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Old 09-29-2017, 01:11 AM
 
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I plan on going to Chiang Mai for a week. Friends who have been there before told me I don't need to spend a week there. Are there nearby places that would be better to visit? I just want to go ride an elephant and check out some temples.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Left coast
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Do you enjoy Thai cuisine?- eating would be top of my list....

here is one of my favorite food travelers (he visits Thailand a lot , for the record I have Thai relatives and love the food)-

https://migrationology.com/warorot-market-chiang-mai/
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Tampa
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Not to start a debate, but please think twice about riding elephants and consider going here instead https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/. It's an elephant rescue for those that have worked as street performers, loggers, and at elephant riding camps. You'll get right up to elephants, pet them, bathe them, etc., but won't ride them. The training to make elephants domesticated is intense and cruel.

There's many temples within Chiang Mai Old City. If you have time, hiring a driver to go to Doi Inthanon is well worth it. Your hotel can set you up.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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There are some beautiful waterfalls near Chaing Mai. You can go visit Chain Rai. You can take a day trip with a short boat ride to Laos (just to say you've been there - you'll see very little but the boat ride was interesting). There's a rain forest with a zip line and canopy.

We did the elephant ride when we were there and, I admit, it remains one of the coolest things we've done in our travels. That said, now that I 'know better' I wouldn't do it again. If feel the same way about our swimming with dophins. If we were to return to Chain Mai, we'd go here to spend time with the elephants. https://www.facebook.com/Puang2516/

I would have suggested a trip to the Monkey Temple in Lopburi - it is one of my favorite places we've visited (the monkey's made my DH very uncomfortable). But it's a long ways from CM. If you are going to be headed to Bangkok, do consider it.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:29 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prost View Post
Not to start a debate, but please think twice about riding elephants and consider going here instead https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/. It's an elephant rescue for those that have worked as street performers, loggers, and at elephant riding camps. You'll get right up to elephants, pet them, bathe them, etc., but won't ride them. The training to make elephants domesticated is intense and cruel.

There's many temples within Chiang Mai Old City. If you have time, hiring a driver to go to Doi Inthanon is well worth it. Your hotel can set you up.

Great advice, I would love to visit Thailand, but I would never partake in the abuse of elephants. The nature park, sounds wonderful
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:22 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Plenty of temples right in Chiang Mai city so that part is easy just with your own two feet. There is a snake farm (up in the hills same direction as the elephant crap), the big night market for tourists, the Chinatown area near Warorot, that other street market dealie that only happens on Saturdays, and some adventure fun type stuff like zip lines that I've never been to.

With an entire week I'd recommend you take a side trip or two. Three obvious options:

1. West to Pai, 2 hours by minivan. Pai is a small town near Myanmar border, used to be mainly popular among the hippy types but it's now mostly western and Chinese tourists. It's got some beautiful countryside around it so a nice place to spend with a rented scooter exploring the area. Depending on time of year there are also water activities to do on the river running through town. Can visit hill tribes from here.

2. North to Chiang Rai, 3 hours by bus. If you favor more modern (and eclectic) temples this is for you. There is also stuff to do related to Golden Triangle including a nifty opium museum. Can hop into the tourist zone of Myanmar across the border, and as with Pai can visit hill tribes including the long necks. Solid night market with a food court area that often has free entertainment up on the stage. Recommend Green Bus to go here, they leave constantly from Arcade bus station near that big mall in SE part of Chiang Mai.

3. South to Sukhothai, about 5 hours by bus but can also take train but I think that takes a bit longer. This is for the authentic ancient temple ruins, lots of the classic "Thailand temple at sunset" pictures are from here (although Wat Arun in Bangkok is probably most common) and if you Google search Sukhothai you'll see what i mean.

Good luck, have fun, any questions feel free to ask.
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