Yaang Come Village
When we traveled to Chiang Mai we stayed at Yaang Come Village, a beautiful hotel located between the Old City walls and the Ping River. Yaang Come Village provided the perfect home base for us as it is within easy walking distance of the walled Old City. If you don’t feel like walking, there are always tuk tuks waiting outside ready to give you a lift. It is also very close to the Ping River and Iron Bridge, which was the perfect place to join in the Yee Peng festival.
|Our ginormous room and the view from our balcony at Yaang Come Village.|
When in Siam, one must strike a Yul Brynner King and I pose, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Staying at Yaang Come Village kind of reminded me of Hawaii. The hotel isn’t one large building, but several smaller buildings scattered around the grounds, with green lawns, palm trees, and a pool. We stayed in a deluxe room which was absolutely huge. The front door opened into an entryway with an armoire and desk area. The room had a king size bed plus a reclining chair. The bathroom was also enormous, having a separate shower and soaking tub. Our room was on the second floor and had a big balcony overlooking the lawn.
Yaang Come Village has a restaurant which serves a complimentary breakfast of fresh fruit as well as some hot breakfast foods. We ate dinner at the restaurant one night and I had an excellent duck curry. The hotel also offers turndown service every night and replenishes the fresh fruit bowl in the room daily. If desired, the hotel also offers airport transfers at a very reasonable price. The hotel even provides activities during the day for guests who are so inclined.
We booked our hotel stay with Agoda, which offered a less expensive rate than booking directly with the hotel.
One night we ate dinner at an open-air restaurant in the Anusarn Market. There were a number of restaurants in the market, along with many outdoor fish spas. We chose one of the restaurants with fresh seafood displayed, Mho o cha Seafood. We ate like kings that night, with a meal of spicy seafood soup, cockles, langoustine, pork and Chinese kale, and lobster. While the meal was more expensive than those to which we had become accustomed in Bangkok, for what we had it was very reasonable. The restaurant was not fancy, but the seafood was fresh.
|Fresh seafood feast at Mho o cha Seafood in Anusarn Market.|
Kalare Food Centre
Another night we visited the Kalare Food Centre. The Kalare Food Centre is made up of a number of food stands similar to a shopping mall food court. You start by purchasing coupons and then use the coupons to pay for your food. At the end of your meal, you can take any unused coupons back to the cashier to be reimbursed for whatever coupons you did not spend.
|Tom yum soup and other goodies at Kalare Food Centre.|
Sunday Walking Street
One night we visited the Sunday Walking Street for dinner. Compared to Bangkok, I found Chiang Mai to have a shortage of street food. Our guide San told us that the areas where the locals live have a lot more street food, but since we were in the more touristy area (close to the Old City), there wasn’t as much. There is street food at the Sunday Walking Street. The Sunday Walking Street is technically on Ratchadamnoen Road, but most of the street food stands were actually just outside the city walls around Thapae Gate. What I remember the most were my favorite fruit shakes and watching the ladies peel and cut the fruit barely fast enough to keep up with the shake orders, and also papayas being shredded and pounded for fresh papaya salad. There is also a Saturday Walking Street along Wualai Road, south of the city walls. Both walking streets run from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.
|Street food from the Sunday Walking Street, including my favorite staple, the fruit shake.|
Khao Soi Restaurant
A visit to Chiang Mai is not complete without trying a bowl of the Northern Thailand regional dish khao soi. Khao soi is a spicy soup with coconut milk and deep-fried crispy noodles. I had my bowl of khao soi at Mr. Kai Restaurant on Ratchadamnoen Road near Jhaban Road and across from Wat Chai Phra Kiat. Mr. Kai’s is a low key, inexpensive, outdoor restaurant where we ate for lunch and had some great food. There are a number of small inexpensive restaurants within one block of Mr. Kai’s along Ratchadamnoen Road and one block up along Inthawarorot Road that serve khao soi.
|Khao soi, Northern Thailand's regional dish.|
I am not condoning eating at McDonald’s while traveling. In fact, I usually have a no McDonald’s while traveling policy. I made an exception and visited the golden arches for two reasons. One, I wanted a picture of Ronald McDonald performing the wai greeting. Two, I kept seeing advertisements for the pineapple and corn pies. Verdict? Continue avoiding McDonald’s while traveling. The pineapple pie was mostly a thick, sugary, super sweet filling.
|Where not to eat in Chiang Mai.|