The sights of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai province is of great interest for tourists and is the most visited in the North of Thailand. Of course, you can restrict their journey to the North of Thailand tour sightseeing Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, their surroundings, and a trip to the "epicenter of the Golden triangle" to the confluence of the three borders, and I will not regret it. But you can regret not having met with other places and attractions of Chiang Mai, and you have to do this again to visit the North of Thailand.
But first, I want to remind you about the seasons of the year in this area. There are seasons when visiting the province of Chiang Mai can be uncomfortable or even dangerous because of the unpredictable weather. Be sure to mention it. Read more about weather and seasons in Chiang Mai here.
As we mentioned on our pages, if you want to study in detail the Chiang Mai province, to meet with tribes and visit natural attractions, then the best option for this is tour of the province with a licensed guide or that little bit harder, rent of vehicle and exploring the province on their own.
With regard to group day trips from Chiang Mai into the province, for the most part, they are entertainment for tourists who replace real life of Northern Thailand offer a "surrogate". The village tribes, which you will visit during this tour is located in the suburbs of Chiang Mai attractions, similar to the conveyor extortion of money from tourists. In the opinion of some travellers, the impression of artificiality of life in these villages, and a population of like actors. Of course, it's not so bad. And with true North you can learn only by going in very far corners of the province with multi-day excursions. Sometimes it's better these tours start from the cities of Fang (Fang), Chiang Dao (Chiang Dao), etc., even in tourist groups. Minimal cost of participation in trips 600 baht per person per day, but normal price, including meals, facilities (rent a tent or stay in the village, sometimes Porterage) starts from 1000 baht.
As for where to buy excursions: most sellers of tours (hotels and travel agencies) simply resell excursions, working for the Commission. If you have time, you better take the time to search of the Agency, which is the organizer of the tracks and read the information about the route. Naturally, the richer and more expensive, the higher quality. Ask them to show the route on the map: the farther away from large cities and into the mountains is the route, the better. Some guarantee of quality when selecting a travel Agency or tour guide can be the license of the TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand). But keep in mind that the license from the seller (reseller) does not guarantee that she is the organizer. You need to be interested in buying rounds.
Here are some proven and recommended by the Russian travel agencies:
If you are not sure in the tour descriptions and are not ready to book in advance, you can record the addresses of the agencies and deal with them on the spot.
Independent guides are licensed often offer their services along with transport, so that you will receive in rent and transport and guide in one, and it will cost not too expensive (2000 baht per day). Guides it is best to seek in advance online (on the forums) or on the recommendations of other travelers, in order not to be disappointed in the quality. If you can work out everything in advance, so the tour guide can meet you at the airport or train station and spend a few days rolling around the country and making stops in different cities. You can find a guide on the spot, but time will be lost.
Independent travel in rented vehicles is also a good option. You can rent a car or motorbike for a few days and travelled around Chiang Mai province. However, there are some inconveniences. So, if you plan to stay overnight in other cities of the province, there is a problem with Parking (especially motorcycles). Some of the most interesting tribes and sightseeing in the mountains and remote places you can reach only on foot. And again, you have to leave vehicles unattended in our areas, which is especially dangerous for a motorcycle. But despite these shortcomings, this is still a great way to travel.
There is another option, in our opinion the most interesting, convenient and, by far, the most inexpensive, but it will require more time: the major cities of the province connected network of public transportation (buses) available. You can stay in the towns for a few days, how to make forays into the villages and places of interest. Of course, not necessary in this approach to visit all the city, and to choose for themselves one of the settlements (which, see below).
But it is necessary to warn that an independent visit to the villages, familiarity with natural attractions and trekking is not easy and dangerous. We would really not recommend doing this yourself unless you are an experienced traveler. Most of these attractions are not so easy to find and access them on mountain trails and dense jungles may be dangerous. It is better to take the help of guides, even if you decide to examine them not from Chiang Mai.
And yet, among the many excursions there are options to stay overnight in the villages in the homes of local residents. Romance is romance, but the reality is that in these villages, everything is real, including dirt and unsanitary conditions (by our standards). Should be ready to lack of minimum facilities, including shower and toilet, unpleasant odors from the locals, dirty dishes and poverty. You are going to stick with offers to buy something for which you are inviting the whole village. If you still want to experience the pleasure, it is better to choose an overnight stay in a separate house, made especially for tourists. The conditions were better and the locals go there without an invitation is not frequented.
Now a little about the access to the villages for tourists. The locals understand about the commercial possibilities of their settlements and successfully use it. Even in the most remote and inaccessible villages access paid. Price in different villages and different starts from 80 baht for the remote or is not popular villages, up to 500 baht for the "fashionable" and close to Chiang Mai, village of "long-necked" Karen.
So, the principal city with the largest number of attractions in the province is Chiang Mai. This is the most intense attractions and the largest city of the North, part - time cultural capital of the country. Do not miss it. Moreover, many tourists limit their tour of Northern Thailand in the vicinity of this city and its immediate environs and were quite pleased.
If you are the capital of the province is not enough, you can go to one of the largest settlements of the province. You can attend as excursions during the day, and you can stay there and spend a day or two. Almost everywhere you can find accommodation to stay overnight. In some, more smaller cities and towns, facilities are presented in the form of hotels and guesthouses, some only in the form of guesthouses.
Popular settlements are allocated to Chiang Dao (Chiang Dao), Fang (Fang), Thaton (Thaton).
Chiang Dao (Chiang Dao)
It is a small town located in the North-East 72 kilometres from Chiang Mai on the way to Fang (Chiang Dao on the map). This is the perfect place to start trekking tours to the summit of DOI Chiang Dao (Doi Chiang Dao), and the village tribes. From here start trekking paths along the rivers province. At the base of the mountain are the famous caves of Chiang Daoavailable to visitors. Near the town is an elephant camp. Yet there is a very interesting hot springs of Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao by the standards of the North is a fairly expensive place and the prices are more or less See the position of Chiang Dao on the map.
Town or Thaton Thaton (Thaton)
Thaton is located almost on the border of two provinces and half way between the cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, four kilometers from the border with Myanmar (Thaton on the map of Chiang Mai province). It is rather a village than a city, but here in the area, many guesthouses and hotels where you can spend a few carefree days. The area also is home to several exotic villages. There are river cruises on boats or rafts in the direction of Chiang Rai. Also, this is a town the place the transplant if you travel from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai or Vice versa by bus through the Northern route.
Fang or Fang (Fang)
This is another small town located on the road between Chiang Dao and Thaton. This is a great place to start a walking tour routes.
Mountain and national Park of DOI Inthanon (Doi Inthanon)
The highest point of Thailand – top of DOI Inthanon, rises at 2565 meters above sea level. The mountain is located on the territory of the Park Doi Inthanon National Park at a distance of 58 kilometers from Chiang Mai (DOI Inthanon on the map). Often tourists visit the mountain in the form of day trips out of town alone or in a group, but in the Park and there is a few hotels if you wish to stay. On the slopes of the mountain are many paths that one can reach eight waterfalls. This place is one of the most popular among the lovers of flora and fauna in Thailand. Here you can find a lot of rare species of birds and animals.
Access to the territory of the national Park surcharge: 200 baht adults, 100 baht for children, and an additional 30 baht per car and 20 motorcycle. To get here it's best to rent a transport or hire a car for the trip with the driver. But you can do it by public transport with transfers from the station Chang Pheuak, Chiang Mai.
The ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam (Wiang Kum Kam)
It is the remains of an ancient city built by king mengraem as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. This city was the capital of the Kingdom even before the construction of Chiang Mai, where subsequently moved the capital.
700 years ago the city was abandoned due to frequent flooding, and only recently restored and opened to the public.
The town lies 3 kilometers from Chiang Mai (on the map). You can get there by tuk-tuk, on a rented motorbike or Bicycle. In the city there is the Information Center where you can buy a tour of the city in a carriage with horses (200 baht) or in a car for 250-400 baht depending on number of people. You can also rent bikes for 20 baht. On foot to explore a city is very difficult, it is too big.
More can be read in the review about Chiang Mai here.
A visit to the city for free, for a visit to the Museum 10 baht (currency of Thailand). Working time: 08.00-17.00
Waterfall Mae Sa (Mae Sa Waterfall)
This waterfall is very long, consists of 10 small waterfalls, each of which is located at a distance of from 100 to 500 meters from each other, and to see all the cascades have to walk two kilometers along the river. This place is well-equipped with bridges and pavilions, and very popular among locals as a picnic spot.
Entrance fee: for foreigners access to the waterfall is 100 baht.
Working time: from 8:30 to 16:30
How to get there: the waterfall is located in the valley of Mae Sa National Park, Doi Suthep-Pui. From Chiang Mai to him for about 25 miles. To get the best by rented transport. You need to go on highway 107 (North towards Chiang Dao) and turn left on the road 1096 to Mae rim, then follow the signs (waterfall Mae Sa on the map)
Royal Palace Phu Ping (Phu Ping Palace, the Palace Bing also Bhu)
On the mountain of DOI Suthep, you can not only visit the temple of DOI Suthep. If you climbed to the heights of the mountain to the temple, drive some more, to visit the Royal Winter Palace of Phu Ping Palace. Beautiful not only the Palace, but the gardens around it. To be honest, the Palace itself is quite modest, but the gardens are just gorgeous. But most importantly, it is the current Royal Palace and the Royal family go there today, though the access of visitors at this time is prohibited.
Hours: the Royal Palace is open on weekdays from 8:30 to 11:30 and from 13:00 to 15:00, but on days where there lives a Royal family, the access is closed.
Entrance fee: 100 baht adult, 50 baht for children.
How to reach: to reach the Palace, you need to drive to DOI Suthep temple, and then drive through a winding road four kilometers.
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