Hey, my Grandmother used to have one of these . .
While walking around Chiang Mai, I think on Tapae Road, we came across this store that sold pedal-powered sewing machines. It makes sense, since there is probably no electricity in many areas of Northern Thailand, but I didn't think for a minute that any companies actually manufactured them still.
If you can't buy it here you won't find it at all.
If you're looking for ANYTHING to buy, you'll find it at this market. From clothes, to hand crafted art, paintings, cd's, dvd's and any typical Thai souvenir.
Get ready for some negotiating about the price and you'll walk away with some good deals! It's a good place to buy your souvenirs. It depends on what you buy, but the usual souvenirs are available for 100 baht or less. The better your bargaining skills the nicer the price!
Hire a Driver with a Mini-Van
I wish I remembered our drivers name because he turned out to be a very kind man who took joy in showing us around Chiang Mai and its environs. He arranged several day trips for us and seemed to go above and beyond what you'd expect from an ordinary driver. Our hotel sent this driver to us to meet us at the airport and later we arranged to have him as our primary mode of transport in and around Chiang Mai. For $20 a day (divided between 5 of us) we got an air conditioned mini van and a driver that happily took us anywhere. The only problem was that he didn't speak english (not a problem considering we are in Thailand) but we were lucky enough that my wife is a Thai native and easily communicated with him. He made our stay there much easier! We hired our driver through the Lanna Resort and then arranged a deal with him on the side. If the resort gets in on the action then you'll pay more.
The oldest and the best Pub ...
The Pub is named as such because when it opened it was THE one and only pub in Chiang Mai. Hard to believe, but true.
It's too simplistic to say they serve good pub grub, because the Pub and the Pub's menu is far more than that. After just visit you'll be considered a regular and treated as such (for better or worse!) by the mix of usually long-term expat crowd.
Daily blackboard specials might be something like a quiche and salad, but many come for the traditional English sunday roast. Everyday menu is mixture of Thai favourites and western fare, including bangers and mash, and gammon steaks.
As a bonus, the sport of the day is usually on the telly (be it football, rugby, car racing, whatever). And it's a great place to watch, from your bar stool, or from the comfy wicker arm chairs. The Steaks. A really good steak is a bit hard to come by around these parts, so when it's a good piece of meat cooked well, mmmmm ...
Jungle Trek(#4) - Elephant Ride
Elephant rides and elephant shows are both quite popular in Chiang Mai. I only experienced an hour long elephant ride, I enjoyed it, but one hour was enough. Atop of this huge animals is perched a seat, on which you must cling to it's handles as the elephant cruises down hills, across rivers and through vegetation. You sway with each step. A mahoot sits on the head of the elephant to steer it's path. I thought the ride was a blast and was glad it was included.
Some may question if the elephants are treated well and if this is an animal rights violation. Locals claim that before elephants became a tourist industry per se, their populations were in decline, because they were more valuable dead, as they could sell their tusks and etc. Now that the elephants make profit it encourages their numbers to increase. At the mahoot village and during the ride I did not notice any cruelty, although at the village the elephants have a chain around a foot with some length so they can roam, but as to prevent them from getting lost. I did see, rather hear, in Ayuthaya, one mahoot trying to 'train' a young elephant and I heard the roar of the elephant from many yards away.
Elephants are an important part of the cultures life, they are valuable to assist with heavy labor. I would recommend the elephant ride, it was really fun
**After this, you may interested to know there is a factory in Chiang Mai that produces paper products purely from cow dung. You can go and learn about how it is processed and see the store, were you can buy your mother-in-laws next birthday card and gleefully explain to her that her card is a bunch of cow poop after she had been holding it.