Hi to all. We are five friends from Slovenia. We already made our way into the South and now we are planning to visit the North of Thailand for a week. We are going to spend 2 days in Chiang Mai and would like to get to know the city and get some info about the cultural aspects, temples, historical landmarks etc. We are thinking a cycling tour would be the best option as chiang Mai is quite flat. Any input on cycling tours in the area? What is the best? We are looking for something not expensive as we are students and on a budget. Best regards Marco (and the 4 Slovenian musketeers).
#1 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
The city itself is kind of flat - like most cities here. BUT, the province, not so much. So depends on how far you plan on riding.
All the tours I know of tend to be a bit pricey, but I am far from an expert on this one, so perhaps some other guys here have more info on that.
Cheaper to hire a scooter and far more practical. CM is a sizeable city and you will see far more on a scooter.
#3 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412
Thanks Gogomobile but we don't like scooters as it's a bit risky. We met so may travelers with serious injuries recently it was insane. Anyway we found one on gogobot for 500. Here is the link if anyone is interested. If you have any iinput on that let us know.
Before we see all this smashed travelers we were actually planning to do a motorbike trip to Pai but we will skip it. Probably go with a bus.
MADMAC thank you for your answer but we plan to go to pai as a destination out of Chiang Mai and maybe Chiang Rai but it will depend about time. We heard that the scenery there is very beautiful. We just want to have a cultural trip in the city of Chiang Mai, check some history, temples etc. Someone proposed that we should to a trek once we are in Pai. Is it a good idea? Thank you.
#4 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Be ready to pedal your ass off up hill and down. I don't know what made you think this area is flat - but it ain't.
FYI bikes here are not safer than scooters / motorcycles. Thai driving struggles more than most with speed differentials. If bikes are your thing, fine. But don't think you are being safer by pedaling. You are not.
Since you mentioned an interest in Pai , I think you should wait and trek or bike around there. Biking in and around the larger cities is pretty crazy, and you'll get passed very closely, and very fast. Pai has many dirt and paved roads to explore.
Pai is more laid back, certainly, and hilly, but you're Slovenian, you know hills, I imagine. (FYI- I was amazed at the prevalence of off-road paths in Slovenia, you certainly won't find that in Thailand...)
Also, Chiang Mai, especially inside the walls, is very compact and walkable for seeing the sights, etc. and the food at Huen Phen is delicious.
Better to drive to Pai. You can visit Chiang Dao as well that way.
Pai isnt interesting unless you have your own transport as the caves are 1 hour drive north of the town and the town itself is nothing much. Scenary is ok nothing special. The scenary on the drive to Phayao is better.
#8 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412
Thank you Captain Bob. We will probably give it a shot.
Gogomobile thank you for recommendations we will definitely trey to go to the caves. Maybe we rent a scooter once we are there.
MADMAC thank you. We are lazy type of traveller unfortunately. We will see and do.
TerroirTravel thank you for your comment. Actually we are not really interested cycling on hills cause we are not sporty people if you know what i mean. Maybe walking will do. We like chilling more than moving. Haha. Be well.
#9 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Chiang Mai done. Amazing city. Probably the more chill out place we have ever been. The people here are very different from the people in the South. They seem more calm and the service is much better. Plus we loved the prices. It's much cheaper than the South. Off to Pai.
#10 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
#11 mtanyarat has been a member since 1/11/2015. Posts: 3
you welcome. haha.
#12 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
And we are back for two days. This is the best place we visited so far.
#13 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
#16 lemak has been a member since 1/12/2015. Posts: 5
#17 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
We had great time. Thanks.
#18 lemak has been a member since 1/12/2015. Posts: 5
chiang mai is now very cold. Need have long sleeves
#19 mtanyarat has been a member since 1/11/2015. Posts: 3
It's not that cold. Still walking around with t-shirt. Maybe late at night a bit colder but come on. It's spring temperatures.
#20 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11
"Cold" has a very different definition here ( Chiang Mai ) compared to normal humans ;-)
Under 20C is considered "cold" and anything around 12C is considered life-threatening. Sure there's frost at 6am on Doi Inthanon (2600m) but who's silly enough to be up there then except a couple park rangers covered in Ninja gear? Meanwhile down in "lowland" Chiang Mai city (320m) it seldom drops below 19C at night, which is t-shirt weather for most of us unless you're riding a motorbike which may require light fleece and maybe socks(!) Daytimes have been clear, sunny, mid/upper 20s - In other words, great time to be here. Happy Holidays ;-)
Great indeed. Feels as if there is a smooth a/c breeze everywhere.
#22 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11
Miss Chiang Mai. We had an amazing time there.
#23 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Not bad place.
#24 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11
Not a bad place?
#25 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Alright. A good place. But i find People from the South much more direct. Don't you think?
#26 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11
I think they are much more agressive. Especially when they try to sell you all kind of stuff. In the North they are much calmer and they don't seem to care that much. I prefer the locals of Chiang Mai.
#27 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Good Afternoon and thank you for accepting us in the community. We are a family of three and we are interested on this type of activities. Our son is 11 and i wonder how safe it would be for him to participate. Is Chiang Mai a place were riding bike is safe? We will be there in about a week or so. He has experience riding a bike but it's not something he does consistently.
#28 kalidoskopio has been a member since 6/3/2016. Posts: 3
There is absolutely no reason to book a Chiang Mai bicycle tour from an overseas (in this case Indian) travel agent. Just get here and ask local agents or do a web search for local operators to book directly. Is it safe? I used to cycle all around the city frequently but have slowed in down a bit after some close calls. If you go with a responsible guide and stick together as a group it should be okay, just be aware of the style of driving here it's different from "home" in many ways ;-)
The Indian travel agent spam has been deleted. Captain_bob is right - book it locally or just when you arrive.
#30 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,764
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Thank you all for your answers. I am not sure what is the Indian travel agent spam.
#31 kalidoskopio has been a member since 6/3/2016. Posts: 3
I don't know if it is a good idea. As far as i am told the pollution levels are very high. Maybe it will be better to stay out of the city.
#33 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11
^The recent/current heatwave and smog situation has nothing to do with being in the city. In fact it can easily be worse out in the hills away from town where all the burning has taken place. Also there has been virtually no rain since February, and while most years the worst is usually over by Songkran (mid-May) it is still ongoing, with temperatures of 40C+ every day (places like Mae Hong Son are hitting 43!) and hazardous levels of "PM10/2.5" small particle pollution (and the hills have disappeared for weeks behind the smokescreen). Certainly not the time to do any strenuous outdoor activities. Once we get some decent rains things should improve significantly, but so far it's reported as the worst drought in 20 years.
I don't see rain yet. From what i heard the rain starts after Songkran but nothing is happening and the pollution in the city is to big. I see many people with masks.
#35 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
There was a big fire in Doi Shutep and we have a house very close there. My dog couldn't breathe. It was horrible. With that heat there is no humidity so it is very easy to start a fire.
#36 MariaBurgental has been a member since 10/3/2016. Posts: 1
As if the record heatwave and drought and pollution wasn't enough, half our mountain has to burn down as well. The rain gods have mostly ignored us this year. http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/915771-major-forest-fire-doi-suthep-chiang-mai
I think that it is already the rain season but no rain.Go figure. It is so hot somedays you don't want to do anything. Everyday someone mentions a weather prediction that it's going to rain but nothing happens. Climate change?
#38 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 28
Hi. We are planning to visit CM in a couple of months. How bad is the pollution around middle of August? Thank you.
#39 RetributionTravel has been a member since 15/6/2016. Posts: 4
Pollution season is approximately mid-February until sometime in April/May whenever rainy season starts and agricultural burning stops. We flipped to rainy season a few weeks ago and now the air is fresh and clean. August no worries.
Thank you very much for your kind answer. We already made arrangements.
#41 RetributionTravel has been a member since 15/6/2016. Posts: 4
The air is "OK" for now, but usually gets worse heading into March - smoke & heat. Local government again promising some kind of "crackdown" on burning but that's been said every year with limited success. Anyway views of the hills are getting pretty hazy but for a short visit you might hardly notice, but I'd still rather be on Lanta now ;-)