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trip report Chiang Mai

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Michigan
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trip report Chiang Mai

I spent 5 days in Chiang Mai, part of a 6 week trip in Southeast Asia.. This was a great place, especially due to my fantastic hotel, Pak Chiang Mai (check it out on this website)

One of the best experiences was my trip to the elephant rescue preserve called Heaven. This place tries to rescue as many elephants as it can from the horrible abuse that is done to them in this country and I assume, everywhere. It is at least an hour away up in the beautiful, mountainous countryside. You get in the river and help bathe the elephants and also feed them. You will have a whole new understanding of these magnificent animals after a trip here.

I also enjoyed a day at an organic farm cooking school. You learn how to make 7 different dishes, including using a stone mortar and pestle to grind the many ingredients of curry paste. The food tasted just terrific and they give you a book at the end of the day with all the recipes.

A great first day experience was hiring Paul Collins to take us around the city including temples, the cultural museum, having lunch, and visiting surrounding craft villages where he gets no cut if you buy anything. He is the perfect guide because he was born and raised in Thailand but his parents are American so his English is completely American. I did not really understand how difficult it is to understand the English spoken by so many Southeast Asians until I traveled here. Also, he considers himself Thai yet he is completely in tune with American culture too which gives him a different perspective than most guides. We asked him incessant questions which he seemed very happy to answer. I found him on this forum and want to add to the accolades.

We also rode the shared red truck up the mountain to the temple that overlooks the city, definitely worthwhile. We road on to the winter palace, so, so, and on to the very commercialized hmong village which was a beautiiful ride but not an authentic experience if that's what you're looking for.

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: trip report Chiang Mai

thanks for taking the time to write a trip report.

I enjoyed reading it.

Glad to hear Paul Collins worked out well for you.

Caroline.

Caloundra, Australia
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2. Re: trip report Chiang Mai

thanks for your info. I am looking at going up there in May next yr. I have a sponsor child I want to see in wiang pa pao. I wonder if your guide would help me get to that village?

Antipodes
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3. Re: trip report Chiang Mai

Wiang Pa Pao is located about half way between CM and CR (on route 118) - you'll have no trouble getting there with just a driver for the day.

Thanks for posting about your Chiang Mai visit engphile, what was the name of the organic-farm cooking school?

The red songtheaw ride up to (and down from) Wat Phra that Doi Suthep is definitely a Chiang Mai "must do" (once), even if the CO gets a bit overwhelming.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: trip report Chiang Mai

Hi coxie,

We also have a sponsor child in a village about 2.5hrs Nth Wst of Chiang Mai. We visited him and his family about twelve months ago.

I have written up the story of our visit in a trip report and have attached the link. I thought you might be interested....

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293917-i9325-k232…

Usually the organisation you sponsor with will organise a driver for you. We also needed a translator. This was all pre-arranged by 'compassion' who have a number of projects in and around Nth Thailand. There are about 80 children sponsored in our particular group. Sponsor visits are rare - we were only the second visit and it was an amazing experience.

Also - go to the Chiang Rai Forum. There is a thread called 'El Shaddai Orphanage'. A number of forum members have been supporting an orphanage there.

Caroline.

5. Re: trip report Chiang Mai

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