Chiang Mai 2017
Up Istanbul Turkey 2017
 

Postcards from:

Las Vegas Nevada
Bangkok Thailand
Chiang Mai Thailand
Istanbul Turkey
Reykjavik Iceland
Greenland
Hudson Bay Canada
Las Vegas Home

 

 


Chiang Mai: Entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: One of the seating areas in the Executive Lounge of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Whimsical sculpture in the lobby of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Boulevard sign near the entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Another exterior shot of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Fountain and pond near the entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Exterior shot of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Exterior shot near the entrance to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Flowers in the foreground with the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel in the background.


Chiang Mai: Floral display in the lobby of  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Floral memorial for the dead King Rama IX on display in the lobby of  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Guardian creatures in front of the the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex joined to the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Guardian creatures in front of the the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex joined to the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Decoration in the lobby of the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Decoration in the lobby of the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: One of the temple guardians inside the old city.


Chiang Mai: Entrance to the lobby men's room in the Ducit Princess Hotel located in the busy Night Bazaar area.


Chiang Mai: Another of the temple guardians inside the old city.


Chiang Mai: Decorative wall panel in the lobby area of the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Breakfast setup in the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Dining room wall decoration in the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Dining room where I took my meals in the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: View from my 15th floor "luxury" room in the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: View from my 15th floor room in the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: View from my 15th floor room in the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Guardian demon in the lobby of the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Decorative wood carving on display in the lobby of the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: View of the adjacent pool area from the dining room of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Main north entrance of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Temple about a block north of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Everyday around noon the Night Bazaar area is converted into a steel frame shopping mall. The Tinker Toy like assemblies are erected from parts hauled to the location by guys on motorcycles pulling carts with all the parts.


Chiang Mai: This colorful collection of bar occupies the intersection by the north entrance of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Everyday around noon the Night Bazaar area is converted into a steel frame shopping mall. The Tinker Toy like assemblies are erected from parts hauled to the location by guys on motorcycles pulling carts with all the parts.

 

End of column.

 

 

 
 

 

24 April-9 May 2017

 

Greetings from ChiangMai, Thailand

The hour and fifteen minute flight up from Bangkok got me in at 16:15, providing plenty of time for the four kilometer walk up to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel. This time mindful of my heavy pack and heeding suggestions from my favorite nag, I relented and hired a taxi for the fifteen minute ride... cost about $7.

Long experience with the excellent Furama Silom Hotel in Bangkok prompted me to try the Chiang Mai Furama. What a mistake that turned out to be. The building is old and dated, plus located west of the old city moats far from everything. As I had booked a prepaid room for three nights, I resolved to make the best of a bad situation. The wonderful Furama Executive Club enjoyed in Bangkok is a scruffy shadow in Chiang Mai. Naturally, I immediately used the time to start the hotel shopping hikes of explorations, logging three days of thirty thousand steps against a daily target of ten thousand. The extra exercise is very welcome as I continue to struggle with high diabetic blood glucose levels despite daily insulin shots.

I remembered the great hotel found during my last visit to the city in 2003 and checked old notes for the details. The hotel I remember was attached to a major shopping complex near the north-west corner of the old city moat. A bit of Internet research and I soon found the $44.50 Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel behind the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex right where I remember it and booked a deluxe room for four nights hoping to spend much longer than that in the place. However, the Lotus could only confirm four nights necessitating alternatives starting 1 May.

The Lotus still is a bit remote from all the action, so I focused attention on finding hotels in and around the Night Bazaar area. There I discovered the Dusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel. An inspection convinced me to book a couple days trial and then extend that another two days. At $71.50 for the Deluxe rooms it seemed extravagant, but then I'm worth it, right? After the first night it became clear I needed to keep looking for my perfect Chiang Mai abode.

Several inspections later I found the 15th floor luxury rooms in the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel at $64.00 and booked the initial few nights. None of the booking agents, like Agoda, list the Luxury class rooms in the hotel. Deluxe is the highest advertised class. The receptionists at the hotel revealed this secret and noted the better 15th floor luxury rooms could be booked at the same rate as the booking agents' deluxe rooms, if done in person at the hotel. The rooms on the 15th floor include access to a very nice semi-private lounge as well as offering slightly better views of the surrounding city. Based on my four days in this house I can say it is the best value of the four hotels I've sampled here.

Pondering onward itinerary possibilities, I decided the problems of Internet access in China are just too onerous for this stage of my life and the allure of Iceland more compelling. So, I'll divert to Turkey on the way to the frozen realms, skipping China this time around. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities and a place where I know there are good value hotels. Better flight choices start in Bangkok, so I'm heading back there for a few days of final preparation... in the great Bangkok Furama Silom, of course.

Peace,

Fred L Bellomy

 

 


Chiang Mai: Three Kings sculpture inside the old city surrounded by the moat.

 


Chiang Mai: This is the impressive exterior of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel one sees from the highway on approach.

 


Chiang Mai: Main entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Exterior shot of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Another shot of the busy main entrance into the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Another exterior view of the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Elephant stands guard by the entrance into the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: This is the large Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center located across the boulevard from the entrance into the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Flowers in the landscaping near the entrance to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.


Chiang Mai: A closer look at that Elephant guarding the entrance to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.
 


Chiang Mai: Colorful foliage spotted near the entrance to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.
 


Chiang Mai: Replica of ancient musical instrument on display in the lobby of the Lotus Hotel.



Chiang Mai: View from my 12th floor room in the Lotus Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Another view from my 12th floor room in the Lotus Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: This is breakfast one morning during my four night stay in the Lotus Hotel.



Chiang Mai: Inspirational poster seen along the side of the moat surrounding the old city not far from the Lotus Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Western side of the moat surrounding the old city not far from the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: This is the temple being guarded by those colorful daemons.


Chiang Mai: Sculpture in the lobby area of the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.


Chiang Mai: Decorative sculpture in the lobby area of the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Southern entrance into the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel where I stayed during the last 4 days of my visit to Chiang Mai this time.


Chiang Mai: Southern entrance into the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel where I stayed during the last 4 days of my visit to Chiang Mai this time.


Chiang Mai: Decorative wall decoration in the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Curved north face of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel building.


Chiang Mai: Entrance to the Buddhist Center of Chiang Mai.


Chiang Mai: Ancient House of Chiang Mai.


Chiang Mai: Decorative fountain in the lobby of the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Landscaping fountain around the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Attractive leaves in the landscaping around the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Map of the downtown area.


Chiang Mai: Larger map of the downtown area.

 

End

 

My Chiang Mai Hotel reviews:

 

Furama Chiang Mai 3 nites $55.00 - Not recommended

Remote location inconvenient for independent travelers

Staff friendly and helpful throughout hotel

Welcome fruit and letter: Executive Club

WiFi O.K. in room.

Large Chinese group with bad manners at breakfast

Mediocre breakfast with stale bread & cold eggs tray

Executive Club poorly implemented and staffed; uses lobby space and unavailable refreshments @ happy hour.

Building is old and of dated design; needs maintenance.

Sleeping room too large, poorly furnished and uncarpeted

Two separate A/C units cool, but with high humidity

Large bathroom with separate shower & tub

Kitchenette w/o microwave, but big refrigerator.

Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center: across the boulevard after block long driveway out from hotel; a big plus.


Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel $44.50 4 nites - Great value

Located behind the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex a few blocks west of north-west corner of the old city moat.

Good 12th floor view & impressive lobby  atrium.

Thin, firm mattress pad... though not uncomfortable.

Slip shod housekeeping: no sheets ever changed

Breakfast just average.

WiFi intermittent with slow connections

No safety box!

Fresh fruits and flowers; very nice.

 

Dusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel $71.50 4 nites - Very nice

Middle of Night Bazaar location; very busy at night.

WiFi occasionally excellent, but aggravating sign-on always requires a Facebook advertisement delay.

Bathroom plumbing problems not addressed

TV cable connector loose & fell out: no TV 20 hrs.

Breakfast above average - good coffee, fruit

Very pleasant staff throughout hotel

Room not made up until late afternoon.

 

Imperial Mae Ping Hotel $64.00 4 nites - Excellent

Luxury room on 15th floor very private with guard

Good selection of dishes during breakfast

Friendly, helpful staff throughout the hotel

Two fruit plates plus wedding? cake mistake?

Excellent WiFi everywhere.

Perfect A/C throughout hotel.

Tiny bathroom, but practical.

Just adequate hot water for shower.

Very pleasant pool area for relaxing and dining.

Fully booked day hectic and unpleasant... for me.

No decaf here or in any of the other hotels!

Only a block from all the Night Bazaar activity

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chiang Mai: Attractive chandelier hanging in the lobby of the Furama Hotel. The buildings are old and in need of updating, but the staff does their best to make guests feel welcome. The hotel is isolated and not recommended for independent travelers like me. Package tours seem to manage well enough with door to door bus transportation.

 


Chiang Mai: Table and chairs furnish my cavernous room in the Furama Chiang Mai; functional, but hardly elegant.

 


Chiang Mai: Couch and desk in my cavernous room in the Furama Chiang Mai. The desk had no power outlook for charging the laptop and proved useless; good light, though.

 


Chiang Mai: Floral display in the lobby of  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Fountain near the entrance to  the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Group of elephants sculpture inside the old walled city surrounded by the moat.

 


Chiang Mai: Another view of the Three Kings sculpture inside the old city surrounded by the moat.

 

Chiang Mai: King Rama IX floral memorial on display in the lobby of  the Lotus Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: One of the main entry door guardians at the Lotus Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Another view of that temple guardian inside the old city.
 


Chiang Mai: Colorful foliage near the entrance to the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Another view of that temple guardian inside the old city.

 


Chiang Mai: Another memorial on display in the lobby of  the Lotus Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Entrance to the lobby lady's room in the Ducit Princess Hotel located in the busy Night Bazaar area.


Chiang Mai: Cooking spices on display in the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.



Chiang Mai: Cooking spices on display in the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.

 


Chiang Mai: Cooking spices on display in the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.



Chiang Mai: Sculpture in the lobby area of the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.


Chiang Mai: Sculpture group in the lobby area of the Ducit Princess Hotel where I stayed four nights.

 


Chiang Mai: Functional rocking chair on the balcony in the Ducit Princess Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Dining room wall decoration in the Ducit Princess Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Impressive floral display in the lobby of the Ducit Princess Hotel.


Chiang Mai: Guardian demon in the lobby of the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Like all hotels in this part of the world, there are mosquitoes. However, this Black Hole device is truly a guardian demon in the lobby of the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. The hotel also uses plug in chemical vapor devices as a backup,

 


Chiang Mai: Like all hotels in this part of the world, there are mosquitoes.  The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. also uses plug in chemical vapor devices like this one as a backup as a backup to the electronic Black Holes,

 

 


Chiang Mai: King Rama IX floral memorial on display in the lobby of  the  Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

 


Chiang Mai: Fierce stone dragon guarding the north entrance of the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

 



Chiang Mai: Everyday around noon the Night Bazaar area is converted into a steel frame shopping mall. The Tinker Toy like assemblies are erected from parts hauled to the location by guys on motorcycles pulling carts with all the parts.

 


Chiang Mai: Everyday around noon the Night Bazaar area is converted into a steel frame shopping mall. The Tinker Toy like assemblies are erected from parts hauled to the location by guys on motorcycles pulling carts with all the parts.

 

End of column.

 

 

 

 

 

Reference photo: author
September 2016
 

Next Postcard