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Chiang Mai Car rental for a day...Where to go?

  • mjbrennan

    Joined Travelfish
    5th October, 2012
    Posts: 8

    Just booked a car rental at CM airport through thai rent-a-car for a day.

    I was already planning to see doi suthep, but now that I have wheels the possibilities are endless. Any recs?

    #1 Posted: 27/11/2012 - 11:05

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1645

    It depends on what your main interests are. Here are three suggestions for a one-day drive:

    1. Go south on highway 108 to Chom Thong then turn into Doi Inthanon National Park (200b plus car fee) visit waterfalls, botanical gardens and King & Queen pagodas on the way to the summit (highest point in Thailand). Google map here

    2. Drive the 100km Samoeng loop road by going north on highway 107 to Mae Rim and turn left on route 1096 then hilly/twisty road to Samoeng and continue back to the highway south of Chiang Mai. It's a bit lonely sometimes but a great scenic escape from the city. Google map here

    3. Or as you mentioned drive up to Doi Suthep temple and keep going up to the Phuphing Royal palace then to Ban Doi Pui Hmong hilltribe village (signs point the way or just ask) or past the summit to the Doi Pui campground and nearby coffee plantation with nice walking trails and wildflowers this time of year. The road is sealed until the coffee place. Google map here

    Check out local shops for GT-Rider maps. The Mae Sa / Samoeng Loop map is particularly useful and goes for 99 baht.

    #2 Posted: 27/11/2012 - 13:28

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
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    At least 98

    Awesome suggestions from Hauptman Bob there. I've done all three both by car and motorcycle and they are wonderful drives. Definitely start with those three recommendations. If you have the car for more than a day and are looking for additional ideas, the drive to Chiang Dao is worthwhile as is a side trip down to Lamphun.

    #3 Posted: 27/11/2012 - 13:34

  • mjbrennan

    Joined Travelfish
    5th October, 2012
    Posts: 8

    Thanks Bob and exacto!

    The first thing you mentioned (waterfalls and pagodas) sounds right up our alley! Any good food recs along that route? We're foodies and have packed sufficient pepto and cipro...

    #4 Posted: 29/11/2012 - 10:13

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    i can't speak for particular food stops on your drive, unless you are going up to Chiang Dao , in which case Chiang Dao Nest has one of the best restaurants you'll find in those parts.

    one of my favorite things about Chiang Mai is the ever-changing food scene there. on every trip, we make it a point to wander along both sides of the moat in the Tha Pae Gate area. each time there is a new line-up of great restaurants - including both local and international cusine. that's what i'd do if i were you. also, if you get a chance, stop by Aroon Rai along the outer moat not far from Tha Pae Gate for a curry or three. fantastic stuff. and if you discover some great place on your own, tell us about it too! regards.

    #5 Posted: 29/11/2012 - 13:49

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