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Khao Soi – a traditional dish from the north of Thailand. SO GOOD!

Here we are settling into the beautiful Chiang Mai in an area called Nimman, and although we’re ever-so-slowly acclimatising to the heat (years in Queensland has not prepared us for this heat!), our first impressions are that our next 5 weeks will be a lot of fun. Here are the top 5 after 5 days:

  1. Food is fantastic and so darn cheap!

This is a great thing, because we LOVE food. All of our meals have been delicious and cost us less than some takeaway coffee does back home in Sydney. How do they even make food that cheap?

Whether traditional Thai food or, dread, Western (don’t judge us harshly, it’s just that we’re total suckers for burgers and there are heaps around Nimman), it’s all been generous portion sizes and super tasty. If only the craft beer were as cheap.

  1. It’s not Bangkok

We should start by saying we were in Bangkok for only a couple of days. But it was manic. Everywhere was ridiculously busy: packed with tourists, traffic or people in your face trying to direct you to a tuk tuk (or a tailor!). This was a little confronting (you know, due to aforementioned shyness) and quite the induction for Melissa who’s never been anywhere in Asia before.

Fast forward to arriving in Chiang Mai and we immediately felt more comfortable. It isn’t as busy, a bit more modern and we haven’t had anyone try and push us into a store to have a suit made.

  1. Everybody is really friendly

Our Thai is terrible. A few phrases at best. Instead of being frustrated with us, the locals are very patient. They stand there and wait as we try to pronounce (mostly butcher) Thai words and then either smile and get on with things or take pity on us and speak English.

We’ve signed up for an online Thai language course so we can return the friendliness in native Thai… as best we can, anyway.

  1. You can get reasonable coffee

In our travel we’ve at times struggled to find good coffee. We definitely assumed this would be the case in Chiang Mai. Much to our caffeine withdrawal suffering bodies’ delight, it isn’t. We’ve found pretty good coffee and quite decorative too.  Coffee art which puts the world’s best to shame.

5. Internet speeds are awesome!

We had heard that the internet was great in Chiang Mai. We had no idea. Having never experiencing great speeds in Australia, we just thought the best we’d ever had back home was normal for ‘good speed’. We were wrong. Even when sitting in a café and using their Wi-Fi we can load pages so much faster than we had experienced before. This is great, given we’re both carrying multiple devices at any one time.

We’ve not even hit a week yet of our extended stay here, but already we’re falling in love with Chiang Mai, and it’s not surprising really. Everything we read from other bloggers prior to coming here and since has painted Chiang Mai as incredibly liveable, and generally a beautiful place to hang out for a longer stint of time. We’re looking forward to doing just that.

Have you been? Tell us your favourite part about Chiang Mai.

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