Friday, February 17, 2017

Places in Chiang Mai (January, February 2017)...

It has been two and half months since we moved to Chiang Mai. We made a few trips outside Chiang Mai, but we have also visited several places in Chiang Mai in January and February. It is quite an interesting city filled with historical and cultural landmarks and natural beauties. A few places we have visited in the months of January and February.

In the middle of January 2017, we joined a group of visitors from Bangkok for a tour to a few places: Khun Chang Kien, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. They were Gesryn, Toy and two of Gesryn's friens, plus Peter.

We traveled on a Songthaew, a pick-up truck converted into a two-rowed public transportation. It is a minimal mode of transportation without comfort, but it is handy for getting around the city as well as the nearby places. We paid 2,500 baht for the day trip.

Khun Chang Kien
Along with Doi Inthanon, Khun Chang Kien is famous for cherry blossoms. We climbed up to the mountain to see the cherry blossom, but unfortunately there was not much due mainly to the rain that came the previous week. But the scenery was beautiful and it was fun to eat some street food, such as grilled sweet potatoes and grilled corn on the ebb. The pond at the end of the trail was tranquil and beautiful.

Doi Pui Water Fall Garden
This place was supposed to have a waterfall but there was no water. It was a dry waterfall. Nonetheless, people were taking photos with the sign. But the way to the place had many shops where you could buy stuff. Hmong people were pretty common in the area.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Wat means temple and Doi means mountain. This is a temple in the Suthep mountain. It is a landmark for Chiang Mai. The temple is revered and frequently visited by the Bhuddists as well as tourists. You can have a panoramic view of the city.

In February, we received the first guests into our house: A couple from Korea and a friend from Myanmar. The ladies are college alumni of Kris and they are among the best friends of hers, plus Hongim's husband, a retired professor. We made a few short trips here and there.

Roong Aroon Hot Springs
Sankampaeng is a district where hot springs are famous. It has two most famous ones: Sankampaeng Hot Springs and Roong Aroon Hot Springs. We visited Roong Aroon Hot Springs for a one-hour bath and enjoyed eggs boiled in hot springs water along with other snacks we brought. It is a surfur hot springs and we could sense a strong smell of the surfur in the water.

Borsang Village Umbrella Making Center
This is one of regular tourist attractions. Tour buses arrive and leave throughout the day. People make bamboo-framed traditional umbrellas on site. People can have some painting done on their hats, bags, or even golf clubs. They also make foldable manual fans also made of bamboo. We stopped over and enjoyed watching their making process as well as their finished products.

Royal Flora Ratchaphruek
This flower festival was originally launched in November 2006 for three months in honor of the King Rama IX Bhumibol. This festival received so many visitors and the government decided to keep it as a permanent event. It has many corporate and government sponsors for international gardens and the Royal Pavillion stands elegant at the back side of the 80 hectare land. The Orchid Park was outstanding and we found many places of interest quite fascinating. It is definitely one of the places to visit while visiting Chiang Mai. Here are some photos:

We love to eat at frugal food courts or street food cards, but at times we have to dine at fine restaurants. Here are some restaurants we have enjoyed dining at:

Ohkajhu Restaurant is a restaurant where only organic vegetables are served. They are all grown in the backyards of the restaurant. Their foods are delicious, but their vegetables are fresh and attract appetite. I can eat here all the time.

Nakara Jardin is a restaurant within a hotel, but it is a French bistro. It is located by the Ping River and its atmosphere is gorgeous and romantic. The food portion is rather small, but what do you expect from French cuisine? A special place for special people.

River Market Restaurant was the first fine restaurant we experienced after we participated in the first Chiang Mai Expat Club. We have since dined there several times. Its view of the Ping River, particularly at night, is fascinating. Also, we sensed that they do not use as much MSG as other Thai restaurants.

Samsen Villa Restaurant was a restaurant that Dhanu introduced us to. We have been there only once, but we enjoyed it very much. This restaurant also has the Ping River view and it offers a variety of dishes on the menu. Typical Thai foods are served and they are generally very good. It is right next to the Rim Ping Condo.

The Duke's is a franchise restaurant chain. It is a place where you can enjoy typical burgers and other Western style dishes at affordable prices. Burgers are mouth-watering. When you are home sick, this is the place to go.

Saen Kham Terrace Restaurant is a special place with excellent view and delicious food. It is owned by one of Thai princesses who married a German. So it carries some German letters here and there. It is a romantic and tranquil place to check out on special occasions.

Obviously there are a lot of franchise restaurants such as Oishi, Shabushi, Yayoi, MK where you can enjoy good foods. Also, there are other restaurants you could enjoy special dishes, such as The Bean Story, and a restaurant within Payap University. There are hippy style restaurants that attract young people, such as River Side Bar and Restaurant and Good View Restaurant. But, they are for the young people. The list will grow longer as we explore the city more. Cheers! - Jeffrey

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