15.2.17 Chang Mai – local food

This morning was a repeat of Monday, yoga for me, peace and quiet for Guy.

Lunch was at a restaurant across town, it had opening hours of 10 -2. I would love to work in that kitchen. It is a small street stall selling 2 items; Khao Soi, a Chiang Mai curried coup, and Tom Yum. We order one of each and wait. Every table is full, the turnover is quick, you sit, order, eat and go. Someone takes your place straight away. The sign of a good street stall.

The Khao Soi was creamy from the coconut, spicy with chilli, rich from the crushed peanuts, it is accompanied by a wedge of lime, pickled green and raw red onion. Only the raw onion remained a few minutes later. The Tom Yum is equally well balanced, sour and spicy and we do our usual photographing and sharing of food. It doesn’t take long to eat and we make room for the next clients.

Slow meander back through town, and we take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. 

Evening meal is at a Lanna restaurant, near the student area of Chang Mai, about 3km from our hostel. 3km at home is usually walked in 40 mins or less. Here is takes longer due to obstacles, trip hazards and generally walking at a slow pace due to heat and the fact we are both so chilled out we cannot get above 2nd gear. 

We walk slow enough to view restaurants and bars at our leisure, and notice a Writer’s and Wine bar… Wine!!! It is out of a box, but at this stage of the trip we don’t care. Half litre of their finest red is ordered and we are happy. We WhatsApp mates to inform them, they are all really happy for us, as they are all at work on a dull Thursday in February, apart from Paula and Dave who are poolside in Vietnam, drinking cocktails and having massages……

We continue our walk to the restaurant, it is ‘bird bed time’, the birds are noisily chattering away in the line of trees we are walking under, the noise is incredible. I can’t believe we didn’t get one bird pooping on us.

The restaurant has the usual queue outside it. We are given a number and menu and wait for about 40 mins for a table. Lanna food is from the north of Thailand and Burma area, it is made up of lots of vegetables, and a heavy hand of fish sauce. We are adventurous in our choices and order Burmese pork curry which is tasty and delicous, similar to a mussaman curry, ant egg and herb soup which is fiery, ants egg’s are tiny (unsurprisingly) and taste of the soup, green chilli Nam Priik, which is a chilli paste dip eaten with steamed vegetables, young jackfruit salad which is spicy, hot, sour and good. Finally we have the local BBQ sausage, we can’t resist them, it is pork and lemongrass and fab. It is an interesting experience, the heavy use of fish sauce reminds us of Burmese food, which we struggled with. But it is just the right side of fishy to not be revolting. Isaan or Southern Thai food is still preferable.

I have a massive blister on my foot so we treat ourselves to a tuktuk back to the night market near us. We negotiate the price, have the usual feeling of being ripped off, then zip along the roads feeling like you are being driven along by a hair dryer. 

The market is full of tourists looking for a bargain buying patterned clothes. I do wonder what Thai people think of our dress sense, all the ‘ferang’ loll around the country in tie dye, brightly coloured clown trousers, hippy bags and gaudy tops. I hobbled around, then pleaded to go home, we had a beer in our garden. The hostel owner was sat with two friends enjoying their second bottle of johnny walker and a german family were enjoying a bottle of Thai rum, so we decided it was time to fit in. Guy went out and purchased a small bottle of Thai rum and we chatted away under the stars, putting the world to rights.