And since things are SO cheap here, we opted to do a formal tour to explore the culinary scene.
Chiang Mai Food Tours (they are amazing, BTW, and we HIGHLY recommend them!!!) started our day with a private "Morning Food Tour" for 3 hours around the Warorot Market sampling the best tastes there, and two other random stops within the wall for the "best in" the city for khao soi (local specialty), pork belly, and some spicy pork and herb mix that definitely cleared my sinuses but was SO good. I also tried congealed chicken blood on one of the curries, and thought it was actually really good. Adam couldn't get around the thought of it. It's funny how the mind gets the best of you at times. The tour was 850 baht/pp but nice, as we were transported in a new SUV with AC. We walked through food stalls, wares booths, herb displays where the guide explained and broke them down for us, as well as a flower market full of orchids for ridiculously cheap. I want to move to Thailand.
|Pick your curry paste|
|Pick your flavor|
|Fried and dried silk worm snacks|
After decompressing a bit during the peak heat of the day, we went back for round at Makkha Spa, this time for a 2-hour session: 1-hour hot oil Thai massage followed by a 1-hour hot press massage. Both were wonderful, but I am sticking with the traditional Thai massage; it is cheaper and way more effective for my over-tight muscles.
Our same guide from the morning picked us up again for the evening, for an "Evening Food Tour", where we were joined by a young couple from the Netherlands (who were spending 4 weeks exploring Thailand). This tour was a little different, as we went to specific food stalls in specific markets, instead of wandering an entire market, focused around North Gate. We tried 5-6 main courses, practicing our Thai language skills and ordering them ourselves (the morning glory was amazing!), and an a few deserts, to include delicious mango sticky rice, chocolate banana crepe, and these cream dough puffs with either corn, spring onion, or pumpkin filling. Adam made a papaya salad from scratch, and it was delicious.
|Adam working for dinner: Papaya salad from scratch!|
|Mmmmm....Mango sticky rice <3|
After the tour was done, or guide graciously dropped of us at the Sunday Walking Market, that was even larger than the Saturday one. It was absolutely full! This one was dramatically different too, and not in a way that we liked. It was mostly trinkets for tourism, and populated by throngs of tourists. Our energy wasn't really in it, so we only explored for about an hour before heading back to the hotel for the night.