Monday, September 13, 2010

We are back! (Charis appreciates Sam to do the next update)

Hey, we're back! I've been "appreciating"* Sam to get our blog updated for the past few weeks but without much success. So, I guess I'll have to do the honours again for this post :) 

When in Chiang Mai...

It has been our collective desire to visit pretty much the whole of Thailand whilst we are still here and last month, we managed to cross Chiang Mai off the list (although I would very much want to go there again - back on list!). Unlike Phuket, where we went for our honeymoon, Chiang Mai has activities for the whole family. It has this old-city charm appeal (which reminded me a bit of Hanoi, Vietnam), very laidback, relaxing... lots of history and friendly people. Just like most of Thailand outside of Bangkok, it is not expensive to travel around and you will not have lack of places to go. Some of our pictures are on Facebook but if you're thinking of travelling to Chiang Mai, here are some pre-requisites you'll have to acquire. 

There are 2 things in Chiang Mai locals say you have to try if you want to fully "taste" Chiang Mai. That is, to go up Doi Suthep (Doi in Thai means mountain) and to try their Khao Soi. My language teacher, Khun Ake, first introduced that to me and after checking on the WWW, I found out that it was indeed exclusive to Chiang Mai only! Khao Soi sounds something like "Rice Road" which according to Khun Ake doesn't really mean anything. Sam and I thought maybe it was a staple food of Chiang Mai that can be found at every soi in Chiang Mai. It tastes a bit like our Malaysian version of chicken curry (only sweeter) with thick egg noodles and fried egg noodles on top. It comes with accompanying condiments: pickled cabbage, lime and onions which you should eat with the noodles. According to some locals that we asked, the best ones can be found in the Wararot market near the footbridge over the Ping River. The food court is on the 3rd floor.

Khao Soi
And its condiments
Rent a car and take a ride!

We did just that, rented a car and went for a joy ride to the various attractions in Chiang Mai. We visited their zoo and the newly-installed aquarium. Not only is it really expensive (tourists pay double the price), it is not as well-maintained as the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok and the Aquarium in Phuket and Siam Paragon (okay, we've been to quite a few in Thailand alone :P). So ditch that. I wanted to try the Night Safari, but it was either that or the zoo. Further up from the zoo, is the Doi Suthep temple where you could see a good view of the city. But we were there when it was really misty so all we could see was this:

Okay, on less misty days you were supposed to see the city of Chiang Mai. It ain't called the Scenic Point for nothing! 

If, like me, you had always wanted to go on an elephant ride, Chiang Mai has lots of options for you! For us, we drove to the
Maesa Elephant Camp in the beautiful Maesa Valley for the elephant show and 1 hour elephant ride! Not encouraged if you get motion sickness easily. Man, the ride was really bumpy! And elephants are really smart! I had no idea they could paint...

There are lots more places to go in Chiang Mai, also a great place for woodcraft, handicrafts, any crafts at all! We went to Baan Tawai, famous for their wood craft but as it was a Sunday, most of the shops were closed. What a bummer! Another place worth a visit is the Borsang Village where you have the famous Borsang umbrellas/parasol made of Sa paper. They are famous because of the intricate paintings on the umbrellas itself. We didn't get to go there, but maybe the next time!

Not to be missed is also their red curry pork (hang-lay) which is sweet and just a little spicy (not as spicy as I would like my curry!). We went to this restaurant twice as it came recommended on travel sites and it did not disappoint. It's called Aroon Rai (no it's not an Indian restaurant) and it claims (with right!) to serve the best curry in town. Go try it out, it's on 45 Kotchasarn Rd facing the main street. Lots of parking inside.

And don't forget the Night Bazaar, the Wua Lai Street Market and the Food Market!!!

And after that...

It was back to work for Samuel and a new adventure for me. I've been toying with the idea of starting a little shop selling craft supplies from Bangkok and it's taken a little over a month to come to fruition and voila! It is aliveee!!

It has so far garnered 7 sales and as I am slowly putting in new items inside, I hope to get more in the future! Okay, my intention was just to shortly mention this so we can keep this blog relevant for the both of us and our readers (who are our readers anw?!) so if you want to find out more about what I'm doing, just go to:

There are actually many events that had happened since our last post, like our trip to the Dusit Zoo with the residents of Mercy House, or the continuation of our house hunting (4th agent already!) and my attempts to use both my hands creatively (will post about this soon!). If we have the time, we'll get some of them up. I'm re-appreciating* Samuel to get some updates from his side of the story.

*Sam and I had learned before marriage to ask things of each other politely. Instead of Do This and Do That, we would start our sentences with "I'd appreciate it if...". For example: "I'd appreciate it if you didn't leave any surprises for me in the toilet in the morning". It works! :D

1 comment:

  1. we were there for final year students mission trip... i love chiang mai! miss the affordable food & crafts, the weather, ppl...