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Sergeant Kai - what tours did you take with him?

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Sergeant Kai - what tours did you take with him?

Old Apr 20th, 2006, 01:28 PM
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Sergeant Kai - what tours did you take with him?

Hello - i know many of you have used and recommended Sergeant Kai. CFW - I name dropped you in my initial email to him and he sends you his greetings

We will be 7 adults and 1 toddler in Chiang Mai - all of varying degrees of agility, fitness and interest in the various sights of CM. 2 will be off on a trek when we go out with Sergeant Kai so that brings us down to 5 + toddler, so slightly more manageable!

I would be really interested to hear what tours you took with Kai and what you would recommend.

This is what we have told him:
*****************************
We are looking for suggestions at to tours. We would be interested in visiting:

- Elephant Conservation Centre at Lampang (one morning only as we will take our 2 year old there – I think we need to be there quite early to see the elephants bathe, by 9.45am)
- Hill Tribes – I am particularly interested in this aspect. I have been on a trek and on a guided day tour but I understand that you are very knowledgeable about the hill tribes and we can visit some of the less commercially orientated villages. Would a visit to these places be a full or half day trip?
- Doi Suthep and temple there (v keen to go here – I have never managed to make it in both our trips as I got ill on the day we planned to go each time!)
- Shopping trip to the craft villages (I appreciate that we may not need to do this with you?)

It may be that you can suggest some other places. I would particularly like to take my mother to see some of the beautiful natural beauty in the area but she is going to find Thailand very hot I think and will not be able to trek to see things! Are there any waterfalls or beautiful gardens that we could visit where we can drive to and stay in the shade? I am also very interested in natural and traditional medicines and massage (I am a massage therapist) and also the use of plants in medicine so would be very interested to hear if you have any suggested places/people to visit that would be of interest.
***************************************
Sergeant Kai has proposed:

***************************************
Day 1
Leave from hotel at 8.15 am for an hour drive from hotel to the Lam Pang Elephant Conservation Center, Thung Kwien Market (extraordinary market), Handicraft village and Doi Suthep Temple in the afternoon time (actually the best time to get up on the temple is at dusk that you will see the monks gathering in the hall reciting and meditating. Yet, the city from over 1000 meter at dusk is fantastic scenery.
Day 2
Doi Inthanon National Park. Visit the Wachiratan waterfall (we can drive down directly to the waterfall, no need to walk), then to the highest spot of Thailand at over 2565 meters above the sea level, Hmong Tribal market. Now, if you can be able to hike for a couple of hours (app 2 hours, not difficult, the youngest client of mine that use this trail was 2.5 years old!) I have a very beautiful trail where there are many waterfalls that still unknown for tourist. We will finish the hike at a Karen Tribal village (no touristy) that you will learn the Tribal lifestyle in this non-electricity village.
***************************************

Now I know that I have read that someone went on a short trek to a hill tribe village with Sergeant Kai but I can't find the post! If you are reading this, could you let me know how difficult the walk is? Sergeant Kai sent me a picture of the non-tourist trail and the photo of the trekkers was on a fairly steep incline. Whilst my mum is quite fit, she broke her ankle a few years ago and is not good on uneven ground. Also, although Sergeant Kai says that a 2.5 yr old has done the trail, I think that if we took Isabella it would take 10 hours rather than 2 .

Any other comments or suggestions would be very welcome.

Many thanks in advance
BB
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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Bella - I suspect you're referring to my trip report. We did almost exactly what he's proposing for you! On the day of the trek, we were accompanied by one of Sergeant Kai's guides, Sutee, and we also did bamboo rafting and stopped at the waterfall he mentions. It's true that the hilltribe village you end up at is totally non-touristy. The hike was fun, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for someone who has trouble on uneven ground. There are a couple of places where you come down rather steep sections and also a place or two where there are bamboo ladder/steps to come down. It's not a terribly strenuous hike, but there definitely is some uneven ground - and more down than up.
We also did a very similar day to what he's proposing to you with Lampang. I'm thinking we left at 8 (and he was very prompt) and arrived in plenty of time for the elephant baths. (There's a second bathing at, I think, 1:00 if you do happen to arrive late. We then stopped at the market he mentions (it was quite interesting), then in Lamphun rather than any craft shops, and finally on to Doi Suthep - a wonderful day.
Can't recommend him strongly enough. Tell him Karen and daughter Julie said hi. Here's the link to my trip report (scroll down to the Chiang Mai section) and also the link to my photos. I believe there are several in the Chiang Mai album from our days with Sutee and Sgt Kai.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=34762799

http://kbutler8.photosite.com/

Good luck. I can guarantee you'll enjoy your time with Sergeant Kai. He's wonderful - warm and friendly, excellent English, not overbearing, just a really nice guy. (There's a picture of him with my daughter on my photo site.)

Karen
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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I just checked my photos and actually there are quite a few from our trek (you can get an idea of some of the ground), our stop at the waterfall that you can drive to (first waterfall pics), our elephant time, the market we stopped at afterwards, Lamphun, and Doi Suthep. Hope you'll find them helpful.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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Bella - one other thing - our driver didn't go with us on the trek but drove the car to the village and met us there. So that might be a possibility for your mother. It's definitely a good 2-hour trek, though, so she'd have to wait quite a long time. You could always just skip the hike and ask to be driven to the village (the hike is really terrific, though, if you're into that kind of thing - we didn't see any other tourists the whole time).
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 06:59 PM
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Bella, We spent the day with Sergeant Kai at Doi Inthanon and it was a delightful day. My husband has a bad back so we did not do any trekking. The day started at a country market. Don't know the name or location exactly but it was on the way to Doi Inthanon. I loved it! No westerners at all & just a lively country fair atmosphere. Within the market there was an area where they were selling water buffalo and also an area where people were buying & selling motor bikes - some new, some used. It was quite a scene. Then there were all the clothing vendors -- rows & rows of shoes, underwear, shirts, etc. - as well as areas for amulets, food, flowers & so on. Lots of fun. After that we went to Doi Inthanon & drove up to the peak with stops at water falls, and a park within the park with lovely gardens & two giant stupas. We ended the day at a Lahu village that was very non-touristy & quite interesting.

You will love Doi Suthep. We went there last year on our own (in the morning) and I wish someone had suggested to go in the late afternoon when you can hear the monks chant. We happened tp be at a wat outside of Bangkok at that time of day & the chanting in the quiet of the late afternoon was truly very special & spiritual.

You will also really enjoy Sergeant Kai. He is a very good & generous person with a delightful sense of humor & very easy to understand & talk with. So glad you mentioned our names & said hello for us.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 07:15 AM
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We've used Sergeant Kai twice in Cm and wre pleased both times. He will customize any tour or activity you want. He's great.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Hello Bella,

Your plans sound very much like we hope to do whilst in Chiang Mai in July - & I, like yourself hoped that Sargeant Kai would be our driver/guide.

Unfortunately he has not yet replied to two of my emails sent over the past week or so - I used the "contact us" form on the website.

Did he take long to get back to you? How did you contact him?

We have almost completed our plans and bookings - this one and Air Asia still hanging in the wings...

Thanks in advance


nzers
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Thanks Karen, Carole and Andy. We are definitely going to book Sergeant Kai, and will finalise the arrangements after I've spoken to my parents and parents-in-law (to be!).

nzers - we contacted Sergeant Kai at this email [email protected] and he replied in less than 24 hours. Is this the one you used? Even if it is, perhaps try again.

Thanks all
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Nzers - Sergeant Kai told us he'd messed up his schedule with a couple of clients the month before because his computer went down (or there was an email problem or something) and he lost some stuff. He felt terrible about it. So if you don't hear from him pretty quickly (he is very responsive), you might want to resend.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 06:26 PM
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Thank you for that info.

I have sent him another email to this address. Fingers crossed.

nzers
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:58 AM
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Awesome, that worked. Had a reply very quickly.

Thank you.

nzers
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