Bertie the Bear’s top 12 tips for travelling in Chiang Mai


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1. Use the red trucks for transport. They are the Thai equivalent of a bus. Agree a price for where you want to go first before you get into the truck. Usually anywhere inside the city is 20 THB and just outside is 40 THB. A trip to the airport is between 150 THB and 200 THB. (2014 prices)

2. Get a pre-pad SIM at the airport so you can keep in touch with friends and family while travelling through Thailand. The counter staff will set your phone up for you. You can buy a cheap sim without internet quite easily or splash out on unlimited internet for 30 days and 100 THB of calls for 850 THB. (2014 prices)

3. Everywhere has wifi. The codes to access the wifi are usually written inside cafes and restaurants. Most staff will help you with wifi codes if you ask. Downside….wifi can be slow!

4. A Thai cooking class is a must! It is a fantastic way to learn more about the culture and you will walk away so full you won’t need to eat for a day!

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5. Barter, barter and barter! Haggling is fun especially at the night markets. Half the price which the stall holder quotes and work your way up from there.

6. Buy food from the street stalls. It is safe to eat and delicious. Make sure that it is cooked fresh in front of you. Do not buy food that you have not seen being cooked.

7. Smoothies come laden with sugar, ask for no sugar.

8. Taxi’s are very expensive. Although you can hire a taxi for the day to take you to agreed places around the city. Prices usually start from 1000 THB. Alternatively negotiate with the Tuk Tuk drivers. They usually ask for 300 THB for 2 hours service.

9. Visit the Sunday night market! It is an awesome place to pick up great deals, cheap clothes and cheap food.

10. Crepes with banana and Nutella are a must try and at 50 THB on most stalls are a complete bargain.

11. Use Tiger Balm on mosquito bites. The locals recommend it and it helps with the itching. If your bites swell up really badly you can buy anti-histamines from most of the Pharmacy’s relatively cheaply.

12. Thailand has loads of temples to visit. Chiang Mai has 300 alone. When visiting a temple please dress respectfully by covering shoulders and legs. Some temples have an entrance fee, although these are usually the bigger ones.

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