Food Tour: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Here’s a teaser until I finish some other writing. FOOD! Click on the pictures for the captions.

The featured picture is of Chiang Mai’s “Sunday Walking Market” which takes place in the evening (not like farmers markets) into the night. About 10:30pm. At this one, smoking and drinking are not allowed, which is a good thing, because there are tons of people. I mean, tons. It is not as overwhelming as Saturday Night Market, mostly because I was focused on food, and was waiting for the water at my guest house to come back on.

I have to admit, I was a bit grumpy to get back from weight lifting and a grueling Muay Thai class (a total of 3.5 hours of working out in ridiculous heat) to find that my shower didn’t turn on.

So, since I am at the mercy of deregulated business, I got the clues that they were trying to fix it, and decided to go fix my hangry spell.

I topped the excursion off with a purchase of logan berry juice in my own bamboo cup I purchased yesterday at the Saturday Night Market for 20 baht – cuz I wanted to save a cup since the bamboo was already chopped. PS 20 baht for what I got yesterday: a 12-16 oz carved bamboo cup with the logan berry juice in it (same thing both nights for me. delicious) is less than $1 US. WHAT.

I arrived back at my guesthouse with more peace in my heart because of my full belly (Amor Fati, after all) and the water was still not fixed. The owner asked a guy to let me shower at the annex to the Thai language school. Incidentally, I had scheduled to take a Thai language class the next day at that location. I love how everyone helps everyone out.

Since I was getting a shower, I thought, “why not?” and washed my swim shorts with the bar soap (thank god there happened to be soap in this bathroom). Then I noticed the spider. Large spider.

That was enough adventure for me for the night. I stayed in and finished a scholarship application essay for NHSC. Wish me luck!

Now, more food!

Saturday Night Market turned out to be quite a beast. I was excited to go, since my new friend from Portland, OR had told me all about it (we connected through a mutual friend on fb – thank you!). I wanted to try the fruit wines and see the Silver Temple all lit up!

She did warn me about the fugue from reason for spending money, but I was just like, ‘I got this’. I know how to keep my wallet closed and just eat my way through the market. Well. I’m a silly farang. I basically have a new wardrobe now.

I didn’t even know what was happening when I was spending the money. I was compelled. I wasn’t even allowed to try it on, and as a queer from America, we really wanna model that fabulous before we put our precious cash on the table for it. It was some sort of hypnotic group-think, or something. To be fair, all my clothing was at the laundry…

Thank Ganesh they all fit and look good. It’s a miracle.

Fun fact: most Thai kitchens are outdoors with a propane stove of some sort, and it is fashionable to have “slow food” because all their food is fast food – woks are wonderful.

Ps: that Silver Temple is harder to find than Platform nine and three-quarters. There are no. I repeat: no. maps that have all the streets on them – not Google, not tourist. There is literally a street between the main Wua Lai Road and Chang Lor Road at the same angle (about 30 degrees at Chan Lor). I did eventually find it, but I was at the end of my rope and really having trouble keeping my wallet closed.

I did eventually find the Silver Temple. Wat Sri Suphan, but not until the entire market was packing up. These folks like to party on their temple grounds from the looks of what was left. But, this is a tourist city – and I am becoming hyper aware of that after my visit just out of town.

IMG_1457
Magnificent Ganesh in Silver.

Less fun fact: the swastika sign on the rat’s belly used to mean good luck, before Hitler appropriated it.

Backing up in my trip even more, here’s some food from Elephant Day.

Some of the most satisfying food I have had has been – well, all of it. But, loads of my food got eaten before I thought to take pictures. I also bought some snacks at 7-11 here (really nice air conditioning and a decent place to get money exchange, but I would have rather brought more cash from the US to exchange with no commission – they charge 220 baht per transaction as far as I can tell).

I picked up some funky seaweed snacks with little krill on them or something. Minerally replacing is important in this country (and yes, I made mineral into an adverb). I think that’s why there’s so much fruit juice etc here: besides the cooling effect many fruits have, minerals and other salts are important to replace.

Clients, don’t get any ideas. Juice and other liquids do not count toward your water intake unless you live in a climate where people routinely sweat off their skin.

Coming full circle. Below is showcased my first meal in Thailand:

Coming up next Monday, the first day trip I will take in the new year: a Thai cooking class. Because, when in Thailand, eat food.

Ok, well, I guess this turned into an actual post. I have loads to fill most of you in on, but that will probably happen when I am hiding out from Songkran. It goes on for a little longer here, and I don’t know how crazy it’s going to get, but if it’s anything like the other night, I’m going to be perfectly content spending a good deal of time indoors. Who knows though. I’m open.

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3 thoughts on “Food Tour: Chiang Mai, Thailand

  1. Delicious post! Was there the opportunity for entomophagy in this market. I believe that the Thai have some insect snacks.
    Large waterbugs and scorpions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen any yet! But I’ll keep my eye out! 😉 I’ve heard of it. The bamboo worms are very expensive and only available certain times of the year. Best when fried, from what I’m told.

      Like

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