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peppersalt Feb 9th, 2006 04:19 PM

Driver/Guide in Chaingmai
I will be in Chaingmai in May, does anyone know of a good driver/guide to use there plus approximate costs. If you have a website or e-mail address of any, I would really appreciate it.

jkgourmet Feb 9th, 2006 05:40 PM

ratt's sister, Pom, is the one most often recommended here. Do a search for ratt. But, truthfully, we felt no need to hire a driver in Chaing Mai. The tuk-tuks were cheap, and the weather cooler than BKK (where we did hire one of Ratt's employees, very happily, I might add.)

Lindsey Feb 9th, 2006 07:47 PM

Ratt's sister's name is Poon. I have sent 3 different groups of friends to her and they have all raved about how great she was.

glorialf Feb 9th, 2006 08:02 PM

I've used Poon on two different trips and she is wonderful. She is not, however, a guide so don't expect her to be. Her English is adequate in that we were easily able to communicate our wishes but she is not fluent. I would recommend her to anyone without hestitation. You can reach her through rat: [email protected] or [email protected]

Smeagol Feb 10th, 2006 02:00 AM

We used Poon in November and i found her charming company and very helpful. As Gloria says she is not a guide and her English is adequate but i found myself able to communicate with her no problem. She really is a lovely lady and would have no hesitation to recommend her.

Benkok Feb 10th, 2006 02:16 AM

now i'm confused guys...

you told me i can't recommand and advertise here local friend's services, but i can only see 2 names comming up with heavy adds...

I'm new here at this forum and would realy like to help but i'm affraid the managment will delete my posts if i'll recommand friend's services... please let me know the rules...

hi50phd Feb 10th, 2006 08:06 AM

You're right.

The vast majority of posts on this forum are from people who have personal experiences with a person, place, service. And, would like to discuss their experiences with others, positive or negative.

If people began posting "ads" for friends, neighbors, relatives, the value of the forum would be diluted.

The flip side, I suppose, is that it would not be in the travelers best interest to exclude the views of locals/residents.

A difficult issue. I guess that I would question the value for myself of a note that said "I have a good friend that.....".

Chanchao Feb 16th, 2006 08:53 PM

Rent out a meter taxi ro 'red bus' songthaew (converted pickup) then, or hire a car with driver, for example at

jcontreras Feb 17th, 2006 09:03 AM

Peppersalt, a couple of years ago we visited northen Thailand with Kai (, He is very funny, speaks fluent english, and can organize day private tours to hill tribe villages, as well as the common sights in the area. I strongly recommned this guide. Hes email is [email protected]

Gpanda Feb 17th, 2006 10:43 AM

We used Sergeant Kai twice and we very pleased. As noted above, you can contact him at He is very responsive to E-mail and suggestions of activities not listed on the website.

BenKok-Posters on this forum generally provide specific advice from theoir own experience. If residents of Thailand posted the names of their friends, there would be no way to distinguish between experiential recommendations and frindly advertising. The forum would be awash with self or friend promoting posts. This would undercut the value of the posts and few would pay any attention. You might look at the many posts from JamesA. He is careful not to promote any very specific guides or even services. He's apparently in the travel business and his refraining from "friendly" recommendations is always noted with thanks.

ganz Feb 17th, 2006 10:04 PM

Hi to all
We had organised a tour the following day with a company called Chiang Mai Tourist Information Center ( that came highly recommended on The tour was fantastic! We left the hotel at 8am and headed straight for the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp to ride the elephants and see the show. The tour consisted of the two of us and the guide so we could ask as many questions as we liked. I have to mention our guide here, his name is Pom (Ittiphon Kantanaul) and his knowledge and manners were superb. I can't recommend this guy enough if you are going ask for Pom. These guys will customize a tour to your needs and will stop at a point of interest if you ask them. Definitely worth booking!

jenskar Feb 19th, 2006 09:39 AM

I used a Karen guide (the Karen are one of the largest Hill Tribes living outside of Chiang Mai) named Chaiya in Chiang Mai and the driver who works with him (Donut) -- prices were really reasonable; Chaiya is licensed and prices were 1600 baht for the driver plus gas (about another 500 baht for a very long day of tours around hill tribe villages and to Chiang Dao cave), and 800 for Chaiya's services. His email address is [email protected] -- but give him some lead time as I don't think he checks it every day. He can also organize a trek for you, trips to Mae Hong Son, etc. I was very interested in Hill Tribe textiles and jewelry -- he had two different groups of women dress me in their tribal outfits, saw a demonstration of hemp bark yarn making and weaving. When it comes to buying hill tribe silver, do know that 'silver' is a loose term -- the tribes aren't all combining it as classic sterling so if you want true sterling you might really have to hunt. I was offered a real sterling Ahka headdress (the ones that are in pieces and tied onto the head in steps, not the new one piece, definitely not sterling kind most of the women now wear) for purchase which I passed on.

I would definitely use Chaiya again. And if I had the time, I'd have him get me up further into the hills than you can drive to visit some of the harder to reach villages.

peppersalt Feb 19th, 2006 10:07 AM

Can't believe all the responses, just great getting all this imput. Iv'e seen several posts that used Poon (Ratt's sister) and everyone comments were very positive. Can anyone tell me what the approx.rate would be for full 8 hour day using her. i.e. elephant camp, hill tribes,etc.

CFW Feb 19th, 2006 02:06 PM

We have used both Poon & Sergeant Kai, and I can't rave enough about Sergeant Kai. He speaks excellent English, is very knowledgeable about the area & the hilltribes, has a great sense of humor, was very responsive to our interests and he is a very, very good person as well. He spent time in the army living in the mountains bordering Burma where the hill tribes are, and he got to know people in several remote villages. He took us to one out-of-the-way Lahu village in particular where he has spent a lot of time and has helped build a school building and toilet facilities. The village and people there were very poor and he visits and brings clothing and other supplies 3 or 4 times a year. It was quite a moving experience to see him interact with the villagers with whom he has developed such a rapport. He also can take you to the more usual visitor sites in & around Chiang Mai, but since we had just been there a year ago & had spent time at the Elephant conservation center in Lampang, visited Doi Suthep & other temples, we wanted to get off the beaten track this time. We also had him take us to a national park, Doi Inthanon, which was lovely. His rates were more reasonable than Poon's for the service he provided, and our experience with him was just outstanding.

Biking Mar 7th, 2006 11:25 AM

While in Chaing Mai on Feb. 18th to 21st, 2006, we used an exceptional driver/guide. His english was excellent as was his knowledge of the area and available tours. He readily shared his insights on the tours we arranged through him as to their value and appropriateness for our interests. He personally escorted us on one of our trips. We found that his rates were less expensive than others we researched through our hotel. His contact information is as follows:
His name is Somporn (Pon) Kangonta
Daret's House and Restaurant (located just down the road from the Amora Tapae Hotel)
Phone: 04-1756241

Susan33 Mar 7th, 2006 12:34 PM

We used Sergeant Kai on February 13, 2006 for the day. When I e-mailed to confirm our reservation, he said his fee included transportation from the airport when we arrived. He met us and took us to our hotel. He gave us a short orientation tour on the way to the hotel.

It was great to have a guide that spoke fluent English.

He used [email protected] as his email address.

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