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> Northern Thailand recommendations?
treesy
post Jan 28 2010, 08:19 AM
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Hi there,
Heading to Northern Thailand end of March and would love to hear from anyone who can recommend anywhere to head to that is a little off the beaten track. Travelling with my young son, and will prob at some point take in the tiger temple & elephant park, but would love to get some idea of best way to access tribal areas that are not too packaged and craft selling orientated. ie independent homestays or recommended villages/guides etc
Thankyou, Trees
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Paul
post Jan 29 2010, 06:23 AM
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Hi Treesy,

I will try to remember to come back to this thread and write more options for you, but the first one that comes to mind:

If you get yourself to Mirror Art Guest House in Chiang Rai (http://mirrorartgroup.org/guesthouse/index.php)

and talk to the receptionist there called Yupa.

Yupa is Lahu but lives in a Karen village with her husband and kids, about 15km out of town. (Lahu and Karen are the names of two ethnic minority groups)
Her village doesn't get tourists, it is just a very normal village. Her house isn't fancy - just normal for the area - but her English is OK and she is interested in starting to have home stay guests.

So it is an option that is an independent home stay and not the packaged version. There is some nice views from a little walk past her village.

Also Chiang Rai is a much quieter, more normal town than Chiang Mai and much nicer in my opinion.

Hope that helps
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treesy
post Jan 29 2010, 06:41 AM
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Hi thanks guys, thats the kind of information I was hoping for!!
Thanks Paul, be really grateful for any other info you remember, Trees
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travelmonster
post Jan 29 2010, 11:12 AM
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I'm interested in hearing more as well Paul. I'll be up that neck of the woods for a few weeks probably about this time next year. flowers.png


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darrenstravels
post Jan 29 2010, 12:27 PM
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I'll be in that neck of the woods at about the same time as Treesy, so cheers for that info Paul, sounds just up our street!


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Paul
post Jan 29 2010, 11:49 PM
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I am pleasantly surprised by all the feedback - I do have more to add. But lots to do right now, including going and meeting some Shan State Army soldiers - so I will add more here later.

:-)
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Paul
post Feb 16 2010, 06:46 AM
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I'm back as I said I would be, but I can't remember all the things I was thinking of suggesting....

Hmmm, here are some ideas anyway:

If you are passing through Chiang Mai - maybe check out Monk Chat (http://www.monkchat.net/)

I think Mae Hong Son town is well worth a visit - a very quiet, relaxed, safe town and very influenced by Shan culture.

In Fang it is worth checking out http://www.bloodfoundation.org/ for volunteering.

Or get the boat from Thaton to Chiang Rai - I think it is about a 4 hour trip. Nice.

Maybe plan to stay at My Dream Guest House - http://www.mydreamguesthouse.com/html/guesthouse.html
It is quite out of the way / out of town - so maybe a little inconvenient. But located next to a Karen village (Baan Kwae Wa Dum) that doesn't get many tourists.

Another guest house in Chiang Rai is Mirror Art Guest House http://mirrorartgroup.org/guesthouse/index.php
This one is in town and is connected to the Thai NGO Mirror Foundation
http://www.mirrorartgroup.org/

Other thoughts - maybe travel to Nan - off the beaten track, and a bit of a journey, but if you want to get into a place away from the tourists and a bit more traditional - it could be a good choice.

Or closer to Chiang Mai but still not necessarily overrun with tourists - Chiang Dao.

Hmmm - I have gone off track from your original question a bit, but I'm having a mental blank, so I'll leave it there for now and maybe come back again with some ideas.

Oh - before I go - Pangmapha is quite nice too. A friend of mine is probably there doing some gibbon research - he is a bit hard to contact, but if you want to see gibbons in the wild or visit the villages in that area you could try to find him.
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Paul
post Feb 16 2010, 06:50 AM
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Actually, before I sign out - I would also recommend going to Tachilek in Myanmar.

If you are friendly, you'll meet plenty of people there that are happy to chat with you. And I suspect if you go further up the road to Keng Tung, you will be able to get into some interesting villages.

Is it dangerous in Myanmar? In that particular area, from what I have seen, I would have to say no, it was actually very friendly.
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Paul
post Feb 16 2010, 06:52 AM
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Oh, and one more idea - my friend Daow, who is Akha is in-between jobs right now. She is very nice, has a guide license, speaks English and her dad happens to be the spirit leader of his village - so maybe you guys could meet up with her.
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lunthom
post Feb 18 2010, 08:26 PM
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yes, I agreed with Paul the mirror foundation is the good place for you.

I had ever a valunteer to teach the hill tribe children in Lahu village ,Chiangrai.

http://www.hilltribetour.com/english/index-eng.php
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treesy
post Feb 19 2010, 12:30 PM
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Thanks so much to you all, especially you Paul, that info is a complete jewel of info,
Trees
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travelmonster
post Feb 20 2010, 04:18 AM
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Thanks for the info Paul, really helpful - I've noted it for my trip flowers.png


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"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment sparkling like a star in our hand -- and melting like a snowflake" - Marie Beynon Ray
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k8ttie
post Jun 30 2010, 08:59 AM
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Wow! Thanks for all the tips! Got them all down jump.gif
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debbie_los
post Dec 12 2011, 05:12 AM
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Hi thanks for all this great advice as well. Will be in north around end of February so hope to go to all areas mentioned.
cheers and regards!!
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alffredangelo
post Dec 23 2011, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE(debbie_los @ Dec 12 2011, 05:12 AM) *

Hi thanks for all this great advice as well. Will be in north around end of February so hope to go to all areas mentioned.
cheers and regards!!



have fun there flowers.png
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jackiectheworld
post Feb 12 2012, 06:09 AM
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The Home Place Hotel Chiang Mai is AWFUL. The shower water was dirty looking, so I couldn't wash off. The water had a metallic, contaminated smell. The same tan, disgusting water came out of the water faucet, so I didn't feel comfortable using it to wash my face or brush my teeth.

Do you like being chewed on by BED BUGS? I counted 18 bed bug bites from
just the ONE horrible night that I stayed at the Home Place Hotel in
Chiang Mai -- terrible.

The staff were really rude, which didn't help at all. They seemed to enjoy NOT helping!

I would highly recommend not staying at the Home Place Hotel.
ranting2.gif
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