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Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

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Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

Hello Everyone,

I will be traveling to Thailand for the first time with my soon to be wife for our honeymoon this December. Our second stop is in Chiang Mai for 4 nights. We are both in our early 30's. We are not big into partying. Was wondering if people could give some suggestion on exactly what part of Chiang Mai we should stay in or even a hotel suggestion. Alot of the hotels we seem to like seem to be a 20 min tuk tuk ride away from the city. We didnt know if we should try and find somewhere closer that is walking distance. We both want to really experience the culture. As far as activities we plan on visiting an Elephant camp, taking a cooking class, visiting temples and just wondering around and taking in the beauty. I wouldn't say we are on a budget but don't want to go crazy and get the most for our money. Any other activities people recommend would be greatly appreciated.


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1. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

Check out the "Top Questions" to the right of this post, and look at the hotel and guest house recommendations for CM here on TA as a good starting point. I would not stay in a hotel that was a 20 minute ride to the center personally, and you certainly do not need to do that.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

I agree - I think you should stay in town if possible. If you are relying on a 20 min tuk tuk ride each way you'll find there are not tuk tuks cruising this route and you'd need to rely on hotel transfers into town - negotiating to be bought back etc .

There are lots of good choices in the city - lots of small boutique style hotels and B&Bs that won't break the bank.

The popular areas to stay are in the old city, in the night bazaar area - the area in between these two places and the riverside area. All of these are only 10 mins apart by tuk tuk max - probably less.

Have a look at these to start - in the old city - Tamarind Village, The Rim, Baan Klang Wiang, Sirilanna.

In between the old city and night bazaar - Ban Thai Village, Manathai Village, Raming Lodge (in an area with bars).

In the night bazaar area - Yang Come Village and D2.

Over on the riverside - The Baan Orapin and Shewe Wanna are both lovely with nice gardens. Also Rimping Village is over the river as well and very popular.

For a cooking school - your choice is many and varied and all seem to get good reviews. A Lot of Thai is hugely popular. Thai Siam Rice Cooking School is a bit cheaper and also popular.

See the FAQs to the top right on elephant camps and Top things to do, as well as tips for first timers.

All the best with the planning....

and make sure you get up Doi Suthep the mountain overlooking CM with the beautiful Wat Phra Doi Suthep temple. Plus the Sunday Walking Street Markets a must do if you are there on Sunday.


Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

I'd suggest looking at the Rim, Rachamankha and (maybe) Tamarind Village depending on your budget and honeymoon hotel requirments.

We are going in Feruary (not on a honeymoon, that was a couple of years ago) and are staying at Tamarind Village.

But if we were honeymooning we would havechosen Rachamankha. Among other things its smaller and has a no children under 12 policy (which personally I like for a honeymoon). Its located on the same road as the Tamarind Village which turns into one of the weekend night markets/walking streets.

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4. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

Also look at Ping Nakara, The Chedi, Amata Lanna, which are all riverside and walking distance to everything.

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5. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

Another hotel that may interest you is Sala Lanna. It is new and on the river and has good reviews and looks lovely.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

While there are plenty of nice modern large hotels in Chiang Mai, the city has a lot of smaller boutique hotels too, which are often a better option unless you expect to be spending a lot of time at your hotel.

Have a look at http://www.agoda.com for options.

For convenience your best bet as a 1st time visitor is to stay in the centre of town or close to it. Tuk tuks are not a popular form of transport in Chiang Mai so you will likely overpay (just like tuk tuks anywhere else I guess!)

Anywhere within the walls of the old city is good. As a 1st time tourist, the area around Thapae Gate may appeal to you, that is at the eastern side of the old city walls. The night bazaar area is good too. Riverside starts to get a little far but it's still OK and you can still catch a songthaew into town from there for 20-30 Baht per person.

Plenty to see in this lovely city, where the pace of life is (a little) slower and the people seem that little bit more humble.

Check out the Sunday night market at Thapae Gate, and be sure to have some banana roti from my favourite roti cart on Loi Kroh Road, just opposite Loi Kroh soi 3. His cart might say "Smile Rotee" though he has a few so might be using a different one.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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7. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai


First of all, congratulations :)

I agree with previous posters re. the hotel suggestions. especially Sirilanna. Another area you might want to consider staying in is the new-ish Nimmanhemin area. Some people love it and some people prefer the old city.

It's 5 minutes tuk tuk ride from the old city. I like it there, because it has many unique cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars and arty things. The area is really popular with my Thai colleagues, too. However, there are definitely less temples and cultural things (because it's all quite new). See a map here: http://goo.gl/maps/DqKBC . As for hotels in Nimman, I've heard great things about the Yantasiri Resort and the At Niman Conceptual Home.

Hope that helps a bit :)



Edited: 12:38 pm, August 30, 2013
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8. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

swayz21, we stayed riverside on our 1st trip and it wasn't far at all to anything and there are quite a few restaurants and bars along there. We walked most places and are in our 50s.

Chiang Mai is quite compact and easy to get around and there are of course plenty of tuk tuks to take if you get tired.

We worried about which area to stay in before we went and found that it wasn't that important.

I hope you have a great trip.

9. Re: Hotels and Things to do in Chiang Mai

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