Chiang Mai is a short flight or an overnight train ride from Bangkok
Yet it feels like a different planet.
Chiang Mai & the Golden Triangle are in the foot hills of the Himalayan Mountains .. the air is sweet & cool .. the lifestyle relaxed.
Bangkok Train Station: Hua Lamphong (w/ link to Thai train schedules)
The Bangkok to Chiang Mai Train is HIGHLY recommended. Get a 'sleeper room / private compartment' with picture window.
View unspoiled mountainous tropical jungle out your rail car private room's picture window
The 'coolest hot rod', :-o)) , water taxis are on the Mekong .. at the Golden Triangle.
Best Thai water taxi rides.. get it on!..
An exhilarating blast!
Chiang Mai is located on the serene Mai Ping River in a beautiful mountain valley.
A beautiful full day drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Song tranverses a remote mountainous region near the Burmese border
The full day drive to Mae Hong Song from Chiang Mai is worth the time.
Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive.~ Robert M. Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
It is famous for the famous "Long Necked" Karen tribal women.
A few miles from modern Chiang Mai the Yao & Karen hill tribes live a traditional tribal existence. The older tribe members are often less receptive to the influx of 'hill tribe tourists'
csmngt.com has entered into an associate partnership with Thailand's #1 online hotel booking agent. We use R24 for our trips outside Bangkok.
Hotels in the Chiang Mai Golden Triangle area.
Elephant trek, river rafting, hiking .. any or all .. for days.
The drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son is spectacular. Mae Hong Song's Karen Tribal persons are famous for their 'long necked women'.
Mae Hong Son has a commercial airport, but a 2 day car excursion from Chiang Mai is something that you will not forget.
Hire a modern car with a bilingual driver for 2000 Tbt per day. (US$50., EU45, AUS$65.) Mr. Kon <66> 2 2294681 (2) can make all the arrangements.
Mountain treks through the rugged mountains are available from numerous commercial locations in all the Golden Triangle cities.
Check out trekthailand.net
This is a area of Burmese guerilla / native tribes people / Thai Police... ummm, on going heated discussion... and is on a major Golden Triangle drug smuggling route.
Golden Triangle: Where Thailand, Laos & Myanmar meet. A tourist community has sprung up at that point.
As is the case throughout Thailand, 5000 Tbt 'western chain hotels' are located adjacent to 800 Tbt hotels.
Often the best locations are held by Thai hotels not the 'Johnny come lately western globalized corporate' hotels.
Several extremely nice 800 BT( less than $20. per night ) hotels are located adjacent to the the original 14th century wall.
Both the Lai Thai & Mongri are highly recommended.
The Mongri has the best coffee & bakery in town! Charlie's Coffee shop / restaurant is in the lobby!
The Mongri is concrete commercial unaesthetic sterile construction.
The front rooms look down over the Tao Pao Gate & the walled city court yard.
Very nice walks through the old city & residential neighborhoods are directly behind the Mongri.
The Lai Thai Hotel's outdoor / cabana dining area, by the nice swimming pool, looks over the 600 year old wall / moat.
The use of teak wood at the Lai Thai is wonderful.
With my 'coffee kit', :-) , I much prefer the Lai Thai.
or take nice 2 block stroll past the old city's wall / moat to Charlie's Coffee.
Much of Chiang Mai's original 'wall & moat' remain. In fact, it's hard to go anywhere in Chiang Mai without passing the old city.
Luxury hotels are located both in Chiang Mai's center & on the Mai Ping River.
Nice restaurant bars with 'lite' entertainment line the Mai Ping River.
Check out the "Riverside Restaurant" across the Mai Ping River from town center, near the 'flower market foot bridge".
Located across the Mai Ping River from city center.... cross the 'flower market foot bridge", exit right.
2 short blocks to the right.
& there are several more very nice river view restaurants & 'patio bars' with entertainment within 2 blocks... all the way to the 'auto traffic bridge'.
Mai Sai is one of the few official crossings points into Burma.
Mai Sai with the hills of Burma in background.
Previously it was common for long term visitors to cross over into Burma from Mai Sai, get their passport stamped & immediately return back into Thailand for another 30 day Thai tourist visa.
So there were lots of long term 'Thai visitors' (known as visa runners .. this loophole was closed in October, 2006) around the hotels of Mai Sai / Chiang Rai.
Mai Sai, on the Burmese border, is a shopping bonanza. Shops stuffed with antiquities smuggled out of communist Burma.
There is a jade factory in Mai Sai that has boulders of Burmese Jade on display!
It's about 50 meters from the Burmese border on a side Soi off to the right (facing Burma crossing) 1/2 block.
Mainly a 'sweat shop', 50 Burmese women working at wet stones polishing jade.
Using hand polishers driven by long belts.
There is a shop on the right, immediately before the immigration stations.
If you got time... days.. days worth of stuff.. ancient stuff smuggled out of Burma.. ancient carvings covered in dust stored next to her new Mercedes.
Has the feel of a US resale shop, except the piles are of stone antiquities, antiques & tribal handicrafts.
More architectural stuff than any of Hong Kong Central's famous Hollywood Road shops.
Sweet talk her & she'll take you to the basement collection, actually piles of dusty ancient stuff .. next to her polished new Mercedes sedan!
Night & day difference between the Thai & Lao sides!
293-kilogram (646-pound) giant catfish caught from the Mekong River near Chiang Rai.
Thai stories (reputedly documented?) of pink sparkling balls of ‘Serpent Lights’ that arise from the Mekong River just after sunset on the last day of Buddhist lent.
In October there are multiple local events in the Golden Triangle / Northern Thailand for the Bang Fii Paya Naag or ‘Serpent Lights'.
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P&P Travel in the CNX Office Building Tel: 053 272-545 Fax:053 279-261 #243 Thapae Road. About 100meters down from Thapea Gate firstname.lastname@example.org
For a 'second opinion' check with Ka Poppy at Goodman Travel, 50 meters further down Thapae Road on your left Tel: 053 874-350