.
I have been unable to find anyone who knows Lanna Farm but, as you said, the appear in many places on the Web including,
http://www.asia-discovery.com/Thaila...res/tsa-05.htm
http://www.symbiosis-travel.com/acco...lanna_farm.htm and
http://www.hotelthailand.com/tour/chiangmai/lisu8/

They offer a variety of tours, but are all reputable companies and that speaks well for Lanna Farm.

The Queen Siriket Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit and are always on our list when we have visitors. The Gardens are in Mae Sa Valley and there are some Orchid Farms in the vicinity that in January will be well worth visiting, as orchids bloom best in the cooler months. There are a number of other attractions in the valley, including a snake farm, bungee jumping and an elephant camp. Mae Sa is close to Chiangmai and all of that can be done in a morning, either independently or with a local tour. There are many places around there where you could have lunch, The Paradise Spa being one of them http://www.paradisesparesort.com.

Lisu Lodge is further from Chiangmai, being on the road to Pai. I am not sure if the village associated with the lodge is the one referred to, but it would seem to be the most convenient. There are other attractions in the area including the Chiang Dao cave and a number of Wildlife Sanctuaries. These could quite easily be added onto a morning in the Mae Sa valley and still leave you with plenty of time to get back to Chiangmai. This would be much cheaper than staying at Lanna Farm. Also, I think that it would be preferable to the one day trip to the farm.

Not having air conditioning should not be a problem in January; we normally turn our Air Conditioners off from November to February.

Your decision to go to the Elephant Conservation Centre is a wise one; in my opinion it is much superior to any of the commercial camps and you can be sure that the elephants are properly taken care of. However, it won?t occupy a full day. You need to leave Chiangmai a little before 8:00 to be there in time for the elephant?s baths and the shows, but you can be back in Chiangmai by lunchtime.

If you decide not to go to the Teak house, you may wish to consider cooking classes at Kao Hom; which is a cooking school in a country setting but not too far from Chiangmai. www.kaohom.com.

The shops on Sankamphaeng Road will all be open on Sunday but some of the craftsmen may not be working. Le Grand Lanna is a good choice for dinner; I believe that is will shortly be re-branded as the Oriental?s Chiangmai property. You will definitely need a car to get around Sankamphaeng, your hotel will arrange one or there are a number of rental firms.

I suggest that you also have a look at the Northern Village in Central Airport Plaza, there is a great collection of produce there and the prices are reasonably ? even so bargain!

The best Celadon is probably that produced by Siam Celadon on Sankamphaeng Road, which is as far out as we normally go. They insist that their prices are ?fixed? and it is very difficult to move them!

For Thai Silk, Shinawatra is probably the best, but also the most expensive. They have a large showroom on Sankamphaeng and a smaller one in town on Huai Kaeo Road. There you should look for a discount, particularly if you don?t have a guide with you as they factor in a percentage for the guide.

There are also silver shops on Sankamphaeng, but many more can be found around Wua Lai road and these are probably cheaper.

I hope this helps, please email me if you have any further questions [email protected]



Tangata is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Tangata -- on a different subject, I took your advice and emailed John Shaw about visiting him home in December but have not heard back. Should I email again or is there some other way to get in touch with him?

Also, I'm still trying to decide whether to stay at Chiang Mai Plaza or Duangtawan. Any advice?

Thanks
glorialf is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,602
Tangata! You're letting people know about all the good stores-now there'll be no secrets! (smile) Too funny-I read your post on Siam Celadon and just this morning, I've gotten my latest email back from the owner, and he sent this beautiful color photo of their one-of-a-kind celadon chess set (one side blue, the other green) with those distinctive work of art chess pieces (I have an entire set, except 2 pieces are broken, so I wanted to see if they still make it-they do!)

Without a doubt, Siam Celadon has the most beautiful and distinctive celadon in the area, maybe the country. ONe of my friends bought an entire dinner setting for 12 in one of their earthenware lines-very sophisticated. Everyone who sees my chess pieces (I just display the pieces themselves on one of of my chests) thinks the pieces are so beautiful. And Siam doesn't just do celadon, but cloissonne pieces and other "objets" as well. My friend bought a very beautiful, but somewhat expensive, cloissonne vase.

I should be up in Chiang Mai in January, Tangata, perhaps we can meet up for a drink at the C.Mai Gymkhana!
Spygirl is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:32 PM
  #10  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Tangata, Thank you so much for checking things out & all the info. If you don't mind, I will e-mail you as we get closer to our trip & pin things down more. Thanks again for taking the time & trouble to respond so thoroughly. Hope you are managing ok with the storms.
Carole
CFW is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 09:30 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
Gloria,

John headed off to the United Kingdom the day before you posted your original message. I believe that he is due back about now and I?m sure that he will be in touch once he checks out his email. I?ll give him a nudge when I see him.

Spygirl.

Love to have that drink if I am here, I am still waiting to see if I have a job in Mumbai ? I gather that we are negotiating! I normally drink at The Pub, as the Gymkhana is the other side of town.

I know that chess set, lovely, also the mixed glaze pieces; partially earthenware and partially glazed. We have a 12 piece dinner set in Royal Porcelain, the hexagonal shape; excellent value. I think they are made by TG Ceramics, not here in Chiangmai. Bronze cutlery is another good buy here, but a bit heavy to travel with.
Tangata is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 07:40 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,602
Tangata- So glad to hear from you, and remember your trip report from Mumbai, so I hope your job goes through. So you know my chess set? I tell you, I get more compliments on that! The owner of Siam Celadon is so nice-he actually drove me back to the C.M. Plaza, (I bought a lot of celadon!)and we chatted about the best restaurant in
C. Mai. which he said, (and I agree) was the Gallery-the restaurant Hillary Clinton dined in, when she made her visit to C.Mai around 1998 or so. My friend and I had a wonderful dinner riverside, with Thai musicians playing off to the side. Very special.

The Pub sounds great, Tangata, but you know how am I about my former colonialist hang-outs-I've got to have my gin and tonic out on the porch of the Gymkhana Club so I can get that colonialist vibe going! I should fly up on Air Asia (thanks to a tip on this board!) somewhere around January 7-8. I'll email you when I finalize my plans-a get-together should be great fun!
Spygirl is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 11:02 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
I agree, the Gallery is our favourite Thai restaurant and the antique shops across the road are always worth a visit.

Work allowing we can meet up at the Gymkhana or The Pub; the latter is probably more 'colonial' than the Club, given that Thailand was never a colony. Newsweek once rated The Pub among the best drinking holes in the world, and it has never got over it.

Have you visited the Foreign Cemetery next to the Club? It is quite interesting and for a very reasonably 110 Baht you can buy a potted biography of everyone who is buried there. The percentage that died violent deaths is remarkably high.


Tangata is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 05:01 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Spygirl-- did you like the Chiang Mai Plaza?
glorialf is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 05:40 AM
  #15  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Am enjoying these posts on Chiang Mai, and Gloria's description of places on Northern Thailand. Can't wait to go. Gloria, We will be spending a half day at the Thai Elephant Conservation center in Lampang and then planned to spend perhaps the rest of the day in and around Lampang. Gloria, I think it was you who mentioned ceramic workshops with blue and white pottery around Lampang. Do you have any specific names or addresses or are they well known so that the driver will know? Also, Tangata and others, although we plan to use a car and driver for two days to visit areas around Chiang Mai, on the other days how will we get around in the city itself to go to restaurants, night market, the old walled city, shopping, and the Pub of course, etc. I understand there are no taxis.
CFW is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 07:38 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
There are a few options for getting around Chiangmai if you don?t have a car.

There are, very recently introduced, six taxis in Chiangmai! Or so it is claimed, I have only sighted three of them. They are therefore rather difficult to come by.

The Airport Hire Cars, green number plates, are sometimes available for private hire ? negotiated with the driver not the company!

There are plenty of tuk-tuks around which can take three in some degree of comfort. You do have to negotiate the cost before using them, but within Chiangmai, a trip should not cost more than 60 Baht. They are generally prepared to wait for you and it is possible to hire them by the hour ? bargain! One problem can be that they will hi-jack you to some shop that you don?t want to visit.

The silors, covered pick-up trucks with longitudinal seating, are somewhat more difficult to navigate as they run on fixed routes, but are considerably cheaper at 10 or 20 Baht per person.

Depending on where you are staying, you may be able to walk to many of the places you mention, particularly in January. If you don?t have a map I could email you one.
Tangata is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 06:23 AM
  #17  
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Tangata, You're great. Thanks! I have just ordered the Nancy Chandler map, but if that doesn't work, I'll e-mail you & let you know. We're staying at the Sheraton (former Westin) since we have points with them.
CFW is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 09:24 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,602
Tuk-tuks are the primary mode of transportation in C.M., other than getting a car and driver, and it is very pleasant, as I've stated before, to go round the walled city with its lovely moat at night, when it is lit up-since tuk-tuks are not something you can do in BKK with any degree of comfort due to the choking heat and pollution. In that sense, when you step off the plane from BKK to C.M., you really know you're someplace different-because you can really take in a breath of fresh clean air!

Gloria-you asked about the C.M. Plaza: This hotel is not a luxury hotel, there are a lot of tour groups who stay here, however, it has a very nice lobby/reception area-full of marble, and there is a lobby bar where Thai musicians play in the late afternoon. I understand that an entirely new Lanna style lobby has been put in since I've been there last (2 yrs. ago). (Since I have a Ganesh/elephant god bronze, I also happen to like its large Ganesh shrine outside the hotel). The corridor in the lobby area leading around to the back where the spa is located is filled with lovely Thai artwork on the walls. I checked out the spa, it was quite nice, and not too expensive (I was too busy to use it though). The breakfast buffet was plentiful and good, the rooms, partic. the deluxe rooms, (which are not at all expensive, btw) were spacious and serviceable- nothing particularly charming however. There is a fitness center and a nice pool area, but I did not use these facilities. The most important selling point of this hotel is its proximity to many of the places you want to go, specifically, the Night Mkt. You can also walk down the street to the Whole Earth Restaurant, a good Thai/Indian quasi-organic foods restaurant with great atmosphere and a lovely garden pavilion, which is right across from the Night Mkt.- The Antique House, one of my favorite restaurants in C.M., is within walking distance in the opposite direction-and there is a new shopping plaza, trekking/tour outfits, beauty salons, internet cafes, etc. just about everything is within walking distance of the hotel, or a short tuk-tuk ride. If you are looking for more luxury and personal service, yet still be within the city, I would probably choose the Sheraton, which is on the river-it's still only a tuk-tuk ride to the Night Mkt. from here, but you will get a really nice river view or a view of the mountains and Doi Suthep wat from these rooms, and the rooms themselves are more nicely appointed, with better amenities.

Tangata-we'll have to go to the Pub AND the Gymkhana Club so I can compare the "colonialist" atmosphere (yes, I know Thailand wasn't a colony-but it does have a few of those old colonialist haunts I seek!) Am really looking forward to seeing the Gymkhana again-a club founded in 1898 by British public school men (including Anna Leonowen's son, as I understand it) with a clubhouse and porch is definitely my kind of place to have a drink and soak up the atmosphere!

Spygirl is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 10:28 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
OK, transport on me. Just tell me when and where.

They are re-bidding the India job, so it looks as though we will be here.
Tangata is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:24 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
CFW-- I don't think I'm the one who mentioned blue and white pottery in Lampang but I think we did see some. can't remember where since we weren't buying just looking.

Spygirl-- thanks for the info in Chiang Mai Plaza. I don't care much about luxury (we'll be staying at the Oriental in Bangkok so that's luxury enough for one trip) but I do want a decent standard and a good location. The CM Plaza sounds find. I'd stayed at Mae Ping a few trips ago and found the service bad for Thailand. So I want a change. I'd really like to stay in Tamarind Village but I'm travelling with someone who has a real allergy with mosquitoes and there are too many reports of them in the rooms so guess we'll need the more sterile, bland hi-rise for CM.
glorialf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:31 AM.