Thailand: Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at about 10:00 at night after leaving Vancouver at noon the day before. We had a short layover in Beijing, China. Our luggage, unfortunately, had a longer layover there and didn’t join us for another 24 hours. 

We have had our luggage disappear before, so were prepared for a day without it. The folks at the airport handled the situation well. They didn’t wait until we had watched all of the luggage come through, with our anxiety increasing by the minute. Instead, they came directly to us when we reached the luggage carousel and asked to see our baggage tags as some pieces hadn’t made it. Ours were a match (yay!) and they directed us to a counter to complete a brief form. They told us they would deliver it to the hotel the next night, which they did. 

We are staying in the old town, at the Lee Chiang Hotel, which is a 15-minute ride from the airport. Taxis were readily available for a standard fee of 300 baht ($12 CAD) for the two of us. We had asked the hotelier for a late check-in, and he was there to greet us and get us settled. 

We’ve just spent a couple of days now, walking around the old town, visiting a few temples on the second day once our clean, temple-suitable clothing had arrived.

The only park inside the old city (which is surrounded by a moat) provided a welcome break.

We were hit by unseasonal almost-monsoon-like rains that chased us home yesterday afternoon and kept us in earlier today. This isn’t a hardship since we have several weeks here, have lots of planning to do for upcoming countries, and we’re still sitting on a patio in the warmth of the tropics.

If you have been to Thailand, please drop us a comment with recommendations for your must-sees in Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta, in particular. (We visited Bangkok on a previous trip to this part of the world, so are giving it a miss this time.) We would really love to hear from you!

Photo: Ken


  • Hotel cost: $63 CAD/night including taxes and an awesome breakfast each day. There are many cheaper, and we would normally book an AirBnB with kitchen, but we were very late booking, we wanted to be in the old city, and kitchens are less critical here where street food and cafes abound, the food is considered some of the world’s best, and it is inexpensive.
  • Entry to Wat Chedi Luang: 40 baht per foreign visitor (~$2 CAD).

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