Chiang Mai Journals

Chiang Mai – Week 1 of 4 of Thailand trip

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A November 2001 trip to Chiang Mai by lcampbell

Akha woman  Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand More Photos
Quote: This journal covers the first week of our one month trip to Thailand with a company called Intrepid Small Group Adventures. We spent the first week in Chiang Mai and the surrounding area. For weeks 2-4, see my journals about Kanchanaburi, Khao Sok National Park, Krabi, and Bangkok.

Chiang Mai – Week 1 of 4 of Thailand trip

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Overview

Akha woman  Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
After arriving in Thailand, spending 24 crazy hours in Bangkok, and then catching an overnight sleeper train, we arrived in Chiang Mai still struggling to shake the jetlag and also trying to constantly absorb the new culture all around us. I was reeling with all of the colors and noise. New smells. New language. Crazy traffic. It was more subdued in Chiang Mai than Bangkok, so it wasn’t too long before I had a better chance to soak in the country and culture without feeling completely overwhelmed. But still, a new culture is a new culture. We spent one week in the Chiang Mai area. Our group size was nine, and we were all ready for the first part of our month long trip together with Intr...Read More

Lannathai Guesthouse

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Hotel

Lannathai Guesthouse Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
The Lannathai Guesthouse in Chiang Mai is a nice family owned business. There are standard rooms (somewhat old) with 1 or 2 beds and a bathroom. Some have air conditioning and some have fans. We had fans, but as it is cooler in the northern part of Thailand, fans are all we needed. The beds seemed old and worn, but they were still comfortable and the bedding was clean. I did see a monster sized cockroach – but this is to be expected anywhere in a tropical climate. The same family runs a small (four table) restaurant on the property and also a guide service. We were able to send our laundry out from the reception desk. We were also able to lock up our valuables in the safe at the recepti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Lannathai Guesthouse
41/8 Soi 6 Loikroh Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand
(053) 275563

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

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Attraction | "Doi Suthep – Wat Prathat"

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple) Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
We went for an evening visit to an amazing Buddhist temple (wat). It is named for the huge gold-covered pagoda (prathat) that is located there, and is located on a 1057 meter mountain called Doi Suthep. On the drive from our guesthouse to the wat, our local guide joined us and told us a bit of history of the old city of Chiang Mai which was the capital of the Lannathai region that existed before Thailand was a country. We saw the old wall around the city as well as the moat, which is now enhanced with fountains and others decorations. After we got through the city, we saw a memorial to a monk at the base of the mountain. Our guide said that it was this monk, along with the first king of Lannatha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

Chiang Mai, Thailand 50300

Hilltribe Trek – Siam Adventures

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Attraction

Hilltribe Trek – Siam Adventures Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
By far the highlight of our entire trip to Thailand was the four day, three night backpacking trip to Hilltribe Villages located inside Huai Nam Dung National Park. There are six different hilltribes living in Thailand, each with their own customs and language. The one thing they have in common is that they are refugees – having been forced to leave their native lands in China, Burma, Tibet, Cambodia, and Loas because those governments did not want them. Thailand is friendly to these people, so they have found stable homes in the mountain areas. The tribes survive on farming and tourism. In the past, some tribes grew opium, but this has been actively discouraged by the Thai government and is not ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Hilltribe Trek – Siam Adventures
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Night Bazaar

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Attraction

Quote:
The Night Bazaar, or Night Market, starts up around 5pm each night in Chiang Mai. The general location is Changklan Road, which was about a 5 minute walk from our guesthouse. There is a large building used for a "food court" called a coupon market because you buy coupons at a central location and then browse the food counters and trade your coupons for food. The only reason I could see for the coupon system was that only one place would have to handle money and the food vendors would not have to try to get change, etc. We saw similar coupon markets in the train station and other places. Near the tables was a stage where traditional Thai dances were performed every night. There is no charge ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Night Bazaar
104-1 Chang Klan Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand 50100
+66 53 235 575

Bamboo rafting

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Attraction

Bamboo rafting Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
We went on a day trip from our guesthouse which was not included in our Intrepid trip. A driver took us on about a one hour drive into the mountains. It was a great drive and we saw elephants along the way. We were dropped off pretty much in the middle of nowhere and were taken down to the river and shown our rafts. These were the most interesting contraptions I’ve ever seen: approximately ten pieces of bamboo, each about 4 inches in diameter and 40 feet long, with a couple cross pieces (including one for us to sit on) and strapped together with deflated bicycle tires. So they were floating there waiting for us to climb on…. But how fast was this water moving? Were we going to go over rapi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Bamboo rafting
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wandering around Chiang Mai

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Attraction

Wandering around Chiang Mai Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
My husband and I had a free day away from the group, so rather than book an optional day trip or cooking class, we decided to wander around Chiang Mai. It is possible to walk in any direction and find countless Buddhist temples. Temples are open to the public and are free of charge. We decided to combine a temple tour with an eating tour, alternating a walk through a temple with a snack or drink. Very yummy, I highly recommend this method of sightseeing. We did this for a while until we reached the wall and moat around the old city of Chiang Mai. The brick wall consists of original intact sections, restored sections, and piles of debris where the wall used to be. The moat sections have b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Wandering around Chiang Mai
The streets of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant ride

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Attraction

Elephant ride Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
When they are born, elephants are assigned to an owner called a mahout. Since elephants can live 60 years, and only sleep 4 hours a day, you could say that the mahouts live essentially as a slave to their elephants. Paula and I had a discussion about how at first, riding on elephants may seem to contradict Intrepid’s philosophy, but it actually does not. There are only about 3000 elephants left in the wild but they are not well protected as the National Parks in Thailand have some corruption in them. Elephants end up being killed, so they are actually better protected when they are not in the wild. But many mahouts cannot afford to feed these gigantic beasts since the elephants can often no longe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Elephant ride
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hilltribe trek (continued)

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Story/Tip

River crossing Photo, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Quote:
is having to keep the pace to that of the slowest member. So while some of us did not find the hiking challenging (but it was still fun), others were maxed out with the heat, humidity, and steep hills. All meals were provided and prepared by our guides. What a delight to be served a fabulous noodle dish for our first lunch right on the trail. The meal was served on banana leaves that were picked by our guides along the hike. No washing dishes for this bunch! After lunch we passed through a small village of about 40. It wasn’t much farther until we reached the village where we would spend the night. This village was called Ban Pa Gluay (village of bananas) and it had 140 people (21 famil...Read More