I Heart Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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Adorable cafe
Wednesday morning I met BJ and Colin, as we had planned to spend the day together.  We stopped at an adorable cafe that they had found the day before, set back from the street in a family's garden.  BJ got her morning coffee fix and Colin and I slurped fresh juices.

From there we walked to another local market, where we poked around and ogled some of the more exotic foodstuffs for sale and sought (in vain) some "authentic" textiles.  We spent the morning perusing the market and walking along one of the main arteries in Chiang Mai's newer city, popping in and out of various stores as we went.  We stumbled upon a particularly ornate temple, oohing and ahhing and enjoying the zen feeling of the place.
Adorable cafe
  We were mesmerized.  

We split up for a few hours in the afternoon, me having a horrible waxing experience (I'll spare you the details) and a late lunch of spicy papaya salad from a street cart as I hobbled home.  

In the evening we went to Palaad Tawanron, a restaurant that had been recommended to BJ as being one of the best restaurants in Chiang Mai, if not the world (apparently it made the top restaurants of the world list a few years ago).  It's set in the hills west of Chiang Mai overlooking the city, and the lush outdoor setting lends this place some serious charm.  It's absolutely packed with Thais, who are enamored with both the live music and the food.  

We had a good meal: duck (and assorted accoutrements) and rice and vegetables for BJ and Colin,, and spicy seafood and a pomelo salad for me.
Adorable cafe
  You know you're in for it when a dish is identified as being "Thai spicy."  We've established this.  The waiter didn't bat an eye when I ordered, even though those two dishes are traditionally among the spiciest.  I suppose very few westerners make it to that place; he clearly was not familiar with the western palate.  These people weren't messing around, it was about as "Thai spicy" as it gets.  The food was delicious (although we agreed perhaps not deserving of the abundant hype and the "among the best in the world" claims), and my mouth was on FIRE.  BJ tried one bite of the pomelo salad and declared it to be the spiciest thing she's ever eaten.  I told her if that was the case to steer clear of the seafood, and the PILE of chilies on my plate.  Oh baby.

I love Chiang Mai.  It's so great here.  There's so much to see and do, and it's also a very easy town to chill out in if you don't want to see or do anything.  We all agreed we could easily spend another week or longer here, and were sorry our time was coming to an end.  I can see why so many people love it here, and return to it again and again.  I have no doubt I'll be back.
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Adorable cafe
Adorable cafe
Adorable cafe
Adorable cafe
Adorable cafe
Adorable cafe
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Sticky rice and bean creations in…
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Some sort of massive root with pu…
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Funky old building. Can't tell fr…
Loved this shop. Too bad I couldn…
Loved this shop. Too bad I couldn…
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes