Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Mountains of coffee ...

A cool new cafe in Nan which hasn't even opened yet.
How could there be any better place in the world to enjoy cafe culture than northern Thailand, where a lot of the freshest grinds are actually growing on the hillsides nearby to many of these uber-chic cafes? 

Household coffee brands in Thailand like Doi Chang, Doi Tung and Wawee are all named for mountains in the north here.

With its small lanes, huge student population, easygoing attitudes and plethora of small, family-run spots to grab a bite and a fine cup of java, Chiang Mai is the perfect place to sit and watch people go by while chatting with old friends or making new ones.

One lane off of Nimmanhaemin Road (Soi 9) is known as ‘Soi Kafe’ by locals, jing jing. 

I imagine it to be redolent of parts of old Asia when opium was at its peak, with ubiquitous dimly lit dens. Instead it’s side-by-side coffeehouses ... a caffeine addict's dream.

Now you can have your cake, and eat it too.
Chiang Rai is following similarly, now developing a bona fide cafe culture as it comes of age with a bit more boho chic. 

As for Pai, well, it’s The Chilling Fields already, and Nan is rapidly gaining in the cool cafe stakes, as I've blogged recently.

So no need to pack the large bottle of Nescafe 43 beans when you travel to Thailand. We've got mountains of coffee here.

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