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Chiang Kham

Travel Guide

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The small town of Chiang Kham is best known for its heavy Thai Lue influence, but today is little more than a rest stop and junction town for people travelling between other larger centres. Unless you're travelling independently, for example by motorbike as we were, there is little chance you'll even find yourself here.

It is a convenient staging point for trips north to Phu Sang National Park, Phu Lang Ka and Phu Chee Fah, all three of which are well worth the effort to reach.

Outlying sites aside, Chiang Kham itself doesn't really have all that much to offer, featuring nothing more than a bland hotel, a few places to eat and a Thai Lue Cultural Centre, which was pretty run down when we passed through, none of which justify a trip to here alone. historically the town has a rich Thai Lue heritage but there is little evidence of that in day to day life here.

If you do find yourself stranded here and in need of a meal, Chiang Kham's best offerings can be found in the form of three open-air Thai restaurants beside each other near the 7-Eleven. They do good, reasonably-priced standards and while there is no English menu and little English is spoken, you can point and gesture to get most nearly anything at these places. The one closest to the 7-eleven does massive bowls of tom yam goong -- recommended.

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Our recommendations

This small town falls strictly into the category of "What on Earth am I doing here?" There's nothing particularly wrong with it, and we're sure the thousands of Chiang Khamians who live here love it, but, well, from a traveller perspective, this is not a town overflowing with things to do.

If you are here, chances are you're heading to Phu Lang Ka, in which case we say if you get to Chiang Kham early enough, push on.

Text and/or map last updated on 12th August, 2009.

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