Photo of the day: Seafood Mini-omelettes @ The Sunday Night Market. Photo credit: Aaron.
It was Sunday, so we decided to take it easy. We started with some breakfast at SS1254372 Cafe. It was surprisingly good. Aaron had the Massaman Sandwich and we later overheard that it was the best item on their menu. Who would’ve thought that Massaman curry would work well even in a sandwich form! I had their smoked salmon avocado toast and it was a perfect combination of some of my favourite things: salmon, cream cheese, avocado and arugula. It was also tasty, but cannot compare to the Massaman Sandwich. I also really liked their refreshing lemon mint soda. Think virgin mojito. Compared to Wanderlust, I would say this cafe has better ambience, better food and better prices. Chiang Mai 1 – Bangkok 0. Aaron had some work to do, so I took a walk and eventually ended at home. The pool was empty so I just sat on a lounge chair, listening to the water sounds of the infinity pool.
For lunch, I was craving Khao Soi, since I was disappointed by the one we made last night. Aaron said that Khao Soi Nimman has high ratings, so we walked over. It was very busy, so we patiently waited for a seat. Oh how I miss the no-waiting culture of Vietnam! We ordered our favourites – chicken for me and pork for Aaron. It was pretty good, probably not as good as the one we had at ข้าวซอยแม่สาย the first day we got here. We also wanted to try the corn dog-like appetizers others were ordering. Interestingly, it was called “steamed sausages”, but it was actually more like fried Vietnamese ham or a corndog, not bad.
After lunch, we headed over to MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Centre to watch a movie and to do some shopping. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really good shopping here. Fortunately, we were mainly here for the movie, so it was ok. We watched Mr. Hurt, a Thai comedy with English subtitles. It was actually pretty funny. It’s my kind of movie. Silly but not ridiculously nonsensical. The sofa seats are so comfortable and makes me wonder why we do not have these options in Canada. It’s even more comfortable than our VIP seats! We later found out they have another VIP theatre! I wonder what those seats would be like!
Next, we headed over to the old town for the Sunday Night Market. It was a great way to get some street food, which we have not had since we got to Chiang Mai. Again, Thailand’s markets never fail to impress. It was huge! We walked and walked and kept finding new streets to explore. But first and foremost, we needed to try some food. We stopped to get some little mussel omelettes (see photo of the day), which were freshly made and oh-so-delicious. Then I was thirsty and tried the “red lime soda” since I was really enjoying the lemon sodas in Southeast Asia. I would not recommend this one though. Too artificial and too sweet. Aaron found a really good looking Thai milk tea stall, so we had to get some. She even asked where we are from because “Canada, not too sweet; China more sweet; Thailand, sweet sweet sweet!”. She said we look Thai, which explains why the locals keep speaking to us in Thai! We walked by a stall which was making some interesting nest-like dessert using a container with tiny holes on the bottom to pour the mixture onto the wok. It was then rolled onto a steel rod. It tasted sweet but really light. It came in a bag of 4 long rolls and we definitely couldn’t finish it.
At this time, we really needed some savoury food. We found a popular Pad Thai stand where the lady looked like she was cooking up a storm so we stopped to get some. It was really clever. Everything was pre-cooked, then she would use scoop over the noodle of your choice and heat up everything again quickly. This was different than most Pad Thai vendors here, who just gives you the Pad Thai sitting there without heating it up. We enjoyed this delicious, hot Pad Thai, while sitting on the curb outside a bank, sipping on our Thai milk tea.
I figured it’s a good idea to get some cheap clothes here to act as PJ’s. There were so many stalls selling T-shirts and shorts. They all had prices listed at 100-150 THB (~$4-6 CND). I tried bargaining with a few stalls but it appears they deal with fix prices here, unless if you’re planning to buy in bulk, I.e. 5-6 t-shirts said one vendor. Before we left, Aaron had to try some tamarind juice, which was interesting. He really enjoyed nursing it but the taste was way too strong for me.
Overall, very impressive night market with lots of good food, lots of merchandise and a great way to explore the Old Town. To get home, we had a few options. Uber would only cost 50 THB (~$2) but the wait time was apparently 19 minutes! Then there were Tuk Tuks vs. Song Thaews. I did some reading about these before and read that Tuk Tuks should cost around 100 THB and Song Thaews should usually be only 20 THB per person. We showed our little condo card to the drivers and was quoted 100 THB for a Song Thaew. We felt this was overpriced so we asked a Tuk Tuk driver. They quoted 200 THB, which again was too high, so we walked away. I think the higher price is due to the higher demand as a lot of people were leaving the night market at this time. We eventually settled at 150 THB after the Tuk Tuk driver yelled for us to come back as we approached another driver. We were ok with paying a little more since it’s nice to experience a Tuk Tuk at least once in Thailand. It was a cool experience, riding in the back of this loud but compact vehicle. The tips that I read and I wanted to share are: 1. Haggle is a must. Don’t settle with the initial overpriced offer that the drivers usually give. 2. Try to use for short trips only. Any more than 15-20 minutes and it gets really expensive. Plus you wouldn’t want to be inhaling the exhaust for that long. 3. Try to avoid peak hours. You don’t want to be stuck in traffic in a non-AC’d and smelly ride. And that’s it! Then just enjoy the ride, which we did!