It is a Thai custom to wai when you meet people. Hugging and kissing is not appropriate, especially in public. The wai is the meeting of the hands under the chin, or higher, depending on status. You should give a higher wai to a monk, especially an older monk (up to the forehead), a higher wai to old people and your parents (if your Thai, which you'd know already). The Buddha deserves the highest wai, the only time one wais above the head. The wai under the chin is to an equal and is the most common. Farangs are normally forgiven if they make a mistake, so don't worry.
Go to the Night Bazaar
The night market at Chiang Mai is big with lots of art and craft to buy. The prices are not fixed so bargain away.
The best way to get a good price is to offer a very low price and work your way up to an agreeable price. The price you pay will probably be more than you would pay at a regular shop even if you barter the price down hard, so enjoy the atmosphere and don't worry about the price you pay because it should be a lot less than at home.
Also there are traditional Thai dancing shows in the Night Market food court, see photo. Thai silk, wooden ornaments, clothes. T-shirt usually 150-200 baht.
Travel with Air Asia
I returned from Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Air Asia. There are 3 low costs airlines now in Thailand and Air Asia is the most comfortable. The booking system via website is the best among the rivals. If book early, get the cheap fare. That's great deal.
Great Dishes at Excellent Prices
Chiangmai, Thailand has many great restaurants, but the Chiangmai Floating Restaurant is my favorite for lunch. If you are not in a rush and want to try excellent Thai dishes in a wonderful atmosphere for an unbelieveable price, this place is for you.
Now if you are in a hurry, it’s best to eat at a vendor’s stall, as Excellent Thai food takes a lot of preparation and is cooked fresh. Almost all good Thai restaurants have beautiful flower gardens, waterfalls, or ponds with fountains, lots of orchids, and playgrounds for the children. For Thai people, eating out is a pleasure and the food takes a while before it comes to the table, so the atmosphere is very important. Taking family or friends to a noisy restaurant on a busy street is unacceptable and considered very rude for Thai people. Street vendors and busy street side restaurants are OK to purchase food to take home or if you are on your way somewhere, but never for pleasure dinning.
One of my favorite restaurants in Chiangmai, Thailand is Chiang Mai Lan Ahan Reampae, or Chiangmai Floating Restaurant. They now have two, one on Sankhampaeng Road and the other on the outer-ring road to Mae Rim. Since the one off Sankhampaeng road is near my home and closer to town, I always eat at this one.
When you first enter the restaurant, you will notice right away a sign with their health department number and government rating of ‘Very Good”. This puts us at ease knowing the kitchen and dinning area are clean with the food prepared with fresh ingredients.
You will be escorted to your seat in one of the three areas of your choice, one open-air and the other two, covered. The dinning area is floating on pontoons that are extended out into a large pond surrounded by fields and trees. During warm days, it is best to sit in the covered area where a sprinkler system is installed on the roof to cool the hot metal sheets. They have an extensive Thai menu and a shorter English menu. If you have a Thai friend or your Thai guide along with you, ordering from the Thai menu is best, however, the English menu is sufficient.
My wife and I went there last Sunday with friends, five adults and two children, and had 11 different dishes including rice, soft drinks, and fruit shakes, and the total price was under $18. The dishes were Tom Yum Goog (Lemon Grass Soup with Shrimp), Gai Priew Waan (Sweet and Sour Chicken), Khai Jiew Pak (Vegetable Omelet), Pla Grapong Khao Neung Manao (Steamed Sea Perch with Chili in Lime Sauce), Poh Pia Sod (Fried Spring Rolls with Pork, Vegetable Filling and Tamarind Sauce), Paad Bai Gra-pow Gai (Sautéed Chicken with Chili and Basil Leaves), Gai Paad Med Ma-muang Himmapaan (Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts and Dry Chili), Paad Paak Boong (Stir-fried Morning Glory), Plaa Goong (Grilled River Prawn Salad Marinated with Peppermint and Lemon Grass), Gai Hor Bai Toey (Marinated Chicken in Coconut Milk, Wrapped and Baked in Pandan Leaves), and a large plate of mixed fruit.
Once we placed the order the drinks came first, then the soup and finger food such as the spring rolls then the food for the children such as the omelet. When eating Thai food DO NOT scrape one dish onto your plate. Each dish has it’s own serving spoon where you take a little and put it on your plate then use your own spoon and fork. This gives everyone a chance to taste all the wonderful dishes. You are provided a small soup bowl, a plate, fork and spoon. Chop sticks are provided if you order a noodle dish.
The great thing I enjoy about eating Thai-style at a good restaurant is you never know what dish is coming next and when. The first two or three come rather quickly, and then comes the rice. Just as we are almost finishing one or two dishes, one or two more come to replace them.
Randy and Ning
Don't forget to see Emerald Buddha
Don't forget to visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep it is a Buddhist temple they used to call it Doi Suthep, but actually it is stand in the Doi Suthep mountain, it is 15 km from the city of Chiang Mai and it is a sacred site to Thai people, It is 309 steps to Pagodas, but there is a tram for 30Bath/way or 50 bath/2way ticket fee for foreigners.
You need to take off your shoes before entering the temple. There is a model of the Emerald Buddha and a statue of the Hindu God Ganesh. According to saying if you been in Chiang Mai and do not visit Doi Suthep as if you do not go to Chiang Mai.