Chiang Mai is a laid back tourist hub with coffee shops on every corner, good food easily available and a barrage of tourist activities – from treks to cooking courses to riding elephants.
As usual, the organised tours were beyond our strict budget – not to mention our newly acquired snobbery about paying for tours instead of hiring a cheapo motorbike.
We lucked out, staying in a hostel next to the best coffee place in town – the smell of roasting coffee beans in the morning doing nothing to dampen our coffee addiction.
Three days of flat whites after months of non-filtered filter coffee was a huge treat:
Not to mention the pastries:
And my double decker bacon sandwich (H-EAVEN):
We also had our first taste of durian and promptly fell in love – it’s like a mix of banana and mango with a slightly plasticy texture, and it really doesn’t smell as bad as reported.
We also sampled A LOT of kao soi – a local noodle dish garnished with crispy noodles in a spicy coconut broth. It also comes with a side of onion, chili and surprisingly delicious pickled celery. I had three bowls in three days… After a bit of research we hunted down the best (and ridiculously cheap) kao soi in town made by a couple of grannies who have a kitchen set up in a garden:
Chiang Mai is also a great place to mooch around, with plenty of sparkly temples, orchids and pretty buildings to look at:
Random wall of gold horses, presumably guarding this rather fancy disco wall: