If you take the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai you might arrive late, so don't plan anything for that morning. We were supposed to get in at 8:30 and we pulled in sometime after 11am. When you exit the train station there will be a bunch of people standing around trying to get you into their Songthaew (pick up truck where you sit on covered bench seats in the back). This is your only option unless you arranged transportation with the hotel. I had emailed Pearl and asked her about how much I should expect to pay and that was helpful since the Songthaew guys were trying to charge more.
The hotel itself is lovely and Pearl and her staff are very nice and friendly. The breakfasts are super yummy, I especially enjoyed the French Toast. The deluxe room was clean and nice, my only compliant was that I found the bed to be hard - but that is how I found most beds all over Thailand. My boyfriend thought it was fine. We felt safe here and had no problem walking around at night. If you're looking for a place that is action packed and right in the center of everything, this is not it. We appreciated the quiet and that it was a little removed from the main area.
It's about a 15 minute walk to the main area, but there are some food places less than 5 minutes away. We'd recommend walking to the moat area for dinner (I think by the South gate?). It was one of the top 3 favorite memories of our trip.
Get massages in Chiang Mai. They are the cheapest in all of Thailand (at least from what we saw). If you're craving Western food, there's plenty. We had burritos with cheese imported from Wisconsin! Also, if you want to purchase Celedon pottery you don't have to go out to the factory. Siam Celedon operates a tea shop in the main area. Raming Tea House. It's really cool and worth a stop for a cold beverage. The Celedon prices here were the best we found. They were 10x in Bangkok.
Apparently the ice with holes in it means that it is filtered and safe to drink.
We liked Chang beer the best.
Definitely take a cooking class. We did Siam Rice and it was great. Eat a light breakfast!!
We highly recommend Thai Elephant Home. They treat their elephants very well and emphasize conservation. You get your own elephant and you ride bareback. Quite the experience!
We also highly recommend being in Chiang Mai on a Sunday so you can visit the Sunday Night Market. It is the best market we found. It's mostly all local and handmade items with tons of good food.
If you take a day trip to the Golden Triangle and you do the boat trip with the stop at "Laos" be prepared for counterfeit purses as far as the eye can see. You can bargain with them and I regret not buying a bag. You only have 30 minutes, so be prepared. I put Laos in quotation marks since even though you set foot on the land of Laos, there is nothing to see but shopping.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our family-run boutique bed and breakfast in Chiang Mai. Cozy atmosphere, great breakfast, affordable price. Located on Rat Chiang Saen Road soi 2Ko, it is very close to the historic Chiangmai Gate, the heart of Chiang Mai old City and yet very well served by public transportation.Our accommodation is only 10-minute drive to the international airport as well as the train station and within walking distance to other major tourist attractions, including:- - The famous Night Bazaar and Anusarn Market - Wualai Community (the well-known silversmith and lacquerware) and Wualai Walking Street (Saturday Night Market - the open-air showcase for the area's famous handicrafts) - Old temples (Wats) i.e. Wat Daowadung and Wat Muang Mang - Chiang Mai foreigners’ strip of Moon Muang and Loy Kroh. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Castle Hotel Chiang Mai