So finally off next week..
A few questions regarding Chang Mai
Is it cheaper to book hotels over the Internet or when I get there
Should I bring my hiking boots for hikes in and around Chang Mai
#1 woody has been a member since 15/4/2006. Posts: 10
For reservations it depends on the class of hotel -- for the cheap backpacker options, you'll find it cheapest just to show up, but for mid-range and above, take a look around on the never-ending spply of hotel-booking-websites -- some have very low rates.
For hiking boots, i'd go with heavy-duty sandals rather than boots -- not so hot on the feet.
I've just left Chiang Mai after having spent around five weeks there, on and off. Now, the tourist season there is over, and you'll have no trouble finding a room, and little trouble negotiating for an off-season rate.
I stayed at the Parasol Inn (http://www.parasolinn.com), a new hotel/guesthouse slap-bang-wallop in the middle of the old city - literally at the centre. It has TV/AC (it's VERY hot there now), clean and comfortable rooms, nice staff, you should be able to get between 400 and 600 night for a twin/double. Rooms 2, 3 and 4 01,03 have a view of Wat Chedi Luang from the bathroom window - the bedroom windows are internal to the bathroom. On a Sunday, Chiang Mai's famous walking market is literally on your doorstep.
If you go to the hotel, negotiate down by saying you don't want the free breakfast - food isn't their strong point right now.
I loved staying there, was on first name terms by the time I left, and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.
Somtam's right about the hiking boots - too heavy. But I'd avoid sandals if you're hiking near waterfalls (hopefully you will be!) - the rains have started and there are a lot of leeches around. Get decent lightweight but robust shoes and mesh socks - these will offer you some protection.
Have a fantastic time!
#3 totallygone has been a member since 6/5/2006. Posts: 6