Chiang Mai - Page 2
Hotels and guest houses are available to suit every pocket from single rooms with a fan to luxury suites. Several of the larger hotels are located on Huay Kaew road which leads to Doi Suthep.
Located in the heart of Chiang Mai, it boasts excellent accomodation
and a rare combination of hospitality and service, that is hard to find
Lai-Thai Guest House
120 Northern Thai-style fan or A/C rooms each with private hot/cold
shower, notable for high level of service and excellent location. Amenties
include a swimming pool, an international cuisine restuarant, 24-hours
phone and fax service, trekking and sight-seeing tour, safe deposit
box, laundry service, free pick-up, etc.
Huay Nam Lom
Royal Princess, Chiangmai
Food and Drink
There are numerous food stalls serving noodles, curries, seafood and speciality dishes located with the old city walls. Just west of Chiang Mai Gate is a large night market where you can wile away an evening eating and drinking. International and Thai food buffets are available at the larger hotels.
First class and tourist class hotels usually have a disco, and all have bars, several of which feature live music. Charoenrat Road on the east side of the Ping river also has plenty of night time entertainment.
First port of call for bargain hunters has to be the night bazaar which is located mid way between the old city and the Ping river. The market has an extensive selection of Thai and northern Thai goods are low prices, but you will have to bargain.
Shops selling hill tribe crafts, silk, silverware, lacquer ware, carvings and beautiful paper umbrellas can be found all over the city. Chiang Mai is a good place to buy furniture, and there are several workshops which will arrange for shipping to your home country.
Balloon flights in Chang Mai are a "once in a lifetime" experience and a through highlight to any vacation in Thailand.
Photographers can get fine aerial views of Chiang Mai from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep which is located near the summit of Mount Doi Suthep. A staircase in the shape of a dragon-headed serpent leads up to the Wat from the mountain road.
The daily "elephants at work" show, about one hour by bus from Chiang Mai, is strictly for tourists but still worth a visit.
More adventurous souls might prefer one of the many trekking tours. These can be arranged through most hotels and travel agents.
Wat Prahat Doi Suthep
Close by is Wat Prahat Doi Suthep. The temple contains a highly venerated relic of Lord Buddha, which was brought to Chiang Mai and presented to King Kuenna, in the fourteenth century. The story goes that the King sent out an elephant with the relics on its back, and it climbed the mountain steadily. Then, quite suddenly, it died of a heart attack, so that spot was chosen for the temple.
The temple is located about 16 kilometres from the city and can be reached by road. The final ascent to the temple is via a highly decorative Naga staircase. For those who cannot manage the steps a cable car has been installed.
In the outer courtyard anyone can wander and there is splendid collection the bronze bells. From that level there is a beautiful view down onto the city way below.
To enter the inner courtyard of the temple all must be properly dressed, which means no short trousers or bare tops. There are paintings of historical and mythical scenes all round the inner courtyard between the 4 chapels that surround the central golden stuppa.
Chiang Mai Zoo
At the foot of Doi Suthep is the Chiang Mai zoo, which is well worth a visit. The grounds are extensive and vehicles are allowed in. In fact that is the best way to get around as the individual enclosures are well spaced and often hidden from each other in a jungle type setting.
The penguin enclosure was pleasantly cool, and quite popular with the Thais for the same reason. It was a shame they do not clean the glass to give a better view of the birds.
A new building houses the Pandas that arrived from China in 2003
Crafts Following the old road to San Khampaeng leads through the craft area of Chiang Mai where factories co-exist with the shops. This gives visitors the chance to see how the items are made, before making their purchases. Products include teak and bamboo furniture; the distinctive pottery of Thai Celadon, silverware, parasols and hand held fans, to mention a few.
Moon On Caves
About 30 kilometres beyond the village of San Khampaeng, are the San Khampaeng Hot Springs. However just before the springs it is worth taking the turning to the left to visit the Moon On caves. At the foot of the hill is an attractive Chinese Temple. The road then climbs much higher up the hill to the caves.
A visit to the Moon On caves is only for the fit. Firstly there is a long climb up a Naga staircase from the car park, before reaching the entrance to the caves. The caves are well lit and there are young guides available to point out the major sites, which are also Buddhist shrines. However to reach the famous stalagmite it is necessary to climb down a long concrete staircase, which means it is along climb back up to exit the caves.
the last few years the hot springs have been developed and are now surrounded
by a very attractive and mature garden. The water comes bubbling out
of the ground at a temperature of
There are also two geysers spouting a continuous flow of hot water into the air.
Bath houses are available for rent by the hour, for individuals or family groups to enjoy the waters or if you prefer there is also a swimming pool that is fed with the warm water. TOP
Larger hotels have swimming pools, tennis courts and gymnasiums.
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