Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Chiang Rai eateries ... from plastic to rubber to world class

In Chiang Rai now you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Dining options in Chiang Rai at one time were limited to the plastic table shophouse set ups and American fast food outlets near the bus station. Not anymore ...

The Night Bazaar is a sound option for al fresco beer and grub, and there are a good number of casual, rustic Thai restaurants and European style eateries dotted along the main drag, Paholyothin Rd. Among these, The Old Dutch (053-714-282) is a favourite for breakfast (and lunch and dinner, etc) blow-outs, while Da Vinci’s (053-752-535) is a good bet for pizzas and pastas.

Otherwise, the wacky and wonderful Cabbages and Condoms (053-719-167) restaurant stands right next to the Hill Tribe Museum with its clever condom-fringed furnishings and decorations (I'm talking about the restaurant now, not the museum!). Like its sister venue in Bangkok, C&C is devoted to promoting condom use to help prevent juvenile pregnancy and STDs. 

But some critics have said the food tastes a little rubbery ... jing jing!

For something a bit more touristy, the Tohngtueng Kitchen (053-756403 is quite central and puts on enchanting dance shows to accompany its northern style food in a very evocative setting. But for atmosphere (and food), few places will beat Moom Mai (053-716-416), a two-storey Lanna house with rather eclectic garden collections (Balinese fountains and crazy singing pigs anyone?), and live Thai/Western folk music nightly.

Oh, but if you ARE interested in American fast food outlets, try World Class Hamburgers (053-712-712) at the Air Force Golf Club. They are as the name says.

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