Chiang Mai Journals

A Trip to Northern Thailand

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A July 2003 trip to Chiang Mai by MichaelJM

Riverside Plaza Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand More Photos
Quote: A few days spent in the north of Thailand only gave us a taste of the culture and scenery. It was so different from our Bangkok experience.

Riverside Plaza

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Hotel

Riverside Plaza Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
The Riverside Plaza is a 25-storey building situated right on the banks of the River Ping. It’s in a quiet part of town that is a little out of the centre of Chiang Mai, but is only a 10- minute ride from the airport. To get into town, use the taxi or tuk-tuk. Prices are about the same for whichever mode you prefer-we actually liked the sensation of the tuk-tuk ride. Although the hotel boasts of views of the river or the sacred mountain of Doi Suthep, we didn’t find the views sensational. Indeed we overlooked, admittedly from a great height, the entrance to a hospital-and a fairly run-down one at that, but in a 2-minute walk from the main entrance, you had a great view down the Rive...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2004

Riverside Plaza
154 Ratmankha Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

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Attraction | "Wat Phra That"

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple) Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is an absolute must to visit, and whilst you are winding your way toward the top of the 5,300 foot mountain, give a thought or two to the monk and his volunteer helpers who, in the 1930s, constructed the first proper road up to this holiest of temples. You’ll have some spectacular views of Chiang Mai, but I’d recommend that you save those for your return journey (craning your next to look behind is not advised on these difficult roads). The legend of Wat Phra goes something like this. In the mid 1300s some holy relics were discovered and placed in a carrier on the back of a white elephant. The elephant was then allowed to wander freely, but, for some reason, it t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 6, 2004

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

Chiang Mai, Thailand 50300

Arts & Crafts

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Attraction | "Craft markets - in and out of town"

Arts & Crafts Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
Whilst in Chiang Mai, check out the various craft markets and factories. Even if you’re not here to buy, they can be fascinating visits. Head for the hills! A few miles up from Phuping Palace (it was closed to the public when we were in town), there’s a craft village. I reckon all the tourists are brought here, but it’s still an interesting place. We had hired a taxi for the day (it’s cheaper than an organised trip) and so were under no pressure to rush round. The dry and dusty tracks were lined with market stalls offering mostly craft-wares and some fairly suspect food. All prices were negotiable, but it was clear that the goods on sale were for us tourists. But follow the stalls upwards and ta...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 7, 2004

Arts & Crafts
172 Moo 2, Chiang Mai-Sankamphaeng Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand 50130
+66 53 338 026-28

Mae Ping Elephant Village

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Attraction

Mae Ping Elephant Village Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
An elephant ride was a "must-do", and Mae Ping Elephant Village was the venue. We arrived just in time to see the "show" but were in two minds about this, wondering if cruelty was involved in training these incredible animals. But then I thought, if an elephant didn’t want to work, I’m sure it would make its reluctance clear. They are, after all, amazingly powerful creatures. We saw elephants dragging logs, playing football, balancing on their front legs, playing drums, dancing, painting, and perhaps most bizarrely, walking on two legs. Impressive? Yes, but still somewhat perturbing. After the "show", the elephants and their trainers trundled down to the river, and they rolled and "frolicked" i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2004

Mae Ping Elephant Village
Mae Ping
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Temple Visiting & Market Shopping

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Attraction | "Temple Visiting & Market Shopping"

Temple Visiting & Market Shopping Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
Although Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest town, it feels like a village in comparison to Bangkok’s bustle. It’s a great place to walk round – at night to get involved in bartering at the bazaar, and in the daytime to visit some of the many temples that adorn the streets. The early 19th-century walls and moat enclose the town, and the Ping River flows through the centre. We decided that we would walk and see what we could find. It was not hard, as virtually around every corner there was another temple. Firstly, we stopped at Pan Tao, which has an incredibly beautiful Vihran (an assembly hall for monks to hear sermons) built entirely of wood, with some exceptional gilded stuccowork. The ins...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2004

Temple Visiting & Market Shopping
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand