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Just to introduce myself and to talk about Northern Thailand where we live...

  • globalgypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2006
    Posts: 12

    Hi,
    My Name is Kurt. My wife and I, Mon live in Chiang Dao Thailand. Even though we run a Restaurant and Guesthouse in Chiang Dao, I am more than willing to share my experiences about other towns and areas in Northern Thailand, too.
    I have been living in Thailand for about 6 years now. Born in Germany and have lived in Canada from 1975 - 2000. We do a lot of travelling, both in Thailand and other places.
    I have lived in Mexico, travelled to Guadamala and Belize and travelled most of Europe when I was in my teens.
    I am 48 years old now and earlier this year (February), my wife and I settled in Chiang Dao. Here we bought some property and we also run Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and Guesthouse, a budget place, geared towards backpackers and cool people.
    We moved here for several reasons....
    first of all, there are only about 30 foreigners living in the area, which makes it nice. Then we wanted a place that is cool at night and in the mountains. My wife also loves flowers and nature and there is lots around here. We also liked Chiang Dao's proximity to Chiang Mai, Thailand's second biggest city. Even though we live in a small town here, we are only 1 1/2 hours (75km) from Chiang Mai, it's night life, movie theaters and shopping malls.
    My wife, Mon, is originally from Chiang Mai. Before we moved out here, she owned a Thai restaurant there.
    So this is us in a "Nutshell". Feel free to ask, if you want to know more about us or the Chiang Dao/Northern Thailand area. We've covered a lot of ground by motorcycle during the past 6 years.
    Oh yes, we love riding motorcycles. I own a Honda Steed 400, which is just big enough to get us around everywhere and up the big hills with ease (Like Doi Inthernon or Doi Luang Chiang Dao)
    Glad to have found this forum. I like that the moderator wants to keep it clean and respectful. I look forward to interacting with other travellers, as time permits
    Cheers
    Kurt

    #1 Posted: 12/11/2006 - 11:33

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2357
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    kurt,

    hi guy. sorry we missed you when we were in chiang dao in june. where is your guest house and restaurant? are you in town or more out toward the cave near malee's and the nest. do you have a sign up anywhere near where the bus drops off there in town (just south of the 7/11, in front of the internet cafe and noodle shop)? cheers.

    #2 Posted: 12/11/2006 - 11:46

  • gill8915

    Joined Travelfish
    19th October, 2006
    Posts: 3

    Hi Kurt!
    Thanks for your message, it is great to have people to ask questions and converse with! I am writing from Canada, Nova Scotia where I grew up. I lived in Vancouver for the past 10 years and have just moved back here, where did you live in Canada?
    My Boyfriend and I will be arriving in Chiang Mai around Dec 4th and planning on visiting Chiang Dao, what is the name of your place?
    I have been to Thailand before but not to the North so looking forward to the new experience! I am sure I will have more questions for!
    Thanks again,
    Gillian

    #3 Posted: 12/11/2006 - 22:49

  • gill8915

    Joined Travelfish
    19th October, 2006
    Posts: 3

    Hi Kurt!
    Thanks for your message, it is great to have people to ask questions and converse with! I am writing from Canada, Nova Scotia where I grew up. I lived in Vancouver for the past 10 years and have just moved back here, where did you live in Canada?
    My Boyfriend and I will be arriving in Chiang Mai around Dec 4th and planning on visiting Chiang Dao, what is the name of your place?
    I have been to Thailand before but not to the North so looking forward to the new experience! I am sure I will have more questions for!
    Thanks again,
    Gillian

    #4 Posted: 12/11/2006 - 22:49

  • Red

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd May, 2006
    Posts: 46

    Hi Kurt,
    Thanks for your message. I would like to know if I need to bring warm clothing for our trip when we catch the train up to Chiang Mai on the 30th December then spend 6 days up around your area and the Golden Triangle. I'd hate to have to carry unnecessarythings if it can be helped. I suppose I can always buy warm clothing at the markets. Your advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Red.

    #5 Posted: 14/11/2006 - 10:21

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2357
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    Red,

    That far north that time of the year you'd be wise to pack at least a long-sleeve shirt and a fleece jacket. Those won't take up too much space in your pack, and will make you much happier in the suprisingly cool evenings in northern Thailand.

    If you've booked an air conditioned car for that train trip to Chiang Mai, you'll be glad you've got something to keep you warm too.

    What do you say Kurt?

    Cheers.

    #6 Posted: 14/11/2006 - 11:28

  • Red

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd May, 2006
    Posts: 46

    Thanks exacto, and yes it is a a/c sleeper, and by the sounds of it we won't be able to adjust the a/c anyway. Oh well, I'll just put my woolies on.
    Thanks again
    Red.
    6 weeks to go and counting, we can't wait :)

    #7 Posted: 14/11/2006 - 11:51

  • globalgypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2006
    Posts: 12

    Hi Everyone,
    Sorry it taking me so long to get back. We have been so busy with our restaurant and guesthouse. I'll try to answer you all at the same time in this email....
    Exacto:
    [q]hi guy. sorry we missed you when we were in chiang dao in june. where is your guest house and restaurant? are you in town or more out toward the cave near malee's and the nest. do you have a sign up anywhere near where the bus drops off there in town (just south of the 7/11, in front of the internet cafe and noodle shop)? cheers[/q]

    We are located exactly 2.5km North of the Chiang Dao 7/11, on the right hand side. So if travelling by bus or songtheaw, stay on the bus and ask the driver to let you off, once you see our black/red/yellow "Mon and Kurt's Restaurant" signs. No sign near the downtown busstop, but you will see the first sign 2.15km North of the 7/11 and 250meters after is our restaurant, just before the corner. We are closed Wednesdays, unless we have guests that day, in which case, our staff will look after the guesthouse.

    Gilian:
    [b]...re did you live in Canada?
    My Boyfriend and I will be arriving in Chiang Mai around Dec 4th and planning on visiting Chiang Dao, what is the name of your place?
    [/q]

    I lived in Campbell River, British Columbia before 2000 and before 1975 in Germany, where I was born.
    Mon and Kurt's Restaurant and Guesthouse
    Look forward to seeing you. Read my comment to Exacto for directions on how to get here, please. There is also more info and a small map on our website:
    http://www.chiangdao.org

    Red:
    Yes on both counts Red. You will need warm clothing North of Chiang Mai and you can buy it at some markets in Chiang Mai, but as Exacto mentioned, the AC in the train gets cold. Ask them for an extra blanket, too ;-)
    Looking forward to meet you all, if you make it up to Chiang Dao.
    We also have a lot of travellers stop here (when we are full), because it's easy to get of the bus (just ask the driver to stop), grab a free glass of water or a bite to eat and ask us about other accommodations in the area. Most of them will come to our place and pick you up for free, which is a lot easier than stopping downtown Chiang Dao and having to pay 200 - 250 Baht to take a Songtheaw to another resort.
    There is also a nice French Man, who will deliver motorcycles for rent to our place. He'll drop them off and pick them up again for 200 Baht per day, which is more than in Chiang Mai (where it's 100 Baht and up), but if you just want one for a day or two, it's sometimes easier.
    Just to let you know, we don't take any kickbacks from any of these resorts or rentals. We just like to provide the added service for our guests and we also like to support these businesses, because they come and eat here and support us as well.
    Gotta' run
    Cheers
    Mon and Kurt

    #8 Posted: 16/11/2006 - 08:01

  • TheSnowQueen

    Joined Travelfish
    16th October, 2006
    Posts: 24

    Hi Mon and Kurt

    My husband Alan and I are leaving rainy London for Bangkok this Sunday and we are planning to spend the some weeks in Northern Thailand motorcycling so we would be interested in your own experiences and suggestions. (we are experienced motorcyclists and will be looking for advice on hiring a bike, preferably something larger than 100cc!!) As I'm in my late 40s too, our priority is comfort and safety!

    We are visiting friends in Chiang Rai and will also plan to visit Chiang Mai and surrounds.

    any help and advice much appreciated!

    Kind regards

    #9 Posted: 16/11/2006 - 19:17

  • globalgypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2006
    Posts: 12

    Hi guys,
    The man who runs the following site visited us this year. He travels by motorcyle all over and wrote the Motorcycle guide for the Golden Triangle. Check out his website first, and if you have any questions left after that, please do let me know: http://www.gt-rider.com
    Honda Phantom should be about the right size to travel around Thailand for two people, I think. It will get you up all the hills ;-)

    Cheers
    Kurt

    #10 Posted: 17/11/2006 - 14:11

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  • loztrav

    Joined Travelfish
    25th November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Hi Kurt, or anyone,

    Does anybody know of any cheapish apartments, up North, (But, anywhere considered - quite & cheap is a priority but not essential), I can rent by the month, including internet connection in the room? I'm arriving early Dec.

    #11 Posted: 25/11/2006 - 20:04

  • globalgypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2006
    Posts: 12

    We rent rooms here at our Guesthouse/Restaurant, but Chiang Dao can be pretty quiet, so unless you are looking for a place to really chill out and get away from it all, you'll probably want to try Chiang Mai first.
    Our rooms are 190 Baht/250 Baht per night single/double, ADSL in the room would be no problem, as I already have an ADSL connection here.
    We could also make a deal by the month, but not for December, as we are booked for Dec 8 - 10th and Dec 19 - 31st already.
    We also have a two storey, two bedroom house for rent, which will go for about 2000 Baht per month unfurnished, plus power, but you would have to get your own phone hookup there, so unless you were here for several months, it would not be worth it.
    If this is your first time in Thailand, I would suggest checking out Chiang Mai first and then go from there. Chiang Mai has lots of apartments for rent, starting from about 1200 Baht per months and up, (most of them 3000 Baht or more per months, you really have to search out the cheap ones)
    Try to get a place where you can have an ADSL hookup, so you don't have to pay for every phone call.
    I guess, we would sort of have to know your tastes and what kind of life style you are looking for, in order to get more specific with recommendations.
    Are you looking for an apartment with air conditon or fan? Hot water shower? Western Style Toilet? In the city or out in the country?

    #12 Posted: 26/11/2006 - 17:34

  • loztrav

    Joined Travelfish
    25th November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Sawadee Khrap Kurt,

    Thanks for the interesting info, The middle of Jan. would be good for me. Is it easy to get to Laos from there?

    This will be my 6th time to Thailand although, the last time was 16 years ago.

    Just a fan should be enough, hot water & Western toilet not necessary, maybe I could take a split with part of the time in town & part in the country, what is important is the net connection in the room.

    Cheers Kurt.

    #13 Posted: 27/11/2006 - 20:33

  • globalgypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2006
    Posts: 12

    Hi Loz
    All of our rooms have direct internet connections now to plug into your laptop. I also have my personal computer people who don't have a laptop can use.
    Believe be, you want hot water if you come to Chiang Dao in January. Today is Dec. 21st and it is absolutely freezing this morning as well as last night ;-)
    Cheers
    Kurt
    http://www.chiangdao.org

    #14 Posted: 19/12/2006 - 08:11

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