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  1. #1
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    bkk 2 cm - trip & house hunting questions

    Well, I've about had it with apt life in Bangkok so I thought I'd give house rentals in CM a look (12-20K baht / mo range). I have a few I've jotted down from the net.

    I'm trying to organize my trip up from bkk and I could use some help.

    Questions:

    1) Flying to CM from BKK - more expensive to buy the tix at the airport?

    I'm seeing prices of 1,500 - 2,500 one way on the Thai Airways website. Is it significantly more expensive to just show up at the airport and book a flight for that day?

    Are the flights usually fully booked or can one usually get a seat this time of year?

    2) Hotels - What's the best place to stay in the 2,000 baht range, centrally located? I can go up or down a bit on the price. Want something quite decent, but doesn't have to be top shelf w/ rose petals in the toilet bowl- about 4 star should suffice.

    Proximity to nightlife is not required, and quiet is really good. I would like a place where I can get some peaceful sleep at night yet still walk out for a bite to eat or have people meet up with me without too much hassle.

    3) I might need a driver to take me around. Probably for the better part of the day, 1-2 days. Anybody got a guy they can recommend for that?

    4) I'm looking at one place in Sansai that's not in a moo baan. They say it about 3km to the local Carrefour from there. Could I reasonably get to and from on a Yamaha Nuovo (for now) without getting maimed / killed, at least until I find a bigger bike / car?

    What about Hang Dong? Anything to watch out for? As long as I can get to and from some kind of supermarket I'm not overly concerned with distance from the downtown area.

    Cheers for any advice and apologies in advance if any of the above seems irritatingly stupid. Just trying to find my way around.

  2. #2
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    friscofrankie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbkk
    1) Flying to CM from BKK - more expensive to buy the tix at the airport? I'm seeing prices of 1,500 - 2,500 one way on the Thai Airways website. Is it significantly more expensive to just show up at the airport and book a flight for that day? Are the flights usually fully booked or can one usually get a seat this time of year?
    2) Hotels - What's the best place to stay in the 2,000 baht range, centrally located? I can go up or down a bit on the price. Want something quite decent, but doesn't have to be top shelf w/ rose petals in the toilet bowl- about 4 star should suffice. Proximity to nightlife is not required, and quiet is really good. I would like a place where I can get some peaceful sleep at night yet still walk out for a bite to eat or have people meet up with me without too much hassle.
    3) I might need a driver to take me around. Probably for the better part of the day, 1-2 days. Anybody got a guy they can recommend for that?
    4) I'm looking at one place in Sansai that's not in a moo baan. They say it about 3km to the local Carrefour from there. Could I reasonably get to and from on a Yamaha Nuovo (for now) without getting maimed / killed, at least until I find a bigger bike / car? What about Hang Dong? Anything to watch out for? As long as I can get to and from some kind of supermarket I'm not overly concerned with distance from the downtown area.
    1) Not a clue; last time I flew up was four years ago (maybe three?)

    2) Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Some friends stayed there and liked it Few years ago, but it is a top notch hotel The linked site claims "from 992 Baht" My friends paid about 1800 They loved it I have another friend tha stays at The Orchid and swears by it I haven't stayed in a hotel here for quite a while but there wil lbe some others along that have I imagine.

    3) This I can help you with I've got a guy - retired cop knows his way around town speaks passable English, good natured guy has a decent car in good running condition If you like I can get you in touch with him. I know him well enouigh to know how much I can trust him. And that is quite a bit.

    4) Yeah no problem although any time you venture out onto Thai hiways, roads, back alleys or sidewalks you are liable to get run over. The risks in that neck of the woods are no greater than anywhere else. I live in Mae Rim close to San Sai and ride my motorbike or car through there quite often and I ain't been kilt yet.

    un-numbered) I like Hang dong, but then I don't. My impression is it is slightly over priced for the value but that may just have been my luck. Does seem to have a higher density of Western folks.
    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -- T. Jefferson


  3. #3
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    Thanks, Frankie. Your guy sounds good and I definitely have work for him. PM on the way.

    I'll check out the hotel recommendation as well. A forum search turned up the Montri and some others. People seem to give the Novotel a miss - is it inconveniently located or something?

    When I was up in CM in 2005, I stayed at some 3 star places and they were all pretty grotty. Not an experience I'd like to repeat.

  4. #4
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    I stayed in the Suriwongse hotel when i went up there, massive room 2100baht a night and pretty good location.

  5. #5
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    Novotel is about iK from ChangPueak Gate (the gate on the north side) THe main tourist area is near Thapae Gate (West side gate). Novotel is quite centrally locate if you intend to expand you Chiangmai experience beyond the night market and old city IMO. I was in teh lobby a couple weeks ago, very well maintained no Mildew aroma and I felt I was in a first class hotel. it is quiet and small. I have never seen a room there.
    I had some Chinese Malay business men up for a a few days a couple years ago that stayed there. They found it more than adequate. For your stated purposes the location should be fine.

  6. #6
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    I stayed at the Suriwongse previously and although the room was huge, it was pretty banged up. I don't know when I started to get so prissy, but if the room has a really worn or dingy appearance I have a tough time with that.

  7. #7
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    Sansai is within range of Carrefour, Tesco and Rimping Supermarkets. Lots of small Moo Bahns. Plenty of property to rent.

    Personally I don't like Hang Dong only because of the highway. Especially in the evening rush hour. Terrible traffic.

  8. #8
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    Agree with BKKJohn on the Suriwongse, stayed there last weekend. It really needs a makeover, pity because great location ( once you have worked out the one way system!!)

  9. #9
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    Centara was OK for one night, weird use of space throughout the hotel incl. rooms which were only partially 'refurbished' with some spongy nasty carpet which stuck to my feet. Just on the edge of grotty, really.

    Imperial Mae Ping just a block or two away had a walk in rate of 2,400? Something like that. Smaller rooms than Centara but much nicer. Very happy with everything there.

    One note: If you make it clear on check-in that you're a light sleeper, they'll do their best to put you away from Chinese tour groups and the street. But the rooms are pretty well insulated so even the less optimal vacancies are still OK.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie
    I don't like Hang Dong only because of the highway. Especially in the evening rush hour. Terrible traffic.
    One reason we didn't buy round there.Dangerous road.
    San Sai , Doi Saket is much nicer

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by friscofrankie
    Novotel is about iK from ChangPueak Gate (the gate on the north side) THe main tourist area is near Thapae Gate (West side gate). Novotel is quite centrally locate if you intend to expand you Chiangmai experience beyond the night market and old city IMO. I was in teh lobby a couple weeks ago, very well maintained no Mildew aroma and I felt I was in a first class hotel. it is quiet and small. I have never seen a room there.
    Stayed for 1 night last time I went. The rooms were nice and we got a cheap deal over the internet. Preferred it to the Duwang Tawan and they have a minibus service to the night bazaar.

    On to the more important question that no one else seems to have addressed - what are you going to do about your user name?

  12. #12
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    I found Novotel to be an excellent hotel and the internet price was a steal.

    Mind you I have only ever stayed in 2 hotels in Chiang Mai

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimboyfat
    Mind you I have only ever stayed in 2 hotels in Chiang Mai
    I wonder what the other one was

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