Once arriving in Chiang Mai around 12pm, we grabbed a songaethew (or red truck) to the De Lanna Hotel, where we were staying for a second time. Upon arrival we put our bags in the room and decided to enjoy some Thai ice teas while planning the next two days. They were so refreshing and not too sweet, as they tend to be in the US.
We decided we were going to explore the Warorot Market, so Mimi told us that it would cost 20bat per person to get there, half the price we had been paying thus far. We have finally learned that to get most places in the red trucks it costs 20-30baht per person. The trick is, don’t ask the price, just say where you’re going and get in and pay the 20baht at the end. This began to work out very well for us and saved us a decent amount of money.
The market was quite a few floors, with most of the food on the first floor. The other floors had cosmetics, clothing and accessory stalls. They basically had the same stuff every other market had, but what why we were really here was for the food (obviously)!!! The first thing we went for was the native Chiang Mai sausage, called Sai ua. It is a grilled pork sausage that is filled with flavor and hot peppers. The food stand that we got ours from seemed to have a little line and we knew that this was definitely the place to try it. Unfortunately, Steven dropped the first one we got, but at only 40 baht per 100 grams, we replenished and held onto it tight. It was so flavorful and super hot on both the spice and temperature level. It was also very juicy and the casing was not tough at all. We really enjoyed the Sai ua and definitely recommend trying some when you’re up north.
We then passed by what looked to be little triangle stuffed banana leaves. When we asked what was inside, the older women pointed to one bunch and said “coco” and then another bunch and said “bean, bean, same same, hot and spicy”. We couldn’t imagine that these little steamed rice stuffed triangles could possibly be spicier than the sausage we had just eaten so we decided to try both. We got 4 for 10 baht, just to give them a try. The coco or coconut filled was amazing. The coconut inside was shredded very thinly and was very sweet and fresh. The rice was more of like a gelatinous dough that was wrapped around the filling and went very nicely with the coconut. The bean ones were definitely not spicy. Maybe we got lucky, maybe our mouths were already on fire so we didn’t realize, I’m not sure. It was defnitely more of a savory stuffing, but still paired well with the rice dough wrapping. Next stop was a sticky bun filled with red bean. The bun was light at fluffy and scorching hot. The red bean was flavored with some spices and sugar. It was a great way to end our lunch/snack.
We went back to the hotel to freshen up, do laundry, and relax before heading to the north gate for dinner and some evening adventures. At the north gate, there is an amazing amount of street food to chose from. Steven enjoyed some tendor and flavor packed pork over rice served by the lady in the cowboy hat! This is the one to go to for pork and rice, so make sure you find her before you sit down. I had some pad Thai, Thip Samai style, wrapped in egg. We are convinced the guy cooking at this cart use to work at Thip Samai because of his technique. I also tried the fried mussels, which were cooked on a flat top in about one centimeter of oil with egg and some sort of white cream. It was such a good combination and a great thing to share among friends. For dessert we had mango sticky rice as well as a traditional Thai dessert of sweet egg in coconut milk with tapioca. Both were incredible endings to this food frenzy.
We then made our way over the Le Meridien to meet our friend Candace’s nephew Jerry and his wife Nun. They were hosting an event through Internations sponsored by Captain Jerry’s spiced rum, no relation to our friend Jerry, however. We enjoyed a drink in the lobby and mingled with some of the other attendees. We then decided to visit the night bazaar, as we had not ventured through here yet. It was a very typical Southeast Asia market, but what did catch our attention was a small area in the middle filled with hay stacks and small tables and chairs all facing a stage. As we walked up, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. We had actually found a country band! We decided that we had to stick around and listen to their set, so we grabbed a large singha beer and listened. They played everything from She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain to Wagon Wheel and even some blue grass. Although the pronunciation of the words wasn’t quite right, we definitely had a great time in this part of the bazaar.
Surrounding the entertainment area is a whole slew of international cuisine similar in setting to Madison Square Eats or Smorgasbourgh. We were full from our meal at the north gate, so we didn’t try any of the food here. We went back to the hotel around 1am and prepared for the cooking class the following day and journey back to Bangkok.
Follow your tummy…
-Jess and Steven
May 13-14, 2016