Yes I’m traveling again. This time to a place where I’ve never been before; Chiang Rai(CR). Just Dec, I was in Chiang Mai and the place has so much good food that I realize I should check out its northern neighbor.
Took Air Asia (AA) to BKK Don Meung airport and the flight was like only half full. Could be the mess the whole place is going through right now… But I’m not complaining, I don’t like full flights. Landed in BKK and had to check out of the airport (not connecting and booked separately) and checked in again later for my flight to CR. While waiting for my checking in I had a quick lunch at Saboten to the far left of the airport (if you face the airport).
The meat is pork tenderloin and pretty nice and juicy. Curry tasted just right, Japanese style.
The flight I took to CR was full… Quite fortunate the seat beside me was empty, hence I can open my legs wider haha… Met a guy beside me who apparently is a drummer and was heading to the Golden Triangle for a performance! And he brought his own cajon up the plane, love cajons man but can’t play haha… ;P We exchanged numbers and headed our separate ways, prolly hook up when I head to the Golden Triangle later.
Arrived at CR airport then headed to Hertz where I rented a small car.
The rental costed me around THB$4000 for 5 days (to us is 4 nights but in Thailand they count as 5 days). Nevertheless it’s affordable and will be my transport to everywhere in CR! See my lovely less than a year old Toyota Vios!
While getting ready to hit the roads, I realize my GPS don’t work at all and outdated. Hence I headed to the city, base on the map in my mind (mind mapping??) when I was researching on CR. When hit town, it was chaotic, so no choice I had to use my data on my SG SIM card. The trick is, you can use to access to your google maps first, set the navigation and then turn off your data to save money. Somehow the navigation still works but would be better to get a local SIM card with unlimited data usage… Which I did along the way. I bought an AIS card for THB59 but have to top up credits at any 7-11 stores (they call it 7 here). If you’re not calling a lot, just top up THB50 first.
Roads can be quite jammy during peak hours and unfortunately I was caught in it. When in such jams, just go with the flow, don’t do any stunts, cos you dunno the culture here… Which applies to me as well ;P
Finding the hotel is a challenge. I booked M Residence because of it’s very nicely designed interiors and good rates. You need to be good in navigation to get here cos have to turn in small roads. Better still you have someone beside you to do that. I had to navi and drive in the madness, hence quite stress! Below are some pics of the hotel but I’ll be writing on it on sleepwithroy.wordpress.com.
After shower and some planning, I headed out for dinner at the night market. The night market here is not crowded… Not as mad as Chiang Mai and Pai.
There’s another part of town around the clock tower (about 500m) from here where it’s more bustling. But I smelt something in the air, an aromatic scent of an awesome broth… So like a dog I sniff and track the source and I found it!
Very roadside but looks good and I love eating with the locals. So I told the lady I wanted a bowl of whatever she’s selling haha and chose pork cos it looked fresher.
This bowl of goodness is really what I needed as I was really hungry and my last meal was since lunch. The broth was so awesome, it goes very well with the kway teow (flat noodles). I tried the chicken rice (Khao Mun Gai) as well, equally awesome!
The rice is a lot more fragrant that any other places I’ve tried in Thailand. Although it’s a Singaporean dish, it’s pretty good in Thai standards! Noodles and rice each THB35 only! Portions are good too! Will definitely return to eat (RTE) if I have time to swing by!
Took a drive to the clock tower after that, below are pics of what I saw and all the food stalls that I found interesting! I didn’t try most of them as I am full and had to moderate my eating! >_<
Ok you must wondering what’s that greenish gooey thingy right? Well it’s Pandan Pudding. Damn blardy good and not so sweet! If only I can bring it back to my friends in SG, it’s really awesome!
Alright this is for Day 1, will be heading out tomorrow to The Golden Triangle and see if there’re any good food around there and may head to the mountains in Mae Fa Luang… If I can find the place! ;P
Here are some tips for friends traveling to Thailand.
1. Travel light – I booked no check in luggage here but return I booked a 20kgs luggage space to save money. Coming back you’ll definitely buy a lot of stuffs, for me it’s coffee beans and samples I’ll be bringing back.
2. Bring only clothes and undies. You can get everything here in Thailand as they are manufacturers for P&G, Colgate and Unilever. You can also buy clothes here so… This will help to boast their economy.
3. Change money when you reach CR. The rates are better than BKK and SG airports.
4. Book your car rentals in advance as they may run out of cars during peak seasons.
5. Eat at local stalls where you can see there’s some level of hygiene. If you’re stomach trained like me, then just whack! The best foods are at these places!