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Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

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New York City, New...
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Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

Hello,

My husband and I are planning our December honeymoon to Thailand and Cambodia, which will include a 3 day stay in Chiang Mai. I'm looking at a couple of hotel/resort options both inside and outside the Old City. I've been told that the Old City can be less appealing because of cleanliness/sewage treatment issues, and that staying outside (we are looking at the Siripanna Resort, to the east of the Old City and just across the river) could be better, especially with easy tuk tuk/etc access downtown. Also have heard that the riverfront is very nice, too.

We live in NYC and have traveled so understand what international cities are like - just want to know what we are in for! Would much appreciate any guidance.

Thank you!

Florida - Alaska...
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1. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

In terms of cleanliness and sewage treatment, there is not too much difference from one part of the city to another.

The Old City section is older neighborhoods, mostly small Thai houses and shophouses, narrower roads. Some travelers consider the old houses and Thai style living to be "dirtier", but really it is not, just a different cultural norm.

The riverside area tends to be newer buildings, more high rises, modern shops. The west riverside feels a bit more open due to wider roads (but more traffic ;-).

Personally I prefer the Old City.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

I think Siripanna is a bit far out if you only have three days. Stay closer in. It is in a more residential neighbourhood. You will want to maximise your time and having everything on the door step will be an advantage.

If you are in Chiang Mai on a Sunday, it would be great to be in the old city with the Sunday Walking Street close by.

Personally I love the riverside area - but we are splitting our time between both areas on the next trip. Either will be fine. (but Siripanna is a bit further out than the river front area).

Caroline.

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

depends on what you're after, i'd say. if it's your very first time, i'd suggest the old city which has far less hectic, and the wats are everywhere. you'd get a better feeling of what it was like living in the old city in the old times. you'll be free to roam in the tiny streets and little cafes.

the riverside is only a short tuk tuk ride, and it's good to spend the evenings there for the sunset and ambience etc.

the walking street is more fun than the night bazaar which opens every night.

i've always been staying inside the old city, and have motivation problem to spend a night by the riverside, even though hotels will be more spacious. but then, i might as well stay in the outskirt overlooking paddy fields etc.

still, i will be staying inside the old city in my next trip there in september. that concludes.

Blue Mountains...
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4. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

I love to stay inside the old city, you can still walk to the night markets if you enjoy these, or if you can be there on a weekend the Sunday Walking street market is a must. I stay at Tamarind Village which i love.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

Hi, I did not find thecold city unclean at all. I loved staying in the old city, with the temples, Sunday night market, food market at night and only a stroll to the Night bazaar.

Viv.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

RoseSox, We have just returned from our 2nd trip to Chiang Mai, the first trip we stayed at the Shangri-la, which is a very luxurious hotel within easy walking distance of night markets and a short tuk-tuk ride to other attractions, last week we stayed at the Le Meridien hotel which is right in the middle of the night markets, with plenty of food outlets and restaurants outside.

Both these hotels are 5 stars but at a rate far less than you would pay in the states, if you read their reviews you will find a lot of your fellow american visitors have stayed there and have left favourable comments, it is your honeymoon, so you want somewhere that will add to your magical trip and leave a positive impression of this lovely city.

Check them out you might be surprised at the rates available, besides, you deserve some luxury and a bit of pampering , dont you?

Bangkok, Thailand...
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7. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

I wouldnt stay near the city for long. All very touristy and repetive. Markets sell a lot of junk. Chiang Mai province has great resorts 30 to 45 mins away in valleys and hills. Hire a car.

CM city is really boring.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

KhongChiam, Touristy?yes, repetitive?maybe yes, Boring? definetly not, how could you say Chiang Mai is boring, you say to hire a car and drive out into the hills and stay in a resort out there? that really sounds boring to me, that might be relaxing way out there in the hills and valleys but it also sounds very boring , give me the excitement, the vibe that you get in Chiang Mai anyday, I am in my late sixties and I LOVE CHIANG MAI

Bangkok, Thailand...
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9. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

Bangkok is far more exciting than CM. CM is just a small less interesting version of it and crawling with tourists.

CM hills are only boring if you do nothing. There are caves, hotsprings and waterfalls to explore.

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Stay in Old City or outside by the river?

KhongChiam, I went to Bangkok 3yrs ago and was disgusted with what confronted me, it was the most terrible city I have ever visited, I posted this on trip advisor and had some 200+posts, some in favour but most wanting to tear me apart, I decided there must be somewhere in thailand where the people are the same, the culture is the same, the true nature of thailand can be found,

This I found in Chiang Mai, Bangkok is run by mafia gangs, suspect officials(why there are so many protests), so much poverty yet trillions baht coming into the country yearly from tourists like me, the people in bangkok were very friendly and really trying to survive, but seemed to be battling a no win situation, the money was not being distributed out fairly.

I find Chiang Mai has the same lovely people, the same great shopping,the same great food, what they dont have is, the traffic madness, the scammers, the polution, there is poverty in Chiang Mai but not compared to what I saw in bangkok.

Bangkok might be an exciting destination for young adults looking for a good time but unfortunately for a lot of older tourists it has lost some of its appeal and we are now looking at alternative destinations in Thailand.

This is just my opinion