greetings. I will be arriving in Chiang Mai late January, staying for one week. My agenda is to visit the Karens hill tribe/some small trekking activity in this trip and take it easy in Chiang Mai.
I am considering going to Chiang Dao, staying at the ChiangDao Nest 1. I got some useful information from here, about using the public transport to reach Chiang Dao and so on. I also saw on the website of the 'resort', the tours they offer. My question is - Since there are so many competitive travel agencies in Chiang Mai, which is a wiser and cheaper(much or little more) option?
1)Book the room at Chiang Dao Nest online, take the public bus there, book the tour with them when i arrive there?
2)Shop around in Chiang Mai, get the best deal, go with it and let the travel agency take care of everything?
Any kind of advice would also be greatly appreciated.
You'll get a cheaper trek out of Chiang Mai but it may not be better! I'd suggest following option 1 -- you can probably book the trek through them in advance as well if you wish.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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Hi Mia and others,
I am planning on traveling from Chiang Mai to Chiang Dao Nest 2 in early February 07 by public bus as well. Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.
FYI in 2/06 I went on a day eco tour out of Chiang mai with a TAT approved company. We confirmed it was private. It wasn't. We overpaid by 400B each. Not worth it. It seems like the companies act as brokers. I suggest you visit TAT first.
#4 meyers66 has been a member since 5/1/2006. Posts: 7
Chiang Dao Nest is lovely. Waking up to the crisp fresh air with mountain view at the doorstep was grand for me. It turns cold in the evenings, be sure to have warm clothes and jumper. Sitting by the fireplace under the pitch dark sky dotted with countless stars was charming, even more with a couple of beer changs.
Kitchen was closed for dinner at Nest2 on my stay, was directed to Nest1 for barbecue dinner. If that happens, do ask for a minivan charter(free) as it's quite a distance to walk in the dark. I was not told of the possiblity so i walked half my way and back, because i thought i was lost. There were many barking dogs. Finally, the staff called and a minivan came. Dinner was great. after dinner, the van fetched all Nest2 guests back.
If you are planning to go bamboo rafting, do wear slippers or sandals as water do get on the feet even when the rafting is gentle. I highly recommend walking up to a monastry in the mountains in the morning, there is not touristy. Very peaceful. Although the Chiang Dao cave is the highlight of the area, I prefer the monastry, both can be reached by foot. You can get a concise map of the area from the reception.
For me, one night is good. All well worth.
Thank you Mia. I will print out your advice and use it. Cheers.
#6 meyers66 has been a member since 5/1/2006. Posts: 7
Hi Mia, We like quiet places as well. Nature, Buddhism, and culture are the reasons I'm going to this area. Are there any other places you would recommend as a must see? We will be in the North for 26 days. I'm considering visiting Nan province to the East.
#7 meyers66 has been a member since 5/1/2006. Posts: 7
I envy your 26 days in the north. Have a great time.
Since you've got the time, I'd recommend a loop from Chiang Mai through Pai to Mae Hong Son. Both of those destinations are very popular for good reasons. The great thing about Mae Hong Son is the architecture - the place feels more like Burma than it does Thailand. You can take the bus in one direction and fly the other way.
When you are in Chiang Mai, if you haven't yet, be sure to visit Wat Umong. It's a forest temple up towards Chiang Mai University, and a must visit for people interested in Buddhism.. Cheers.
There are many different places to stay and eat in Chiang Dao these days, so you might also want to check out the following websites:
http://www.chiangdao.org and http://www.chiangdao.info which are both Non-Profit sites
Aside from Chiang Dao Nests, there is also a Thai-German Restaurant, a Greek Restaurant and an Italian Restaurant, which all serve great food. There is also a Cafe near the busstop, which serves food, fresh Coffee and many other things. Chiang Dao has also about a dozen quality accommodations ranging from 190 Baht per night to over 1000 Baht per night.
It's a really good town to hang out in and to do some nature walks, bird watching, trekking, elephant riding, etc.
Not a party town. More for people who love nature or are looking for a place to chill for a few days.
#9 globalgypsy has been a member since 12/11/2006. Posts: 12
I agree with you Globalgypsy about Chiang dao. I wish I had your info before I went.
We stayed at Chiang dao Nest 2 for one night. We found it pretensious. Nest 1 restaurant was over priced. 345B for fish. Crazy. Obscene prices considering the level of poverty 1 km away. Malee's Nature Resort had a much better vibe and Malee is great. Highly recommend this place.
FYI the Nature Trail is steep so heads up. Lots of sliding down the mountain.
#10 meyers66 has been a member since 5/1/2006. Posts: 7
When we went to chang dao it was by moto bike from Chaing Mai for a day trip. I wouldn't advise this tho as its a long drive on the dodgy little 'ped' we hired! :)
Visit the chang dao caves when your there tho. They are very intresting to explore.