Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Travel - Chiang Mai Thailand, May 18-20 2013

The travel report is late, yes.. again. Spent most weekends outstations, as well as coping with the unnecessary hot weather, which killed my inspiration most the time (in a word, lazy!)

It's a budget trip, with 4 other friends. Started off with a budget airway, budget boutique hotel, budget transport (motorcycle), street budget foods, and a budget hired package.

Food - Let's start with foodie. Glad that the group loves street food, where its usually tasty and one could understand the local's taste, well from the bottom of their hearts. Helpful link.

Food.1 - Khao Soi House

  • One should not miss, as this is authentic Chiang Mai's delicacy noodle. I loved it over the 1st visit here last year, at one of the mall. Re-tried one on a Western restaurant, which didn't turn out authentic. Here, this time we found out there's a recommended one at the airport itself. We didn't rush to hotel check in, hence took some time to enjoy our brunch! awesome.
  • Khaosoi House at Chiang Mai Airport
  • Khao Soi - egg noodle in curry, added with ornament like salted vege and onion on the lime. Usually served with shredded pork or chicken, love it when it comes with shredded egg or crunchy stuff. Yum! 

Khao Soi House
Carnation - C
Thai's Teh C is nice ya!
Settling down for our 1st meal 
Price list - Had Khao Soi mhu (pork!)
My noodle!

Food.2 - Warorot Market food stalls
  • We missed this market on our last trip. Hence, couldn't give it a miss, though it was a little disappointment here. Apparently, this is a local market and serve mainly the locals. Most of the stall keeper could not converse in English.
  • It wasn't too easy to get a motorcycle parking, but we  managed to get it sorted out.
  • The market mainly serves dried stuffs, and if you wish to get some dried longan or any dried fruits, this is the place to hunt for, you can't get it from most tourist spots.
  • We managed to grab some food for lunch, at the upper floor where some food stalls available. The Pad Thai ain't fabulous but its consider good. Price ranges 35 - 40 Baht if I am not mistaken. However, the coconut milk dessert was fantastic, with the price of only 10 Baht for 3 types of filling. I had my favorite water chestnut with nutmeg and cendol.

one of the market entrance
Dried food stuffs
Upper deck food stalls
Pork Leg rice 
Pad Thai 
Coconut milk dessert
Looking down from the top floor
Food.3 - Outside In Cafe & Studio
  • Located just outside of Empress Hotel, where I stayed the last visit, but didn't get the right time and chance to try. This is a superb cafe place, plus if you'd like photography. They have the right lightings to take a shoot, plus free Wifi for immediate FB posting :)
  • We came by this place again, with the recurring visit for Best Massage located just next door. 
  • Cafe price are reasonable, and they serve some speciality coffee, i.e. banana coffee. I went for its Thai Styled iced coffee.
  • Next visit, I will wish to target some of the listed 30 cafes in Chiang Mai!

Iced coffee - chill for hot weather 
Coffee Menu
Beans & Prep
For sale
Nice art work around
Food.4 - Anusarn Market Food Stall
  • Tried this stall last year. Jintana's Happy, so called at the banner. We have simple dinner with full table of Thai Food, tomyum and green curry for sure! 
  • Meal was at 800 Baht for 6 pax. Satisfying, that's for sure.

Open aired food stall @ Anusarn Market 
Simple meal
Food.5 - Dry Pork Egg Noodles & other more
  • Certainly, this is the highlight of the trip. We had this noodle for 2 consecutive nights. Just love the dried egg noodle with pork. First night we were served with braised pork leg, which was super yummy as they ran out of stock for the normal pork. 
  • What's so special of this noodle? Check out the picture below, it served with grounded peanut and garnish of dill and parsley. Tasted so good.
  • We stumbled into this eating place, after our Day 1 midnight massage at Best Massage. The restaurant is located at the main street off Empress Hotel, heading towards night bazaar. It opens 11AM till 2AM.
  • Priced average at 40 - 50 Baht.
  • They served many kinds of noodle, apparently its a Chinese cooking shop, while the locals like noodle very much.

Type of noodles
Soup based noodle 
Dried pork egg noodle
Not sure what's the name.. its says Noodle Soup Thai Style 
Stalls cook infront of the shop
Food.6 - Fish Noodle
  • Partner & I had to hunt for food every morning, as our hotel room didn't come with free breakfast deal, whereas the rest came with.
  • We drove down a few blocks from our hotel, and found a noodle shop that served fish noodle. It was tasty, and it came with many types of fish balls, fish cake and even fish noodle servings, came with clear up. It was tasty, but couldn't remember why I didn't finish my portion. Perhaps was a little rush that morning.
Fish Noodle
Hotel - Partner booked our hotel from agoda, after many weeks of monitoring he found this hotel were on 50% discounted rate, and its boutique styled design was rather impressive. We gave it a try. Normal room were only at 900 Baht per night, incl. breakfast. Check out their official website 9w Boutique Studio. Rooms come with theme.
  • Specialties - Themed with music, at the moment you stepped into the room, toilets are clean, themed bedroom was rather impressive
  • Some disappointment - Shower gel holder was ceramic type and it couldn't hold well on its stand, not out fault as one of  our friend broke it... while the hotel wanted us to pay for it. 150 Baht wasn't too expansive, but still... I wasn't too pleased. Some tiles, in my room were feeling apart, I had to be rather careful for not jumping over them.

Oriental themed wash room 
Oriental themed bed room
Unique sign board
Check in counter

Exterior view
Sight Seeing Trips - Featuring some temples (In Thai - Wat)

Temple.1 - Wat Phra Singh
  • The 1st temple we visited upon getting our rented motorcycles. Few of us wasn't too familiar with the bike yet, as most drivers have not been driving one for at least 15 years! The super hot weather didn't make us good, glad that I had my arm cooler :)
  • The temple has a few buildings, featuring the latest modern down to the oldest building. I guessed. They have a school beside too. I took a few good shoots here, thanks to the blue skies!
  • We had to pay for visitor entrance fees, while locals don't need to.
  • Visitor needs to adhere to proper dress code guide, glad I was prepared, with a knee length pants and non-sleeveless shirt

Monks having their lunch before noon
Main hall - visitors sit and set for peace
Nice statue 
From inside out 
Wonder who uses these chairs - monk?
Decorated with $
Outside in 
Next building 
Towards last building & monks
Temple.2 - Wat Chedi Luang
  • It's a wat which were partially destroyed and collapsed during a major earthquake in 1545, it was rebuilt sometime 1990. Came along with it, they have a beautiful architecture wat build in front, along the Sunday Walking street. It's pretty nice at night, except the wash room was not open during Sunday night market.. 
  • Why would I emphasized on toilet? Oh well, I was urgently needing one that night, which I had to pay 30 Baht for a visit at a nearby restaurant. In case you are walking a long the busy yet long street, expect to pay a penny for toilet visit ya.
Wat Chedi Luang - memorable temple
  • This was one of the destination we need a hired taxi to chauffeur us. A Toyota fortuner took 6 of us, excluded the driver. If not mistaken, we hired for the day trip at the price of 2000 Baht for the car and driver.
  • This wat is special and its plated in gold, up the hill along the way from the airport. Heard the Thai's will walk all the way up to the temple during Wesak celebration, which happened to be a few days after our trip.
  • I managed to take the proper steps up the hill, scenic view I would say.
  • We paid 30 Baht each for the entrance fee
  • Took a 1 hour walk around the park and temple, for me nothing much as I am not a temple fan.
  • We shopped for some T-shirts at the downhill entrance, at a rather reasonable price compared to the commercial night markets.
Dragon walkway
Entrance Ticket 
Buddhas surrounding 
The most scenic view of this temple
Even the floor was gold

Massage - This is something one could not left behind, before departing any Thailand tourist location. I am not a truly fan about it, but won't mind for some at the super reasonable price compared to KL. I enjoyed foot massage, Thai massage, and now rather preferred the aromatherapy oil massage.

 Massage.1 - Best Foot Massage, towards Empress Hotel
  • Not really one of the best, but partner and I ran out of idea where to bring other folks for a quick afternoon massage. We decided to re-visit this place since we confirmed it was rather clean.
  • We made 2 visits during this trip, one was on day 1 afternoon when we were super sweaty! Yucks... but they still made it professionally and satisfactory. Second was on the same night, we went back for foot massage after a long walk at the night markets - Anusarn and Saturday Night Market

Best Massage - Not really the best
 Massage.2 - Fah Lanna Massage

  • Heard this is a recommended one by many tourist and trip advisor. I was put off by its mini squeezy massage room, then only happened to know this is just a small branch. Well, at least they managed to fit us all 6.
  • I had Body Scrub with Sakura Aromatherapy massage, and the smell was fabulous.
  • We made booking one day in advanced, as it was usually full.

Transport - Main mode of transfer was our rented motorcycled... :) A day was on a hired taxi by the driver of JoJo (pronounced as YoYo). And the air transfer was by Air Asia with a super early flight out from LCCT, 630AM. Our taxi ride supposed to start by 4AM from my house, but it was towards a shock and surprise when we both only managed to wake up at 4AM :)

Rented Motorcycle
Bye Chiang Mai

End of travel report.. till the next travel in line. :)