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Eating, Drinking and Nightlife in Chiang Mai

(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Eating in Chiang Mai

eating_in_chiang_maiThe main difficulty with eating in Chiang Mai is knowing when to stop. All over town here are inexpensive and enticing restaurants serving typically northern food, which as been strongly influenced by Burmese cuisine, especially in curries such as the spicy kaeng hang lay (usually translated on menus as ''Northern Thai curry''), made with pork, ginger, garlic and tamarind. Another favorite local dish is Chiang Mai nem, spicy pork sausage- although the uncooked.

Fermented varieties are usually too sour for Western palates. At lunchtime the thing to do is to join the local workers in one of the simple, inexpensive cafés that put all their efforts into producing just one or two special dishes-the traditional meal at this time of day is khao soi, a thick broth of curry and coconut cream, with egg noodles and choice of meat. In the evenings, besides Anusarn market, the main night markets are along Thanon Bamrungburi by Chiang Mai Gate and at Talat San Pa Khoi, out towards the train station on the south side of Thanon Charoen Muang. Here is some nice restaurants in Chiang Mai for Thai cusine and European and all-rounders.... Take a look !

Anusarn market, Off Thanon Chang Klan. Happy night-time hunting ground of open-air stalls and restaurants. One-dish operators (serving up hawy thawt fried up with great papache, or satay, or very good pad thai) square up to each other across a shared countryard of tables; beyond lie halal restaurants specializing in barbecued chicken with honey and several good seafood places, including the old favorite Fatty's. Inexpensive to moderate.

Aum vegatarian Food, On the corner of Ratchadamnoen and Moonmuang roads. Small and relaxing long-time favorite, now with air-con and lined with used books for sale. Interesting veggie dishes such as khao soi and Vietnamese spring rolls, Thai desserts and organic hill-tribe coffee. Inexpensive.

night_bazaarKalare Night Bazaar Food Centre, Thanon Chang Klan. A coupon system operates at this open-air collection of northern and central Thai, Indian and veggie food stalls and bars. It's a good lively place for a break from shopping, a budget meal and a beer, with free show of traditional dancing on a stage between 8pm to 11pm, making a nice background accompaniment without being too loud or intrusive. Inexpensive.

Kiat Ocha, 41-43 Thanon Intrawarorot, off Thanon Phra Pokklao (no English sign). Delicious and very popular satay and khao man kai-boiled chicken breast served with dipping sauces, broth and rice. This and surrounding cafés are especially handy if you're looking round the old town. Daily 5am-2.30pm. Inexpensive.

The Nam, 43/3 Moo 2, Thanon Chang Klan, Restaurant on the southern edge of town serving good traditional northern and central Thai food in a ramshackle teak house, where the musicians can sometimes be a bit noisy playing their traditional music – it's better to eat on the huge terrace overlooking a quiet green stretch of the river. Moderate to expensive.

western_foodLittle of the Western food in Chiang Mai is top-notch, and it's generally more expensive than Thai, but there's plenty of it, particularly Italian-slanted, and sometimes it's very hard to resist. Probably easier to refuse are the restaurants which lay on touristy cultural shows with khan toke dinners, a selection of northern dishes eaten on the floor of short-legged lacquer treys. If you are tempted, the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre, 185/3 Thanon Wualai (Tel. 053-275097; 300 Baht). With its show of northern Thai and hill-tribe dancing, has the best reputation – and be sure to make time for the attached Sbun-Nga Textile Museum beforehand. Dinner cruises on the river are offered by Mae Ping River Cruises, mightly at 7pm for 400 Baht per person and by The Riverside, at 8pm for an extra 100 Baht per person on top of the cost of the meal. Here is some nice places of European restaurant and all-rounds.

Art Café, 291 Thanon Tha Pae. This Italian-run place is popular tourists hangout with a good ambiance. All the café favorites (yoghurt and muesli as well as the usual Amarican and continental breakfasts, sandwiches, soup, salads and ice cream) and full meals (pasta and pizza, Thai dishes and big selection of vegetarian options – but avoid the Mexican menu) are served. A big selection of wines from 100 Baht a glass. Moderate to expensive.

ping_riverDa Stefano, 2/1-2 Thanon Chiang Moi Kao. Just round the corner from Tha Pae Gate, this has quickly become one of Chiang Mai's most popular Italian restaurants. It's easy to see why: it has a winning combination of tasteful ambiance. Efficient service and delicious food. Monday-Saturday, 11.30am-11pm, Sunday 5-11pm. The same family own La Gondala, with an attractive conservatory and garden by the river in the Rimping Condominium, 201/6 Thanon Charoenrat, by the Nakhon Ping Bridge. Moderate to expensive.

The House, 199 Thanon Moonmuang Tel. 053-419011. In an imposing white mansion overlooking the moat, a stylish, new, upmarket restaurant serving very creative and successful fusion cuisine. For gourmets on a budget, the attached tapas bar might be more manageable, offering fairly traditional tapas as well as appetizers and tiny portions of main courses from the restaurant's menu. Evenings only, closed Sun. Very expensive.

JJ Coffee Shop and Bakery, Thanon Tha Pae. Very popular with tourists (and local folk too), boasting a bustling, sanitized air-con atmosphere. All kinds of Thai, Western and veggie food but best for breakfast, with home-baked bread and croissants, great home-made muesli and yoghurt, and brewed coffee. Moderate to expensive.

Libernard Café, 295-299 Thanon Chang Moi. Small air-con café serving very good coffee in any variety you can think of, made with freshly roasted local beans. Also delicious pancakes and limited range of simple Thai dishes. Inexpensive to moderate.

Drinking and Nightlife

drinking1Although there's clutch of hostess bars bordering the east moat and along Loi Khro and several gay bars offering sex shows, Chiang Mai's nightlife generally avoids Bangkok's sexual excesses but offers plenty of opportunities for a wholesome good time. If your heart's set on dancing, try the big hotels, some of which have predictable, westernized nightclubs (like Space Bubble at the Porn Ping on Thanon Charoen Prathet) which charge about 100 Baht admission, including one drink; for something more adventurous, head for one of the more Thai-style nightclubs such as club G. Some of the places listed here are geared to relaxing night out, while others get rocking as the night wears on.

Though there are bars scattered throughout the city, the main concentrations are on the east bank of the Ping River, around Tha Pae Gate and to the west of town along Thanon Nimmanhemin, which swarms with students from nearby Chiang Mai University. On a patch of open ground that runs from Eagle House 2 to Thanon Ratchaphakinai, a string of laid-back, mostly open-air bars such as Rasta Café, Roots Rock Reggae and Life House have set up shop. Popular with backpackers and young, music-conscious locals, their play lists are more varied and interesting than their names might suggest. Here is my Top 5 of nice places, take a look!

Club G, 68/2 Thanon Chiang Mai-Lamphun, 500m south of TAT and Narawat Bridge. The latest reincarnation of Gigi's, a fun, full-on, sweaty club, packed with young Thai dancing to techno on tables and around their bar stools. No admission charge but pricey drinks.

Drunken Flower (Mao Dok Mai), 295/1 Soi 1, Thanon Nimmanhemin. Tucked away in a lane beside the Amari Rincome Hotel, this quirky venue is a favorite among university students. Reasonable prices for Thai and Mexican food, cocktails and other drinks and eclectic range of background music.

Good view, 13 Thanon Charoenrat. An upmarket clone of the neighboring Riverside, this large venue appeals to fashionable Thais with its smart staff, extensive menu of Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Western food, and slick, competent musicians, who play anything from country to jazz.

The Hemp Collective, 19/4-5 Thanon Kotchasarn, opposite Tha Pae Gate. Laid-back crusty place, decorated with dayglo paint and paper lanterns, with live bands in the ground-floor bar and an eclectic music choice playing to the floor cushions in the rooftop bar.

UN Irish Pub, 24/1 Thanon Ratchawithi. Painted green and white, this place is as much a casual, moderately priced café-restaurant as a pub, home-made bread for satisfying breakfasts and sandwiches, jacket potatoes and Irish stew of course, plus pizzas and a good vegetarian selection. Guinness (bottled only), Carlsberg and Heineken (on tap) and reasonably priced wine. Live music: Tuesday & Friday, quiz night: Thursday.

I hope that you will have a good time, daytime and nighttime in Chiang Mai, but Please be careful if you're drunk, DON'T Drive. You have pay for a fine and accident, I think you will not like to have accident, Sure! Enjoy in Chiang MaiLaughing

Poll

Where do you like to go in Thailand?

Chiang Mai - 19.1%
Sukhothai - 4%
Ayutthaya - 3%
Pattaya - 30.2%
Hua Hin - 13.1%
Koh Samui - 9.5%
Koh Phi Phi - 4.5%
Phuket - 16.6%

Total votes: 199
The voting for this poll has ended on: 31 Dec 2011 - 00:00

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