Friday, September 28, 2012

Food Tour in Bangkok Chinatown

Frighteningly mad urban chaos, deafening noise, and sweltering heat can be unsettling when the last few weeks was spent walking in the remote mountain trails of the Himalayas. That is the impression that Bangkok gave me the first time I set foot on Thai soil and it has never left me ever since. People like large, chaotic Asian cities. I get that. Surprisingly, having grown up in one, I'm not one of them.

Food Tour in Bangkok Chinatown, Thailand
How can a man choose from this endless stack of dishes in Bangkok Chinatown?

However, Bangkok has a redeeming factor: food. But you know that already. Fortunately, an awesome travel blogger and fellow food lover like me, Mark of, was kind enough to take me on a food tour in Bangkok Chinatown. With an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the Thai population having Chinese ancestry, a food tour in Bangkok Chinatown will involve some of the mind-numbingly great tasting dishes the whole of Thailand has to offer. Let's begin, shall we?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5 Chiang Mai Markets Every Visitor Should Know About

If there was one thing I absolutely love about Thailand, and I love many things about it, it has got to be the markets. The Thais love their markets and even the touristy markets are good. I kid you not. At least that's how it is in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai markets are yet another reason I fell in love with Thailand's northern capital. Chiang Mai markets are not just places to shop. There's also entertainment in there ranging from traditional musicians to drag queens. Then, there's the food, the spectacularly delicious Thai foods. How could food ever be absent anywhere in Thailand?

Sunday Walking Street, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The busy starting point of the Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Street at Tha Pae Gate

Over the course of the six months that I lived in the city, I have noted a few Chiang Mai markets that are worth a look and most definitely a taste for those visiting the city. Here are five which I think every visitor should know about and considering exploring while in Chiang Mai.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: King Mengrai Monument

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features a monument dedicated to the most prominent historical figure of northern Thailand: King Mengrai.)

King Mengrai Monument, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Top Twelve Thai Food Favorites

The Chiang Mai Gate Food Market was the first place in Chiang Mai that I ever sought out. Heck, food is probably the first thing I sought out the night I first arrived in Thailand. But I won't bore you with the usual Thai food dishes like Pad Thai or Tom Yum Soup. Having spent much of my travels in Thailand, northern Thailand to be exact, I discovered that there was so much more to Thai cuisine than stir-fried noodles or tangy, spicy soups.

So what are the delicious Thai dishes that stood out to me while living in Thailand? I can tell you right now that most of them are Thai dishes that originated in northern Thailand and that six of them are curry dishes. What can I say? I like them thick, spicy and hearty. Here we go.

1. Sai Oua (Northern Thai Sausages)

Northern Thai Sausages, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Jungle Flight Chiang Mai Zipline Experience and It Was Free!

When you are a resident of a certain city, you won't really find yourself doing the touristy things in that city. In the more than two decades I lived in Manila, I believe I only visited Manila Old Quarter Intramuros twice. When I started living in Chiang Mai, Thailand several months ago, I realized the same rule applies for cities you once a traveled to as a tourist but now live in as a local, or in my case, semi-local. Contrary to my belief before I moved here, I only got to play tourist very rarely, that is, when people from out of town visit or when the touristy activity is actually free. The latter is precisely the case with my Jungle Flight Chiang Mai zipline experience.

Jungle Flight Chiang Mai Zipline, Thailand

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Chinatown Bangkok

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features night lights in an especially lively area of Thailand's capital city: Yaowarat Road, Chinatown Bangkok.)

Yaowarat Road, Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Which Wat to Wander at in Chiang Mai

Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the first thing you will notice are the number of temples or wat this city has. Every neighborhood and every street in Chiang Mai will almost always have a temple. Some of the temples in Chiang Mai are huge, some small. Some temples are part of a large complex, some stand alone. Suffice it to say, there are so many of temples in Chiang Mai to cover in the few days any tourist will spend in the city. So you need to pick which temples in Chiang Mai to visit.

Having lived here for several months, I have grown fond of a few noteworthy temples in Chiang Mai, even photographing them at night when, in my opinion, these temples are at their most stunning. Here are six temples in Chiang Mai or wats to wander at while in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

1. Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Chiang Mai?

Suan Dok Gate, Chiang Mai, Thailand Being the de facto capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a usual (if not, necessary) stop for many fellow travelers exploring northern Thailand. Despite my not being the most outgoing and approachable person in Chiang Mai (and the entire planet), I do meet and get to know a lot of these fellow travelers whilst here. Almost inevitably, when I tell them the online nature of my job(s) and that I can choose to live anywhere I wanted to, the question gets asked: Why Chiang Mai?

Pretty valid inquiry, I think. First, to clarify, I did not just jump on the travel blogger bandwagon as many travel bloggers that came before me had chosen to live in Chiang Mai for several months. Yes, I have my own reasons. Second, while one of my online jobs did need me to be based in Chiang Mai, I can still argue that there was still a choice on my part as it was I who chose to hunt for freelance jobs in Chiang Mai.

So why Chiang Mai then? Of all the places I have visited in Asia, why did I choose to stay in Chiang Mai the longest and live here for several months? I contemplated on creating a PowerPoint™ presentation but it reminded me of my corporate life a little too much. (Zing?) Alright, on with it.