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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is my favorite Thai city.  It's a market town in northern Thailand, not far from the Burmese and Laos borders. It's an hour's flight from Bangkok.   There is a busy 'night market' with some of the best shopping in Thailand.  Nearby in the countryside there are elephant camps, rafting, villages and temples to see.

The Royal Princess hotel

The hotel lobby

Reception

Don and I outside the hotel

Don Burnell and I always stayed at the Royal Princess, an inexpensive hotel right in the center of town and the night market. (Don is no longer with us, and is much missed).

A tuk tuk is a great way to see the town, if you are not going too far!  Tuk tuks cost about $1.  The driver will also wait for you - asleep in the back of his tuk tuk - and bring you back to your hotel, for less than $3.

A tuk tuk

 

The sleepy Ping river runs through Chiang Mai.   It is too shallow for most boats, but you do see fishermen walking across it.  On the banks on the Ping river are several good restaurants.  Our favorite is 'The Riverside', where you can relax for an hour over lunch beside the river, or listen to live bands with a young Thai crowd in the evening.

The Ping River

The Riverside

Don at the Riverside

Half an hour outside of town is the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.  This is a world-class resort hotel, with rooms in individual teak houses built around a rice paddy.  Every afternoon, white water buffalo are led along the paths through the hotel grounds.  At 5pm drumming starts beside the lake, and all of the grounds workers walk to a teak house and play Thai instruments for a while before going home.  There is also a very good cooking school in the hotel grounds.

 

In the grounds of the Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai

Rice paddy workers

A long neck tribe girl

The Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai

 

Sidney bravely went elephant trecking!

 

Tawan, our adopted Asian elephant

The daughter of a mahoot (elephant driver)

The border of Thailand, Burma and Laos

My usual spot behind the bar!

The Gara Fish Spa in Chiang Mai

Thousands of tiny fish!

The fish clean your feet wonderfully!

The Siam Celadon tea room in Chiang Mai

Dana and Bob Wisehart joined us in Chiang Mai in January 2010

On a baht bus

Cheerful Charlie's Fish and Chips - the best in Chiang Mai!

 

In the local market

Four Seasons cooking school

Sampling the delights of the cooking school!

At The Riverside, on the banks of the Ping river. A favorite spot

In the bar of the Rachamankha hotel