A couple of weeks ago RG and I hopped on a plane and headed north to Chiang Mai for a long weekend. We both fell in love with this city…I think if Chiang Mai was near a beach we would have set up shop and stayed forever. It has everything to offer…mountains, a small city feel, your traditional Thai markets, Western restaurants, cheap drinks and amazing food.
We stayed right outside of the “old city” which was perfect, a short walk to all of the Wats (temples), local restaurants and bars and to the river and night bazaar. The people were so friendly, stopping to help point us in the right direction, offering advice on what to see and do. Everything was very laid back and not to mention cheap! Hotels average about $20 a night, beers are $2 and food even cheaper. If you are shopping do not forget to negotiate, we got about 20-30% off everything we purchased with a bit of bargaining.
But lets talk about the food, wow! Chiang Mai is known for its cuisine, but I didn’t think it would really stand out…boy was I wrong. My favorite dish was Khao Soi which is native to Chiang Mai and really not found anywhere else in the country. I don’t know what it is exactly, a mix between a penang curry and a chinese noodle soup. AMAZING! I literally ate this everyday we were here. Chiang Mai is also known for being one of the healthiest cities in Thailand. It was refreshing not to have rice or noodles at every meal…which I am desperately trying to avoid here in Bangkok. In addition to the local meals we stepped out and tried some Mexican food. Sometimes, I just really need a change from Asian cuisine…it was surprisingly pretty tasty. Definitely not as good as you can find in the States, but by far the closest I have seen and tried since being in Asia! Just to have chips and salsa again was so nice, I didn’t realize how much I had missed it.
Besides great food, Chiang Mai is surrounded by hundreds of Buddhist Wats (temples) that date back to the 13th century. We spent an entire day wandering through the old city and visiting as many as we could. What stood out the most was the architecture, it was nothing like we had seen before. Many Wats were handmade of layered stone, absolutely beautiful.
Overall it was a great trip, we got to see and do a lot. We spent a day in the mountains zip-lining and a day in the country at a cooking class. Both were so much fun they deserve their own posts. This was just the appetizer 🙂
Stayed tuned for more soon…xoxo