A little on Chiang Mai and accommodation

By Cubie - November 27, 2012

Weeee... I can fly!
The initial plan was to go to Beijing but we had to scrap it as suddenly the cost just went high rocket. It doesn't make sense to this little head of mine to spend more than RM 2,000 for a lesser than a week's trip to Beijing. After Beijing went down the drain, there wasn't really another one in the pipeline as I was quite keen to make my first step in the big Asia city. There were talks about Macau (which I have been but sis hasn't), Sri Lanka, Laos (sis not too keen) and Chiang Mai. Long story short, or rather shorter since I have gone pretty long winded by now, due to time constrain, sis decided to also give up on Chiang Mai. Me? I was stubborn, I decided to press on, by myself.

I took an afternoon flight on a Saturday to Chiang Mai and back on the following Wednesday morning, giving me about 4.5 days in Chiang Mai. Not a great deal of time but suffice to placate the stubborn brain. I initially wanted to do a cooking course but didnt really feel like joining one by myself. No ziplining either on the same reason, I don't want I fancy to die when I was in Chiang Mai alone. As for the other popular activity involving elephants, after much contemplation and researching, it just doesn't attract me. It feels like there were a lot of waiting time and time spent to watch some video on elephants. Not exactly my cup of tea.

The main gate, which is locked at night but keys are given for entry
As it was rather a last minute trip, the return ticket ate up a big chunk of the expenses pie. In order to reduce the overall cost and adhere to my small budget, I booked myself a room in a hostel - Gong Kaew Huen Kum. As I travelled in September, it was considered as low peak due to rainy season, I paid 180 THB a night for a bed in a 8 person female dorm.

Entrance to the female dorm
Also, thanks to the low peak season, there was only one other fellow dorm mate in the 4 bunk bed room. ^_^

Once I placed my booking, the owner of the hostel sent me an email asking if I want them to arrange for an airport pick up at a cost of 100 THB. After checking that taking a taxi by myself cost more or less similar, I replied asking for the airport transfer. The person in charge was holding a piece of A4 paper with my name printed, waiting for me at the airport. Haha.

Reception area
Common area
This hostel comes with complimentary free coffee, tea and toasts throughout the day, as well as free wi-fi. :)

Between the reception area to the rooms lies a big piece of garden. I find the hostel cosy and clean. Definitely value for money. :)

I was given a free map upon checked in and the reception person circled the location of the hostel on the map, also told me location of bigger temples to check out. I was also given a name card of the hostel, to show taxi/songthaew driver in case I got lost.

Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand, 700km north of Bangkok. It is the second largest city in Thailand.

Chiang Mai was build in 1296 as a walled city surrounded by a moat. This old city was roughly 1.5km square. Chiang means city in northern Thai dialect and mai is new, therefore Chiang Mai is also known as New City.

I think the moat area is the main area of Chiang Mai but modern day Chiang Mai has expanded in all directions, in particular towards the Ping River where one can find the famous Night Bazaar. In fact, there were a couple of big hotels are on the way if you walk towards the Night Bazaar from the moat area. I know, I walked.

And by the way, Gong Kaew Huen Kum is located inside the moat area.

Side note: I should stop imagining that one day I will like Greek yoghurt if I buy it often enough...

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  1. The place sure looks nice.

    Love that girl "flying" :)

  2. It's a garden feel hostel, prob the one of the nicer ones that I've stay in.. ^_^

  3. Hello Cubie, could you let me know where you found the map above? It's great and I would like to pick-up a copy, next time I am in Chiang Mai. janeshouse@okeydo.de

    1. Hello. I got the map from the hostel I stayed in, but from memory I've seen the same map in one of the second hand book shop in moat area. :)