Chiang Mai, Thailand (Updated 2015)

Chiang Mai was special the minute we landed. We got our bags fast and took an easy cab ride into town with a friendly, fair driver and we were ready for our first meal.  We walked around for a bit around the center of the city, were immediately relaxed by the slow nature of the city, especially coming from Bangkok and then hailed a tuk tuk to take us to our first meal.

Click on the links below to see the rest of my pictures from this trip:
Cambodia (Siem Reap and Angkor Wat)

Khao Soi Lam Duan - Fa Ham is a well talked about places about a mile outside of the main part of town, famous for the Khao Soi (Northern Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup).  Serving mostly locals and travelers who do their research.  The kitchen is in front, basically outside although there is an awning.  The food is excellent, and highly recommended.

My first Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.  This was one of our favorite dishes of the trip.  Boiled egg noodles on the bottom of the dish, and fried on top.  Delicious tender chicken. 

Their Som Tam was very good

Never had fried shrimp like this before, my wife really enjoyed it, as did I.

Great satay

Our hotel was a few blocks away from the Tha Phae gate, one of the main entrance to the beautiful perfect square that surrounds the old city.

Just a few minutes walk from out Hotel and we arrived here.  Our first chill Wat that did not have 1,000's of people.  Quite a difference.

For a small fee, the woman on the bottom left would let tourists release about 5 small from a woven basket.  The birds would fly around for a while then return to the basket on their own.

The cat was just relaxing.  Very Thai.  Totally uninterested in the few people around.  The monk in the background was giving the woman a Sai Sin, a string bracelet as part of a blessing for good luck. 

While I don't actually believe in luck, its quite an experience having once placed on your wrist as had happened here in Chiang Mai Thailand and then again in a small hill town in Cambodia.

Baan Phor Liang Meun Terracotta Arts

Khantoke dinner at the Chiang Mai Cultural Center

 Starting with the most obvious and working our way clockwise we had the fried chicken, crispy pork rinds, Burmese pork curry (sweet curry with tender, delicious pork), stir fried vegetables, tomato and pork dip, fried sweet potatoes (I think), sweet crispy rice and in the center were fresh vegetables to dip into the tomato and pork.  They refilled each portion until we were more than full.  The dancing was alright, the meal was excellent.

Doi Inthanon, Thailand

You can see one of the King and Queen Pagodas in the distance

King and Queen Pagodas

The inside one of the Pagodas

Thai Elephant Home, Thailand

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Thailand

The view of Chiang Mai from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Thailand

Chiang Mai Jungle Bungee, Chiang Mai

Tiger Kingdom, Thailand


It was an incredible day so we wanted something to remember it by...

Food In Chiang Mai, Thailand
'Pad Nasser's Nasi lemak Combo' mid-flight on Air-Asia, who describes this as a Malaysian dish of chicken rendang and chilli sambal over coconut rice accompanied by fried anchovies, peanuts and egg.  For airplane food, and knowing how the altitude affects my sense of taste, this was pretty good, and the anchovies were the best fish I've had on an airplane.   Yes I've ordered fish on an airplane before, and yes it was disgusting.  This I'd order again.

Loved this pork and crispy shallots

Another well know Chiang Mai restaurant is SP Chicken, a place that has been serving the same food for about 35 years.  Rotisserie chicken, Thai style.  Loved this place, the chicken was tender and very flavorful, served with sweet chili sauce.  I'm not a big fan of chicken, but this was very juicy and worth going out of your way for.

This is where the magic happens.

In the Chiang Mai night market there are a few different food courts  This one had a wide variety of Asian food and some excellent Chiang Mai food. 

My first bite of what would become my favorite dish in Thailand,  Hoy Todd, Oyster omelet.  The version above is with mussels and served with the sweet Thai Chili sauce; its not crispy enough but I still love the combination of seafood and eggs.

So many options!

Another version of Khao Soi, this time with the typical accompaniments of raw shallots and pickled cabbage served inside the dish.

We took the wonderful Elliebum's walking history and food tour.  We learned alot about the history of Chiang Mai and ate tons delicious foods.

 One stop on the tour was for the "best" Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Mango and Sticky Rice) in the city, in a unexpected place on a street I would not have noticed if not for the tour, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

It was amazing, and was certainly the best version I had, and we did end up having it often!  I've never seen mangoes with stripes like that; perfectly ripe; creamy souffle like texture, and very sweet.  The sweetness of the mango cuts through the richness and heaviness of the coconut milk sticky rice.  The toasted rice adds a perfect little crunch.  Absolutely prefect.  One of the best bites of food I've ever had in my travels.

  We also had an order of durian with Sticky Rice, almost as good with a hint of that delicious durian funk! While there is plenty of street food in Chiang Mai, this food tour took us to many places we would not have visited for delicious food as well as great information on both the city and the northern Thai cuisine.
One of my favorite of the many thai desserts, Egg Custard with Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Sung Kha ya).

One of the markets in Chiang Mai

Amazing curries on the street in Chiang Mai, the best way to eat in this city for sure.  Great greens also.

Lunch at Huen Phen, Chiang Mai Thailand.  Huge range of food at a very well known place.  The service was not great, they were busy and not super friendly, but the food was some of the best food in Chiang Mai.

Click on the links below to see the rest of my pictures from this trip:
Cambodia (Siem Reap and Angkor Wat)