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A Week in Chiang Mai


Piece Corp

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"The Rose of the North", the hub of northern Thailand, 5th largest city in the kingdom.  It had been over a decade since I was here, brought a girl from Nana Plaza and we did an elephant camp, river r

About the traffic, I thought the biggest problem was crossing the streets around the moat during rush hour.  It's much worse than Pattaya Second Road, but I don't recall it being any better 10 years a

Here are some photos from my visit last month.  I flew from Bangkok on VietJet Air for 641 baht each way. Again, stayed at the Ramming Lodge.  

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Thanks for these beautiful pics. 8 years since I last went to Chiang Mai, might be time for a return visit.

 

Heard the traffic is much heavier these days. Did you find this to be the case?

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LIVE MUSIC

 

North Gate Jazz Co-op

 

A tiny, hole-in-the-wall bar with (sometimes) great music, but can be hit-and-miss other times.  Jack and Coke, 180 baht.  Highly recommended. :Clap:

 

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The Brasserie Rhythm and Blues

 

The sign out front said live music at 7 PM, but didn't start until 9. 

 

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Boy Blues Bar

 

Not a gay hangout but a rooftop blues bar in the Kalare Night Bazaar.  Just follow the music when you hear Willie Dixon's Hoochie Choochie Man.  Jack Daniels & Coke 130 baht.  Singha Beer 80 baht.

 

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Rasta Cafe

 

The band was partial to Red Hot Chilli Peppers.  I was twice the age of anyone else in the bar but I was having a flashback.  Long Island Iced Tea, 250 baht.

 

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Sax

 

They no longer feature live music upstairs (maybe during high season), but I enjoyed the ambiance of this place.  Margaritas 75 baht during happy hour.

 

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Discos

 

There's Bubbles, adjacent the PornPing Tower hotel.  Didn't have the opportunity to check it out.

 

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Backpacker Bars

 

A set of bars around Zoe in Yellow, near the 3 Kings Monument on Ratwithi.  They were setting up for their 6 year anniversary party.

 

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Next: EATS

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About the traffic, I thought the biggest problem was crossing the streets around the moat during rush hour.  It's much worse than Pattaya Second Road, but I don't recall it being any better 10 years ago. 

 

EATS

 

Khao Soi

 

The local dish.  Noddles in yellow curry, topped with crispy noodles, add a chicken leg and you've got a tasty lunch for 40 baht.

 

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La Terrasse

 

In an ally off Loi Kroh, just a few blocks from Raming Lodge, this place is fantastic.  I ordered the plate du jour, duck breast with mango in red vinegar sauce flamed in Grand Marnier (420 baht) with a half liter of red (590 baht) and creme brulee for desert (150 baht).  A truly outstanding meal for 1160, considering most of the cost was for the wine, and they presented the check with a fine chocolate truffle, and without government tax or service charge added.

 

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La Fourchette

 

Across the street from Wat Chedi Luang, casual setting.  I ordered the plate du jour, duck confit in triple cherry sauce.  The waitress said it takes 8 hours to prepare the sauce, and I can believe it. 

 

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Miguels Cafe

 

Fresh Mex, chicken burrito for 170 baht.  I like my burritos a bit larger but the price was very reasonable.  Service was also very good, after I finished my strawberry margaritas the waitress asked if I'd like another pitcher.

 

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El Diablo's Burritos

 

Burritos were larger than Miguel's, and complimentary chips and salsa, but margaritas were much more expensive, 150 baht vs just 90 baht, although I believe they used better tequila.

 

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I was surprised to see so many Mexican restaurants.  I'm sure they also had some fine Italian restaurants but I didn't have the opportunity to try any.

 

Next: Attractions

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Nice photos thanks for taking time, stayed at Raming Lodge myself and really enjoyed the area. Some people have posted on previous topicS that there is not a lot going on, which i never understood as I always had plenty to do there. Hopefullly your photos show the plenty of bars that are about if you look

 

 

Big C

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Thanks for the great pics of the city and the food. I'll be heading there in a few weeks myself. I have a girl that is about an 8 and she wants to come along. Do you suggest bringing someone or were there plenty of women? I keep hearing the scene is dead and it's better to bring a travel companion.

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Was in CM a few months ago, I really like the place a lot.  Never really found decent live music while I was there, so thanks for the suggestions for next time.

 

Raming is great, if you want a late checkout they'll do it for 100 baht/hour.

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Thanks for the report. I'll be in Chiang Mai for the first time in 2 weeks and staying at Raming Lodge for 3 nights. Then riding a motorcycle to Pai

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..............................................................

You climb the stairs and pay 150 baht for a drink coupon before entering.  They do it this way after losing so many potential customers that entered the bar and left without buying a drink.  Get the picture?

.......................................................

 

Do I take it that you declined?

The idea is often mooted in Pattaya but I can't see it working (OK some do it with some customers) unless most of the GoGos did it in unison.

 

Great report with quality photos.

Very comprehensive and brilliantly presented.

I've been there once, but didn't see much of what you showed.

 

Is there a competition for counting how many times the hat made an appearance?   :WinkGrin1:

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No Edge, I didn't decline.  Just advising others as to what they might expect.

 

Attractions

 

Wat Chedi Luang

 

Right in the middle of town, the remains of a massive temple damaged by an earthquake in 1545, when it was home to THE Emerald Buddha.  Dating from the 14th century, must respect these magnificent structures that stand the test of time.

 

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Wat Phra Singh

 

In the western part of the city, also from the 14th century.  You can catch a songthaew in front to take you up the mountain to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep for 50 baht (one way), if you don't mind waiting until it fills up.  Tour operators ask for 700 round trip. I visited there during my first trip so I won't cover it in this thread, but it should be considered a 'must see'. You can see Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep through the haze in the upper right:

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What I remember of Wat Phra Singh during my first trip was how a farang stole my new Nike tennis shoes I had left outside when I entered the temple, so beware.  We waited until everyone left and found a beat up-pair of New Balance, two sizes too small, but I had to wear them until I could find some shoes in my size.

 

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There are lots of other beautiful old temples in the city.

 

Night Bazaar

 

A huge indoor-outdoor market, including the Kalare Night Bazaar and Anusarn Market, selling handicrafts.

 

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Sunday Walking Street Market

 

Every Sunday at 4 PM, they close Ratchadamnoen Road for the Sunday market.  Goods appear to be of a higher quality than the Night Bazaar, and prices may also be better, because you see Thais shopping there.

 

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Next: Monkey School, Karen Village, Crocodile Farm, and Tiger Kingdom

Edited by Piece Corp
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I hired a tuk-tuk driver for a half-day to take me to some of the tourist attractions to the north.

 

Monkey School

 

Monkeys doing cute tricks, performing amazing feats, shooting free throws and climbing the pole for a slam dunk, diving for coins, etc.  Good fun and only 200 baht admission.

 

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Karen Village

 

The long neck folks, selling some cool handicrafts.  Admission to their village was 500 baht, pretty steep.  Everyone was very pleasant and polite, for 500 baht they should be.

 

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Crocodile Farm

 

Some guy kissing crocodiles, putting his head into their mouths, and reaching into their stomachs.  For 300 baht, I'd give it a pass.

 

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Tiger Kingdom

 

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Like Pussy?

 

Next: City Arts and Cultural Center, Chaing Mai Zoo and Aquarium

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There is so little info out there on CM, so your report is awesome. One of the more recent videos on youtube breaks down the bar scene quite nicely.

Http://www.Youtube.com/watch?v=tK5sD6aWNqY Can't wait to see the rest of your Trip Report.

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My hat's off to you for this report. I am heading there next week and also staying at the Raming Lodge. Thanks very much. I owe you a cold one.

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Thanks much for the comments.

 

Chaing Mai City Arts and Culture Center

 

Housed in a 1920's building on Prapoklao Road, near the 3 Kings Monument, that was formerly Provincial Hall, a multi-media display of the history and evolution of the city, as an independent capital to the present day.  Visitors are shown a movie, subtitled in English, to promote an understanding of Chaing Mai's roots, and a set of exhibits.  Admission 90 baht.

 

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Even the local history of the farang is included. :Good_One:

 

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Chaing Mai Zoo and Aquarium

 

A 200 acre zoo with 400 species represented, including giant pandas from China, koalas from Australia, penguins from South America, the only Indian rhino in Thailand, a happy family of hippopotamuses, flamingos, zebras, giraffes,ostriches, lions, tigers, camels, sheep :Fuck_Sheep:  and many varieties of birds.

 

100 baht you unlimited access to the shuttle bus and tram.

 

I split my pictures into another thread here: :Photo1:

http://www.pattaya-addicts.com/forum/topic/245201-photos-from-the-chaing-mai-zoo-and-aquarium/

 

 

Some of the exhibits also required an extra ticket.  The panda exhibit for example, was 100 baht extra.  For 150 baht, you were allowed 20 minute access to the snow-dome, a facility with controlled temperature of -7 degrees. :Cool3:   There really wasn't any snow, just ice.  They provide a winter coat and boots, and the Thais bundled up, but it wasn't so cold my my standards, in fact I couldn't even see my breath.  They provided an inner tube that you could take upstairs and slide down an ice rink.  Otherwise, I just sat around until my time was up, thinking what a rip-off this was, but when I went back outside I felt instantly refreshed.  It didn't feel uncomfortably hot anymore.  This nirvana lasted for about 10-15 minutes until my body temperature caught up and I reverted to being hot and sticky.

 

The acquarium also requires an extra ticket, 225 baht I think, and was quite disappointing.  There were a few small sharks  :Scared2:  and some exotic fish but really not much.  I'd skip it next time.

 

Next: Sayuri Soapy massage

Edited by Piece Corp
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Considering a stop off here next year do tks for the info, judging by some of the prices you've listed it seems surprisingly pricy. What areas would yiu recommend staying?

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It's not pricy at all, except for the price of Guiness. I stayed on Loi Kroh Road, a block from the moat. My room was 1500 but there are plenty of inexpensive guesthouses and the inner city is quite compact. Like European cities, you can just roam aimlessly and be almost guaranteed of eventually stumbling upon something interesting.

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Thoroughly enjoying this report.  Never been to CM but i will defo do it in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to present this.

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