The largest City in northern Thailand.
A magnetic attraction for foreigners and thai people. Rich of culture & art – a massive amount of coffee shops and hostels. No skyscrapers, no stressful traffic only narrow streets and relaxed people –
easy going but far away from being lazy.
I’ve met couple of creative people, printers, fashion designers, poets, journalists and artists. They all are motivated, they want to build up their business, collaborate and create. Good vibes and a great mix of foreigners and locals.
So why not opening a sewing café here ?
I’ve to say this idea crossed my mind not only once since I’m in Thailand …
MY FAVORITE PLACES IN CHIANG MAI
First of all I checked in at THE PAUSE hostel in Nimmanhemin Road , Soi 17 Great staff, proactive to help with any issues or information you need and a familiar atmosphere. It is situated in the best area outside of the old city walls – Nimmanhaemin area – Galleries, Boutiques and Coffee Shops are in walking distance. A bike ride of 10min and you are in the old city center.
Waking up in Chiang Mai – no plans so far just the desire to get a good coffee. So let’s check out the best coffee shop in town – RISTR8TO LAB – 15/3 Nimmanhemin Road, Soi 3
I worked here on some videos for couple of hours and enjoyed my Gibraltar waffles and a classic cappuccino. Really tasty !
FOR SHOPPING & FOOD
I rented a bike to head the old city and I passed by this lovely place called KANJANA & JANE’S KITCHEN. It’s being run by two sisters. I’ve chatted with Ravie and she showed me some of her work and favorite places in Chiang Mai. In her shop you will find indigo tie dye products, like bags, framed prints and a huge range of Shirts and Dresses, all handmade by herself. She likes to experiment and to create new patterns and likewise she is She is sharing her studio and Shop with her sister Jane, who serves up homemade, health focus and fresh food and they come along with delicious smoothies and fresh-pressed vegetable juices. I tried the Coconut Cake – Delicious !
TO RELAX & MEDITATE
One of the reasons why I came to Chiang Mai is because of its good reputation for meditation classes in one of the temples around Chiang Mai. I’ve done a 10-day Insight Meditation retreat at Wat Rampoeng, it’s about 10min by tuk tuk from town. They also offer a 26-days basic course in Vipassana (Insight) Meditation. I thought, it’s better to start bit by bit …
And I’m perhaps not the best student but it’s my first time and sitting with crossed legs was never something I really liked. I start to have pain everywhere in my legs. But this is probably normal after 6 days. Anyway I’ve learned couple of things and I try to understand.
I came to this theory, that pain is strongly rooted in the thai culture. The food is spicy, the meditation hurts and even thai massage isn’t the softest. So they must be strong minded people with an open heart and a lovely smile. Because it can be so painful, but they are still smiling and everything seems so easy.
TO SEE SOME ART & HANDCRAFT
This is why I really liked Nimmanhaemin area, it’s full of small art galleries like MINIMAL GALLERY – JOJO KOBE ART GALLERY – GONGDEE GALLERY
In general Chiang Mai is an extremely artistically and visually rich city. The CMU – Chiang Mai University – displays temporary exhibitions of contemporary Thai and international artists in at the CMU Art Center. And I had the chance to see the opening ceremony of an exhibition.
While I was searching the C.A.P. STUDIO – it’s a fine art printmaking studio producing limited edition, hand-made prints in collaboration with Thai and international artists – I bumped into the artist, print maker and owner of this place, his name is Kitikong Tilokwattanotai – he introduced himself as Kong. He was about to close the place and offered me to join him, so I jumped in the car and found myself in the middle of plenty of Thai students, teachers and impressive Thai art. The opening ceremony consisted of a traditional dance performance and a speech.
In the same building was a second exhibition opening so I just took some food from the catering, they offered fish chips and Thai noodles and waited to see the work of Bangkok’s Artist and Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Chiang Mai, Pongdej Chaiyakut – he is a printmaker focused on society issues and confrontation with oneself.
Another lovely place and combination of Art and Café is the GALLERY SEESCAPE & SS1254372 CAFE. They are both situated in Nimmanhemin Road , Soi 17
My personal escape almost everyday that I’ve spend in Chiang Mai. It’s calm and the staff is super friendly. The perfect refreshment during hot days, like usually here in Thailand, is the mint-lemon soda ! mmmhhh …
They also run a shop where you can find local art or presents for your loved ones who stay at home.
Enjoy your stay in Chiang Mai !