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Chiang Mai, Thailand – Part III

Chiang Mai ThailandU Chiang Mai HotelU Chiang Mai HotelU Chiang Mai HotelU Chiang Mai HotelU Chiang Mai HotelU Chiang Mai Hotel

in chiang mai, we stayed in the old town (the center of the city and surrounded by a moat and huge walls) at the u chiang mai hotel.  we absolutely loved it and cant rave about it more.  we loved staying in the old town because you can literally walk to most of the temples.  within the old town, there are no high rises because no building is to be taller than the temples.  this area is on the quiet side normally.  however, the busy streets/night market outside the wall are a 15-20 minute walk.  not bad.

the hotel itself was pretty awesome.  it is located at the center of old town and is close by amazing spas and restaurants! the staff goes above and beyond to make sure that your stay is fantastic and they are all so helpful and friendly. breakfast is included daily, which is a plus.  the best part: the AC can be blasted and keeps the room at a pretty freezing temperature! a nice touch:  fresh, beautiful orchids daily.

Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang | Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, ThailandChiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai ThailandKrathrong's Dhukka

krathrong’s dhukka

  1. write the name of your family name on the three corners flag
  2. cut your nail, your hair and put them in the leaf-krathrong
  3. pray to buddha to send your troubles away
  4. make your wishes to think, to speak, and to do good.

now your troubles will be sent away

Loi Krathong Chiang Mai

huen phen is one of those must eat places in chiang mai.  they are known most for their kao soi.  kao soi (turned out to be our favorite thing to eat in thailand) is a curry noodle, special to northern thailand (“lanna” means northern thailand).  we tried to eat this every day.  we mean every. single. day.

just finding huen phen was a little bit of a hot, sticky, sweaty journey.  this place is packed all the time…and its huge! we ended up over ordering (5 dishes for two of us) and would highly, highly recommend the kao soi (duh) and the fried papaya salad.  those were the two stand out dishes.  when we came here, it was 90 degrees and felt like 90% humidity (actually this is what it felt like the whole trip).  we were sweating.  it was uncomfortable.  before the trip, we were told to stay away from water that was not bottled and ice.  this was the day we had to cave in.  it was just too hot and the room temperature water bottle just did not do it.  we had to order the thai tea with ice and it was amazing!

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walking around… visiting random temples and enjoying the festival decorations.

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how excited were we that we were in chiang mai for the loi krathong festival and yi peng festival??

  • a krathong is decorated with folded banana leaves, incenses, and a candle. when it’s a full moon, everyone in the city launches their  krathong on a river, canal or a pond, and make a wish!
  • loi krathong coincides with the northern thailand festival, yi peng!  for yi peng, everyone in the city launches floating lanterns into the sky! (my bucket list!)

this was the best time for us to be there since (i) the whole city was decorated with lanterns and flowers and (ii) there were festivals/events going on every day that week!

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lanterns everywhere! breathtaking.  i didnt end up taking my dslr that night (bad decisions) so my pictures arent that great and do not do this festival justice.  its something that you should definitely see yourself! imagine floating lanterns let go everyone in the city…all night long!

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one of the must see temples in chiang mai is wat phra that doi suthep, which is located on a mountain 9 miles / 15 km away from the city.  to get to the temple, you have to climb 309 steps (obviously not to bad since i did the downtown stair climb! woot) on the way up, there are a lot of food/clothes/souvenir vendors (we are embarrassed to say that we got ripped off by all of them because we are the worst at haggling).  oh, but! we obviously stopped for some corn and tangerine juice which was delicious!

IMG_8534-1IMG_8538-1IMG_8550-2-1IMG_8553-2-1Wat Phrathat Doi SuthepIMG_8559-1

the temple has an amazing view of chiang mai.  too bad the morning we went, it was on the cloudy side. the temple is beautiful, isnt it?

IMG_8562-1IMG_8575-2-1IMG_8587-2-1Wat Phrathat Doi SuthepIMG_8606-2-1IMG_8605-2-1IMG_8621-2-1corn!IMG_8626-1IMG_8637-1kao soiIMG_8646-1IMG_8648-1

By |December 31st, 2012|Life, Photography, Thailand, Travel|5 Comments

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Part II

one of the main reasons we chose to go to thailand was because we love thai food! naturally, we took a cooking class while we were in chiang mai.  we took a half day (morning 9am to 2pm) class at siam rice cooking class since it was highly rated on trip advisor.  for 700 baht (US$23) you get to choose a noodle dish, a soup and a curry paste/curry.

the food was amazing! (there is still hope for me as a cook) we hung out with nancy, our pretty awesome instructor.   if i could, i would hang out with her all day!  she taught us about the main base ingredients in thai cooking, the food, and thai culture/traditions.

a few awesome things we learned:

  • a lot of thai dishes use the same ingredients. the addition/subtraction of certain ingredients make a different dish/type of curry! 
  • thai cooking uses a lot of sugar and fish sauce! in every restaurant, you will find sugar (sweet obviously), fish sauce (salty), and chili at your table so that you can customize to your own preference.
  • it’s not that hard to make! just a lot of ingredients to get together!

before the cooking class, we were taken to the market!  i dont know if you know…kyle and i love going to local markets when we travel…its our way of immersing ourselves into the city’s culture.  (plus kyle used to work at a supermarket so he loves that stuff).

as you can tell, we took a bajillion photos…this is what happens when you have an awesome day (2nd favorite thing we did in thailand).

mangosteendragon fruitIMG_8321-1IMG_8301-1onions!candy..lots of itbeautiful flowersthe marketrambutansoupsveggiespink eggs!IMG_8323-1excited for the cooking classIMG_8355-1IMG_8358-1IMG_8384-1IMG_8385-1IMG_8373-1IMG_8377-1IMG_8386-1IMG_8396-1chopping chilisIMG_8404-1IMG_8408-1this is what happens when you make drunk noodlespad thaidrunken noodlesoil, fish sauce, sugar, oyster sauceingredientsIMG_8466-1IMG_8471-1IMG_8474-1my chili paste!IMG_8478-1kao soipanang curryIMG_8507-1IMG_8510-1hot and creamy soupsweet soup with sweet basil

what we cooked:

  • noodles – pad thai and drunken noodles
  • soup – spicy soup with sweet basil and hot and creamy soup
  • curry paste / curry – panang curry and kao soi

we highly recommend doing this when you go to thailand!  email nancy! we received a little booklet with all the recipes from the day.  we are hoping that we can cook some thai food at home soon!  fingers crossed.

By |December 28th, 2012|Cooking, Food, Thailand, Travel|7 Comments

Roti Buns @ Papparich | Pasadena, CA

PapparichPapparich

we have been hearing about this craze around roti buns. trust us.  we didnt get it.  since (i) we heard that papparich had the best roti buns in los angeles, (ii) our friends have cravings sometimes, AND (iii) since jonathan gold thought it was pretty heavenly himself, we tried it! our verdict:  loved it!

i now understand why it was hard for people to describe what a roti bun was.  when people tried to explain it to me…my reaction was… so its just bread.  i’ll do my best but this is just something you have to have yourself. so its a bun… baked fresh with a buttery center and a mocha/maple crust surrounding it (the “original”).  simple concept, huh?  note that we tried the vanilla one…and liked the “original” the best.  nice combo of salty and sweet (probably more salty because of the butter).  it’s pretty freaking amazing…(says the girl who loves butter).

we also tried a milk tea.  definitely get something to drink.  you’ll be thirsty.  the milk tea goes nicely with the bun.  you just need to try it for yourself!

if you find other roti bun places, please let me know! i’m officially on the hunt!

Papparich
100 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
Neighborhood: Pasadena

Pappa Rich on Urbanspoon

By |December 28th, 2012|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|4 Comments

Homemade Pho

ah, homemade pho on a cold day.  thanks, mom! note to self, please learn how to make pho.

Homemade Pho

By |December 27th, 2012|Family, Food|0 Comments

A Merry, Merry Christmas

we love christmas.  family, food (tamales/pozole), christmas trees, ornaments, lights, holiday cards, decorations, and presents!  we love it all!  hope everyone had a good wonderful, wonderful christmas!

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this year kyle worked christmas eve…not too bad since we just went and celebrated at the fire station!  we have a pretty good tradition going for christmas day:  open presents in the morning in our house, head to in-laws to eat tamales and open more gifts (this year, the monkey is old enough to open her own gifts!), and then head to the fujitakis for more awesomeness.

 

By |December 26th, 2012|Family, Life|0 Comments
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