living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Cafe Din Dee (Mudhouse Cafe)


Via: Where to Eat in Chiang Mai

Nestled in a little mud house in the carpark of Chiang Mai University Art Centre on the quiet end of Nimmanhaemin Rd, this Japanese runned cafe offers lovely healthy vegetarian meals, fantastic looking drinks (especially on a hot day!) and desserts.



After much deliberation on the type of curry I want, I settle for the DinDee Original Curry, which contains chickpeas, kidney beans, vegetables and gram masala. If you can’t eat spicy food, you’d be relieved to know that this curry is only very mildly spicy, and it’s very lovely with the brown rice – a very nice, light, gentle and comforting meal. White rice is also available if you don’t like brown rice. The soup that comes with the curry is great too.
109 baht  ($3.63 USD – OUTRAGEOUS!) for the set or 90 baht ($3.00 – hey, that’s much better!) for curry only.
Normally I find veggie food ‘way too healthy’; but when I want to tempt fate, hey why not?

June 23, 2013 Posted by | restaurants | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – (7) Seven Veggie Restaurants


Via: City Life

1. Brown Rice Organic Bistro
Now in a new open-air space in the middle of the Old City, Brown Rice Organic Bistro is a lovely place to linger over healthy juices (G.O.D. – featuring chlorophyll, honey and coconut water – is the perfect refresher on a steamy day), homemade baked goods and a variety of delicious Thai fusion dishes made from scratch by award-winning Chef Duang. Don’t miss the Thai herbal salad, and arrive on a bicycle for a 10% discount! (cool!)
2. Anchan Vegetarian
In existence for less than a year, Anchan Vegetarian is already rated number one out of 979 restaurants in Chiang Mai on TripAdvisor. An impressive feat, but as soon as you enter this lovingly decorated little second floor establishment off Nimman, you’ll understand the charm. Friendly staff serve up delicious Thai curries, fresh homemade butterfly pea juice and a killer deep fried banana flower salad, all made from organic, locally sourced ingredients.
3. Free Bird Café
As part of one of Chiang Mai’s most beloved non-profits, Thai Freedom House, Free Bird Cafe is the place to be when you’re looking to feel good inside and out. Their meat-free Burmese food is of the extra healthy variety – no deep-fried veggies here – but still manages to taste absolutely delicious, from the Burmese green tea leaf salad to the veggie-loaded khao soy. Used items and crafts made by refugee students are also for sale in the back, so give it a browse and support a great cause! Their new location is easy to find, just across the moat from the north gate.
The other (4) four, HERE:

June 4, 2013 Posted by | restaurants | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Chez Marco

Via: Where to eat in Chiang Mai?

I love the warm and friendly ambience of the restaurant. The staff is lovely and welcoming as well. This is also the first restaurant in Thailand I’ve been to where the enthusiastic waitress launches into explaining the menu and describing the dishes without being asked.

I have read some reviews complaining that the tables are too close together, and that the restaurant can get quite noisy. The tables are certainly quite close together, but because there weren’t that may guests there yet I didn’t really have a problem with the noise.


FINALLY we decide on one of the specials of the day, Duck Confit, 295 baht ($9.52 USD). The duck is beautifully cooked and so tender the meat is falling off the bones. A bit on the salty side, and interestingly tastes a bit like “Ped Palo”, a Thai way of cooking duck, and goes beautifully with the potatoes. The potatoes, incidentally, are amazing.


The Salmon Filet with Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce, 290 baht, is excellent. There is nothing left on the plate (not even the sauce) by the time we finish with it!

The total price: 1040 baht (3 people, including 1 beer). No VAT or service charge added to the bill, which is a nice surprise.

Overall, I think Chez Marco is a great restaurant & very good value.  I’ll certainly be back (probably quite often) to try other dishes!


Chez Marco
15/7 Loi Kroh
T. Chang Klan
A. Muang, Chiang Mai. 20100
(Near Night
Tel: 053 207 032
Next to Raming Lodge Hotel (take your mind out of the gutter – it’s pronounced Ra-ming!)



August 27, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chiang Mai – The sweet life

Via: Bangkok Post

While Bangkok is crazy about Japanese-style desserts, Chiang Mai, the capital of the North, has its own sweet side as well, with many small and unique design bakeries mushrooming all over the city in recent years.

Bakeries in Chiang Mai have been popular for a while. Around every corner in the city, as well as at significant tourist spots, you can find bakery houses or coffee outlets that serve delicious home-made pastries. Besides quality products, most of the shops also have stunning interior decoration  – from the retro 1970s and luxurious Western furnishings, to graphic art and down-to-earth art studio styles. You will be amazed at the variety.


”Butter and no preservatives” is the motto of this bakery, which shares its retail space with Wawee Coffee in Panna Place shopping complex on Nimmanhemin Soi 6, about 100m from the bustling main road. Located in a vibrant area, it is the place people go for coffee and a light meal.

Bread Brasserie is famed for its fresh-baked European bread. You can find a wide selection of wholewheat bread and healthy pastries, while the shop’s show kitchen is open for customers to inspect its cleanliness.

The roasted chicken sandwich (60 baht /$1.88USD) is very good with quality bread, fresh vegetables and aromatic roasted chicken. Other signature treats include the garlic bread (50 baht / $1.56 USD) and the croissants (22 baht/ $0.69 USD).

You can select your bread at this outlet, then order coffee from the adjacent Wawee Coffee.

Bread Brasserie, 30 Nimmanhemin Road Soi 6, Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 8am-8pm. Call 053-289-229.


Read more bakery reviews, HERE:


Read reviews of more bakeries, HERE:



prior post:

My favorite bakery is still, “Butter is Better’:


July 27, 2012 Posted by | cost of living, retirement | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chiang Mai Falafel King – ‘When (where) drug users get hooked’

Via: Bangkok Post

The warning follows the arrest of three members of a gang in Chiang Mai last week after two holidaymakers lodged complaints with police that they had been blackmailed by drug dealers.

The three suspects were identified as gang leader Shmilov Herzel, 29, an Israeli with a Canadian passport, his 20-year-old Thai wife Thasani Klanklin, and Phichet Pheungsai, 39, a key associate.

According to the Chiang Mai-based Immigration Bureau’s Division 5, the gang had been under police surveillance for some time before their arrest.

They had been placed under police watch last month after local officers were told by the US Drug Enforcement Administration that an Israeli national who was a major drug dealer in the US and wanted by authorities there had opened a restaurant in Chiang Mai.

The suspect was also on an arrest warranted issued by the Canadian police, said Division 5 commander Thitirat Nonghanphithak.

The DEA’s information led police to Mr Herzel, who ran the Falafel King restaurant on Chai Si Phum Road in Muang district.

Mr Herzel’s wife managed both businesses and supplied various illegal drugs including cannabis, heroin, crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy to tourists in Chiang Mai.

“They opened the restaurant simply to hide the illicit business of selling drugs to foreigners,” said Pol Maj Gen Thitirat.

“If any customer said ‘yes’ to the restaurant’s ‘special service’ on the menu, they could shop for various types of drugs as if they were in a 7-Eleven store and then go upstairs to take them,” he said.

By coincidence, while the authorities were investigating the gang’s activities at the restaurant, two male tourists lodged a complaint with immigration police on May 19, claiming they were being blackmailed by Mr Herzel and Mrs Thasani.

Jan Pieter Rutter, 22, from Belgium, and John Eric Crabtree, from the United States, told the police that after buying the drugs at the Falafel King restaurant, Mrs Thasani called Mr Phichet, who impersonated a police officer, to arrest the two.

Mr Rutter and Mr Crabtree claimed Mr Phichet then took them to an ATM and told them to withdraw 45,000 baht (approx. $1,500USD) and give it to him in exchange for their freedom.

Read the rest, HERE:


Trip Advsior: ‘happy-happy customers’:

Reviewed April 22, 2011

“. . . the owner is really nice & welcoming.”


5 of 5 starsReviewed April 13, 2011

Owner is a CHAMP!!!


Reviewed April 16, 2011

” . .  .and the Canadian guy who served us was very friendly.”


June 6, 2011 Posted by | restaurants | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vietnamese vegetarian killed in apparent suicide in Nonthaburi

Via: The Nation

Nonthaburi – A Vietnamese vegetarian was killed Monday morning in apparent suicide when he fell from his room of a residential building in side the Sukhothai Thammathirat University.

Tran Huu Dan, 24, fell from his room on the eight floor of the Chalermprakiart Building at 9:30 am.He checked into the room with three other friends on May 22. They were scheduled to check out Monay.

Komsan Phokong, deputy director of the open university, said some 1,000 Vietnamese vegetarians sought permission to use the university’s compound to organize the world vegetarian festival to pray from May 22 to 30.

They arrived on buses and stayed at the building.


photo: ‘Heavy tongue piercing at the annual Vegetarian Festival Thailand’


Q: Did you go to the Vegetarian Festival?

A: Oh, hell no!    I STAYED ON THE BUS, and Tip the driver and I, had ribs at the Dukes, Chiang Mai.


May 31, 2011 Posted by | newspapers typos/errors, restaurants, The Nation newspaper | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – ‘Butter is Better’ is the BEST, . . .

Bakery and Breakfast joint in town!


‘from their website’

 “Remember how rich and buttery pastries used to taste? At Butter is Better we do, too. That’s why we use genuine butter and only butter in all our pastries.

And our commitment to quality doesn’t stop with butter.
Whether they’re in our pastries, breads, soups, or casseroles, all our ingredients are honest and old fashioned – the kind your great grandma used.

So, if you have forgotten how rich and delicious old fashioned food used to taste, we’re here to remind you. Because at Butter is Better, we turn happy memories into food.”


Example: Breakfast Set 3

choice of toast, choice of eggs, choice of meat, comes with coffee (including one refill) or tea and a glass of orange juice.

My choice of toast: the HOMEMADE english muffins and HOMEMADE jam!


I mean try getting that at Denny’s, and try getting it for:

150baht @ 30.30 = $4.68

March 28, 2011 Posted by | restaurants | , , , , | 2 Comments

Amari Rincome Hotel will close 1May-2011

The following was sent to hotel executives in the Chiang Mai area:

Dear all executives,

Greeting from Amari Rincome Chiang Mai ka. I’m Ping- the HR Manager of Amari Rincome.

It is my sadness to announce that on 1st May 2011, the 42-year old Amari Rincome Chiang Mai will close its doors to facilitate a new urban development project which will include a new, smaller Amari hotel. The 85-room property will be part of a larger redevelopment project which includes a community mall, retail areas, cinemas and restaurants.

Amari Rincome has been an integral part of the local community for over 40 years. It is therefore with sadness that we announce the end of this particular era. My team members were officially informed yesterday regarding to the transformation plan issue and their last working day will be on 30th April which coming very soon.

However, it will be my great pleasure to have your kind support for the list of vacancies in your property. This will be very useful information for my team to prepare and plan themselves for those who could not travel out to be a part of others Amari properties.

Hope to hear from all of you very soon. And sorry if I miss some contact.

Thank you very much in advance for your kind support and regards,



It’s a very nice hotel, and wish them the very best with their  new venture.

However, what I’m going to miss most is the wonderful lunch buffet at the La Gritta Restaurant.

March 5, 2011 Posted by | accomodation, restaurants | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Spirit House Restaurant & Bar


The Spirit House Restaurant & Bar is one of those quite amazing places which take you completely by surprise. The Spirit House Restaurant & Bar is located in the bustling Chang Puak area of Chiang Mai but is a haven of peace and tranquility. The Spirit House has indoor seating and a delightful garden area, full of tropical plants and water fountains, which surrounds an old Chedi. Not much is known about the original temple, but the owner, Steve, told us that the temple is thought to have sunk below the ground many years ago.


The reviewer has it right; it truly is an amazing place!!


I will add, the food is really, really, really good; especially the desserts!


Note: Steve was a pastry chef in New Orleans for I think, seven-years?


Anywhooo, he’s got it down!


One other thing, it’s a very inexpensive.


okay, how about:

– American style meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw (150baht @ 34 baht to the dollar) = $4.41USD


Cordon Bleu (chicken/ham/gruyere cheese), oven roasted potatos, and steam vegtables (160baht @ 34baht to the dollar) = $4.71USD

July 2, 2009 Posted by | cost of living, restaurants | , , , | 2 Comments

Bangkok’s – ‘Seafood Market and Restaurant’


At +1,500 seats, it’s about as ‘intimate’ as a ‘high school basketball playoff game’; i.e. NOT ‘intimate’.

But with that said, it’s probably as much fun as a ‘high school basketball playoff game’; and the food, oh man, it’s soooooo good!!

How it works:

1. After you are seated, you take a look at the ‘preparation styles list’ on your table, and then go pick up a shopping cart.

Note: Preparation styles: As Bubba Gump would say:

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That – that’s about it.”

2. You then go to the 50-METER long counter, and pick out what you want: Shrimp, Swordfish, Alaska King Crab, Phuket Lobster, Halibut, >>>>>>>>>>

3. You throw it in the cart, and take it back to your table. A waiter will come by ask you how you want it prepared, what you want for side dishes and drinks, etc, etc.

4. You pay ‘market price’ by kilo for the seafood, and ‘cooking charges’ at the end of the meal.

As you can guess, it’s quite noisy and hectic, but I’ve NEVER been disappointed with a meal.


I don’t remember exactly when it was, maybe early 90’s, I went to the Market one night for dinner.

As usual, there were a couple of ‘drop-dead gorgeous’ Thai hostesses at the door.

They greeted me with big smiles and wai’s (traditional Thai greeting: palms together, slight bow).

I smiled and wai’d em back, and since there were no other customers nearby, I pointed to a small sign with the restaurants motto, “IF IT SWIMS WE HAVE IT”, and asked, with a very straight-face:

“Do you have mermaid?”

I KNEW it would be met with blank stares, so I repeated ‘MER-MAID’, and ‘Pulled a Marcel’ (Marceau), and pantomimed a ‘breast-stroke’.

Still nothing, so I said, “You know, the movie, ‘The Little Mermaid’!!”.

It took less than two-seconds for one of ’em, and less than three seconds for the other, to ‘GET IT’.

They both laughed like crazy, and cracked me up by saying, “Sorry Sir, we no have mermaid tonight.” – laugh, laugh, laugh

Good Gawd Almighty – I LOVE THAILAND!!!

May 12, 2009 Posted by | restaurants | , , , | Leave a comment