City activites and events, Chiang Mai
In all packed tours we have to visit a few factories clearly prepared tor tourist and guide commissions.
In Chiang Mai it looked a little bit different - as we were a small group we were taken from a small workshop to another covering all the popular activities, without the pressure to buy, and with the opportunity to a close and nice contact with the workers. It was the best crafts tour I made in a package tour.
There are many types of local fares, some may suit our taste buds but some we dare not venture because it look took away our appetite. Most of the local foods you can only find it in the early wet market, so I advise you make it a day to explore the morning wet market. There are two morning and one afternoon market in Chiang Mai which is worth the visit. There also some specialty food too. At the market you can also get cheap & delicious foods. Nom Chin Noodle is a local specialty, it consists of a bowl of soup (Meat,Chicken,Pork's blood,etc.etc)top up with spices and a little chilly hot, and they provide many variety of vegetables, e.g beans shoot, cabbage, long beans, water convulvolus, and many others. For the deep fried insects has no special taste because the insects are fried until crispy dried.
Apart from the foods in the morning market, I felt myself as one of the locals do the marketing and the people are mostly locals and you will find the hospitality towards you and make you very welcome. I made it a point to visit every market wherever I go in Thailand. It's the best way to know more of their living standard%h*
Fondest memory: The few things that I will missed from Chiang Mai is their hospitality, foods, the pace of life. Wherever I go they do not avoid you instead they try to make you understand & please you which is the unique culture. If we compare the folks from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, I feel there is a vast different between the two.
Loy Kratong is one of the most beautiful of all Thai celebrations. On the full moon night of the twelth lunar month (November 23-25), the tide in the waterways is the highest and the moon is the brightest. Loy literally mean "to float", while kratong refers to the floating lotus-shaped receptacle. Nationwide, people gather near the water's edge lighting the candles and sticks and silently making a wish. Carefully they place their kratongs in the water watching intently as the float drifts downstream, hoping that the candle will not go out. Its flame is said to signify longetivity and fulfillment of wishes.
As the moon rises on the second night, a procession of beautiful maidens and floats parades through the city of Chiang Mai to the Mae Ping River. Book early for tables at riverside restaurants. It is a romantic night for lovers of all ages.
Most outside the city moat in Chiang Mai charge on average about 1 baht per minute, or 30 ~ 60 baht per hour for internet acess. But within the old city itself, there are many places who charge only 15 baht per hour for internet acess.
Unfortuantely with accordance to Murphy's Law, I myself only found out about this on the last day of my trip. Oh well....
As countless travelers have discovered, Chiang Mai's many attractions enthrall, delight, and capture your imagination. To visit this northern city just once is to remain forever enchanted.
Amidst the rolling foothills of the Himalayan Mountains some 800 kilometers north of Bangkok is the culturally rich city of Chiang Mai, the longest continuously lived in settlement from the ancient days of Siam. Founded in 1296 AD it was isolated from Bangkok and could only be reached by an arduous river journey or an elephant back trip until the 1920's. Such isolation has helped keep Chiang Mai's distinctive charm intact up to the present day.
Inside Chiang Mai's remaining city wall are more then 30 temples dating back to the founding of the principality in 1296. Doi Suthep temple which is on the mountaintop at 3500 feet above and overlooking the city is a shrine to both Thai and foreign visitors. These Temples are a combination of Burmese, Sri Lankan, and Lanna Thai styles decorated with beautiful woodcarvings, Naga staircases, leonine and angelic guardians, gilded umbrellas and pagodas laced with gold filigree.
Chiang Mai is not only the home of culture, charm and hospitality but adventure as well. Elephant riding, trekking, hiking, camping and long tail boat riding are all very popular activities and are offered in our excursion. Orchids, butterflies, and exotic plants and fauna will surround you. Friendly hill tribe people greet you. Waterfalls and spectacular mountain top vistas will dazzle you. This is the best way to enjoy the unique natural beauty of the north Thailand countryside and it's people.
Doi Inthanon, the tallest peak in Thailand is surrounded by a protected National Park.
It is the home of an award winning tree standing 30 meters in length, and their trunk is the living home of various ferns and wild orchids.
Chiangmai is the longest continuously lived in settlement from the ancient days of Siam. Within the remaining brick walls surrounding the ancient city can be found more than 30 temples.
Some temple sites dating back to 1296 A.D.
On top of Doi Suthep is a temple at 3,500 feet overlooking the plains where Chiangmai is located.
A shrine to visitors, its auspicious site was selected by a royal elephant that roamed up the steep forested mountainside hundreds of years ago.
The breathtaking panorama view of mountains and terraced rice paddies that are the home to six major ethnic hilltribes who continue their agrarian lifestyle and still wear their fascinating native dress.
Chiangmai is compact.
Visitors can walk from the railway station to Thapae Road, the main street of Chiangmai where can be found the major banks, hotels, and guesthouse.
Fondest memory: Chiangmai has holidays celebrated throughout the year.
Visitors easily mingle and become one family with the local Thai celebrants.
January - Borsarng Umbrella Festival, Hangdong Wood Carving Fair.
February - Flower Carnival, Weaving Fair in Mae Jaem.
April - Thai Yai Ordination Ceremony, Songkran - Thai New Year Water Festival. May -Visaka Bucha Merit making procession. November - Loy Krathong Moonlight Festival.
December - Chiangmai Food Festival.
The unique and nice thing about Chiangmai is that there are many places to go and see without making plans at all.
The city is surrounded by some of the best scenery in Thailand, and whichever route you choose you can enjoy a day outside the city.
4 March 2003
Mahidol Rd, opposite Old Cultural Center.
All types of flowering and decorative plants and potted trees for sale along with fertilizers and gardening necessities.
BUAK HAAD Market (Arrak Road).
This is where to buy tropical fish, aquariums, fish food and necessities.
TOHN PAYORM MARKET (Suthep Road).
A large market especially fruit and fresh vegetables.
Prices tend to be a bit lower than average.
KAMTHIENG FARMERS MARKET , (Superhighway opposite Lanna Hospital ).
All types of fresh produce, large flower and orchid market plus all types of handmade products from 17 northern provinces are on display.
Lowest prices 'cause farmers sell direct.
SANPAKHOY MARKET (Charoenmuang Road).
Day Market which produces meats, seafood as well as prepared foods.
Good place to shop for household items.
At evening rush hour the market is very crowded.
SOMPET MARKET (Moonmuang Road ). Excellent quality fresh produce, fruits, very colorful flower boots.
Very good prepared foods, especially northern-style dishes.
Within walking distance on Moonmuang Road are many fruit boots.
Excellent place to buy seasonal fruits.
PRATU CHIANGMAI MARKET (Bamroongburi Road). A busy beside market. Most items are available and in particular is freshly prepared food inside the market and in street vendors.
Fondest memory: WAROWOT MARKET,
corner of Changmoi & Witchayanon Roads, Chiangmai's bustling largest central market, colorful at any time of the day.
Almost everything available in the market as well as in the main shops clustered around. On the second floor sell clothing, shoes and hill tribe articles at very reasonable prices. The tempermental escalator often out of function.
When you arrive in CM, I recommend that you get to a book store and pick up a Nancy Chandler map (avail in Bkk too). It is especially useful at pointing out the significant points in CM very clearly and all the points that would be of interest to visitors and expats alike. Useful in planning your day's adventures. I found it really helpful.
Fondest memory: I found a cheap and tasty cheese outlet on this map that i would never have found or even known about otherwise. I recommend the gouda but taste it before buying.
As in Bangkok, there are numerous TukTuks in Chiang Mai, but they are not as pushy here.
You can also catch a Songthaew (see photo) They don`t have set routes, just flag one down and tell them where you want to go. You will ride with others going in the same general direction. It`s an example of Para-transit at it`s finest.
Favorite thing: Visit Thailand during the Songkran. This is the thai new year,and it is a hell of a party! Because this is in the warmest and driest time of year,they splash water on eachother. No one is dry,not even the police! 3-4-5 days of 'war' and party must be experienced.
Favorite thing: . . . or are they? Thai "Lady-Boy" shows can be found in many areas, and the fellows can be quite convincing . . .
Favorite thing: Kick boxing is a very big sport all over Thailand. I think a lot of betting also is involved. This bout was staged for tourists.
Favorite thing: No,it has not been raining. Everyone is soking wet during Songkran. Driving with an open window? Stupid! Old woman? Old wet woman. Tuk-tuk? Enemy! So is your best friend...