Most of the day was hanging around the house for school, present wrapping, reading etc. but around 4:30 we (ad)ventured out to explore more of our part of Chiang Mai.
Our house host recommended the local Ton Phayom fresh market for fruits and vegetables so we thought we’d check it out and grab dinner while we were there.
Google maps said it was a 25 minutes walk and it looked like the route would lead us through some interesting parts of the neighborhood. Turns out not so much. The neighbors were somewhat deserted and much of the walk was on the berm of a 4 lane road or a busy thru street. Not a particularly charming stroll and it lasted every one of the 25 minutes.
After a quick spin through the market stalls, our first priority was finding some food. The street food looked tasty but we all wanted to sit down so we found a little place with tables called Jea Tia Rad nar Krathum Baen. It was bright cheery and had the story of the owner on the wall in Thai and English but other than that there was no English anywhere. Brian took the lead trying to figure out what to order since his Google translate seemed to be deciphering the menu the best. Once we ordered we waited and wondered what exactly we’d get and how much there would be.
We ended up with a great meal and about the right amount of food. We got two of the house specialty – Hakka stir fried noodles with pork and a smooth sauce. We also had two shrimp and octopus noodle dishes and a noodle and pork dish in the house specialty sauce. We also tried the pork wontons which disappeared very quickly. The price of 350 bhat (~$10) for the meal made it even more of a winner.
Then it was time for the market. Although it was pretty near closing time a lot of stalls were still open – some selling familiar items and some selling things we’d never seen.
We made a few purchases including 18 inch ‘long’ green beans and some dried fruit. We’ll go back for sure and try some of the more exotic items. Apparently fried bamboo caterpillars taste like potato chips and are great with beer. We’ll see.
Rather than walk back in the dark we had our first adventure in a songthaew which translates as ‘two rows’. It’s a red truck with two rows of seats in the back that operates as a shared taxi. They are ubiquitous in Chiang Mai and found all over Thailand.
The kids were a bit scandalized that the back door was open and there were no seat belts but they quickly adjusted and spent the ride looking out the window at the busy neighborhood passing by.