Itinerant Thai Travels Part 3: Chiang Mai

“Today we use big knives, don’t cut off your finger” -Aim

“Spicy is SEXY!” -Aim

“Have you smelled fish sauce before? It smells bad but tastes so good” -Aim

“More spicy is more sexy. Then more beer. It can help you.” -Aim

We left Ayutthaya, the town of temples and headed North toward Chiang Mai on an overnight bus. After a day of settling in, filling our fridge with fruit we decided her was where to go to cooking school. At the end of my day in the kitchen with Aim I was hot, tired, very full and totally satisfied. Aim is an enthusiastic cook, whose animated personality simply cannot be described in text. She should probably have her own TV show. I highly recommend doing a half day of cooking at Mama Noi’s Cookery School (if you speak English ask for Aim).

“Smells like hell, tastes like heaven” (Again about the fish sauce) -Aim

What we liked:
Exploring the local markets that are double and triple lined with stalls selling unique jewelry and clothing. I thought Chiang Mai hosted some of the best shopping in the country, the night markets were lively and full of adventure. 

Where we stayed:
The Royal Guest House, chosen for having in room refrigerator, air conditioning, a pool and walking distance to restaurants and markets.

What we didn’t like:
Thai markets are notoriously known for bargaining, we found this was particularly difficult to do in Chiang Mai. There are many factories in Chiang Mai and the clothing and jewelry should be very inexpensive here but it isn’t always the case.

Eating Out:
The foodie scene is vibrant in Chiang Mai, you can find anything from an Irish pub, to night market, to local food stall, 7-11 or Thai restaurant within a 5-minute walk from anywhere within the city square or a river bordering street. My suggestion is to eat at the markets!

Try the black gel if you see it at the market. If you can’t find anywhere to eat late at night 7-11 will make you pork gyoza or a grilled cheese sandwich. Bargain shop ONLINE for your best deals out of Chiang Mai before you go into travel agency style shops. Know what you’re willing to pay and what the online prices are.

“Do you have maple syrup trees in Canada?” -Ryan

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