We are now back after an 8 day stay 17.3.12 in Chiang Mai.
The air was not as clear but presented with no great problems.
Top marks to Top Garden Guesthouse, excellent value and helpful hosts. The Laundry lady opposite washing and ironing at 40 Baht a kilo. Breakfast at various local cafes as Top Garden did not do breakfast which we knew about . Diversity was amazing and sometimes we went just down our Soi or a short walk either over the Moat to the opposite Soi or along various lanes to cafes. Veggies Cafe and Double Diamond both rate a high mention.
Sunday Roast lunch at Archers what a great meal.
The Pink Tea House (Vieng Joom On) beautiful shabby chic, dont miss for a lovely experience and for lovely gifts for Tea Drinkers.
In the same road we also went on another day to WaWee Coffee house wonderful coffee and nice surroundings.
The Raming Tea House for a wonderful afternoon tea experience.
Go to Siam Celadon Factory well worth the visit you may not get free tea like Baan Celadon but the selection of products was amazing and they packed ti so well it all came home in one piece.
We used a Taxi driver Chin Service 089-635-7490 on and off throughout our stay as well as a full morning at Doi Sothep, and another at Handicraft village areas. He also was excellent for our trip to airport which was quite early.
Check out Thai Farm Cooking School well organised and enjoyable. The walking street markets Saturday and the Sunday were quite different. The Ansuran Market together with the Cabaret /Lady Boy show was worth paying for 1 or 2 drinks.
Kalare Market Food Court also was easy to sort out a delicious meal with lots of various foods. The coupon system does work well. If you miss out on some handcrafts, a trip to the Northern Thailand section at the Airport Plaza Shopping centre (not at the airport itself) is well worth a visit quality good and prices are very reasonable, this shopping centre had a great supermarket as well as a food court type area with lots of different goodies to choose from and was an airconditioned break from the very high heat in the middle of the day.
There also a free shuttle service to and from this shopping centre is available from 9 hotels such as Amora Thapae, Dusit D2, Shanrgri-La, Rati Lanna Riverside etc anyone can use it However if there are not many people on the way there the green Song thaw may leave early from the pick up points however on way back it leave right on time. Pick up starts from 10.45am and are generally hourly returns start at 11.30 last trip at 7pm
And Yes we did spend a full hour and 40 photos of the Pandas at Chiang Mai zoo at feeding time 9 am and yes they are very entertaining ... for those who just walked through in 5 minutes and didnt see a movement, they missed out Big Time!!!!
BIG HINT. Buy the 6 litre water container at 7/11 or wherever if staying for a while and then refill at the water stations which cost 3 baht, saving plastic. Or you can refill 4 x 1.5 lites for 3 baht, these water station are in various Sois throughout Chiang Mai.