Chiang Mai didn't quite have the constant fragrance of food wafting through the air like Bangkok. In fact, at times you kinda had to work a bit to find something that wasn't tourist, Western style, or Pseudo-Thai Food. After walking around Chiang Mai a bit, we were rather happy we stayed in the Inner Moat area, right across the street from the Tha Phae Gate. The hotel, The Montri was a bit worn, and there was a huge renovation project going on during the day, which didn't bother us much since we were out of our hotel by 8 am. One of the places we visited many times was the area by the South Gate, called Pratu Chiang Mai. The Pratu Chiang Mai Market area really has something going on during all hours.
At night all the food stalls and carts are going strong.
During the day, there are more formal stands within the market area, and more produce vendors lining the street.
The evening carts seem to get started right after the afternoon rains, and get going pretty quickly.
On the day we arrived in Chiang Mai, the Missus decided to do a quick walking tour of various Wats.
And at the end, I was bushed. I remember seeing food stalls on our way in the from the airport, so we took a walk to Pratu Chiang Mai, and had our first dinner here. The only problem is what to get!
The TFC (Thai Fried Chicken) stand was going strong, and you can eat well for less than 2 bucks. At the time of our visit it was 33 Baht to a Dollar. So here I was in Thailand....so why not get some Pad Thai???
Place your order, and things get rolling pretty quickly.
Meat on a stick, just 15 Baht (50 cents):
Which on this day was enough for the Missus and I....a buck-fifty for dinner.....
The Sausage was decent, but had a bit too much rice and was not sour enough for my tastes, but the Missus really enjoyed it. It was garnished with slices of cucumber and galangal.
The Pad Thai was pretty good, a bit greasy, but in a good way.
I do remember watching in amazement as a Thai Gentleman poured several scoops of what looked to be palm sugar over his Pad Thai before consuming it!
And finishing things off was some Kanom Krok.
This woman made the best we had on the entire trip! It became our "gold standard" for Kanom Krok, wonderful hints of coconut, without being too sweet. A wonderful crisp crust with a tongue melting molten interior. Familiar and simple, but complex in texture and taste at the same time.
It was a nice first meal.
Over the course of our stay in Chiang Mai, we always knew we could stop by for a nice snack. For us, it provided the perfect pace unlike the crazy and tourist saturated Night Bazaar, which we visited once, and decided never again.