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Kathie's next trip includes a stop in Chaing Mai and she needs your recommendations!

Kathie's next trip includes a stop in Chaing Mai and she needs your recommendations!

Old May 9th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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lcuy, when is your next trip?
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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The Sunday Walking Street market starts in the morning...a few sellers set up then. As the day goes on, more sellers come and set up, and by late afternoon it's packed. If you are going to shop as well as for the experience, you might want to do the shopping part during daylight hours, bring your purchases back to your hotel, then wander after dark with being encumbered by bags, as it is very, very, very crowded at night.

The main area is the street, but there is another neat area set up on the other side of the gate (which gate I can't remember but it's the only gate you'll see at the walking street...anyway, go through the gate and there are more sellers, a bit less organized and interesting. These are the sellers who were also set up first...many were there in the morning when we set out for Doi Suthep around 9:30.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:20 PM
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For cadwex...there are many night markets in Chiang Mai. The big one, near Yaang Come Village, is a mish mash of food and goods and is open every night. I was unimpresses...didn't see anything there that caught my eye. It also seemed to me that it is a tourist kind of thing much more than the Sunday walking street...the Night Market had lots more of what tourists might buy than the walking street. I saw mostly foreign tourists in the Night market. Sellers there were more aggressive and less willing to bargain.

The Sunday Walking Street is, of course, also a tourist market in many ways, but it's also a local event as well. I saw mostly Thai people there, out having a meal with their family in the food sections, getting a foot massage, buying clothes for the children (which we joined right in on). There is a lot of everyday stuff for sale. For the tourist kind of goods, I thought the quality was better and price cheaper at the Sunday walking street.

I would assume the goods change from time to time, as do the sellers, but I think for atmosphere and goods, the Sunday Walking Streets is far superior to the every night Night Market.

You can easily do a day trip before going to the Sunday walking street....we did.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 11:31 PM
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Hai Kathie-
I live in Chiang Mai and thought I'd just mention some favorite restaurants. If there's anything else I can help with, just email me.

in Nimmanhaemin Rd. area: Hong Tauw (tho skip the Pad Thai here) for pomelo salad, dishes with fresh heart of palm, plus homemade ice cream

Dalaabaa is great for dinner- menu reads boringly, but food is creative and very good; prices very reasonable and portions not too large.

Don't miss the street food at the Sunday market- lots of great food including at the temples- these stalls are there every Sunday and could not stay in business if they weren't good ie hygenic.

Out San Kamphaeng/Crafts Highway there is Bua Restaurant on the edge of San Kamphaeng- most drivers know it. They have a buffet for tourists, but ask to order off the menu: great pork sate, som tam (green papaya salad), pad Thai, plus other freshly cooked dishes; tho skip shrimp and fish here- I know, as it's my neighborhood restaurant ;-)

Another little known, except to locals, place is near Shinawatra Thai Silk and Bawsang/Umbrella Village- called Him Restaurant, it's owned by the head of the restaurant association; seafood here is wonderful- mussels with basil, fluffy catfish salad, any kind of fish, plus salads, vegetables (sayote is a favorite- young pumpkin vines sauteed with oyster sauce and lots of garlic in a very hot wok), cheap beer, etc.

And don't miss a special regional dish called Kao Soy- noodles in curry-like soup and usually with chicken, but also available with tofu (Islam Kao Soy, down from mosque near Night Bazaar is good), and even pork (NOT at Islam Kao Soy). Just Kao Soy on Charoenprathet does a reasonable version and is a pleasant venue in that same area.

If you tire of Thai food, Giorgio's is a very nice bistro for Italian, also near your hotel.

Chok dee!/good luck,
Susan

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Old May 10th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Susan, thanks for a resident's recommendations for restaurants! You have a number of places that I've not seen recommended on this board.

I know we'll have much more to do, see, eat and buy on our list than it will be possible to fit into our schedule.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Hi Kathie,
I loved Chiang Mai. Did the Chiang Mai Cookery School---the one at the house, not in town. Took a full day and was a delightful experience which I highly recommend. The Sunday Walking Market was amazing, especially going from daylight, to dusk, to dark. Make sure to check out the carved soap in the wooden containers with silver tops. Amazing gifts for the price. We went around 5pm and it got packed later in the evening as others have said. One of the best parts is when everyone stops at 6pm for the playing of the national anthem. I didn't buy any celadon but loved the selection as Baan Celadon. Also, the main market at the night market (the part that is inside) had a booth with nice celadon. The cultural museum was nice for a visit. We went to a Karen village and it was amzing to watch the women weave scarves (taking 4 days to make one that sells for $4.I bought 8 just to buy them.)Had a very good dinner at a restaurant on the Ping River and can get the name if you want it. Can't help you with spas......
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:34 PM
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I'm topping this thread in the hope that Gloria (and anyone else who loves CM) will have some recommendations.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 07:23 AM
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trader....ok, so spelling was taught in the grade i skipped...

we thought baan celedon offered by far the best and most diverse wares....their bkk shop is a failure, but the CM one is fantastic...look for the elephant mugs....a karen favorite...

just ignor the shipping price...go for it...
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Old May 31st, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Hi- I'm so glad you're giving Chiang Mai another try. Here are some suggestions:

First in terms of spa -- I would definitely go to Oasis but make sure you go to the original one. It was lovely and unbelievably reasonable.I'm not a spa person and I went three times.

I have to finish a grant proposal but will send more recommendations later today. Have you checked out my reports from Chiang Mai last January? I did a fairly long restaurant and shopping list.

One thing about crafts -- AVOID the factories that all the tourists go to especially the jewelry ones. They are rip offs and hard sell.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Gongdee Gallery, 225032, 219499. 10, 12 Nimmanhemin Rd. Soi 2, A. Muang, CM and the entire Nimmanhemin Road area - budget a coupole of hours as many of the shops have lovely stuff, I got a stunning black lacquer square 18x18 tray here which I later had converted into a table top. Sop Moei - take a look at their stuff on www.sopmoeiarts.com, I love their stuff and supporting the cause is great too. The hand painted umbrellas are fabulos but I don't know how you would carry them, maybe the parasols are easier.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 11:30 AM
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Here are some restaurant suggestions:
Mahanaga -- a new restaurant and sister of the one in Bangkok. It is in a gorgeous setting and you can sit either indoors or outside. It is on the river. We started outside but the mosquitoes drove us inside. Inside is lovely but they seem to want you to sit in the dark so you need a flashlight to read the menu and even to see the food. Hopefully that will change. Menu is fusian and on the high side for Chiang Mai but still reasonable. I thought the food was delicious and the menu wonderful. Service was good.

Modiwa -- another new restaurant that is cheerful, reasonable (especially at lunch) and good. No wine by the glass. Very friendly service although limited English.

Piccolo Roma -- a fun Italiand place with a friendly staff and owner, large menu and solid Italian food. Festive. Right near the night market.

Antique House -- lousy food, terrible service and dirty. Would never return.

Gallery -- worst meal I had in Chiang Mai and horrible service.

House -- excellent fusian food (more western than asian) in a nice setting. Would definitely recommend.

La Casa -- pleasant Italian restaurant where thais go and eat and/or get take out. Very reasonable. Fun

Baan Chom Doi -- very good and very cheap seafood. Not at all touristy. Recommend

Grand Lanna -- in the Mandarin. Very pretty and excellent service. Food was very good although the pomelo salad was not nearly as good as other ones I have had. We went at lunch. Prices high for chiang mai but definitely affordable.

Heard that Giorgio has excellent Italian food. We couldn't get in when we tried and didn't want to wait but it's on my list for next time.


Oh-- another restaurant. The Boat with good cheap thai food. Went at lunch. Very busy -- about 95% thais.



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Old May 31st, 2006, 11:32 AM
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I am also a huge fan of the shops on and around Nimmanhemin Rd. And Sop Moie is my hands down favorite although see the thread I sent ttt with other wonderful shops in that area.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Thanks for your recommendations Gloria and Hobbes. You know I love beautiful crafts! Gloria, thanks for topping your thread. I had taken some notes on it previously. The shops at Nimmanhemin road sound like just what I'm looking for. Does anyone know if those are walking distance from Yaang Come Village, or will I need a large taxi to bring back all of my purchases?
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM
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Doi Sutep was the best. As you're climbing the 300-plus steps to get to it, you'll notice people along the way selling cold bottles of water. I'm here at work looking at the Doi Sutep photos tacked on my wall. Happy Travels!
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Old May 31st, 2006, 01:19 PM
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you'll need a taxi.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Hi Kathie - Sergeant Kai told us that Doi Suthep is best seen at dusk - he said that one can see the monks gathering in the hall reciting and meditating and that the city at dusk looks amazing (obviously need to choose a clear night!)
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Old May 31st, 2006, 09:09 PM
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I agree with Bella, Doi Suthep is a totally different at dusk, it is quite magical.

Fortunately you donít have to climb the 300 odd steps, there is a cable car available.

Kathie, I hope you enjoy your visit to what is now my home town.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 06:59 AM
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If I remember correctly, I believe I went to Doi Suthep at dawn last time I was in CM. I'll have to look at my old journal.

Tangata, I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time! Thanks for your good wishes.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Hi Kathie,

YCV is a great place. Wonderful breakfast. Lovely staff. You can get a two-hour Thai massage in your room for 12 bucks.

As others have said, Sargeant Kai is very cool. We went to Doi Inathanon and it was one of the most spectacular places we've ever been. We went on this amazing cloud hike with a member of the Karan tribe that SK knows, then had lunch, and then went for a special waterfall hike that is off the beaten path. Spectacular. That day was one of the mega-highlights of our trip.

Food in CM was not nearly as good as what we found in BKK, but the Whole Earth place was good.

Have a blast.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 07:23 PM
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aloha kathie...

i loved yui at "alot of thai" cooking school. we were the only 3 students
and she let us mix and match our menu.
it ended up being the best food we ate in chiang mai although whole earth was a close second.

p.s. i am not addicted to without reservation show now...thanks for the heads up on that.
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