I began Day 4 by driving to a spot where the sun can be seen rising. As Doi Chang Coffee Farm was at the west side, the sun can only be seen way after it rises. Just being there, soaking up everything from the morning freshness and quietness, is just what I need. Would be great if I can prepare a picnic basket next time! 😉 After that I headed back to the farm, but on the way I checked out another farm and also a very nice private resort that cost more than S$1000 a night!!! But the view is really spectacular, no doubt about that. After that I headed back to the farm to watch the pulping process of the soaked beans using the wet process and bidded my farewell to the people and the Akha people! Check out the video I’ve done below. Very amateur but there’s always a starting point right? ;P
Then after that, I headed down Doi Chang, and I’ve managed to put everything on video here…
Hope you guys like the videos ‘cos there is no better way to show you guys what I’ve experienced! Stay tuned for Chiang Rai Day 5!
This is my first post for an eatery in Chiang Rai! Found this place online and highly recommended by lots. Touted as the best restaurant/cafe in the whole of Chiang Rai, this place lives up to its name.
Situated just beside the river, to access to this place, you’ll need good navigation and the roads are really narrow. When I reached the place, I was wowed by the whole architecture of the place! Chivit Thamma Da means A Simple Life or Ordinary Life in Thai language, is not simple after all. All the work put behind decorating the place is just amazing. This is the work of bits and pieces put together since they started 3 years ago!
The Scrambled Eggs Muffins with Smoked Salmon was excellent, even though coming from someone who don’t really enjoy the fishiness. The chef put in some thoughts to the sauce which is pretty similar to hollandaise sauce but with a stronger tinge of lemon to kill the fishy smell. The latte was well prepared, giving the whole cuppa a really great body and after taste… even till the last drop, the taste stayed uniform.
This place gave me so much inspiration that I started to video my reviews instead. No ratings given to this place, think it’s obvious they are full marks for every aspect. See video below. 🙂
Today’s trip ended up with a lot of photos… I don’t think I can upload them all. Madness but interesting at the same time. I’ll prolly upload the more interesting ones, of course food as priority over here.
Got up really early, around 6am Thai time. Couldn’t get back to sleep so climbed to the highest level and try to catch the sunrise.
Brekkie was simple but for me is good enough. Food is food, as long as it fills my stomach. But I may skip tomorrow as I’m planning to visit one of the best cafes in Chiang Rai for brekkie before I head to the mountains.
After brekkie, I went back to my room to get ready for the trip.
Below are some essentials before setting off!
The snacks are a good way to keep yourself awake and of course the charging adaptor for my phone as I’ll be using Google maps quite a bit.
And off I go, wanted to look for a cup of good coffee for me to bring along my hour drive to the Golden Triangle. Then I chanced upon this little cafe I-Auon (amongst many others) and was a great discovery!
The ice cream cakes are from Buds of San Francisco, and pretty awesome to go with your coffee. I had the Cookies N Cream one (THB80). Coffee is pretty alright, beans from Doi Chang hence the characteristics of the coffee is assured (THB35). However the best of all is I got to know Amy, who apparently speaks pretty good English and we chatted quite a bit before I had to take my leave towards Northeast.
Arrived at the Opium Museum and tickets was THB50. I didn’t go in cos not much of a historian. So I browsed around the souvenir shop. They were selling all the opium related tools and stuff… But no opium how to smoke??? Hmmm…
I took a walk from the museum to the Golden Triangle where the Big Buddha is sitting. This is where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet! Below are some pics that don’t need description. ;P
Then I headed further north toward Anantara Golden Triangle Resort where the Black Ivory coffee is served. Black Ivory ‘cos it’s basically elephant poop coffee and harvesting this is tough as can be seen in the pics description below. For THB1500++ per pack, it serves around 5-6 espresso cups. Taste? Mild bodied, fruity and a hint of tea flavor in it. Prolly due to the elephants’ diet. Pretty aromatic actually but too mild for my liking and although it seems like its a marketing gimmick, the fact is that 8% of the sales goes to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to provide veterinarian care for the elephants.
After that I headed back to towards the city but took many detours to discover the place. You’ll spot a lot of stalls along the highway selling the famous mini pineapples which are so damn sweet, I can only eat one a day.
Then I discovered a nice resort with a cafe in front. The coffee served there are a blend of 4 single origins from different parts of CR (THB55, not cheap but tasted good!) I was offered a Thai banana and trust me, it’s blardy good!
After that the lady boss drove me around that area to show me the university and also developments for that area.
Headed back to the city after that to look for dinner as I haven’t had any lunch! Nothing much to eat at the Golden Triangle as I find it a little touristy. For dinner, I saw this place called Balarb yesterday hence I’m back today to try it.
The ice milk tea (THB30) was pretty good and low sugar as requested. Phad Thai Goong (THB35) was pretty alright but my version in Chiang Mai was better ;P. The mix BBQ meats (THB120) are ok, a little dry though. But the Esan sausages are awesome! Khao Niao Mamuang (THB70) is pretty good although the mango is a little sourish sweet. But the mango given is huge and the only sweetness was from the rice. The sauce is just plain thick coconut milk and it’s warm! The crunchy thing on top is crispy mung bean which most places don’t use due to unavailability.
After dinner, I went to try Yoddoi coffee with the best view of the Clock Tower musical display at every hour. The coffee blend here is just alright, mild body and smooth. Somehow most of the coffee joints here do not extract the espresso shots the right way according to what I was taught in Australia. Hence the coffee powder is wasted. That said, the milk frothing for cappuccino is good.
Gonna leave you guys with pics of foodstuffs I saw along the way and also in Central Plaza where there’s loads of food and snacks! You guys can follow me on Instagram #eatwithroy, #tourwithroy and #roythailand. Need sleep for my long drive to the mountains tomorrow! Nite y’all!
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!
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