I fell behind on my recommendations.
Sorry there. They seem to take much longer than you, or I at least, would expect to put together. I also find they will be works in progress, as sometimes, suddenly, I remember this great little place I was in that one time. Or at the time of writing I just can’t remember it all. So keep checking back.
And sorry I’m going to leave you hanging at that very good day in Laung Prabang for the time being. It’s for a good cause.
Time to catch up where I left it:
You’ll see them riding around everywhere: the red taxis, the rebuild pickup trucks with the cozy benches in their roofed-in backs. They should take you anywhere in the city for just 20 baht (about half a buck)
Trekking. You’ll find adds for it on any hostel- or café wall. Or ask around with the locals. There’s great opportunity and beautiful nature surrounding Chiang Mai that will give you an experience you won’t forget easily. Rafting is definitely something to add to your trip!
Don’t visit Tigerkingdom. It’s a popular touristic attraction, but made me sick to the stomach.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the only way to keep these majestic animals behave in this easygoing manner around their pray, is drugging them, heavily. They lay around half asleep, having their ‘guards’ hitting them on the head to get them to move at all.
Please do them a favor and BAN THIS SHITHOLE!
Do, however, take a good long stroll over the nightmarket (Wichayanon Rd) outside of the center quarter. Maybe spread it over more evenings even, as it is BIG. Which brings me to the next item:
At that nightmarket is an excelent foodcourt! They work with a coupon system and are crazy cheap but even more crazy good.
My favorites were fresh springrolls and fried vegetables who make up a fine plate together.
I really enjoyed Freedom bar (Rachapakinai Rd) and the whole vibe that hangs around their shack.
Another place you have to at least take a look at, is the place known as backpacker center. Ask any red-taxi driver and they’ll know where to take you.
It’s a crazy-crazy party-packer place, but on a weekday you might find some live music. And when you’ve been backpacking SEA for a little longer, you won’t even mind the choice of music and rowdy crowds.
I had a great stay with Peaceful (Rachapakinai Rd), a friendly, rather quiet hostel within walking distance of anything you might need.
[Paint yourself a picture and check out the photos I took when I was there in March 2012]
Do you have anything to add to this list? Please let me know!