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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thailand Trip Itinerary 2014 - Part 7 Chiang Rai to Chiangmai

Day 8 – Visiting Wat Rong Khun [White Temple] and leaving Chiang Rai to Chiangmai.
Had early lunch after visiting Wat Rong Khun [White Temple] before leaving for Chiangmai.

[Click here to see Wat Rong Khun].
Back to the hotel after lunch which allowed us late check out at 1.00 pm since our bus to Chiangmai departs at 2.15 pm. Journey was good as bus was punctual and arrived at Chiangmai Chang Klan Bus Station at 5.15 pm even though the bus does stop at several places on the way.
Since we weren’t sure of the location of Chiangmai’s hotel which we had booked earlier through, we took the Red Song Thaew which charges 80THB [bargainable] which is cheaper than the Tuk-Tuk to locate the hotel.
Pachkit House B&B
8/1 Arak Road, Soi 7 T. Phrasingh
Amphoe Muang
Old City Chiangmai
Hotel Rim, Arak Road, Suan Dok Gate
This hotel is located next to Hotel Rim side lane, Arak Road and behind Wat Phrasingh. Hotel doesn’t look new but the room is very spacious and clean inclusive of good Western breakfast. The rate per night is less than USD25 which is good price for location, room and food. Free Wifi at the dining area and in the room.
Along Arak Road, there are several good food outlets like Jelang Fish Ball Noodles Shop, Korean BBQ and Steamboat and a Chu Char Stall in the Teochew Association compound.  All these places are within walking distance. The SP Chicken outlet is also within walking distance along one of the adjacent roads near Wat Phrasingh and the hotel.
The hotel collects a deposit for the room key and you can also rent a motorbike through the hotel for 250THB per day. This rate is higher than the one near Thapae Gate area but it is more convenient to rent one through the hotel. 
We took the Red Song Taew from hotel to Thapae Gate that charges 40THB for 2 person to Thapae Gate in the late afternoon.
Before visiting the Sunday Walking Street Night Market, we went to Moon Muang Road [Wendy Tour’s agent] to book a day tour to Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand. The rate is 900THB per person. The tour van will pick us up at the hotel at 8.00 am. The tour package includes lunch and visiting the King Inthanon Memorial [highest peak of Thailand], Twin Pagoda, 2 waterfalls [Wachirathan and Sirithan Waterfalls], Royal Market and a Karen village.  It's a good fare.  We enjoyed the trip.
The Sunday Walking Street Night Market opens at 16.00 till midnight. This market starts at Thapae Gate and runs along Ratchadamneon Road for around 1 Km. Temples on either side of the road become food courts. There are a wide variety of food from Khao Pad [fried rice] to deep fried crickets, pancakes, grilled meat to numerous refreshment stalls [Click here to see map].
Items offered here are handcrafted products and usual assortment of tourist trinkets. Prices are bargainable but that depends on quantity.
The walking street market is packed with people and quite difficult to move around especially around Thapae Gate area.    Beware aware of pick-pockets, too.  We tried several street foods and the prices are higher than in Chiang Rai.
We had the spring rolls [2 rolls for 25THB], Passion Fruit Ice Shake [25THB per cup], chicken satay [20THB per stick], Pad Thai [30THB per plate] and bought 6 pencil box at 20THB per piece.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What To Eat in Chiang Rai - Night Market Street Food

Location - Thanalai Road, from Tung Garden to Chiang Rai Vocational College, Chiang Rai
Opening Hours - 16.00 till midnight [every Saturday evening]

Unlike Chiangmai’s markets, that’s full of mass-produced items made specifically for tourists, a lot of what you can buy at the night market in Chiang Rai are unique items made by hill tribe people such as antique bags, masks, some hill tribe silver earrings, handmade traditional Thai dolls, carved wooden bowl, embroidered bag etc.
Hill-tribes of Thailand produce beautiful products, all unique and of lovely quality. The best places to buy these products are from the stalls the hill tribe people set up by just placing a blanket on the street and selling from there. 
Prices are cheap here. You may find the same items elsewhere or in Bangkok but the price may rise to many folds. Another highlight is a string of cultural performances which re-enact scenes from the local way of life and traditions of the ancient Lanna people. There are also live folk music and dancing.
Apart from the inedibles, the night market street food also has a lot of food stalls and most of them offer Thai food that are cooked a little less spicy to cater to tourists’ taste and there’s even live music and dancing girls to keep you entertained while you eat. The stretch of stalls is unbelievably with about 4 rows of stalls along the stretch. Look at the some of the photos here and these are just a small portion of it.  Prices range from as low as 10THB for a stick of Miang Kham [5 pieces] or a stick of grilled meat.
10THB per stick of 5 pieces of miang kham
10THB  per piece of Crispy Basil Small Prawns Fritters
20THB fruit smoothie per smoothie cup of various combinations, cheapest here in Chiang Rai
You can skip dinner and nib at the various food offered here. They are more than enough to fill your stomach. As you walk along, everything looks so tempting that you love to try. Best of all the prices are very, very reasonable.
Popiah Skin Maker
Braised Pig Trotter
10THB per stick of Grilled Meat Stick
Fried Rice Cake and Pad Thai [20-30THB]

Chiang Rai’s night market street food really is a must see event.
Aren't these Awesome?

What To Eat in Chiang Rai - Must Try Food

Chiang Rai's Food, Night Market and Street Food
Opening Hours: 18:00 – 02:00
Location: Center of town
How to get there: Tuk-Tuk, Songtaew or on foot
Admission fee: None
Our stay at Chiang Rai was quite short but we managed to try some tasty food which are reasonably priced.  These are worth checking out if you happened to be in Chiang Rai.

Khao Soi Eatery Shop
Location - along Jedyod Road where you can see the Golden Clock Tower and 5 minutes walk from Moon House @ Clock Tower B&B.
Opens from early morning till late afternoon.
Prices - Very reasonable
Eatery is clean and spacious, lots of choice if you go early.  
We tried the Khao Soi [crispy fried egg noodle soup].  A bowl of Khao Soi with a choice of chicken, pork or beef comes with a plate of pickled mustard leaves, sliced onions and lime.  A bowl is 35THB.  The soup here is more creamy and less spicy than the one at Sriphoom Road, Chiangmai nevertheless it is tasty too.
Part of the eatery menu.  Most food outlets will provide cups of ice cubes when you sit down to order your food.  You can choose drinking water or carbonated drinks which are rather cheap.
We had a unique dinner food at Yellow Table Food Court, Night Bazaar Area at night.  The place is packed with tourists and a show going on throughout the night.  Sometimes it is hard to get yourself a table.
We ordered the Jeen Chum which is food cooked in a claypot of soup over charcoal fire.  A set costs 100THB which is enough for 2 persons.  This comes with 2 plates of marinated pork meat, an egg, a basket of fresh assorted vegetables and some glass noodles. The soup is quite tasty with a herbally flavour.  You have to cook yourself like eating steamboat.
 This is the basic items in the set and you can order other add-ons like marinated seafood, chicken kebabs etc.
We had a good lunch before leaving for Chiangmai. Crispy Roast Pork and Duck Meat Rice with a variety of soup dishes to choose.  This outlet is located just along the road, opposite the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar entrance.  I don't know the shop's name because it is all written in Thai.
Opens from early morning till just after lunch. Business was good since early morning and we saw many local people came to pack them for take-away.  Like most eateries, this one sells noodles, rice and soup.  To order, just tick at the boxes for the food of your choice on the order forms placed at the tables.
We had 2 plates of crispy roast pork and duck meat which comes with half a duck egg and cucumbers.  There is also a plate of fresh spring onions on the table.  Cups of ice cubes are given too.  We also ordered a bowl of Entrails Soup.  This meal for 2 costs 215THB.
I  find this meal very satisfying as the crispy pork is really crispy and the portion is big for the price they charged.  Worthy place to check out if you are in Chiang Rai.
We wanted to try the food at a food court next to King Mengrai's Monument which opens at night but had to skip this place cos' we wanted to visit the night market street food and try the Jeen Chum at Yellow Table Food Court.  Maybe next trip, I will visit this place cos' we were told be the song taew driver that the Pad Thai here is good.