Elvis comes to town: Chiang Mai’s newest attractions
In the middle of the rainy season, general secretary of the Chiang Mai
Tourist Business Association, Vorapong Muchaotai, announced the special
event “Elvis Memories” to be held at the Plub Pla Restaurant in Chiang
Mai from August 1 to 26.
The nightly performances of Elvis impersonators Jirasak, Vasu, Jaruek,
Ritchie, and Sanit, highlight the newly established Chiang Mai Business Park
with the Khum Khantoke Complex and the soon to be opened Best Western
Premier Khum Phaya Spa Resort. The airline “Nok Air” is sponsoring the
For tourists who come to Chiang Mai for sightseeing, dining and shopping,
there is a myriad of accommodations to choose from, stretching from small
and cosy guesthouses to boutique hotels to fancy 5-star resorts. While the
boutique hotels of Tamarind Village and Rachamankha are nestled within the
Old City, the exclusive The Chedi, The Sheraton, and the upcoming Meritus
Chiang Mai Riverside Resort are situated along the Ping River. Located just
outside town are the sophisticated Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi and the
luxurious Four Seasons Resort. Both are surrounded by fine shopping arcades.
The Amari Rincome Hotel offers a scenic swimming pool.
On the restaurant front, the long established “Le Coq d’Or” serving
French Cuisine will be connected by a shuttle boat service to the
“Meritus” Hotel across the river. The Chedi, Chiang Mai has completely
renovated the grounds of the former British Consulate and specialises in
delicate Indian Cuisine. For lovers of German food, there are the newly
opened Palm Beer Garden and the very popular Hofbraeuhaus, both restaurants
along the hip Loi Kroh Road near the Night Bazaar. At the Night Bazaar, the
Anusarn Market and Food Street is dominating the night scene with rows of
little food stalls and public foot massage places. The “Primavera” near
the moat and across from the Amora Thapae Hotel is Chiang Mai’s newest
Mediterranean restaurant serving Greek, Spanish, Italian and even Thai Food.
Newly advertised travel products can be booked at Siam Sun Tours, where
Swiss Manager Daniel Schneider offers tailor-made tours to Chiang Rai and
Mae Hong Son. The 7days/6 nights “Northern Thailand Explorer” costs
15,800-19,400 THB, depending on the hotel category, with a minimum of two
persons. Contact Travel, managed by Swiss Director Alex Brodard, specialises
in adventure tours and organises cycling in Northern Thailand and white
water kayaking on the Mae Taeng River.
For tourists who want to use Chiang Mai as a base to discover the
neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Laos, there are two recommended
options. The Lao Airlines Office in town offers the Summer Package 2006 with
a Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang – Chiang Mai round trip ticket, two nights
accommodation at the Villa Santi & Resort, daily buffet breakfast and
airport transfer in Luang Prabang for two persons at a cost of 13,860 THB.
For one person in a single room, the cost will come to 9,240 THB. Nara Tour,
opposite the Suriwong Book Store, advertises special packages to Myanmar,
using the services of Air Mandalay. The 7 nights Chiang Mai – Mandalay –
Bagan – Inle Lake – Yangon Summer Package 2006 costs 555USD p.p. on a
twin sharing basis and including round trip airport transfer.
With the low cost carrier “Tiger Air” to Singapore and “Thai Air
Asia” to Kuala Lumpur, tourists have even more options of travel from
Chiang Mai. Bangkok Airways flies the Chiang Mai – Jinghong Route to
China. A visa for China is easily obtainable at the Chinese Consular Office
in Chiang Mai. There is also a three times weekly flight to Taipei with
Last but not least, Chiang Mai is now the place to go for nightlife. Several
popular music restaurants have popped up in town, especially along the Mae
Ping River. These include the Riverside, Good View, and the Brasserie. For
the Thai discotheque scene, there is the new “Horizon Club” in the
basement of the Central Duangtawan Hotel near the Night Bazaar. For wine
lovers, there is the “Sarapee Winery” newly established by German
entrepreneur Dieter Geidt.