KBCG’s Annual Pilgrimage to Thailand – Chiangmai 4D3N Itinerary

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Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
WhereChiangmaiChiangmaiChiangmaiChiangmai
Morning-Breakfast @ 137 Pillars
-Doi Suthep Temple
-Chiangmai University
-Breakfast @ 137 Pillars House
-Fruits Market
-Waroros Market
-Breakfast @ 137 Pillars House
-Departure @ 910 a.m.
LunchRistr8to, Nimmanhaemin Road-Kao Soi Sameu Jai
-Kao Soi Lam Duan
Afternoon-Wat Chiang Man
-Wat Phra Sing
-Wat Chedi Luang
-Wat Phan Tao
Rest & Relax @ 137 Pillars House
TeaSP Chicken
EveningArrival @ 430 p.m.
Saturday Night Market
Sunday Walking Street
DinnerThe Gallery Riverside RestaurantSunday Walking StreetDinner @ 137 Pillars House
Stay137 Pillars House
137 Pillars House
137 Pillars House

As a first timer to Chiangmai, we do not know what to expect. Apart from knowing that Chiangmai is 700km north of Bangkok and it is the second largest city in Thailand; we have also heard so much about its pleasant climate, misty mountains, colourful hill tribes and 300 over temples spanning across the city. This trip is happening because we manage to book our our flight tickets a year ago from a zero fare promotion. There were no regrets at all! We had a really good time fulfulling our Chiangmai 4D3n itinerary exploring Chiangmai city and its surrounding on our own.

DAY 1
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We were very lucky to have found 137 Pillars House 2 months before our trip. It is a very unique small luxury hotel with 30 hotel suites established around a colonial teak house built in 1889 as part of the East Borneo Company headquarters.
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Everyday we learnt something new about the hotel; from the stories of Anna and King Rama V (Anna’s son used to live here) and from the exhibition space preserving the historic artifacts found onsite.
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The colonial style teak building with 137 pillars (yes, someone actually counted) houses the Dining Room (casual dining), the Wine Cellar, the Parlor (high tea lounge), the Drawing Room (fine dining restaurant), Jack Bain’s Bar (library).
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We love waking up to this lovely view of the lawn and the main pool area. Can you believe that the green wall consists of 20,000 potted plant?
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pic from slh.com

We were staying at the Rajah Brooke Suite for three nights. It is the “smallest” suite in 137 Pillars House with “only” 70 square meters. We appreciated the attention to detail including Jim Thompson’s thai silk cushion cover, authentic Thai furnitures and ultra smooth bed linen. There were also Nespresso coffee and complimentary mini bar, which was refilled during our stay.
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I love the vintage tiled flooring of the shower room. Apart from the beautiful victorian bath tub; there are separate indoor and outdoor garden showers.

137 Pillars House
2 Soi 1, Nawatgate Road,
Tambon Watgate,
Muang Changmai,
50000 Thailand
Thailand
Ph: +66 (0)53 247788
Fx: +66 (0)53 247780
website: http://137pillarshouse.com/
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137 Pillars House is located next to the Ping River while the main city is on another side of the river. Nice location as it is close enough from the city but away from the hustle bustle. We spotted a lot of nice restaurants, bars and cafes along the river bank as we walked out from the hotel. The Gallery was chosen as our dinner place because the facade looked too beautiful!
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We entered through an art and craft gallery to a beautiful setting by the river. The whole place was romantically lit by candles and lantern.
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We chose Northern Thai food such as jack fruit salad and red curry which is very different from Southern Thai food which we are very familiar with.

The Gallery
25-29 Th Charoenrat | E of Mae Nam Ping River, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Tel: (053) 248 601
website: http://www.thegallery-restaurant.com/intro.html
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Although Chiangmai is Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai is just one tenth the size of Bangkok and getting around is not that difficult. We took a tuk tuk to Wua Lai Road, the Saturday Night Market Walking Street. The night market is huge, with stalls selling food, crafts and clothings.

Saturday Night Market Walking Street
Wualai Road (Near Chiang Mai Gate), Chiang Mai, Thailand

DAY 2
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We had a jam packed schedule today. Instead of chartering a private car, we moved around by taking song thaews and tuk tuk most of the time. A songthaew is a passenger vehicle in Thailand and Laos adapted from a pick- up or a larger truck and used as a share taxi. The colour of song thaew indicates its general route. Most common by far are red song thaews which roam the main streets in the city itself.
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We took the song thaew to The Chiangmai zoo (20 baht per person). From there, we waited at a make shift taxi station because the song thaews to Doi Suthep will only depart when there are 10 people in the truck (40 baht) per person. It makes sense because the journey to go up to Suthep Mountain is quite a distance.
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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is approached by a steep flight of 300 stairs flanked by green trees and guarded by 16th-century Naga (snake) figures. One can also take the cable car to reach the top.
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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is the holiest shrine in northern Thailand; attracting thousands of devotists and visitors each day.
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The gold chedi is the most holy area of the temple grounds as it contains the Buddha relics. . It is truly a dazzling sight to behold – full of light and colour.
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Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of Chiangmai city at the lower terrace of the Doi Suthep.

Wat Doi Suthep
Getting Here:
Head to Chang Pauk Gate. Just across the road from the moat (outside the old city) is where the Song Thaew’s leave for Doi Suthep. 50 baht one way per person, depart when there are 10 passengers in the truck.

Hail a Song Thaew to Chiangmai Zoo (20 baht per person). From there, board on another Song Thaew to Doi Suthep (40 baht per person), depart when there are 10 passengers in the truck.
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From Doi Suthep, we took Song Thaew (20 baht per person, we are getting better at this!) to Nimmanhaemin Road. Nimman is Chiang Mai’s most fashionable street with art galleries, boutiques, bars, coffee shops and fancy restaurants as it is close to the young blood of Chiang Mai University.
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It took us a while to find Ristr8to Cafe with many accolades on its hand. They use doppio Ristretto for all the hot coffee and the menu is complicated as one get to choose from the coffee origin and type of drink. The amount of care they take with their coffee is amazing, and true enough that their coffee is good – especially the house blend.

Ristr8to
15/3 Nimmanhaemin Road, Suthep, Muang, Chiangmai, Thailand 50200.
Tel: 053-215-278
Open from 708am to 2008pm daily
ristr8to2@hotmail.com
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From Nimman area, we took Song Thaew (again) back to Chiangmai old town for more temple visit. Here we are at Wat Chiang Man that was built in 1297 CE as the first temple of Chiang Mai.
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The ‘Elephant Chedi’ is the oldest construction within the temple complex.
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Wat Phra Singh is one of the more prominent temple in Chiangmai.
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The temple houses an important Buddha statue: the Phra Buddha Sihing which gives the temple its name.
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At the back of Wat Phra Singh, there is a large white Chedi, Phrathat Luang, which was restored around 100 years ago.
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We also got to try the famous SP Chicken located near to Wat Phra Singh temple. It is famous for for its ‘gai yaang’ – Northern Thau roast chicken. It is actually garlic and lemongrass enthused spring chickens roasted on spits with charcoal fire! We also tried their grilled pork ribs, pork neck and som tam. Amazing meal, and reasonably priced for 280 baht for three persons!

SP Chicken Restaurant
9/1 Sam Lam Road Soi 1(beside Wat Phra Singh Road), Chiang Mai.
When you are exiting Wat Phra SIngh, turn into the small lane to the right of the temple entrance. SP Chicken is 200m into that road.
Tel. 081-472-3257, 080-500-5035
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SP-Chicken/173895529336009
Opens from 12noon to 10pm daily.
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After having a satisfying meal, we walked to the famous Sunday Night Market walking street. It is the biggest night market in Thailand and such there are a few temples which are located within the walking street.
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Wat Chedi Luang is an impressive ruined temple in the center of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.
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Wat Phan Tao, meaning temple of a thousand kilns, probably derives its name from the ovens used to cast Buddha images for another temple, the Wat Chedi Luang, which is immediately next to the Wat Phan Tao.
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We started exploring the night market early, at around 5.30pm but we could not cover the whole place by 10pm. Apart from the main walking street, there are a lot of small lanes with stalls on the road intersections. Everything is cheaper here as compared to Bangkok standard. We stuffed ourselves silly with various street snacks and beverages

Sunday Night Market Walking Street – Tha Pae Gate
Rajdamnoen Road (near Tha Pae Gate)), Thailand
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We also did foot massage at 80 baht for 30 minutes, after tipping it is like 130 baht. 80 baht is pretty standard as most road side massage parlours are offering the same price.
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We bought loads and got some real bargains at the Sunday Night Market!

DAY 3
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From 137 Pillars House, we walked to a local wet market for more shopping!
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Our main purpose is to visit Waroros Market which is pretty close to the wet market.
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Three things that you must buy at Waroros Market:

1. Sai Ua (nothern Thai sausage). This particular stall with blue signboard is the busiest stall in the market. Sai ua is actually sausages stuffed with lemongrass, cilantro, shallot, black pepper and galangal. They sell it by gram; we bought a 30 baht portion to share and it was the bomb!
Price: 12 baht for 100 grams of nam prik noom.
Jae Hong at Warorot Market, ground floor of main building. +66 (0) 5325 2302. Open 5 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

2. Kalamae. It is a chewy sweets much like dodol made from molasses, sticky rice and coconut milk. We bought a few variesties to try as different colours represent different flavours. We like the original flavour wrapped in lotus leaves the best. Try it!
Price: 20 baht for a bag of mixed kalamaes.
Savoey at Warorot Market. +66 (0) 5327 5712. Open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.

3. Khaep Mu (deep fried pork rind). It is a Chiangmai’s specialty and how can we go home without taking some back? The Thais have it with nam prik noom (young chili dip). We bought them from this guy in green shirt just because he let us sample his products and they tasted so good!

Warorot Market (Kad Luang)
between Thapae Road and Chang Moi Roadf, Chiang Mai, Thailand
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From Waroros Market, we took Song Thaew to Khao Soi Samer Jai. The owner can speak minimal English so we ordered Khao Soi with pork (35 baht) and pork ribs (35 baht) as well as pork satay (40 baht for 10 sticks) for lunch.

Khao Soi Samer Jai
Near Wat Fa Ham, 391 Mu. 2 , Charoenrat Road, Tambon Fa Ham, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai.
Open 08.00 a.m.-16.00 pm.
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Just down the road from Khao Soi Samer Jai, we found Khao Soi Lam Duan (next to Wat Lam Duan). There were no signs of tourists at all despite the fact that Thaksin ate here before. We had difficulties ordering as noone can speak English here! Fortunately, a Thai girl who speans Mandarin helped us to order. We had khao soi with beef (40 baht) and pork satay (40 baht for 20 sticks). Our verdict was quite different as some of us like Samer Jai while I like Lam Duan.

Khao Soi Lam Duan
352/22 Charoenraj Road | near Wat Fa Ham Temple, Chang Phueak, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
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The Library

After lunch, we went back to 137 Pillars House to do some prewedding photo shoot (Thanks Ivy for braving the glaring sun!!) before winding down to a lazy afternoon at the Libary and the Parlor.
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The Parlor
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An excellent dinner at the Dining Room of 137 Pillars House draws a perfect ending to our trip. The set dinner features a contemperary Thai menu and I think that it tilted towards Japanese Thai fusion. I like how the chef incorporated local fruits such as rambutan and pineapple into the Japanese black pork curry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sneak peek of our pre-wedding photos taken at 137 Pillars House to end this post. =)

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