During our stay in Chiang Mai we hung out lots with friends and also managed the occasionally family activity as well. Here’s a brief overview of some of the shenanigans that we got up to.
Our 1st Thanksgiving Dinner
Our first day in Chiang Mai included a Thanksgiving lunch. The majority of our travelling families were from the United States and thus we headed to the Art Café for Thanksgiving. Turkey and cranberry sauce, sweet potato, stuffing and my first time try of Pumpkin Pie. I’d rather have a vegemite sandwich. It was great meeting up with old friends made previously and meeting new friends.
We found a lovely restaurant down the road called Prego. They did the most delicious Italian & Thai food for minimal pricing. We visited quite a number of times, including our farewell dinner.
The next street over from Sri Pat was a wet market containing a lady known as the fruit dancer. Mrs King and I walked over 3 mornings together to get muslie, yoghurt and fresh fruit for 50B ($1.50AUD). My son loved this breakfast so much, by the end he was eating the whole huge bowl by himself.
There were other bloggers in Chiang Mai who were not family bloggers, but single and carefree. One of these bloggers invited us to a lunch at Miguel’s Mexican restaurant. My taco salad was yummy and meeting these other inspiring people travelling the world without kids was refreshing. Two of them ended up joining us for the lantern festival.
Chiang Mai is the Ubud of Thailand. Vegetarian restaurants abound in this place and our American friends are really into that so we visited a fair few during our week in Chiang Mai.
Our first vegetarian restaurant I had ever been to was fun, but the food just seemed incomplete without meat. We sat on the floor at bamboo tables, listened to guitar music by the talented Mr Pearce and relaxed after our giant day at the zoo.
While feeling full afterwards I still felt incomplete and have not been convinced that the bohemian vegetarian lifestyle is for me just yet.
Tuk Tuk ride
One morning we decided to do a quick 2 hour tour of Chiang Mai. We know we paid a ridiculous amount for the Tuk Tuk, but it was a nice ride. 200B ($6.24AUD) had our driver take us to a few of the temples in Chiang Mai, followed by a visit to the Gem Store (see Bangkok Scam), where we refused to get out and then onto some lame honey tourist destination, but the taste tests were yum.
My favourite part of the morning was at one temple they had little birds in cages waiting to be released. We paid money for one of the cages and Mia, Caius and I set them free. The kids loved it! My son is especially partial to chasing birds as you can see.
More photos below.
What’s Thailand without a Thai massage? All the pulling and cracking, bending and shifting it’s exquisite. My back always feels so better after a Thai massage and here in Chiang Mai it will only set you back 150B ($4.68) for 1 hour. Alternatively I had a foot, neck, shoulder & head massage for 200B ($6.24), which was just as pleasant. Mia and I also indulged in a pedicure with our friends the Pearces. Mia broke a nail polish, which they tried to charge me more than the pedicure... Do not break the polish!
Every Sunday night there is a street opposite “the gate” in Old City, which locks down auto traffic and becomes a stampede of pedestrians.
The place get’s very busy so it is best to go before 6pm with kids. It’s a pretty special place. Lots of food, jewellery, clothes, knick-knacks, street performers, tourists, etc.
I would have to say I loved this market more than the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok.
After the kids had had enough walking around the market we took them back to the hotel and I decided to head back by myself. The place was packed and it was quite freeing wondering those busy streets with temples lining the sidewalks watching the people, sampling the flavours, and gulping the fresh orange juice. I bumped into 2 families I knew while there and also managed to buy Josh a nice light Thai shirt.
Highly recommend you visit this spot on a Sunday night. It is not to be confused with the Night Bazaar.
This little place in Thailand is an absolute gold mine and I would recommend a visit by anyone wanting a budget holiday with a huge slice of culture.