Sunday, April 1, 2012

Travelling to Thailand, Chiang Mai

Some images for you to enjoy

Smiling Orchid

About CHIANG MAI – Land of Thai Art and Handicrafts

Chiang Mai is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. The scenic mountain terrain beckons travellers to explore its peaks and forests, while the city is home to a wealth of historic and cultural sites waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re the adventurous type who loves outdoor activities or a cultured epicure who loves to experience the finer things in life, a holiday in Chiang Mai will more than satisfy you – it will amaze you.
Chiang Mai is both a natural and cultural destination. The city centre retains a ‘small-town’ intimate feel and houses numerous historical temples and attractions within walking distances of each other.

Places which I found interesting:

Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai – Temples
Doi Suthep is a constant part of life in Chiang Mai. A Thai saying goes, "If you haven't tasted Khao Soi or seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven't been to Chiang Mai." This regal mountain overlooks the city from the northwest, providing commanding views from its summit. Aside from its dominating presence on the horizon, Doi Suthep is the home of some of the most deeply loved symbols in the Kingdom.

Karen Long Neck Tribe & Chiang Dao Cave

Padung Village – Long Neck Ethnic Hill-tribe
Further up from Chiang Dao Cave, a visit to the Padung Village introduces you to the ‘Long Neck Karen’ ethnic hill-tribe. The women wear brass rings around their necks, wrists and ankles as part of their culture. It is a good idea to explore, with respect, the village a little to get a feel of their culture and way of life, before supporting their income by purchasing a few souvenirs.

Chiang Dao Cave – The Wonders of Nature

From the cave entrance, you will descend to a well-lit chamber (Tham Phra Nawn) which enshrines several Burmese-style Buddha images, guarded over by fearsome-looking lion figurines. This and the next chamber (Tham Sua Dao) are lit by electric lights. The other three accessible chambers, namely Tham Maa, Tham Kaew and Tham Naam, are pitch-black.
Apart from the stalactites and stalagmites, many are named after animals, the most magnificent is perhaps the frozen water walls (speleothems) formed by centuries of dripping water. High up on the cave walls are several sitting Buddha images set inside small niches. On the floor, sometimes carved into the wall, rest sleeping Buddha images adorned with layers of gold leaves.
You progress from one chamber to the next, following an oval loop and occasionally passing through narrow passages with very low ceilings and, sometimes, steep ascends, then exit the same way you enter.

Places to Shop and Signature Shopping Buys?

Being Thailand’s main handicraft centre, Chiang Mai is encircled by factories and workshops where you can watch crafts people at work before buying or even learning the craft yourself. These are generally frequented by wholesale buyers.
The Nimmanheimin Road offers a compact and thorough shopping experience with the items on offer of consistently good value and a broad range of aesthetic appeals. If you enjoy carvings of status and paintings, it is truly a challenge for you to pick up the best pieces to decorate your home!!

Home Accessories and Furniture
The Night Bazaar consists of countless stalls packed along the sidewalks and spilling out into the street. Here you can find vendors selling almost anything you can think of. The selection is simply staggering and items on offer include CDs, DVDs, clothes, shoes, Thai silk, handicrafts, purses, wallets, watches, video games, luggage, home accessories, furniture, statues of aliens made from auto parts, spices, souvenirs, samurai swords, art, jewellery, silver and antiques. Quality varies from vendor to vendor but low prices mean you almost always get good value for your money. Note: Many of the items here are found in Holland Village at TRIPLE the price!! =)

Where did we stay? 
Centara DuangTawan Hotel Chiang Mai - 132 Loy Kroh Road, Chang-klan, Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Deep in the heart of the ancient city of Chiang Mai sits the Centara Duangtawan Hotel. Offering the most modern of amenities and outstanding Thai hospitality, this hotel is just moments away from the stellar Night Bazaar and it's world famous shopping area. Including a beautiful pool, excellent massage services, sauna, steam room and exceptional fitness center, the Centara is an outstanding choice for either business or vacation travel. All of the well appointed rooms have been designed with the traveler's comfort in mind.

Any recommendations on a value for money package tour for Chiang Mai if I decide not to go on Free & Easy basis?  
- Chiang Mai and Chiang Ria
Based on my personal pleasant experience when I last collected tickets from the agency for a tour I went with my collagues, you can consider the travel agency below as the service was excellent. It was just that one of the staff was very patient with my colleague and when we required assistance despite he was NOT the sales person who booked our package. You may have to check if he does the packages for Thailand or other areas instead.

New Shan Travel Service Pte Ltd

Contact Person: Victor Voo

Tel: 6481 1181 / 6546 7333

Other Entertainment Places to experience the Night Life:
Chiang Mai Disco - Mandalay