Thailand/Chiang Mai info

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Question
I've been to Thailand several times, but now have the potential to bring about 20 college students for a 3-week service-learning experience next June. I really hope I get to do this, especially as I love Thailand so much!

1) I would like to find a guest house in the old city that has either a restaurant or some area where people could comfortably congregate and talk. Someone suggested I stay near or on the CMU campus, but I'm not familiar with that area. What do you think would be best?

2) I need to find a few orgs/projects from which they could choose. I was thinking an orphanage. What else can you suggest that would be good for both the org and the students?

Any other advice would of course be welcome.

Thanks so much!

Answer
Hi Dan - I am familiar with both areas and like both too. However, there are far more services, restaurants, internet shops all more easily accessed in the old city area, inside the moat, maybe the North East quadrant being best. It is much more tourist-ed and will have more variety for a group of 20. The area near CM University has a different charm but surely fewer Western style restaurants - more Thai style neighborhoods.

As to specific recommendations, there are many many guest houses in the old city and price will vary as to how basic you might want to go - probably a minimum of $10 and up. If you give me a price range, I might have a few suggestions.

Chiang Mai has a lot going on - and it might depend on the interest of the students. As to the learning, there is everything from meditation to yoga to reiki, to cooking and more. The Reiki teacher who I know and could recommend brings her class to the local hospitals to offer free treatments. Some of the charitable orgs in CM are missionary related and I do not know if that is a line you want to cross. The other issue to be looked into might be as to whether or not your students would be able to legally work on a tourist visa. I understand it is volunteer work but I think there are some fuzzy areas as to what is and is not permitted. I can look into this further, but I think you would want some sort of guarantee from the org before you sign on.

Hope this helps. If you want me to check further into any of these issues for you, you can contact me directly - kenk2424@yahoo.com.

Best, Ken  

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ken

Expertise

Any Thailand related questions are welcome. I specialize in helping people with retirement advice. I can help with travel suggestions.I am knowledgeable in areas of culture, customs and language as well as cross cultural relationships.

Experience

I am from USA and have been living in Thailand for the last ten years. I currently live in an agrarian village in Central Thailand. I was first here in 1974. I have experience exporting from Thailand.

Publications
I have written 2 novels and a guidebook about Thailand.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Economics, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

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