Rewind to 9 months back, I went for a year-end trip to Chiang Mai with the boyfie's family. Chiang Mai's climate during December is winter and they figured that it should be the perfect weather and destination for a holiday. It doesn't but it is the cool season and it can get really cold and chilly especially from evening onwards. so if you're planning on visiting Chiang Mai during this time of the year, it would be wise to bring winter clothings, but don't forget your summer clothes as well, as the temperature during mid-day is quite warm.
Flight to Chiang Mai takes approximately 3 hours 40 minutes from Kuala Lumpur, which is not too bad.
It would be great of you have a companion who speaks Thai or if you do speak Thai, it helps alot. Else you would have a hard time understanding each other. The sun was bright, the air was not cold but it was cooling. I thought it's just like the Highlands, so it's still bearable. After we have passed the customs, we were given local mobile numbers for FREE. Yes you read it right. Free of charge. They have Sim cards for different mobile phones but if they run out of the Sim card for your type of mobile phone then I guess you're just out of luck. All we had to do was head on to 7-Eleven, top up our Sim card and activate it. That's it! How very convenient!
After that, we proceeded to get a cab to our hotel. Instead of the modern cab we decided that we would sit the Songthaew which literally translates to "two rows". It has two benches fixed along either side of the back of the truck with a roof over it. There is a platform attached to the rear of the truck to accommodate standing passengers (max of 2-3) and are usually in red. Below are pictures of how a Songthaew looks like.
This picture of a more modern and sleeker looking Songthaew was taken from one of our trips up the mountains. But it basically looks like this.
Beware when taking transportation in Chiang Mai in general, as they are more likely to hike up the price because they know that you're not local. If I am not mistaken they charge about 20 Baht per person to any destination. Some may charge more but some may be at a reasonable price. You can try to negotiate with them for a lower price, but I believe it would be more effective if it is negotiated in Thai.
This is a new Songthaew, even the seats' plastic protector are still in tact.
Onto the Songthaew we went, and it was really chilly! Because the windows were opened and there are no back doors. It took approximately 20 minutes for us to get to our hotel because there was traffic but it takes about 10 minutes without traffic to get to the hotel. We stay on the busy street of Nimmanhaemin Road. There are cafes aplenty, bars and bistros, food stalls, Spas and also convenient stores. The roads are packed with cars especially during rush hour.
Our hotel was booked from Agoda thanks to the boyfie's sister. It was out of our expectation when we arrived at the Yantarasri Resort. It was beautiful!
Entrance to the resort
Upon our arrival we were greeted with friendly staffs. We were welcomed with warm ginger tea as well. The reception is a very cosy place with a Christmas Tree in the lounging area as it was the day after Christmas when we arrived. After we've checked in and gotten our keys, we were led by the staff and concierge to our rooms.
This is how the resort looks like, surrounded with lush greeneries. If the picture is too small, you can click on it to expand it for a better look. Our rooms were located on the first floor, next to each other. The rooms were spacious and has lots of space to put our stuff by that I mean including shopping items as well. Hehe.
Their dressing table/work table comes with compartments which has covers, loved the design of the furniture! We took the twin beds whilst his parents took the king sized beds, but the room space were the same.
Each rooms has a balcony with a rest chair, and some of the balconies are connected which you are able to open up the walls which leads to the next room. You could request with the resort for connecting balconies/rooms.
The winter season is the perfect weather to chill in the balcony. You are hugged with a light warmth from the sun but the breeze was chilly. I was tempted to jump into the pool, being adventurous and all but it was too cold for me to handle! Such a pity that I didn't to enjoy the pool.
The view from our room!
The Resort offers Spa services as well. We were looking forward for the massage the most as it was at an affordable price as compared to the ones in Malaysia, and so we booked sessions for us at night. They have a list of the Spa services they offer which is placed on the bedside table.
After we've settled in, we were off to grab some grub and at the same time to look around to see what's there around our area. We found this spot where this square area has a few F&B shops around it. It gets even more happening at night!
Such a beautiful entrance to the square area. It's even more beautiful at night.
I feel that their decorations simple, some are DIY-ed but are even more beautiful than those of we find here in Malaysia.
An eco-friendly Christmas tree!
This is one of the pubs and bistros around the area
You'll never go hungry as there are many food stalls by the roadside
Well if you don't have data, be sure to grab a map! It will be very helpful to get you around in Chiang Mai. We planned to head on to the Anusarn Night Bazaar in Mueang Chiang Mai District but before that, we were deciding where to go by looking at the map and matching it to the street names. We were hungry so we decided to walk around until we came across a decent place to eat. We walked a little, and we found this restaurant in one of the many alleys. We thought okay let's just have something here before we head to town for the night bazaar.
The restaurant is spacious, with an open wall concept. There are plenty of choices on the menu, as for a Thailand noobie like me, I had a hard time deciding what do I want because I have never travelled to Thailand before other than the once in a blue moon visits to Sungai Golok for lunch/dinner.
Salad topped with fried pork skin and some other pork meat
"Khao Pad Sapparot" aka Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
This had meat floss on top of it, which was interesting. Though, I prefer the Pineapple Fried Rice from Absolute Thai in Malaysia.
"Kao Klook Gapi" aka Thai Belacan Fried Rice
The first time I tried Kao Klook Gapi was when I visited Sungai Golok. I really loved it! As for this one in Khun Mor, the taste wasn't as aromatic as the one I tried in Sungai Golok. This one felt more modern and the ingredients were pretty simple, plus there were only 8 shrimps *gasp*. But the condiments on the side such as the pork sausages and the crispy pork skin made up for it.
I didn't know how to judge the quality of this at that point as I have never eaten it before. They are hand cut rice or egg noodles, soaked in curry soup base with coconut milk. Yes, it tastes like curry noodles minus the Indian spices. It's also lightly sourish because you are supposed to squeeze lime into this dish.
It comes with condiments on the side to add more taste to the dish.
After our lunch, we headed off to catch a Song Thaew to get to Anusarn Night Market. The night market in Thailand is super big and long. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes because there will be alot of walking. There are alot of items to see and of course it was packed with people. There are the usual items sold in a night market i.e. food, clothing, shoes, music, handicrafts, gifts, souvenirs and etc.
Walking for about approximately 2 hours, we were pretty famished. We walked around looking for a place to eat, when we came across this Seafood Restaurant which was really crowded. All tables were occupied and we had a hard time getting the waiters' attention. There are some downside to the service due to the crowd but thank God the food made up for it. While we were waiting for our food to be served we saw some cabaret performers which is located just down the road from the restaurant. You can pay a visit to experience their cabaret performance if you're interested.
Stir fried Kang Kung with Garlic and Chilli
The stir fried Kang Kung was simple but the Kang Kung was smooth and silky with a hit of spiciness from the Chilli Padi. The grilled snail wasn't my type of food. I had a hard time getting out the flesh, shows how much I love eating them huh.
Me thinks it's Grilled Snail or in Malay "Bakar" Snail
Clear Tom Yum Seafood Soup
Please do order something soupy and spicy to keep yourself warm during the winter. It felt so comfortable! It felt like a bittersweet moment as the soup was filled with flavours of the seafood but with a tang of sourness and warmth coming from the soup and the chilli. It was actually refreshing despite the spiciness. We did order alot of seafood, because the next dish was grilled squid. Simple but full of flavour. The squid was very fresh and grilled to the perfect condition.
Stir Fried Minced Pork with Basil
The stir friend minced pork is filled with Basil leaves, just look at it!! The minced pork was stir fried with a plate full of basil leaves, onions, chopped chilli and some garlic. It is served together with a side of raw vegetables. This dish was quite spicy for me. I couldn't take alot of it.
Sizzling Plate O-Jian
I think that Chinese people do love their O-Jian (Oyster Egg Omelette), or maybe it's just the people I meet. Haha. The sizzling plate of O-Jian was served on a sizzling plate, but not very sizzling. Makes sense? The egg batter was gooey and the plate was full of Oysters, big big, Oysters. The oysters dominated the whole plate with the egg filling up what's left of the little empty spaces in between one Oyster to the other.
I love the simplicity of fried rice as you see in the picture above. The perfect fried rice to me is fried with egg, some salt, pepper and at times with prawns or even mixed vegetables, topped with chopped spring onions. Plain but pleasant.
"Goong Ob Woon Sen" aka Thai Baked Shrimp with Glass Noodles
This next dish was my dish of the night! The prawn juice seeped into the stringy noodles and had a taste of cooking wine. Tantalizing indeed, I could order one bowl and finish it myself! There are about 4 prawns in this bowl of noodles.
After a hearty dinner, we walked about in the night market to see if there are anything interesting to
The Rotee has a slightly crispy outside with gooey, soft bananas which was then drizzled with condensed milk. Yes I would go for a second plate of this!
Rotee with Banana for 25 Baht (RM 2.50)
The next dessert we had was Coconut Ice Cream which comes with one free fresh coconut juice for only 40 Baht (RM 4). Some might think that it's expensive but it's not! The one sold in Setia Alam night market in Malaysia is so not worth the price.
Even the plus point as we were served by a cute friendly boy ;)
It was one big scoop of the coconut ice cream, with a generous amount of condiments. The ice cream had a smoother texture, rather than an icy crust. I could smell and taste the coconut even with all the condiments.
Coconut Ice Cream for 40 Baht (RM 4)
We decided that it was time to head back as we were out for quite a while and we had to make it back for our massage appointment!
What's up in my next post for Chiang Mai: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Bhubing Palace and Hmong Hill Tribal Village.
Check It Out!
24/17 Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 6,
Amphur Muang Chiang Mai 50300,
Khun Mor Cuisine
10/1 Nimmanhaemin Soi 17,
Chiang Mai 50200,
Opens 8.30 am - 10pm
149/24, 149/27-28 Chang Khlan Road,
Opens daily 5pm till midnight