Chiang Mai Journals

Chiang Mai, Thailand; the Land of Smiles.

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An April 1998 trip to Chiang Mai by onequest

Baby Elephant Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand More Photos
Quote: My mother and I visited Thailand on a culinary tour with Tommy Tang. We stayed at 4 and 5 star hotels, learned the finer points of Thai cooking, and shopped at the local markets. Here, I will present our first stop - Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai, Thailand; the Land of Smiles.

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Overview

Quote:
While in Chiang Mai, there are 4 activities that you must try. First, you should experience the serenity of a Buddhist temple. We took a tour bus to Wat Doi Suthep and then traveled to visit a hill tribe. Please visit my first journal entry to learn more about it. Next, we journeyed to a working elephant training camp, to learn how these beasts of burden are herded, domesticated, and put to work in the forest. Please visit my second journal to learn more about this experience. Finally, we went to the night market, where we picked up many trinkets and treasures. You will learn more about this in my third journal entry.Quick Tips: First of all, before you visit Thailand, pack fo...Read More

Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew

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Hotel | "Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel"

Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
While vacationing in Chiang Mai, we stayed at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. Upon entering the hotel, we were greeted with an orchid lei and watermelon drink. Our luggage was whisked to our rooms, while we were being formally checked in. Within 20 minutes, we were in our large, air-conditioned room. The entire resort could rate 4 stars on the American scale. While at the hotel, we enjoyed a 1 1/2 hour, in-room Thai massage for under $20 per person. If you don’t mind being climbed on and contorted, this form of massage is rejuvenating. The hotel is located in the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex, the largest and most complete Shopping arcade in Thailand''s northern region. Si...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2001

Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew
21 HUAY KAEW ROAD
Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200
6653224333

Songkran Festival - Public festivities

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Story/Tip

Songkran Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
My mother and I visited Chiang Mai during the Songkran festival, which takes place every year from April 13 to 15. Songkran is a sacred festival where worshipers bathe the Phra Budda Sihing image. Similar to Christian religions, Buddhists consider water a blessing. While Christians are either dunked in a river or sprinkled with water during a baptism once in their lives, Thai Buddhists take the waters to the extreme every year. Along Sam Lan Road and other places in the city, mostly teenagers and college students gather to ‘bless each other’ by spraying water at passers by. We got to see the spectacle from a tour bus, but I would have loved to get out there in the fray. Imagine, people sta...Read More

Songkran Festival - Private festivities

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Story/Tip

Water blessing Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
While we were in Chiang Mai, our tour group had an opportunity to visit a Songkran party at a private residence. We joined Tommy Tang's friends and family to celebrate the holiday. The traditional teakwood home was decorated with large silver bowls full of fresh water and rose petals. As we entered the party, the hostess welcomed us in the traditional Thai way - by putting her hands together and bowing. Then she draped each of us with an orchid necklace. We attended a Thai cooking class where they taught us how to make sticky rice and assorted dips, using traditional methods. The class was held on their back porch, facing a courtyard fountain. In the backyard, we could hear the f...Read More

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

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Attraction | "Wat Doi Suthep and the hill tribes"

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple) Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
We visited Wat Doi Suthep in April, during Songkran, the Thai New Year and Water Festival. To reach the temple, we took a gondola up the mountain, after our bus ride. Upon arriving at the temple, we took off our shoes in respect for tradition. The temple was full of worshippers, including saffron robed monks. After the entrance, we walked by a large gong. Thai Buddhist tradition states that if you hit the gong and pray, the gods in heaven will hear your prayer. I prayed for a safe and entertaining journey, and my prayers came true. Of all the Thai temples, for me, Wat Doi Suthep seemed the most spiritual and authentic. Maybe it was the altitude, but I felt that I was walking through the threshol...Read More

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

Chiang Mai, Thailand 50300

Elephant Camp at Mae Ta Marn

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Two Elephants Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
During my visit to Chiang Mai in 1998, my mother and I had an opportunity to visit the Elephant camp at Mae Ta Marn. This camp offered elephant rides, ox cart rides, bamboo raft rides, and an elephant training show. We started our adventure by climbing up a platform, so that we could easily mount the elephant. A capable handler was aboard the elephant’s head, and kept control of the beast at all times. The ride took us through the light bamboo jungle. Most of the time, the animal walked through the soft mud of a small creek. Our guide explained to us that by walking in the cool creek waters, the elephant was staying cool and not taxing its joints. Along the way, it continually pulled ...Read More

The Night Market

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The night bazaar offers a striking blend of Asian handicrafts. Batiks, wood sculptures, Cambodian puppets, silks, and hill tribe textiles and musical instruments were all there. The vendors at the bazaar were mostly young women. They generally spoke some English, and were not pushy. They seemed to enjoy bargaining as much as we did. We ended up with our arms loaded with our treasures. I purchased a large wood and wire-stringed floor guitar from a Hill Tribesman for under $6. The two piece cotton batik outfits were about $6 after some bargaining, and beautiful wood barrettes were $1 each. One word of warning. One of our group went to the market on the next night. Her purse was slashed ...Read More