11.2.17 Chang Mai

Chang Mai is the foodie paradise of Thailand, and it is a mystery to us as to why we have never come here before, loving Thailand and it’s food as we do. Still we are here now, slightly regretting never doing it before as it seems to be full of vegan cafes, single origin coffee houses, organic juice bars and lots, I mean lots, of avocados. The Thai food has got somehow lost in the westernisation of the city. But with the help of various blogs and websites we will try and get some Thai food, with a few avocados thrown to ensure our omega 3 intake is healthy.

Arriving at 8am was so much better than the advertised 6am giving us a 2 hour lie in on an uncomfortable bus.

We decided to forgo waiting around with about 100 more westerners for a free songthaw ride to our hostel and walk the 500m ourselves. It was with a small leap of joy I realised we were around the corner from a Boots store……Guys heart sank, along with our budget.

Our rooms weren’t ready so we had a complimentary coffee and got on the wi-fi to catch up with everything that had happened in the last 12 hours. Very little…..but you never know……

Our hostel, Stay With Me, is absolutely fab, more like a boutique hotel, clean, beautiful little garden, bar, fresh rooms. Only complaint is the amount of mossies, there are loads. We cover ourselves in citronella.

After a while the caffeine kicks in and we are off to explore. The streets are slowly waking up, street vendors are coming out and setting up. We see mango and sticky rice on offer, we perch on the tiny stools and snack. It is sweet, sticky and delicious. The blue rice is dyed with morning glory flower, all natural.

We then see a Lanna cuisine restaurant. We order 2 dishes that are practically identical, pork and peanut curry and pork in spicy peanut sauce, both tasty and good. The requested coconut shake appears as a lime shake, but is still refreshing.

There are loads of yoga, tai chi, chi gong etc schools here, we are looking for some chi gong on the advice of our tai chi master (yes, we are those kind of people now, who have a tai chi master 😎), it is harder to find than yoga. We find one, and also a yoga course. Our week of healthy living has begun!!

It is a little cooler here, less humid, so wandering around the streets is still a slow process but less sweaty than Bangkok. There are simply hundreds of cafes, restaurants, bars to choose from. 

We get back to ours and eventually check in, desperate for a shower I dive in. 1 min later I had killed at least 10 mossies. 2 in one go. Wow! A quick (!) shower later and I am out of there, leaving Guy to it. He comes back saying he only saw 1. 

Note to self: always go in shower after Guy here…

Saturday nights in Chang Mai have a night bazaar on close to our place. We wander around, following other westerners, to see it. A sanitised, western looking market is spotted, selling burritos, sushi, pancakes, and some Thai food, it feels like we are at a food festival in Leamington. We walk out and find the real night bazaar, still pretty western but has more Thai food so we start snacking.

First up is a pork platter. A Chang Mai sausage flavoured with lemongrass, milk pork, both of which are delicous. But the fermented pork divides us, it is sour tasting, Guy loves it. I don’t.

I chose a salmon with lemongrass salad, Som Tam salad made with green mango instead of papaya. Spicy and delicious.

Guy has another Chang Mai sausage, with a side of raw cabbage, cabbage was not eaten.

Guy finishes off with Khao Dong the local peanut coconut soup with chicken, fried noodle topping, this was quite sweet.

As if we weren’t full enough, Guy went and spotted a Tiramasu magnum in the 7/11. We couldn’t say no. It was fab. Obviously.

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