I am writing this review for those of you out there who know the value of a good company that is owned by honest and hard working people. I recently travelled for 2 months throughout Thailand and spent 8 days in Chiang Mai during their the Songkran festival. It's their New Year and I heard that the festival is the best in Chiang Mai. (It was AMAZING!) I booked a 2 week tour including Bangkok, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, and ending up in Chiang Mai. Everything was great. All of the places I stayed were clean and well maintained until I got to Chaing Mai. My tourist agent in Bangkok booked me a room in the Backpackers House (BPH) for the 8 days I was there. When I arrived I was very surprised to see how the hotel looked NOTHING like the brochure. It was a shabby place and it felt like I was walking into someone's living room. There were books and various stacks of papers untidily stacked all over behind the counter. It looked like a disaster. The room was even worse. There were holes and stains all over the linen and looked like it was in need of some serious upkeep. I knew that I could not stay there. I called my tourist agent and he told me that it was Songkran and finding me another room would be very difficult. I told him I was patient and to take his time and waited for him to call me back. In 5 minutes he did. He told me a friend of 30 years was going to pick me up in 10 minutes. That was when I met Oodie Goodman the owner of the family run Chiang Mai Tours. He has been a tour guide since the age of 8 and his English was impeccable. For an extra $10 dollars US per night, Oodie put me in the Mawin Hotel. It was only 5 months old at the time and absolutely the best place I stayed during my 2 month tour. The best part was Oodies office is located on the ground floor of the Mawin so ANY questions, problems, anything, Oodie bent over backwards to help me with. To be clear I never took one of the tours through Chiang Mai Local Tours as I had already booked one before my arrival but Oodie helped me on a daily basis. He got me bus tickets, saved me on the refunding of my train ticket, and even took me to Chiang Rai and Chiang Lai to see the White Temple and the Singha Beer Farm. He and is family were amazing. Once in a while you get lucky to meet really good, honest, people during your travels and Oodie and his wife Yui are both great examples of this. If you are looking to tour Chiang Mai and want a friend not just a tour company who is looking to make that quick dollar, take a look at Chiang Mai Local Tours. The prices are very fair but what you get mostly is a tour agent that knows Thailand and will look out for your best interests even if he is not going to make that extra bit of cash.
To give you an idea of how happy I was, I returned to Chiang Mai two more times during my travels and both times I stayed at the Mawin. It wasn't because of the hotel, there are tons to choose from, it was because of Chiang Mai Local Tours. It's good to have friends in a foreign land.