Phone code 053, $1US=38B, June 15, 2006

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Chiang Mai, used be the one of the most popular destinations for travelers because of its cool climate, relaxing atmosphere and Northern Thai culture. Following rapid growth and development it has lost much of its charm. It is now a standard modern Thai city, crowded, noisy polluted roads. However it is still the gateway to the North and a good base for trekking and visiting hill-tribes. There are also a number of sights to enjoy around the city.

The historical city, surrounded by a moat has many temples and old architecture. The area between the old city & the river is the shopping Mecca, with the night market and numerous shops specializing in handicrafts, ethnic style clothing, jewelry.

! Attention: Most of the sights listed below have not been checked by our staff. Use the info below just as a reference for your trip.

Old City
S Wat Chiang Man:
Rachpakinai Rd. Nr Chang Phuak Gate, NE of the city 9:00-17:00
Built by King Mendai in 1296. Oldest temple in Chiang Mai. Teak wood temple, classic example of northern Thai architecture. Houses 2 important Buddha images, Phra Sae Tang Tamani - 10 cm high crystal Buddha, Phra Sila - Stone Buddha. Both are dowsed with water and carried through the streets during the Songkran Festival.
S Wat Phra Singh: Temple of the Lion Buddha
W of old city near Suan Dawk Gate.
Built 1345-1400 by King Pha Vu. Contains several attractive buildings. Houses Phra Singh, a 1500-year-old Buddha image.
Water is thrown on Buddha during Songkran festival.
S Buak Hat Public Park SW corner of the old city 5:00-22:00
S Wat Chedi Luang: Built in 1401 by King Saen Suang Ma. Contains the remain of what was Chiang Mai's largest chedi - 86m high. Destroyed in the earthquake of 1545 and the 1775 war against the Burmese. Also houses a 15th C standing golden Buddha.
S Wat Saen Fang: Attractive, quiet temple compound.

Outside of Old City/New City
S Night Market: A huge shopping complex, and street stalls, 100's of stalls selling handicrafts, clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, etc. Bargaining is customary.
S Chiang Mai Univ.: Houses a Library
Tribal Research Institute SW corner of the Univ.
Has a museum with Hill-tribe displays. M-F8:30-16:30
Library Next to the institute. Excellent material on the Hill- tribes. Visit before trekking. Sells books and tapes of Hill-tribe music
S Chiang Mai Arboretum: Huay Kaew Rd.
S Chiang Mai Zoo: next to Chiang Mai Arboretum 20B 8:00-18:00
S Wat Suan Dawk: off Suthep Rd
Built 1383 by King Ku Na. Chedis in the compound contain the ashes of Chiang Mai's royal family.
Traditional Thai massage Ask for details.
Temple of flower garden Originally a garden for Royalty, Now a Royal cemetery.
S Wat U Mong: Suthep Rd.
Forest temple. Dates from 14th C. Contains a Fasting Buddha statue. Gallery of modern religious art.
Buddha figures are housed in tunnels in the nearby hill.
S Wat Ram Poeng:
Houses Northern Insight Meditation Center.
S Chiang Mai National Museum: NW of the city.
Exhibits on Buddhism and Thai daily life.
S Wat Chet Yot: Built in 1455 by King Tilokaraja. Modeled on Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, India. Two trees within the complex are supposed to be descendants of the Bodhi tree Buddha was sitting under when he achieved enlightenment.
S River cruise: From Navaratt Bridget next to the Riverside Rest. 10, 12, 14, 16, 17:30 , 45min trip. 250B/p, More details T274822.
S Tribal Museum: Ratchamangkla Park. Go N 4km from the N gate of the old city. Just after you see the sign, turn left to the Park. Go all way to the back gate of the park. The museum is just over the lake. 9:00-16:00 free. Small exhibition but quality is very good. It is possible but quite hard to go there by bicycle.
S Wat Gate Area: E side of the river, opp from Waroro Market. You can walk cross the river with a foot bridge over the river from the market. It was a pier area for boats from Bangkok and Ayutthaya. Now many old houses are well kept and many interesting antique shops, river side restaurants and Islam shops can be seen around this area. Nice to walk around. Specially you can enjoy dinner at a table overlooking the river in a cool evening. Sometime with live music.
Recommended restaurants in free papers:
Lagondola Italian restaurant: (N from another bridge, Sapan Nakom Ping: N from the foot bridge), Riverside restaurant, Goodview, many Islam restaurant around the mosque(continuation of the pedestrian bridge to E). Shops:
Royal Prince Collage:
on Kaew Nawarat Rd, E from Sapan Nakom Ping. Colonial house, a museum
Nussara weaving shop: just S from the foot bridge. Lanna style old house
Three House antique shop: N from foot bridge.
S Nimmanhaemin Rd and its soi.: about 1.5km W from old CM. New shopping street where you can find art and home interior furnishings. It is used to be a street for students, mainly CM University. Famous ones are Art d-sine, Tallteak Plaza, Bright Beats, etc. Bus #6 is running.

Outside of Town
S Bor Sang 9km E from Chiang Mai. Paper umbrella village.
Can see umbrellas being made in the many workshops. Standard souvenirs are very cheap. There are maps in the village but all info are outdated. But no problem to find shops and factories.
S San Kamphaeng: 4km on from Bor Sang. Cotton/ silk weaving village. Transport, Buses to Bor Sang & San Kamphaeng from N side of Charoen Muang Rd. or White minibus(songthiaw) from Sanpakoi Market. Also many shops and factories are on the road to Kamphaeng town.
S Kamphaeng Hot spring: another 20km from the Kamphaeng.. It is well directed with road signs. entrance fee 20B Ideal place for picnic. You can boil eggs as you like. 20B for 6 eggs.
Swimming pool 50B, shower 15B, bathtub 30B/p, Hut with a tub 100B/hr. Group tub 200B/hr.
S Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: 16km from Chiang Mai.
One of the most visited sights. The 24m high golden chedi is visible from the city. Great views from the top. 300 step climb or take cable car - 5B donation. Wear modest clothing.
Meditation classes available. Ask for info.
from Mani Noparat Rd, Nr Chang Puak Gate and in front of Wat Phrasing, W of the old city. 50B return. Taxi 200B return.
Songthaew to/from bottom of hill - 30B up, 20B down.
Many ride bicycles to the bottom of the hill and take transport up to the top.
S Phu Phing Palace: 5km past temple.
Winter residence of Royal family. Gardens open F-Su 8:30-16:30 when the Royal Family is not staying here.
Transport Mini bus to Doi Suthep also stops here.
S Doi Pui Meo Village: Hmong village. Very touristy but has an opium and a hill-tribe museum.
Transport Songthaew from Doi Suthep.
S Thai Elephant Conservation Camp: Take blue minibus(Songthiaw) just in front of TAT 10B

Mae Sa Valley
Scenic road runs between Mae Rim(15 km N from Chiang Mai) to ? has many tourist attraction which is ideal day trip from Chiang Mai. You may hire a tuk-tuk or motor bike.
S Snake Farm 3.5km from Mea Rim100B Cobra show 11:30, 14:15, 15:30 Transport Bus from Chang Phuak Rd to Mae Rim. From there take Songthaew or motorbike taxi 30B.
Many GH's organize tours for about
S Mae Sa Waterfalls 10B/p Motor bike 10B 7.5km from Mea Rim
S Mae Sa Elephant Training Camps, T053-297060, 10km from Me Rim 8:00-15:00 show 8:00, 9:40, 13:30(High season) entrance 80B, elephant ridding 600B/2p/30min., 1000B/2p/1hr, 3 min short ride 80B/p info: Photo with elephants 20B.
S Orchid & Butterfly Farm 7:00-17:00. 20B
S Mae Sa Valley Craft village : Recreational Park 12km from Me Rim. many facilities surrounded by beautiful garden. Many art programs provided. popular with Thais. Entrance 20B, lunch+entrance 200B. Programs such as umbrella making, ceramics courses starts from 600B

Chiang Mai is the Admin center for trekking activities. Treks start from various locations usually the further from Chiang Mai the better. The main elements of trekking are hiking through jungle areas and spending time in hill-tribe villages, other activities such as rafting, elephant riding, motor bike trekking, opium smoking (illegal) may also be included.
Treks last 1-7 days, cost Day trip
700B, 1 night 2 days-1200B, 2 nights and 3 days-1400B+ including all equipment. More expensive if you book at the GH. There is a lot of competition between trekking companies so look around, find out what is included, check if the guide has a TAT license or not, the quality for the equipment, safe box availability during your trip, etc. Compare, ask other travelers for recommendations.
If you don't like to be offered "drugs", please make sure before you leave, many cheap trekking tours guides offer it to compensate their cost.
Beside, Chiang Mai, Pai and Mae Hong Son are famous for trekking base. They offer different tours.
Warning :
It's common to leave valuables in GH safe's whilst trekking. In a number of cases credit cards have been 'borrowed' and used.

Famous Trekking Co's
Eagle GH T235387 3days 1950B,4 days 2150B
Libra GH T210687 3days 1,500B,
The Trekking Collective T419080
Chiang Mai Green T& T T274374
GAP House GH 3 days, 1500B Highly Rec
for Doi Inthanon national Park

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