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Please advise re. 2.5 days in Chiang Mai

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Aug 21st, 2015, 09:02 PM
  #1
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Please advise re. 2.5 days in Chiang Mai

We will be in November in Chiang Mai, arriving late on a Friday evening, probably still fighting jet leg after a flight from the West Coast and 2.5 days in Hong Kong. We will be in CM unfortunately for only 2.5 days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, taking off after lunch at 12:30 for Chiang Rai, (stopping at the White Temple). We will be staying at the U Chiang Mai (where the Sunday walking street takes place). There is just too much to see/experience in Chiang Mai and all doesn't fit. Something needs to be left for next time.

I have the following tentative schedule which tries to include what we would like to see but seems to be very crowded. I would like to keep Saturday the way it is planned. However, I would appreciate some advice from those who have been there to "lighten up" the schedule for Sunday & Monday, to avoid "duplicates" w. the many market options. Also suggestions for places to eat (thai food in a clean environment is preferred) near where we will be on Sunday and Monday would be appreciated.

Saturday: Bhuping Palace, Wat Doi Suthep, lunch, Wiang Kum kam, Saturday walking street & Wat Sri Suphan, dinner nearby

Sunday: Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, both very close to hotel and Wat Suan Dok if possible; Warorot and Tom Lan Yai flower markets, lunch; 2 hour massage either at the ex-prisoner women or Fah Lanna Spa; Sunday Walking Street OR Anusarn, Night Bazar and Kalare Markets with dinner by the River

Monday morning: Post Office to ship what I purchased (if in fact I bought things; while I do not plan to do shopping, some handicrafts might prove to be irresistible); Nimman Promenade, lunch and departure at 12:30.

Thanks in advance.
Suzanna is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2015, 10:15 PM
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No one here can tell you what is too much for you. I advise that on any given day you do the things on your list in the order of seeming importance and when you get tired, or bored by yet another wat, just stop. Have a rest, a drink, a meal, whatever you feel like doing when the time comes. I know of no other way to proceed. Don't worry about fitting it all in and enjoy the fact that you're in Thailand, the food is wonderful and all's right with the world. Thailand is a place I go to have no schedule or itinerary and I advise you to what you can in that direction.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 12:02 AM
  #3
 
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Motoring around CM can be very slow, and i mean even on a motorbike. Uncontrolled vehicles of all kind are creating a monster mess, and very nasty air. And have you heard, it's always hot and sunny in CM. If you're coming from a cool place tiredness/exhaustion sets in fast. So yes, slow down. The lower the expectation, the greater the surprise.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 05:36 AM
  #4
 
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So, it's like all of asia, motorcycle mayhem. We were going to be in Chiang Mai in December from Laos. Might give it a miss,as we have just come home from visiting our daughter-in-law in Indonesia and that's motorcycle mayhem as well. Too much of a pain these days.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 08:15 AM
  #5
 
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Slow down and don't try to be so scheduled.

I think you have too many markets scheduled. Do they now have a Saturday Walking Market or is it still just the Sunday Walking Market? The night market has degenerated into a crowded (and overpriced) collection of tourist gee-gaws. The walking market is better, but you only need one. Do you have a copy of the Nancy Chandler map of CM? Do get one. They have a nice list of fair-trade crafts shops and I found much better this at the shops than in the markets.

If you really plan to shop, you'll want to hire a car and driver for the day or half day. CM has no public transport, and the tuk-tuks and songthaews are not very practical when you are carrying packages.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 09:00 AM
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Thanks. They still have a Saturday Walking Market. I have the Nancy Chandler map. If you were to go to less markets and you would want more authentic, less crowded and less touristy, which ones would you pick?

About how much is a driver for a half a day or by hour?

With the short time we have, I need to plan and if change is needed when there, I will know about options with less need to spend valuable time there to figure it out.
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Aug 22nd, 2015, 01:12 PM
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All taxis have a fare schedule posted inside that list prices for half a day and a full day, the price for the drive to Doi Suthep, etc. If you book a driver through your hotel, you'll pay a lot more. If I get a good driver from the airport, I'll take with him/her about hiring for the next day. I can't remember how much I paid, maybe $40 for a whole day.

In the Nancy Chandler book, there is a section listing fair trade craft shops. Last time I was there, that was the list I used. Choose a few that sound interesting to you. The map makes it easy to choose a few shops all the same area. Traffic is just terrible in CM, so organizing your stops by are will help a lot.
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Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:23 PM
  #8
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Thanks, Kathie.
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Sep 8th, 2015, 04:35 PM
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We found Wat Pha Lat basically by accident. I am SO glad because it was incredible with a view at the top of the city and a waterfall running through. It's incredible. We stopped on our way to Doi Suthep. One dining suggestion from U CM is the dinner at Tamarind Village. Wow it was excellent Thai food with Northern specialties. Your itinerary looks busy but good. I loved the night bazaar--saw things I wished I'd picked up but thought "I'll buy it in Bangkok." Mistake!
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Sep 8th, 2015, 06:09 PM
  #10
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Thanks, Lenlu for sharing.
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