Oct 31, 2006
This is a beautiful town in the mid-northern part of Thailand. We stayed at this guest house called Baang Gong Kham, which is a traditional Lanna-style house. Each bathroom was partly outside with a semi-roof...not so fun when it is raining with tons of mosquitoes, we imagine. The city and surrounding areas were so much fun to explore. We did a day trip to Doi Ithanon National Park-this was great with its stunning waterfalls. We also spent some time visiting local Karen and Hmong hilltribe villages and the Royal family gardens, where we tried some fantastic local coffee. The city has a lot of cool restaurant and shopping areas, besides the typical night market, which is fun too and cheaper than the markets in Bangkok. We learned that Chiang Mai was a huge hub for wood carving and Bann Tawai was the place where the actual woodcarvers would make and sell their pieces. Getting there was a bit of an adventure and hardly anyone spoke English.. Once there, Uddy managed to find this guy who was sculpting an incredible looking dragon. After finding an interpreter, the guy "our Thai woodcarving master" agreed to spend the following day giving Uddy a few lessons in woodcarving. They carved an elephant together, which will be on display at the Carmi/Prkic household upon our return. Chiang Mai is a definite must see in any Thailand trip.