A small city in Northern Thailand surrounded by hills and lush-green forests, Chiang Mai has turned into one of the most visited destinations in Southeast Asia. The beautiful temples dotted all over and in the outskirts of Chiang Mai draw visitors from all over the world. However it is the amazing array of Thai food that this city serves which makes for an authentic Thai experience. From the numerous hip cafes and the local restaurants to the bustling food markets, Chiang Mai has some of the most lip-smacking food when it comes to Thai cuisine.
During the eight days in Chiang Mai, I have been part of several misadventures including snakebites and an almost damaged iPhone. However, sampling the different foods in the night markets did make things better. Here are some of the best foods I have had in Chiang Mai.
The green Mango salad or Som Tam Mamuang was the first thing I ate after reaching Chiang Mai. This is one of my all time favorite dishes in Thai cuisine. The sweet, sour and spicy flavors of this dish along with the fruity raw Mango makes for a mouth watering combination.
The two food markets at the Chiang Mai night bazaar are a heaven for food lovers. Cheap and tasty, the range of foods vary from Thai, Seafood, Indian, Chinese, Steaks and a lot of fruit stuff. The prices range from as low as 20 Baht to 250 Baht. The two food markets are the best places to have local fare at affordable prices with a very social dining setting. The Pad Thai below was for just 20 Baht and it was one of the best we have had.
Khao Soi – A special mention about this this dish that is specific to Northern Thailand and Laos. Arguably the best food in Chiang Mai, this dis comprises of egg noodles and deep fried crispy noodles served with curry sauce containing coconut milk. This dish is not that easily found elsewhere apart from Northern Thailand.
Getting a taste of authentic Thai food and culture is what northern Thailand is about apart from the beautiful landscapes. The Thai food is so much more than the usual Tom Yum or Pineapple Fried Rice if one moves towards the north in places like Chiang Mai, Pai, Isaan. There is probably no better way than the local food markets if you want to taste the local fare at affordable prices and in a shorter timeline.