1. I’ve been living in Chiang Mai for a few years now and I’ve accumulated a bunch of old clothes that I don’t wear anymore (too much pad thai). Is there anywhere that I can donate these clothes?
There are quite a few places around Chiang Mai that happily accept clothing donations (and other donations as well of course). One option is to try The Freedom House, a not for profit organisation that helps Burmese refugees and indigenous Thais. Find them at www.thaifreedomhouse. org or visit them on Soi 7 of Moon Muang Road, House 25. If that’s not the answer you were looking for, many Wats around the city also accept clothing donations and redistribute them to people in need.
2. I know Chiang Mai has a thriving gay population, but I don’t know where I can go to meet them, are there any popular hang outs?
You’re right, the gay scene here is absolutely thriving! Out in Thailand magazine is a great go-to guide for answers to any questions you have about this community. SoHo Bar and Guest House on Huay Kaew road as well as the Glass Onion off Nimmanhaemin road provide a classy atmosphere from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily for singles that are ready to mingle. If bar conversation and sipping on wine is not your cup of tea, check out Soi Viengbua, Chotana Road. Good times are guaranteed at the Lotus Garden Bar and Adam’s Apple Bar.
3. Where can I get professional photos of my family taken?
There are several options. 72 Studio on Soi Phong Suwan and Kudos Studio on Huay Kaew Road both do portraiture and are available by appointment. Visit their websites at www.studio.dougmorton.com and www. kudosstudio.com respectively to get a better feel for their photography styles. Alternatively, you can go the route of freelance photographers, in which case Marissa Marchitelli, Jeff D. Kennell and Alberto Cosi, to name a few, can easily be found and contacted via name searches on Google.
4. I’d really like to get my kids involved in some after school activities. Are there any recreation centres that offer classes in English?
It really depends on the activities that your kids are interested in. The Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club on Chiang Mai – Lamphun Road offers quite the range of sporting facilities to choose from. If squash, tennis, golf or even cricket aren’t quite down your little ones’ alley, maybe the world of art is. Global Art on Chang Klan Road allows kids to dabble a bit in the arts and crafts. Give them a call at 053 233 225 to learn more. For the more rough and tumble kind of activity, Chiang Mai Taekwondo Rimping on Charoenrajd Road offers classes in Muay Thai Boxing and other karate-like sports that are an active alternative to after school television!
5. Is there anywhere around the city than I can store some extra furniture and boxes?
Finding storage in Chiang Mai can be difficult. Chalita Packing Service and Buying Agency offers a wide range of locker sizes that can hold anything from a box to a sofa. For a fee, their movers will pick your belongings up and take them to the facility for you. They provide short and long term storage, so if all you need is space for one week, you got it! They are located at Baan Tawai Zone 6, 189/6 T. Nong Kaew, A. Hang Dong. To find out more about their pricing, visit their website www.chiangmai shiping.com/storage.htm or give them a call at 087 192 3384. Jumbo Self Storage, located in Hang Dong also offers storage space, but their rental period has a one month minimum and they do not provide a moving service, which means getting your stuff there is up to you! If Jumbo sounds right for you, call 080 121 9891 to learn more.