Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai?

Old Apr 5th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai?

We have 2 days to use for one of these places. Which should we choose? We like good restaurants, scenic beauty, country more than city, and, considering the time restraint, easy airport access. We have never visited the north of Thailand before, but will return in several years. Which shall we do on our first visit?

Thanks for any help you can give.
travelmom13 is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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chaing mai. More restaurants, more to do, easier access, more public transportation. But it's a bigger city.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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With a mere two days, you're probably better off with CM. If you were to go to CR, you'd want to be at the Golden Triangle, another hour north.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Hmmm. Hard call. The drive to and around Chiang Rai can be quite beautiful and CR is more counrty that city for sure. Most people prefer Chiang Mai, but I actually liked Chiang Rai better when I wanted to get away from things. Decent restaurants in both. Airports in both.

Shade
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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I am also trying to decide between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I had originally planned on CM but I've seen a few people on here saying they prefer CR. We hope to have about 4 days in whatever place we go, so that might change people's opinions from previous responses. I definitely want to do the whole elephant ride thing, and I would like to see more of the countryside / trekking. I will be there in early June.
Thanks everyone!
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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2 Days should be in CM. Doi Suthep is superb. You can get our in the country relatively quickly. You might try Sergeant Kai at Chiangmaitours.com.

I-with 4 days, youy can do both CM and CR. It's about a 3 hour drive. Fly into one and out of the other.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Chiang Mai -- definitely.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Another vote for chiang Mai.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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a vote for staying two more days in bkk...with travel equal to one full day....you would end up with one day touring...not worth it...imo
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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irishcheer21, in response to your message: choose for a combination of one or two nights at a city hotel in chinag mai (for visiting markets and some temples) and after that, for all the nature exploring: stay at the baanrailanna resort, a 45 minute drive north from chiang mai. We did this a few weeks ago and it's a perfect combination. Beautifull views and nature up there in the mountains/jungle. Have a look at www.baanrailanna.com.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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Is Chiang Rai too far from Chiang Mai for a day trip?
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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Can be done, daytrips to Chiang Rai are offered everywhere in Chiang Mai. But you will be spending lot's of time in the car I think. And there is so much to see and do close to chiang mai.....
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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First time in Thailand? Two days? Chiang Mai for sure. Just make sure you get out of the city for a bit - not long cos you won't have time; just get out there and see the countryside for a couple of hours. Not sure Doi Suthep is the best place to go because it is quite crowded - matter of taste.

If you arrange all your tours in advance with the same person/firm and don't mind a fairly busy schedule Chiang Rai can be done easily - the Thais and Chinese do Chiang Rai in two days with no problem, but it's a bit rapid
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 01:52 AM
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travelmom, if you can give us more of an idea about things that you'd like to do. If you have those 2 days where else would you be going in Thailand, is it limited to just a choice of those 2 ?
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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I prefer CR..
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