Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai Reviews
Chiang Mai's #1 Tuk Tuk Driver Mar 13, 2009
His name is Paul Collins and he is Chiang Mai's #1 Farang Tuk Tuk Driver!!!! No, not because he only drives farang around town.....but because he IS a farang. (He is actually the ONLY farang tuk tuk driver in all of Thailand) Paul was born in Chiang Mai and both of his parents are American. (His parents have lived here for a combined 70+ years!) Consequently, Paul holds dual citizenship...both American and Thai. This is the reason he is able to be licensed as a tuk tuk driver. (Jobs for farang are hard to come by, since you will not be hired to a position that could be done by a Thai person) Paul speaks fluent English, Thai and Northern Thai. He also attended university here in Chiang Mai last year and is a fully licensed TAT tour guide, so he can take you to all of the wats, ruins and historical sites, as well as the elephant camp, snake farm....on and on. Whatever you want to see....or shop for....Paul knows where to find it!
He is always on time for pick up (a real novelty in Thailand where most things run on Thai time. (That means it may or may not happen today...and if it does, it's going to happen an hour or more late!). Paul is very professional, courteous, articulate, neat and clean and he keeps his tuk tuk immaculate and in good service. He also has a wicked sense of humor and a killer smile!
I have used Pauls tuk tuk, tour guide and translation service for just about anything and everything I need. Grocery shopping, getting to the consulate, setting up a bank account, helping with my visa, helping negotiate a good deal with the shop owners for furniture, lamps, finding an English speaking lawyer, etc.....Anything and everything needed for my home, my comfort or just having fun here in Chiang Mai. Paul even found the house that I currently live in and negotiated with my landlady on the price. He coordinated my move, and through a friend of his who does interior decoration I now have a wonderful, cozy, serene home on a small side soi near the River Ping. Paul did all of the translation for me with the local phone company, Internet and cable company after my move and was at my home when things were delivered and installed. If you're in Chiang Mai or planning to be here I would strongly suggest getting in touch with Paul. His mobile number is 0849483315 (or 0850484606) or you can email him before you arrive in Chiang Mai for airport pick up, help finding a good guest house or hotel in your price range or to schedule a tour at firstname.lastname@example.org His rates are very reasonable and if you book in advance Paul will give you a discount
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Jan 08, 2008
I went a few years ago and stayed at the Royal Princess 4* hotel which was on the same road as the night street market .
There were many budhist temples , usually with cats around them but with different rules , since i saw monks smoking in one of them .
I had a few problems as a veggie , but lived on fruit and pancakes.There was an awful lot of fish/chicken and meat being cooked at the roadside , the food is very cheap.
The traffic is pretty heavy and constant , they drive on the left (same as uk) , but they drive in an orderly way and the police make sure that they do .
You must show respect to thier royal family (flags/photos of them) , which means do not disrepect them .
We visited a big temple just north of Chiang and one of the Princesses was passing in a convoy and they insisted that we remained standing in respect even 5 mins before the entourage came .
I seem to remember that part of it was a walled city with canals and the canals were FILTHY .
You can rent motor cycles/scooters and i rented a bicycle which had no brakes , since i was wearing shorts and sandals you can imagine the time i had in heavy traffic .
I remember there was a christian school , just outside the town/city centre and over a canal and the kids paraded outside in the playground at the end of lessons , under thier flag and sang the national anthem , it was quite moving .
I booked an elephant 'safari' from Chang and we travelled an hour or more to get there and then sat on elephant back thru rivers and over hillside.Some little kids from a village came out into the river to sell us trinkets and it was a bit gross. be careful with some of the tours from Chang tho , because you can get railroaded into going around carpet factories and jewellery outlets and it all becomes a bit too commercialized .
Many young men become monks (for a time at least) and i saw them in thier safron robes and bowls walking the streets in the morning , people drop food or money into the bowls as they go past .
There are many massage places around , often u can see from the street
what is happening inside , the Foot massage is especially well recommended . I am not aware of any sordid details of other massage available .
I have some notes from my trip somewhere , when i find them i may update this .
The people are generally lovely and almost royal in their manners .I felt almost like i was related to them , even going on trips with them
if a silence developed , it is a warm silence and if your eyes meet they just smile .I wish it was more like this in the west .
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