Chiang Mai, jewel of the north Thailand. When I took a train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, 1001 of question triggered in my mind. How it look like? Is it like Bangkok, metropolice city? I've never been there before but I've heard a lot of good things about Chiang Mai. When my wife and I arrived at the railway station, we took a "tuk-tuk" to Soi 4, Tha Phae Road and cost us about THB 100. It a bit pricey since the distance only about 2-3km but we have no choice. Chiang Mai do offer a lot of attraction to budget travellers. A lot of guest house, budget hotel and even high rise hotel (Le-Meridean) available to choose as your accomodation while in here. The price range from THB 200 per room with basic amenities up to THB 5000 for luxury suites. My suggestion, you don't need to pre-book any travel tour before arrive here because along Changkan Muang, Loi Kroh, Chang Klan road, hundreds of travel tours counters do existed and offers a lot of option to choose.
How to find HALAL food in Chiang Mai?
I relieve that I found a mosque in Chiang Mai (night bazaar area in Changklan road, Charoen Prathet Soi 1). The signboard also help us to figure out where the mosque is. Within the vicinity of the mosque, there are 2 row of Muslim halal restaurant.
Where to dine in Chiang Mai? Halal restaurants as below :
1- Pakistani Restaurant, offered a lots of Thai-Middle East food. I forgot the exact location but it is not far away from the mosque but in the different soi (street). My wife had tandoori chicken with rice. It's very good.
2- Khao-Soi-Islam, next to mosque. There were about 4 restaurants nearby the mosque. Khao-Soi-Islam restaurant is on your left handside after exiting the mosque. It served Halal Thai food, satay, noodles and most importantly, the chef was wearing a scarf (women chef). I did found few others Muslim friends (from Malaysia, Indonesia, Middle east) while having lunch.
3- Thai-Muslim restaurant at Anusan Market. There are few HALAL food around Anusan Market. One Pakistani restaurant do accept Visa or Mastercard. There were about 20 restaurant in Anusan Market, but only 3 served Halal food.
Where to shop on local products/handicraft in Chiang Mai?
1- Anusan Market, near Night Bazaar.Don't try to bargain around Night Bazaar because you hardly get the good price. Go to Anusan Market, it a bit hidden due to Night Bazaar. The location is not far from McDonalds and Le Meredien. Open daily starting at 7pm. Normally on Sunday, there were few traders left since all of them going to Sunday Walking Street Market (item no-3 below) 2- Waroros Market. Open daily. Only for daylight. Offered a lot of local fruits, apparel and etc. 3- Sunday Walking Street Night Market. "Heaven for shopping"..Too many to choose, it going wild after 9pm because you hardly can squeeze to move. It's packed with tourists and local people. The bazaar probably 3-5km long and it spread to a smaller soi. From paintings, pillows and cultural shows was just a few example you can found here. It's marvelous.