Author Archives: King

Want to teach in Chiang Mai? Part 3 (Beth Kopay)

Category : Teach

Part 3 of our series on Teaching in Chiang Mai is from Beth Kopay.    Wear a funny hat and make a difference in a small mountain village!   

Pic 3


So, I heard that you are interested in teaching here in Thailand.  Well, congratulations.  It takes a certain type of person to live and teach in another country – one made of steel, love, flexibility, and a marathon pace endurance type style.  


Hello, I feel that I should introduce myself.  My name is Beth Ann Kopay.  I was a teacher in Thailand, with the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences.  Overall it was a very positive time, and I would like to share what I learned so that you can be aware.  So let me tell you a little bit more.  I graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s in elementary education.  Before coming to Thailand, I was a teacher in the Marshall Islands. (To get there from California, go straight into the Pacific Ocean until you hit Majuro – a few miles into the surf, and once you hit the capital island, hang a left and head north a few hundred miles or so.  And there will be Utrik, the island where I taught, so many coconut trees).  In Thailand, I taught at a government school located in the mountains of Chiang Rai.  The school’s name was Huainamkhunwittaya School.  It was a public government school with grades kindergarten through 9th grade.


I decided to come to Thailand through some interesting circumstances.  So like I just said before, I was teaching on a island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and around Christmas we had mid-service training on the capital island (which meant internet, electricity, running water, and cheese).  And one volunteer (who I thought was handsome, amazing, interesting, and just so overall cool – I even wrote him a song – he was that cool) found this special center in Chiang Rai that worked with special needs children (Chiang Rai Camillian Social Center, just in case you are curiously wondering).  I was headed to the internet cafe, and told him I would print him an application.  Little did he know, I printed off an application for me and sent it in.  (The dude went to teach English in Chile)  The center told me that they didn’t need an English teacher, but there was this school in the mountains that really wanted a native English teacher.  And *BAM* that was how I got my job.  I ended up staying at that school for a year and a half (when most of the native English speakers who would teach there would only stay for a month or two).  I learned many things, both good and bad, and now I would like to share with you – be informed, don’t lose yourself, and what its really all about.


The first piece of the teaching in Thailand information pie I would like to serve is about being informed.  In order to make an informed decision, it is best to have all the information.  When looking at myself, I did not have all the information, and I think it hurt me a little.  You should be informed on where and what you want to teach.  Do you want to teach at an international school (its a school where its an American curriculum)?  Or at a public government school?  Or at a private school, where the families of the school are charged with tuition?  Or at a private language academy – where you would mainly tutor after school?  There are many different positives and negatives about each.  At the private schools in the cities, you will have a higher salary – but keep in mind you will spend more.  If you work at a government school, your salary will not be high, but absolutely livable.  And with private language academies, your hours area usually going to be on the weekends and evenings.  So just be sure to keep all that in mind.

 Pic 8

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of living.  Holy cow!!  When my parents came to visit, they kept comparing prices for meals – while amazing for them, annoying for me.  For example, you can get a good meal for about 30 baht.  And for those math money convertors out there, $1 = about 30 baht.  So yeah, the cost of living is mind boggling.  The dollar here can stretch is many different directions.  But there are some things that are more expensive – for example imported food.  If there is something from back home that you simply can’t live without, then be prepared to spend more money on it.  And I have found that if you decide to eat foreigner food (meaning any food that is not Thai), then it will be significantly more expensive.  So just keep that in mind in picking on a school and location.


And one more factor in being aware concerns with current events.  While you don’t need to learn and memorize every detail of the whole situation, you will need to know somethings.  For example, it may not be the safest to be in Bangkok right now because of the protests.  And it may not be the safest to be in the very south of Thailand – where there is fighting, and teachers are being beheaded and shot.  Just a thought.


The next piece of the information pie is about maintaining yourself and not losing yourself along the way.  That is what happened to me, and it was very difficult to get out of my rut that I created.  You need to look out for yourself, the school won’t.  Do things that will make you happy and alive – and that was something I forgot to do.  An important aspect of this point deals with the fact that you will be different.  You will be stared at, you will be talked about, and you will be the object of many affections, just because you are a foreigner.  Local Thai people will treat you different and ask you questions that you would be considered rude or offensive.  Some people will be downright racist towards you.  I hate to say get used to it, but that is honestly the only way I dealt with it.  I would like to compare it a museum exhibit, except you will be the exhibit.  And the purpose of the museum exhibit is to look, stare, and critique.  At some points it was too much for me, and I drew myself in even more.  Everyone deals with this differently, my escape consisted on watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episodes and listening to music.  But than again, it all depends on your school.  I was at a very very rural school and was usually the only foreigner for miles and kilometers.  In some cases, I was the only foreigner they have ever been exposed to.  And speaking of being a foreigner, at school, you will probably have no say.  You will be there, treasured, and prized, but stuck.  You can’t move up the ladder into a more leadership position, because you are not Thai.  There were many days where I would just sit in the office, bored, offering my help, but couldn’t do anything about it because I was not a Thai government teacher.  Just a thought.

 Pic 5

But I would like to point out the one positive that should be very in your face and huge and obvious – the kids!  That one aspect  – my students – made it very difficult to leave.  You will make a huge impact and those kids will probably never forget you.

 Pic 1

So good luck in making your decision about being a teacher here in Thailand.  Here is my email ( if you have any questions, and I would be happy to answer them.


You can follow along with  Beth Kopay at her personal blog here:


Want to Teach in Chiang Mai? – Part 2 (Kaycee Race)

Category : Teach

Our second guest post on teaching in Chiang Mai comes from a previous tenant and now good friend, Kaycee Race.    She’s moved on to Korea now, but we still “lurk” on Facebook to see what she’s up to.    Kaycee was nice enough to put her experiences on teaching in Chiang Mai into writing, so without further ado…..


“About Me:

Howdy! My name is Kaycee Race, I’m 33 and I was living at CMStay at Sethee Court while I was teaching in Chiang Mai.

Why I was teaching:

After going for my postgraduate degree and living in England for four years, I moved back home to Colorado in 2010 to find a horrible economy and stuck doing a mind-dumbing temp job because nothing else was available.  Putting myself through a year of that torture, I knew it was time to pack my bags again to follow through with something I had always wanted to do: Teach English to wee foreign kiddos as a means to make money and see the world.

 How I started:

I did loads of research on various TEFL courses and had it pinpointed to two different ones Thailand: one in Phuket and SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai.  I decided with SEE because the course instructor, John Quinn, was very professional in answering any and all questions I had in a timely manner.  I had a great feeling about the program.  I went through the TEFL program in February 2012, just at the end of the Thai school year.

 How I got the job:

After the course ended, it was time to find a job.  I really wanted to live on the beach…I had envisioned myself living in a tiki hut, teaching in the morning and spending lazy afternoons sitting on a beach with a Mai Tai in my hand.  So, I set off for Krabi to look for work.  I dressed up (which for me is a feat!  I’m a“live in t-shirts and jeans” type a gal), and walked around to the schools in the area, left my CV and waited with baited breath for a phone call.  A girl on my TEFL course lived on KohNgai with her diver-instructor boyfriend, so I hung out with them for a few weeks waiting for the calls that never came.  In panic mode (because the South is MUCH more expensive than the North), I headed back to Chiang Mai to look for work.

 Not even 24 hours later (and with plans on heading to all of the schools in Chiang Mai the next day), I stopped by SEE TEFL to say hi.  Ying, John’s wife who runs the EFL side of SEE (essentially acting as an agent by supplying SEE graduate TEFLers to trusted schools in need of English teachers), said she had an opening at a primary school…if I wanted it, it was mine.  Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.

 In hindsight, I wish I would have gone out as planned and looked for a job on my own.  Going through an agency such as EFL, part of your compensation goes to them.  Teaching at a public or private school in Chiang Mai, you should expect to earn about 30,000 baht a month.  Using an agency, I was only making 25,000 baht.  However, going through an agency, you do have more of a support system.  They assist with visas and any problems you might be having with the school.  A good agency is in your corner.


If you want to teach English as a foreign language, I would highly suggest getting a TEFL certificate.  Take a course that gives you teaching practice as well.  I feel that was the most valuable aspect of my TEFL program.

 When looking for a job, DO YOUR RESEARCH on the schools in the area.  Talk to other foreign teachers in the area, they will know the good schools and the bad schools (I was teaching at a school that I didn’t particularly like, and it was one of the lower paying schools at that, so I wish I wouldn’t have settled for the first job that came my way…by the way, after signing my contract, I got a call from one of the schools in Krabi, so again in hindsight, I would have backed out of my contract and headed south…but then I never would have met Stephen and King and lived at CMStay, which was a highlight of living in Chiang Mai – and no, they didn’t tell me to say that! I promise!).

 Finally, if you want to teach at a public or private school, the schools that don’t use agencies generally start their application/interview process around January or February for the coming school year in May (although there are schools that hire all year long).  GO to the school to drop off your CV, ask to speak with the English director, get their number and call the next day or so.  Chances are you won’t need it.  If they like the look of you, you’ll walk out with a contract in hand.”


To read more about Kaycee’s life travelling/teaching, check out: .   Also, a little known fact about Kaycee is that she is an AMAZING photographer.   Take a look at some of her work at:


READ Want to Teach in Chiang Mai  #3

Want to Teach in Chiang Mai? 5 failsafe tips and real life experiences from our resident teachers.

Category : Teach

So you’re ready to make the move.   What do you need to know to land the job?

1. First and foremost, take the plunge!   

    ALL of the teachers I have met including the ones living in our buildings did not find a job until they were in Chiang Mai.   Yes, the Resume/C.V. count for a lot, but most schools want to see some commitment before even considering to hire you.   There are so many transient people looking to teach in Chiang Mai as a way of keeping there holiday going, that most places will not consider you unless you actually live here and walk through their door(often more than once).   






2. Look the part.

   This is not the west.   All schools will want to see that you look the part.    English teachers must not look Thai, they can pay a Thai teacher 1/4 what they’ll pay you for that!    In fact, most if not all schools will require you to include a photo/headshot with your Resume/C.V.    
    This also means that you need to dress for the part.    An interview is an interview is an interview.   Just because most people spend their lives in Chiang Mai wearing shorts, T-shirt, and flip-flops doesn’t mean you can get away with this in the interview or while teaching.    Men – Shirt and Tie.   Woman – Blouse, long skirt/pants and closed toe shoes.   No exceptions!  Actual classes are a bit more lax.

3.  Hit the streets.

    Get a stack of Resumes/C.V.s printed and hit your top 5 schools.   Then hit your second 5 schools.   Then hit your third 5 schools.   Getting the point here?    Make sure you get yourself out there enough to put the odds of getting a job in your favor.    Once the calls start coming in, you can worry about which one to accept.    Keep in mind that the first calls will probably be for “filler” classes.   Somebody didn’t show up and they need you to take the class for the hour, day or term.   Consider this as your test.   You come through the first class/term and you’ll be offered the next class/term as well. 

4. Network!

   Make friends with local teachers.   Sure, there are great resources like Dave’s ESL Cafe, but nobody can give you the LATEST info on the schools like a teacher working there.    A teacher needs to move on and a class is opening up?  Your teacher friends are the first to know.   They can also be the best ally/reference in you getting the interview.   Another added benefit is that these people are probably in the same age group and are living very similar lives to you.   They can end up being good friends while in Chiang Mai and long afterwards.  

5.  Ask me!

   Seriously, we’ve had many teachers get their start while living in our buildings.    Between them, we have a good feel for the pulse of Chiang Mai’s teaching market.   Feel free to ask!
Many of you will notice that I have left out all the “paperwork/certification” issues and I’ve done this on purpose.   The simple fact is that if a school wants you to teach, you can get the job and the Work Permit/Visa to go with it. 
You’ll see from our guest posts done by our resident teachers, that none of the “requirements” actually mean anything more than a self weed-out of possible teachers.   Those who want to teach, will teach.   
 This is the first of a series of posts detailing the real life experiences of our resident teachers…   Enjoy! 
Lewis's Class

Lewis’s Class

Erm….. Who the hell are you?  
My name’s Lewis Clarke, I live at CMStay @Sethee Court and have been living there for 3 years
Great…. Why are you here?
I’ve been asked by King to write a blog about how i got into teaching over here. You know, a bit of information for anyone who is thinking of moving over here and wants to teach English
Well come on then, i haven’t got all day!
Tough crowd…. OK, so i moved to Thailand 3 years ago with no job lined up, I just thought i would look around and see what was available and if i didn’t work, i’d move somewhere else. I came straight to Chiang Mai in mid-April and started looking for work a couple of weeks later. I did the usual, you know, hit up every school with my CV and see what was a good fit for me. Unfortunately for me as i had no experience and no degree (although i did have my TEFL*), nobody would give me a look in. I even had one school say “We’ll call you.” and i replied “But i haven’t given you my number yet.” and he smiled and said “we’ll call you….”
BURN!!!!! So what happened next?
I kept going out everyday in my shirt and tie cycling around and re-visiting all the schools i had been to before but to no avail. Then one day i went to a place called the Korean Culture Centre and the boss gave me and interview. 5 minutes in he randomly stood up and walked out, i assumed he was going to get something like a glass of water, 2 minutes later some guy about my age sat down and started to talk to me. It was only after i left i realized that this guy was continuing the interview! but i didn’t question it. It’s a different culture so i gave them a lot of leeway.
Well at least you got the job, right?
No, i never heard from them again. However about 2 weeks later i got a phone call from Mick (the guy my age who interviewed me) saying that he had got a new job working for a new school and they needed some teachers. Turns out that during the interview i happened to mention that i spoke Italian (I lived there 7 years ago) and he remembered me because his parents are Italian.
How did the phone call go?
Mick: Hi this is Mick, the guy who interviewed you at KCC a couple of weeks ago
Lewis: Oh, hi
Mick i have a trial class for you at CEC to teach a 5 year old boy called Ronnie
Lewis: Sounds good, I can do that!
Mick It starts tomorrow at 10-12
Lewis: Sure, I can do that!
Mick: ……..He cries a lot…….
Lewis: No problem, see you tomorrow!
Did he cry?
Actually no, not in the first lesson anyway. At one point he started shouting “Police! He hit me!” for no reason at all which scared the hell out of me! But after the first hour he hadn’t cried and i could see that the receptionists were looking in in disbelief as if to say “I can’t believe he hasn’t cried yet!” and the rest is history. That became a regular class for me and i got my work permit through them about a month or so later.
So overall, what would be your advice to me if I wanted to go there and teach English?
Don’t give up. Always smile and if they like you they will give you a chance. Don’t get me wrong I know people who have luckily walked into a well paid job without having any qualifications. So its very possible to just stumble into a job. But at the same time if that doesn’t happen don’t feel bad, just keep trying and when you get that one opportunity, take it. Like any job people will see if you are a hard worker and that opportunity will eventually come along.
 * TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language. 
To read more about the Lewis’s escapades in teaching and just living life in Chiang Mai, check out his blog at:

Scooter Hire – 9 Tips for Getting around Chiang Mai like a local.

Category : LiveInCM , Tips/Tricks , Travel

Getting around Chiang Mai is very easy once you know about the Red Trucks in Chiang MaiAnd of course you can get outside of town cheaply if you’ve read our previous post about using fixed route SongthaewsBut what if you want a chance to see Chiang Mai through the eyes of the local?  Taking the road less travelled(by tourists with a copy of Trip Advisor clutched in there hand).   Want to see the other temples, waterfalls, and hill tribe villages on Doi Suthep?   The absolute cheapest and easiest way is by scooter!



9 tips for getting around on a scooter

1. Do you know how to ride a two wheeled vehicle?  If not, Thailand is not the place to learn.  Use a Red Truck!

2. Rent from a reputable shop.

Does the place look on the up and up?
Are they renting quality brands? Honda? Yamaha?
Are they willing to walk you through the specifics of your scooter?
Does this look like the type of place you would use if not in Thailand?   You may not want to rent from the massages parlour that has two old scooters to rent out front….



3. Look for a scooter in good shape, preferably under 2 yrs old. 

 Also look for a scooter with few or no scratches. Most likely, a previous renter has paid for them and the shop never actually fixed the scooter.  Older, scratched up bikes are a tell tale sign to look out.  Don’t ruin your holiday trying to figure out what to do because the bike decided to stop working on the side of a mountain.   BTW, this scooter above is actually too small to be legal as well, but the general state of the bike should have already sent you running!

4. Make sure the scooter is legal.  

Ask about insurance. Does the bike insurance meet legal requirements?  In Thailand, that means 3rd party liability.   ***Note: you will see many vehicles in Thailand without license plates.***  This is usually due to the delay in registration and waiting for new plates. It is still legal to drive as long as the a copy of the reg documents and insurance are inside.

5. Wear your helmet!!! 

First and foremost it’s stupid not to.  Scooters do no go very fast, so most accident end up with scrapes and bruises unless your not wearing a helmet.  A 30km/hr crash can still cause major damage to your head.  WEAR A HELMET!!! Also keep in mind that the police generally will not stop foreigners as long as you have a helmet on.  The fine for not having your helmet on is 400THB.

6. Start by driving around the block. 

Make sure everything feels right.  Take a few laps around to make sure you are comfortable with your new scooter before heading out into the main traffic.

7. When you are entering traffic, stay to the left. 

Pay attention to what you are doing.  The locals will just drive around you as necessary.   There is very little honking of horns.  Look out for yourself and the traffic will move around you on its own.

8. Learn the timing of traffic.

At first blush, the traffic in Thailand looks like chaos.   In fact, there is a specific cadence to the driving that keeps everyone moving.    Learn the cadence.   People will move in and out, while still letting you get by as necessary.    It all works very well once you get the feel for it.   

9. Deposits

Rental shops will ask you to leave a passport as deposit for the scooter hire.   This is the easiest way to put down a deposit.    Most shops will offer a secondary option of a passport copy and cash deposit, usually between 3,000B – 5,000B.    To this day, we have never had nor even heard of an issue of a passport not being returned in Chiang Mai.  If there is no damage, there is nothing to worry about, if there is damage, the right thing to do is to pay to have the scooter repaired.
***As with anything else you do in life, use your common sense.   Don’t act like a fool, drive after drinking, race the scooters, or believe that the Thai’s general philosophy of acceptance  means that you can do anything you like.    Stick to the road rules, drive carefully, and have fun!


Please feel free to contact us by emailcontact form, or comment below.   We’re happy to answer any questions and look forward to ideas about future blog posts.   What would you like to know about Chiang Mai?


When Red Trucks aren’t red?

Category : LiveInCM , Tips/Tricks , Travel

Chang Puak Station

Chang Puak Station


What are they?

So if you read the first post on Red Trucks in Chiang Mai you know the basics of using Red Trucks to travel the old city and the outer areas.  So what happens when Red Trucks aren’t red?  If you’ve been in town more than a day you’ve seen the same trucks but they’re not red.   These trucks (of any color, including red) are actually called seelors(4 Wheels) or songthaews(2 Benches) and they operate more like buses, going further afield on specific routes.   Once you know the routes these are actually very simple to use. 

Who can take them?

Anyone is welcome to use the various colored trucks.    Just make sure you know where you are going, and more importantly, know how you are getting back.   Either get yourself to one of the truck depots or hail them on the road as they are coming by and tell driver where you are heading.   Then jump in the back and press the “stop request” button when nearing your stop.   Finally, just like the Red Trucks, go around front and pay for the ride.

Where to start?

Start off by learning where to find the correct color/route trucks.    You can get to any of these depots by walking or by taking a Red Truck as described in the previous article.   


Yellow Truck at Ping River

Yellow Truck at Ping River

– Wararot Market – Ping River

The majority of Songthaews can be taken from the transport depot near the river.   Its locally referred to as Kad Luang, Wararot Market, or Chinatown.    Along the river you will find queues or Yellow, White, Green and Blue trucks waiting their turn to fill up and take off on their way.   

  •      Yellow – This yellow truck will head North to Mae Rim and East-North-East to Doi Saket
  •      White  – The white truck will head East to Sankamphaeng
  •      Green  – The green truck will head North-North-East to San Sai and/or Mae Jo
  •      Blue    – The Blue truck will head south through Sarapee to Lamphun
Orange Truck at Chang Puak Gate

Orange Truck at Chang Puak Gate

White Truck at Chang Puak Gate

White Truck at Chang Puak Gate

Green Truck at Chang Puak Gate

Green Truck at Chang Puak Gate

– Chang Puak Gate – Northern Bus Station

About 400 meters north of the north gate is the small bus station/Songthaew depot.    This depot is almost as large as the one near the Ping river and has Yellow, White, Green, and Orange trucks going along the following routes
  • Yellow  – This yellow truck will head South to Chom Tong
  • White   – The white truck will head East to Sankamphaeng
  • Green   – The green truck will head North-North-East to San Sai and/or Mae Jo
  • Orange –  The orange truck will head north through Chang Dao to Fang
Yellow Truck at Chiang Mai Gate

Yellow Truck at Chiang Mai Gate

– Chiang Mai Gate

The smallest depot is just outside of the south gate serving only the Yellow(not the same as Wararot Market) truck route heading south towards Hang Dong and San Pa Tong.  

How Much?

 – Generally you can expect to pay 20B for any of these rides.    The prices can vary depending on your destination and which “zone” it may be in.    The price could be 10, 15 or 20B, but this is one of those cases where I don’t mind leaving the change!

When can you go?   Hours of operations?

These guys start early.   You can catch most of them anywhere from 6 am to 6pm (18:00)
Keep this in mind for your return trip.   If you’re not on the last run back you may find it tough to get a ride, or at least very expensive!     


Please feel free to contact us by email, contact form, or comment below.   We’re happy to answer any questions and look forward to ideas about future blog posts.   What would you like to know about Chiang Mai? 


Red Trucks in Chiang Mai

Red Trucks in Chiang Mai – The nod means 20 Baht!

Category : LiveInCM , Tips/Tricks , Travel

Red Trucks in Chiang Mai

Travelling in Thailand can be a daunting experience.   Different language, different modes of transport, and for most of us, they drive on the wrong side of the road.  To add another twist, Chiang Mai does not use metered taxis.

For local travel, your choices are either the Tuk-Tuk or Red Trucks.  The locals will generally advise you to use the Red Trucks [AKA Rot Daeng(Red Truck), Songthaew(2 Aisles/Benches),  or See-lor/(4 Wheels)] for price and safety.   Operating much like a taxi/bus hybrid, Red Trucks in Chiang Mai will take you pretty much anywhere you like, but may also pick up and drop off other people on the way to your stop.

Red Trucks inside the Old City.

     As most people realize during their planning stages, Chiang Mai’s Old City is a small 1 mile square(~1.5km), edged by a protective moat.  The moat also defines the going price for those in the know.  Anything starting and ending within the outer edges of the moat is an assumed price of….20 Baht 30THB(2018)!  But there is a trick to it.
You have to be a local or act the part.   

Using a Red Trucks like a local in 4 simple steps.

  1. Wave for the red truck to stop. (Underhand, almost like you’re pointing where you want them to stop.)
  2. When stopped, look into the front window and tell them where you are going (Within the Old City)
  3. Wait for the nod.  If they nod yes, just jump in the back and wait for your stop.
  4. When stopped, walk around to the front and hand the driver a 20 Baht bill. (have 20B ready)

Sounds simple enough, but pay attention to these specifics…    

  1. Inside the moat, don’t ask “how much?”    The answer will almost always be more than 20 Baht30THB(2018)!
  2. If the driver quotes a price instead of nodding, let him pass and get the next red truck.
  3. Do not use large bills to pay.   Always have a 20 Baht bill ready.   They may decide they don’t have change.

Red Trucks outside the Old City.

     While some of the steps for traveling within the Old City can still apply, they are not as hard and fast.    The hailing procedure does not change, nor does letting them know where you are going.   Generally, the prices for non-Thais will be greater than 20 Baht 30THB(2018) if traveling further outside of the moat.   In this case, you should ask the price and agree before getting in the back. Also. you need to be willing to negotiate.   

So, the 4 easy steps to traveling past the Old City:

  1. Wave for the Red Trucks to stop.
  2. When stopped, look into the front window and tell them where you are going.
  3. Ask them how much. (Use common sense on pricing and expect to pay more for night travel or if you want to go without stopping)
  4. When stopped, walk around to the front and hand the driver the exact change.

A couple of considerations for traveling outside.

  1. Plan your return trip.  The further out you go, the less likely to find a red truck to get back.
  2. Go with a group and split the costs.
  3. Consider paying for the Red Truck driver to wait for you and drive you back as well. This is for Red Trucks without any other riders)
  4. Negotiate. This applies any time you get on a Red Truck, but especially here.
– Some places and estimated prices for hiring a driver for a return trip:
                Doi Suthep – 400B,  Tiger Kingdom – 500B,  Hot Springs – 500B,  Baan Tawai – 400B,

                Zoo/Aquarium – 300B, Sticky Waterfalls – 600B

 – Special note about leaving town: Airport, Bus Station, Train Station.

One thing about these three places, they may be just around the corner but drivers know you are worried about being late and obviously you’re not going to walk with all your luggage.  Drivers are going to charge like these places are way out of the way. Expect the quoted prices to be more in the 100B to 250B range.  Actual prices will range from 50B to 150B depending not on your negotiating skills. 








*** Check out the next installment,  When Red Trucks aren’t red?*** 


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Songkran in Chiang Mai

Songkran in Chiang Mai April 12 – 16

Category : Holidays

Songran Large

Songkran in Chiang Mai 

Chang Mai, as the largest cultural center in Northern Thailand, hosts the biggest Songran celebrations in the land. Traditionally, the festival dates were determined by the lunar calender and start in mid-April.  Today the dates are set as April 13th – April 15th.   However, in Chang Mai, the celebrations are stretched to last at least five or six day!


Songkran in Chiang Mai - Elders

Thailand greets in the New Year with the cleansing properties of water.   In the days leading up to the festival, houses in Chiang Mai are thrown wide open as families start to clean house. Families prepare offerings, new robes and favorite dishes for the monks. Young people ask for blessings by pouring jasmine-scented or fragrant water on the wide-open palms of their elders. Everywhere there is a spirit of anticipation of the new year.


Songkran in Chiang Mai Songkran in Chiang Mai Songkran in Chiang Mai

Songkran is rooted in the belief that water brings luck,  cleanses the body and soul, and preps participants for the coming year, but the festival is now most famous for the water fights.  During this period, the streets of Chang Mai close and the citizens start to celebrate with a water free-for-all!  Armed with everything from water guns, buckets, hoses and scented talc, celebrants roam the streets and drench each other in cooling water.
In the past, a delicate sprinkling was all that was required. But as the centuries have passed, the festival evolved into an all-out water fight that the young and old enjoy. Don’t be surprised if you’re doused in water even if you innocently venture down the street. The water fight symbolizes the true spirit of fun and the beginning of the New Year.


songkran white powder2 monks

For Songkran in Chang Mai, locals also celebrate the solemn, spiritual side of the New Year.  On the third day of the New Year celebration the temples and all images of Buddha are washed with sacred, jasmine-scented water.  Families and friends wear traditional Thai garb and place jasmine leis around their necks. While enjoying the water festival, you may encounter locals decorated with ritual string around their wrists and arms. They may offer to tie some around your arms as well.  The string is a symbol of well-wishes and good luck for the coming year. Local tradition dictates that you continue to wear them until they fall off on their own, but most take it off after about a week as it can become pretty funky. 


Songkran in Chiang Mai Songkran in Chiang Mai

Tourists participating in the Songkran celebrations may also encounter persons walking about with white paste in silver bowls. This paste, when applied to the body and face, is believed to ward off evil and protects the wearer during the New Year.

Enjoy the food, the culture and beauty of Thailand during your stay and get a chance to take part in an event of a lifetime. Greet the New Year with water and with love during Songkran in Chiang Mai.

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