Unique Places in Chiang Mai

  • The Recluse Monk
    The Recluse Monk
    by limkahwan
  • The Cave
    The Cave
    by limkahwan
  • The Shed
    The Shed
    by limkahwan

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Chiang Mai

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    Doi Angkhang - Misty mountain and hilltribe valley

    by north_thailander Updated Apr 9, 2014

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    Doi Angkhang largely unknown to foreign tourists but a famous destination for Thai tourists is a wild and mountainous frontier range which lies at the edge of the Thailand Burma border. A cluster of peaks and valleys it is also home to colourful hilltribes such as the Palong, Lahu, Lisu and Hmong.

    Sitting at one of the most remote corners of Northern Thailand you will definitely feel you’re at the end of the road and on a remote and wild precipice. Here you can enjoy an idyllic location, the views, cool climate, fresh mountain air and hilltribes.

    From the Thai military base camp situated on a ridge at the edge of the border you can look out over no mans land and the sweeping expanse of Myanmar and its remote Shan states. With binoculors you can even see the waving Burmese flag indicating the point for the Burmese military base on the other side.

    One of the key attractions here is the Royal Agricultural Centre where beautifully manicured gardens host a colourful array of flowers, there are also greenhouses where the serious cultivation stuff goes on growing organic crops normally found in colder climes such as strawberries, rhubarbs, persimmons. More than just a beautiful site this place bears particular significance as this is a showcase for the success of the King’s initiative which started 30 years ago to wean the hilltribes off growing opium to more productive crops.

    There are several guesthouses and resorts here recommended ones include Angkhang Villa and the Nature Resort. As there is no public transportation to Doi Angkhang hiring a car is recommended, hiring a driver is recommended if you feel uncomfortable navigating the steep hairpin turns uphill and downhill yourself

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

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    Recluse Monk

    by limkahwan Written Dec 17, 2012

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    When I was travelling from Theong to Pu Chi Fa on the local pick-up I meet a monk and he sat beside me at the front of the pick-up. After more the one hour journey we have a very deep conversation about life, nature, life-style, etc..etc. This monk is a divorcee. Giving up his rich German wife and devote to full time recluse monk in his own place. At first I thought he is just a normal monk but I was wrong. He told me that when he made up his mind to be a monk that was 12 years ago, he started his journey to look for a remote place for him to settle down and practice monk-hood. after 2 years of travelling finally he settled at this place, which is a cliff of a mountain at Pu Chi Fa. For the start he settled in a small cave which is just 5 feet high & 6 feet radius, without water or electricity. Gradually year after year he started to build a shad at the cliff by himself. After 12 years of hard labor he successfully built the shed with a roof. He invited me to visit the place and even offer me to stay over night, but I could not accept because I do not have the courage to stay, it is in the open with no basic amenities. This is the first time that I came across such a determined monk. I was touched by his act . I truly respect & salute him.

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Backpacking

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    MAERIM MONKEY SCHOOL

    by balhannah Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Monkeys here perform tricks, such as playing basketball, riding tricycles, doing counting exercises and a demonstration of how monkeys climb trees and retrieve coconuts.
    They also ask for you to throw some coins in a small pool, then the Monkey leaps in, and retrieves them.

    There is some audience participation, nothing drastic!
    YOU ALSO ARE ABLE TO HAVE YOUR PHOTO TAKEN WITH THE MONKEY SITTING ON YOUR LAP FOR FREE.

    The show runs continuously, so if you arrive halfway through one, you stay and watch the beginning of the next show. Each show lasts for 30minutes.

    To feed the monkeys, you can buy some food for 20t/b

    I felt sorry for the Monkey performing, as he continuously had to do the same thing, and whether it was in the show or not, HE WAS NOT HAPPY, baring his teeth at a lady.
    I felt sorry for all the Monkeys here, so its up to you if you want to go and see it.

    ADMISSION IN 2009 was 200t/b
    OPEN DAILY 9 - 4.15 PM SHOWS ARE CONTINUOUS
    LOCATION......295 Moo 1, Mae Rim - Samoeng Rd., Mae Rim, Chiang Mai

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    Dont ride, help!

    by erikute3534 Written Dec 30, 2010

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    We went to Elephant Nature park for a day, it was amazing experience especially for my son (was the only kid there! parents! is the best place for kids education!) :
    www.elephantnaturepark.org

    It is sad to see what people have done to elephants..but really worth the day there. GO AND ENJOY, HELP elephants! The trip is very educational we learned about elephants, fed them, washed, entertain, had lunch and all money went to this camp to help elephants to get back to normal wild life..Some had broken legs, blinded...from working for people! Ms Lak (god bless her) is the LADY of this park. Elephant Nature Park, a unique conservation project set in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand has been in operation since in the 1990's with a goal to provide a sanctuary and elephant rescue center. While most notable conservationists stem from western countries Lek's projects are the efforts of her own Northern Thailand mountain community.

    Related to:
    • Zoo
    • National/State Park

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    QUEEN SIRIKIT BOTANICAL GARDENS

    by balhannah Updated Oct 13, 2010

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    These Gardens I was told, are a bit off the tourist trail, so therefore, are a little difficult to get to. As this was the case, I hired a Taxi for the day, the fee was 1000t/b, (in 2009)

    The garden was only established in 1993, and is situated in a pretty area in the foothills of Doi-Suthep-Pui, Mae Rim, and covers and area of approx 1000 hectares.
    The main object of this garden is to serve as a centre for research and botanical study of biodiversity and enviromental conservation.

    It is a little different to other Botanical Gardens I have visited, although, since returning home and looking at their website, I think my driver did not let me see all of it! Perhaps he thought I didn't want to walk, don't know!
    I was only taken to the Glasshouse complex, (this seems to be the main area of the gardens), and nowhere else!

    I did notice notice signs saying "White Flower collection", "Australia corner", "Climber Trail."
    Evidently, there is a Rock garden, Thai Orchid Nursery, Thai Plants & Medicinal Plants Trail and Arboreta Trail.

    So, if you do get to visit the gardens,
    TELL THE DRIVER YOU WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING THERE IS!
    .....AND NOT JUST THE GLASSHOUSES!

    OPEN DAILY..... 8.30 - 5 pm
    ADMISSION...... 40t/b Car/Taxi 100t/b

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    VISIT AKHA & LISU TRIBES

    by balhannah Updated Oct 13, 2010

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    STOP 2 on TRIBAL TOUR

    On the Tribal tour, we stopped at an Akha & Lisu Tribal village.

    THE LISU came to Thailand from Yunnan in China about 100 years ago and grow rice, corn and vegetables as subsistence crops and grow opium for sale. We did see a lot of Sweetcorn growing in this area.
    They also sell animals such as pigs and cattle.

    The AKHA group (the poorest in Thailand) have black caps covered with silver coins, worn by the women. It is rarely removed, is a conical wedge of white beads interspersed with silver coins and topped with plumes of red taffeta, dressed with a loose fitting black jacket with heavily embroidered cuffs and lapels, it is very colorful. They make their clothing from gaily-coloured cloth stitched into outfits trimmed with row upon row of colourful cloth strips

    The man's clothing is of plain black pants and a lightly embroidered loose jacket.
    He can have MORE THAN ONE WIFE IF HE PLEASES!

    The Akha are farmers, cultivating rice, corn, millet, peppers, beans, garlic, sesame and other varieties of vegetables as additional subsistence crops. Domestic animals, including fowl, pigs and water buffaloes are also raised by the Akha for special feasts and sacrifices.

    Their houses are on stilts, with a large porch and a steep roof.
    Many Akha villages still grow opium, generally not of high quality, but it is a problem amongst the older men of the village.
    Akha men and women produce various decorative items of bamboo and seeds. The men make crossbows, musical instruments, a variety of baskets, and other items of wood, bamboo and rattan and the women were selling jewellery they had made.

    As soon as they saw my Tour Group arrive, they came running, eager to sell! Most of it was handmade jewellery.

    THE AKHA'S WERE THE MOST PERSISTENT PEOPLE!
    AND.........
    THEY WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! .......
    following us from the entrance to the village, right to the end!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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  • Thai Massage Course!

    by AmandaH2os Written Sep 17, 2010

    I was in Chiang Mai in January of 2010 and had in incredible time! I went to Thailand with an organization called Integral Travel (IT), and we spent 3 weeks in and around Chiang Mai studying Thai massage and learning about the Thai culture. We spent time at a meditation center north of Chiang Mai during our first week, then spent about a week at an organic farm called Pun Pun for the next week. We did some Thai cooking classes and learned about sustainable farming and building. The third week we were in Chiang Mai studying Thai Massage and had an opportunity to explore the city as well. The night markets were so much fun and the Thai people could not have been more friendly! I highly recommend visiting this city if you have the opportunity! It was great to go with an organized group because Sunny with IT took care of all the details, and it allowed me to really relax and enjoy the experience!

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Study Abroad
    • Arts and Culture

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    Sai Namphung Orchid Nursery

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 28, 2009

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    This is Chiang Mai's biggest orchid farm, which plays host to almost every species of orchid that grows in Thailand. This includes one of world's most beautiful and rarest varieties, the Vanda Coerulea "Pure White" orchid. It also houses a butterfly farm and a few rare breeds of Siamese cats and dogs. In addition to fresh orchids, which can also be exported, the farm offers a variety of souvenirs, such as gold-gilded orchid and butterfly ornaments. I came here as part of my long-necked tribe day trip from Chiang Mai and this was our first port of call. Nice place to visit, first off.

    60-61 Moo 6, Old Maerim-Samerng Road, Chiang Mai

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    Chiang Mai Philatelic Museum

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 28, 2009

    I stumbled across this small museum in the former post office. It displays many of Thailand's stamp issues, along with some old postal equipment.

    Open: 9am-4pm Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays. Admission: Free.
    Th Praisani

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    • Museum Visits

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    Pung Tao Gong Ancestral Temple

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 28, 2009

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    This Chinese ancestral temple is the oldest in Chiang Mai, dating back to 1876. It's located along the west bank of the Ping River near the Nawarat Bridge. Inside the temple, beautifully decorated Chinese architectural designs are found using traditional Chinese techniques.

    Th Praisani

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Namdhari Sikh Temple

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 28, 2009

    This Sikh temple is used by the Namdhari sect of Sikhism and is one of two Sikh Gurdwaras in Chiang Mai. It was only the second one I ever saw in Thailand after seeing my first one in Bangkok.

    Th Ratchawong.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
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    Khum Keo Palace

    by Willettsworld Written Nov 28, 2009

    Khum Keo Palace was built by King Keo Nawarat, a former king of Chiang Mai from a century ago. The building is elaborately carved with five facades in the Northern Lanna style. In 1911 he was appointed the 9th king of Chiang Mai and later donated the palace to his nephew Prince Lao Keo. It stayed as a royal residence until the princes death when it was given to the public.

    Prapokkloa Rd.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    TRIBAL TOUR

    by balhannah Updated Aug 21, 2009

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    ON this tour, you visit a lot of different Tribes who live in this area of Thailand.

    This tour visited Chiang Dao Cave, which was beautiful, then continued on through nice scenery to and Akha and Lisu tribal village. This was a proper village. Our next stop, was a White Thai village, another proper village, with lots of Pigs.

    We then went to Bai Orchid Farm, where we had a look at the Orchids and also had lunch which was included in the price.
    After lunch, it was to visit more tribes, this time Karen Longneck and Big ears. This was more a set up for the tourist village.

    Saw some lovely scenery, and the Tribes were interesting.
    COST of this tour in 2009 was 950 t/b

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    BAI ORCHID & BUTTERFLY FARM

    by balhannah Written Aug 21, 2009

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    STOP 4 on TRIBAL TOUR

    It was our lunch stop, and also and opportunity to have a look at the Orchids.

    This is one of a few Orchid & Butterfly farms located around Chiang Mai. It was set in a lovely, lush, tropical garden setting, very attractive.
    Orchids are here, lined up in rows, not a lot in bloom when I was visiting. I wouldn't call this a big farm.
    Evidently, there is a small area for Butterflies somewhere, I missed it, didn't find that area.

    We had our Buffet meal in the Restaurant, a very nice large open building. There was plenty of choice, and food was good.
    Beware of the Banana Fritters though, they were not in Batter like I was expecting!!
    Thai people eat them differently, so my mouth watering expectations were not met!!
    You had to buy your own drinks............
    I bought a Pineapple crush which was delicious, cost 60t/b.

    You can also purchase butterfly and orchid jewellery as you pass on your way out.

    If it's the Butterflies you want to see it's best to avoid the cold season (Nov - Feb).

    OPEN from 7.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
    I do not know the admission charge as it was included in the Tour

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    WHITE THAI VILLAGE

    by balhannah Written Aug 21, 2009

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    STOP 3 on TRIBAL TOUR

    Continuing on the back roads, out next stop was at a proper White Thai village.

    Here, we wandered amongst their homes, meeting the people and learning about their culture.
    We learnt, that the White Thai women when single, wear white clothing, and when married, wear the coloured clothing.

    At this village, there was an extremely large number of PIGS! all chained, some with Piglets.
    Some WERE TERRIBLY THIN, not what I am used to seeing, and heart breaking.

    The Villagers here were not selling anything!

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Chiang Mai Off The Beaten Path

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