Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

I love Thailand. It is like a second home to me. I spent ridiculous amount of time travelling this country and I still feel I haven’t covered most of it. If I had to choose my favourite region it would definitely be the northern Thailand. I love the beaches and mad partying the south offers, but my ultimate favourite is the serene north. As a part of my Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand series, I would like to cover my favourite haunts in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai etc. Also, don’t forget to check out Foodie Heaven Bangkok article, to know where the best eats in Bangkok are at

Chiang Mai

My first stop for this blog would be Chiang Mai, Thailand. A location surrounded by beautiful temples on the top of the mountains and filled with friendly people. I absolutely love the architecture, the culture, the temples and the Food. The one-stop eating zone that will fill you up and not lighten your wallet is the nightmarket in Chiang Mai. There are many night markets in Chiang Mai and one of my favourite is the market opposite to Chiang Mai gate. Eat ai ua (Chiang Mai sausage), nam prik ong (chilli tomato pork dip) and kaeng khanun (jackfruit curry) and Khao Soi. As cheap as 30 baht will fill your tummy up.

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

From melt in the mouth pork to sushi, from bite sized icecream to quail egg omelette, you get everything. If you have more than two days, be sure to check out Waorat market, Cooking love, Mr.Kai restaurant. Literally, every street is filled with food. It is a pity that Thailand’s government banned street food stalls recently.

Chiang Rai

This is a gem in Thailand. Quaint little town filled with beautiful temples and a perfect stop to explore nearby mountains and the tribes. Chiang Rai market is again the go to choice for food but there are also many restaurants opposite to this market which serve up delicious food. I had a little adventure here, where I drove almost 100 kms to a place called Doi Mae Salong. On route to this place, we stopped at Choi Fong Tea Factory. What a beautiful place, tea served up right next to the gardens is one of the best experience one can have.

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

Doi Mae Salong is little tibetan community right on the border. The  beauty of the place has to be experienced.

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

Foodie Heaven Northern Thailand

Apart from the rich local cuisine, there are many more things to explore in Northern Thailand. The hippie community of Pai, The border community of Mae Sot, beautiful local tribes and hot water baths. One cannot spend enough time here.

Hello world!

A 20-something year old engineer-entrepreneur whose love for travel surpassed every other comfort and happiness money could buy. I haven’t been born with the travel gene or on an airplane. My parents never traveled to the far off lands nor did they educate me on the benefits of seeing the world. What I have is a passion to see the world. To experience the difference between various countries, regions and people before it all amalgamates into one single boring place. Now you are probably thinking there is no way this would happen, right?

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Well, think about this, few decades ago, the only way you can travel to some countries are by road or water. Few years ago, there is no onslaught of fast food on Asian countries. Coffee is traditionally made and tastes different at every place. Countries have their own traditions, clothing styles, food choices and drinking traditions which made them unique and interesting. The world we know now is not the world our parents knew. Change is always better but when I travel to a different country, I don’t want to feel at home. I want to live the local culture. I want to taste something for the first time overcoming my mental block and experience their festivals. It could be different for someone else but I am not someone else and my views are my own.

What can you expect from this blog?

I want to experience living like a local in territories that I am unfamiliar with. Join me in this beautiful journey as I walk through every street, take the local transport, eat the most delicious or well not-so-delicious local food, drink through the most amazing local drinks, experience the most touristy and not so touristy regions. Get off the beaten track from time to time and travel to a place you probably wouldn’t think of going to when in that country.

Finally,

the world is not just a unified place but is a mixture of little beautiful experiences in exotic lands with different languages and people.

A Solo Woman Travelers’ World

FC Barcelona Match in the stadium

Women are still fearful of travelling alone. There are missing out on an adventure. On this International Women’s Day, Here’s my Solo Woman Travelers’ World.

In between the hustle bustle of Barcelona, there was one solo traveler from India. She was turning 24 and never travelled alone until now. But this trip was important to her. You must be thinking its her birthday why does she want to travel alone? Is she not mentally stable? oh god! there goes another loner and a myriad of other things we often think when we are itching to judge someone.

What you don’t know and probably wouldn’t have experienced if you haven’t travelled alone is what she seeks!

Well, that her was me and that was the first time I have travelled alone. Until then, I celebrated 23 birthdays with family and friends. Every year it’s the same routine. I wanted something different that year. I wanted an experience I wouldn’t forget for a lifetime. So, I landed in Barcelona which is prepping for its famous “Festa de la merce”. I checked into my hostel right near Gaudi’s casa batllo and I had a dorm room filled with 7 strangers. I didn’t say Hi, uh-huh, that’s not how you do it, you do not say hi to strangers. The next day, I went around the city all by myself and came back to the hostel early cos I was a bit apprehensive to venture out late at night.

The day after, I woke up to a warm hello by a woman who is probably my mother’s age and a request for breakfast together. I thought “why not”, well that’s it. That “why not” is the chance I took. The chance that led me to enjoy the company of at least 10 strangers who celebrated my birthday as if they have known me for years. That “why not” led me to one of the most amazing buffets in Barcelona, on a cycle tour with two Brazilians, a concert, dinner and dance with a group of French/British/Armenian folks, A free beer cos hey that’s how one welcomes their birthday in Australia, an awesome trip to the mercato, a FC Barca vs bettys match and an impromptu dance in the festival of merce.

Why should I go out of my comfort zone to have fun with strangers you ask? Well for starters, my friends will always be there when I get back home. But these strangers gave me a life learning and a birthday that is so different from others which will make an amazing story for my future grand kids. They taught me to trust while using caution, they taught me their customs, shared their stories and I even got to see belle and sebastian perform live, “I honestly didn’t who they were, even when I was head banging like a maniac”.

This is what I am looking for! An experience. A chance to be able to trust, to be able to look after myself even at the worst circumstances, a chance to meet people who live across the world, a chance to be carefree and at the same time have the longing in my heart for my loved ones who couldn’t be there on my birthday. To return from your travel as a changed person doesn’t mean something bad. It means you now know how much your loved ones mean to you. So women of my country, travel, make friends, share your stories all while being safe and happy. Here’s to a Solo Woman Travelers’ World.

P.S. My friend is going to be super mad after seeing the featured image of the post.. Sorry Its not Real Madrid 😀

Is India safe to travel?

India Safety Travelling Tips

This post might be a bit boring to people who already think traveling anywhere in the world is safe. But for others who have been asking me this question since the past two months here you go.

I have been travelling a little over two months. I have met people from various countries and this is how the typical introduction conversation happens:

Traveler 1: Hi ya, I am — and you are?
Me: Hi, I am Sai and where are you from?
Traveler 1: US/UK/Australia/Europe/Asia/Africa/South America and where are you from?
Me: India
Traveler 1: Oh thats an awesome country but is it safe to travel there? I mean with all these news about people getting assaulted/robbed etc.

India is a great place to experience various cultures, cuisines and people. Here people are friendly and would generally be helpful to other nationalities who are coming to visit. It is a fast developing country where there is no short of cosmopolitan clubs, fine-dining places as well as the authentic street food and local charm. And it is a pity that due to few of my countrymen many people who would love to experience this amazing country is backing down. It is a shame that we were not perceived as a safe country.

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As an Indian, I believe my country is safe as long as you follow the basic safety requirements.

Don’t stay at a place just because it is cheap:
In this era of internet it is possible to find out if a place is safe or not. Read the reviews and figure out  the location and if your intuition is screaming at you to get out of the place then do yourself a favor and get out ASAP!

Some people genuinely wants to help the backpackers and you go to the countryside many will offer you food or tea in their house. Most of them are curious about you and you could always accept or reject them politely depending on how comfortable you are. But if there are people who are offering food on the trains/buses well better be careful.The “taking food from stranger” rule applies in India as well.

Don’t trust strangers and don’t get inebriated to the point where you would black out. There are many more of these basic stuff that you need to take care of while travelling in any country.

I think we Indians have to represent our country and help people understand that India is like any other developing Asian country when it comes to safety. This is a call to all you Indian travel bloggers and enthusiasts out there. Lets tell people what its like to travel in India. Share your experiences and help people understand that it is safe to travel in India as well. To everyone who wants to travel in India you could contact me or any number of Indian travel bloggers regarding your queries.

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Note: Indian government has recently introduced the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for over 76 countries. Citizens of these countries below can obtain an e-visa prior to their date of travel and for 60 USD. For more details visit: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/
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