Hollanda Montri Guesthouse in Chiang Mai - Thailand
Good things to know
A piece of advise that we stick on the wall in all of our rooms.
Richer or Poorer
Here is a little story I found in the Chiang Mai Tradernews Issue 3 Vol:2 Mar 15th 2001
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spend a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be concidered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son: "How was the trip?" "It was great, dad." "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. " Oh Yeah" said the son. "So what did you learn from this trip?" the father asked. The son answered "I saw that we have one dog and they had four." "We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end." "We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night." Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon." "We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight." "We have servants who serve us, but they serve others." "We buy our food, but they grow theirs." "We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." With this the boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are."
Sent to CM trader news by L. Brys-Bozeman, Montana
Warning about the Tuk Tuk and Red trucks (public transport) here.
Here some things for you that we learned the hard way during our first year here.
To all of you arriving fresh of the train/bus/plane in Chiang Mai. You will find many friends waiting for you. Only you !! Nice smiles and all.. Hoping you have no clue about what's going on. But too bad for them you found our website before they found you. So now you arrive prepared. Remember that the following is not general practice, but it happens and I would like to give you a pleasant start of your stay in our beautiful province of Chiang Mai, the rose of the north.
Tuk Tuk (samlors) and Songthaews (red truck) are not only there to please you. They try to make some money ! The more the better as you might understand. To increase their income they try to get commission of all kinds of businesses. Guesthouses, Hotels, Tailors and much more. So when you decide not to see their "commission - friends", the smile might disappear. Hmmm maybe they are not your friends after all. Be persistent and tell them you really want to see YOUR friends at Hollanda Montri Guesthouse regardless whatever bad,wrong things they say about us. If they really don't want to take you here. Get out and take another one. There are many GOOD GUYS in the business.
See you here at Hollanda Montri Guesthouse. (with a smile :)
How to use Songthaew Taxi.
Article from ChiangMai Newsletter
Songteaw Taxis are the way most people get around in Chiang Mai, here is some detail as to their routes and prices.Songteaw Transportation in Chiang Mai
The simple name songteaw literally means two rows which indicates the two rows of seats at the back of the converted pickup truck. Another name for songteaw are silor which means four wheels - in the days when the only form of public transportation in Chiang Mai was peddled tricycles or samlor (three wheel). Occasionally, in the city, one would hear a songteaw being called rot dang which simply means red car.
Within the municipal city of Chiang Mai there are red songteaw running around the clock. These converted and roofed red pickup trucks will go to any destination within a city a passenger requires. However, as they are a shared and un-routed taxi service, you must always ask the driver whether he is going in your direction as he may take other passengers to another part of the city and waste much of your time. For short distances in the daytime the cost is usually a standard eight baht per passenger, but it is always advisable to settle the fee before travelling, as longer journeys and nighttime fares tend to be much higher. Although there is a seat in the front of the songteaw next to the driver, for safety reasons always sit in the open-aired and roofed back.
Leaving the City on a Songteaw
Journeying out of the city on a songteaw is not the most comfortable of means of transportation. Two rows of seats face each other and often when the songteaw is full there are people who will sit on the floor as well as hang out of the back. However, it is a fun way to get to speak to locals who are most likely journeying to and from their village to a city market to sell their products. The cost of travel on a songteaw is remarkably less than by any other mode of transportation and as long as travel to remote areas is done in the day time with a songteaw full of people it is very safe to travel alone.
Songteaw to Doi Suthp, Phuping Palace and Doi Pui - Red Songteaw
There are two songteaw queues to the top of Doi Suthep, one being in front of the Chiang Mai University and the other a couple of hundred metres further up the road in front of the Chiang Mai Zoo. The queues are open between five a.m. to six p.m. the picturesque drive up to Doi Suthep takes approximately twenty five minutes, to Phuping Palace forty five and further up to the hill tribe village in Doi Pui one and a half hours.
Pricing: Doi Suthep return 30 baht
Phuping Palace return 50 baht
Doi Pui return 150 baht
These prices are on the condition that there are eight passengers on the songteaw and it can often be a very long wait for them to fill up.But it is best to hire your own songteaw as this will give you as much leisure time as you need without having to hold up or wait for other passengers.
To hire a private songteaw although pricier, may save a lot of hassels.
Pricing: Doi Suthep return 300 baht/songteaw
Phuping Palace return 500 baht/songteaw
Doi Pui return 800 baht/songteaw
Songteaw to Mae Taeng - White Songteaw
The only songteaw queue to Mae Tang leaves from the Chang Puak Monument on Chotana road (an eight baht city songteaw will get you there in no time from whatever guesthouse or hotel you are staying in). Departure times are between seven a.m. to three p.m. The journey takes one hour and costs a mere fifteen baht one way.
Songteaw to Mae Rim - Yellow Songteaw
The queue is also at the Chang Puak Monument on the Chotana road and also run between seven a.m. and three p.m. The journey takes thirty minutes and costs seven baht for one way.
Songteaw to Mae Jo - Green Songteaw
Here there are two queues leaving Chiang Mai at different parts of the city, so look at a map to find the one closest to you. The first is at the Chang Puak Monument on Chotana road and the second in front of the Municipality market on Wang Singhkham road which runs between five a.m. to six p.m. The journey takes one hour and costs nine baht for one way.
Songteaw to Fang - Orange Songteaw
The Chang Puak terminal on Chotana road, opened between seven a.m. to three p.m. is where to go and get a songteaw to Fang Province. It's a long journey of approximately three hours and twenty minutes and costs forty five baht.
Songteaw to Phrao - Green Songteaw
The two songteaw queues for Phrao are at the Chang Puak Monument on Chotana road, between seven a.m. and three p.m., and the Municipality market on Singhkham road, between five a.m. and six p.m. The journey takes three hours and costs ninety baht for one way.
Songteaw to Bo Sang and Doi Saket - White Songteaw
At the Warorot market between the Nakorn Ping and the Nawarat bridges there are always white songteaw milling around and waiting to head off to Bo Sang and Doi Saket. Departure is anytime between six a.m. and nine thirty p.m. and takes twenty minutes. It costs eight baht one way to Bo Sang and ten baht to Doi Saket.
Songteaw to Sankampaeng
Also leaving from Warorot market, anywhere between six a.m. and nine thirty p.m. the journey to Sankampaeng takes half an hour and costs seven baht one way.
Songteaw to Hang Dong -Yellow Songteaw
The terminal for Hang Dong songteaw is at Chiang Mai Gate on the moat anywhere between five a.m. and nine p.m. The journey takes twenty minutes and costs eight baht one way.
Songteaw to Sanpathong - Yellow Songteaw
The terminal is at Chiang Mai Gate on the moat and departs between five a.m. and nine p.m. daily. The journey takes half an hour and costs nine baht one way.
Songteaw to Nong Tong - Yellow Songteaw
Also departing from Chiang Mai Gate between six a.m. and seven p.m., the journey takes one hour and costs twelve baht one way.
Songteaw to Baan Kad - Yellow Songteaw
Chiang Mai Gate terminal between five a.m. to nine p.m. the journey takes one hour and costs fifteen baht.
Songteaw to Chom Thong -Yellow Songteaw
From Chiang Mai Gate every day between five a.m. to seven p.m. the journey takes one hour and a quarter and costs seventeen baht one way.
Songteaw to Sarapee - Blue Songteaw
There is a small terminal in front of the Chiang Mai Christian School on the Chiang Mai - Lamphun road next to the Ping river. Departure times are between five a.m. and eight p.m. and takes twenty minutes costing six baht.
About Chiang Mai
Provincial Slogan: Doi Suthep, the well-known mountain top's in the land,
Marvelous, attraction customs make the city so grand,
Beautiful flowers grow through all the year.
Nakhonphing, another name of this marvellous city we'll often hear.
Background: Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city. It is pleasantly located on the banks of the Ping river and set in a green, fertile plain at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. Chiang Mai is 761 kilometers by rail and about 700 kilometers by road north of Bangkok. The provincial area, reaching up to Myanmar in the north, is productive valley land and jungle mountains with the highest mountain peak in the country, Doi Inthanon, whose height is 2599 meters above m.s.1. The average temperature is cool and very pleasant from October to February at about 20 C, hot during March to May at about 30 C and wet during June to September at around 25 C.
Chiang Mai was found in 1296, by King Mengrai who united many small kingdoms and called the new kingdom the Lanna Kingdom (kingdom of one million rice fields). After founding Chiang Rai as his capital in 1262. King Mengrai decided to build a new city as the capital of Lanna Thai in 1291. He invited his two close friends, King Ramkhamhang of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao, to help him to select the location for the new city. They decided on a productive plain between Doi Suthep Mountain and the Ping River. The new city was completed in 1296. Chiang Mai was the capital of Lanna Thai for a long time. It was attacked both by Ayutthaya and Burma many times. It came under Burmese rule in 1558. King Naresuan of Ayutthaya recovered it from Burma and then it came under Burmese rule once again during the reign of King Taksin of Thonburi, it was recovered from the Burmese in 1774. Since then Chiang Mai has come under the control of Central Thai administration. It remained rather isolated right up until the 1920's, when the railway lines was built. Before that the journey north took many weeks of travel by river and elephant. Such separate development has allowed Chiang Mai to preserve its unique character which has given rise to such nicknames as "flower of the north". The city was the birth place of the county northern culture, distinctive art, charming traditions and customs. Her colorful traditional festivals have been passed on down the centuries without break. Famous only for nature and culture but the most charming feature of Chiang Mai are the beautiful girls who are noted for the fairest complexion in the country. The genteel Chiang Mai people are blessed for their hospitality. People from all over Thailand come to Chiang Mai whenever there are celebrations of any festivals, not only for the fun and excitement of the event, but also to enjoy the friendliness and hospitality of the natives.
Material progress has come to Chiang Mai, too. In the city, high rise commercial buildings are growing. The city is explanding rapidly in all directions and the confines of the old city wall and moat have long since been overcome. Traffic congestion is mounting. Progress is inevitable and Chiang Mai has undoubtedly lost much of its traditional charm. Of cause, modernization has its positive side, Chiang Mai now has a well developed tourist infrastructure with hotels in all price ranges. Shopping facilities are also well developed. Modern domestic and international businesses of Chiang Mai are now conducted with high-tech office machines. Now, even a hill tribe native may have learned to operate an ATM.
Temples and Places of Interest
Temples in Chiang Mai are traditional northern style with a two or three-tiered roof with low eaves and finely carved pediments, but there are also some Burmese influences.
Train in Thailand
How to travel by train and how to reserve from abroad.
Click here for comprehensive information.
Mae Hong Son Loop
Nice map of the Mae Hong Son loop can be found here
Click here for more information.