Monday 31 December 2018

[Material] Wish List for 2019

These are my wish list for 2019. 
They are not necessarily expensive but for one reason or another,  I never come around to actually buying them tho it's been in my wish list for nearly a year (or more) now.

1. Foreo Luna 2 (RM900) / Luna Mini 2 (RM636)  Bought Foreo Luna 3! 💓

2. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick (£24) Bought!

Shade : Amazing Grace 

3. Michael Kors Tote Bag Bought LV instead! ❤

This maroon bag is gorgeous

4. Noni Glow Face Oil (RM240) - Tried it at Sephora and not a fan

5. Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Daily Peel Bought! 

Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel (£16.5 per 5 treatments)  

6. The Qur'an (Oxford World Classic) Bought!
This book is banned in Malaysia tho.

7. Haruki Murakami's novel (RM45.90 each)

  • Norwegian Wood 
  • Kafka on The Shore 
  • The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

8. Bokitta (Voila Maxi)
Scrapped from my list. Tried it on and hated it 😂

9. Dymo Label Maker

Let's see by the end of 2019, how many of these I bought ❤
I'm gonna update this list throughout the year!
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Sunday 30 December 2018

Chiang Mai : What We Did & Where We Went

The (many) gates of Chiang Mai.
The old city is surrounded by walls and moats to protect them against constant threat back in the day. [They used to be the capital city of Lanna kingdom]. The area within the moat is called Old City.

There are four sides of the moat, with some area more lively than others. 

It's fun, walking along the walls, sightseeing. Recommended at least once through out your trip to Chiang Mai. Most happening gate : Chiang Mai & Tha Pae.

Taken at the Tha Pae Gate

The place is sprawled with massage parlors which will definitely meet your budget. You can get decent massages from as low as 150 Baht up to 8000 Baht for luxury packages at renowned spas.

Lila Thai Massage (6 branches in Chiang Mai)
The price starts at 250 Baht per hour for body / foot massage. The masseuse are either ex-inmates or women with troubling background. They all went through training to become certified masseuse and this initiatives is fully supported by the  local government. PS - the interior design was very beautiful!

Fah Lanna (2 branches)
Still in the affordable price range. The massages starts at 250 Baht (700 Baht at the Old City branch which is more luxurious that the Night Bazaar branch).

Old Town Branch

Night Bazaar Branch

A Nondescript Massage Parlor near Halal Street
For a cheap, no fuss and good massage. It's only 150 Baht per hour! Been visiting this place since 2013. 

It's the corner shop, right beside the Halal Street gate

Lake Huay Thung Thao
This is a where the locals go during weekend! Relatively a tourist-free area. It is a large lake, with many (hundreds) bomboo huts overlooking the mountain, Doi Pui. There's an entrance fee of 50 Baht for foreigners.

It will take around 20 / 40 mins to get here depending whether on your mode of transportation. 
They serve fresh and cheap seafood on the hut. No English menu (I've read some huts do provide them), and they can't speak any ounce of English 😂. So my mom helped us ordered (I love technology!)

This meal only cost us 270 Baht

Cr : Mad Monkey Hostel

Cooking School
I've been to 2 cooking classes in Chiang Mai; Thai Akha Cooking School (ranked 1st in TripAdvisor) and Thai Orchid Cookery School (ranked 8th). Surprise, surprise, I really would suggest Thai orchid over Thai Akha. 

Thai Orchid offers more conducive learning environment, more hands on approach, and the menu are better , I would say.

[Guess how Thai Akha got to be ranked first? They offer free gifts for students who rated them in TripAdvisor. Naturally everyone ranked them excellent 😂]

Don't worry. They have vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options for the dishes. Alternatively, you can bring you own halal meat.

Some of the dishes at Thai Akha

Best experience at Thai Orchid Cookery School!

Kad Farang Starbucks
Me and N don't drink coffee so we went here exclusively for the photo op 😂 

Cr : Smartlocal

Sunday Walking Market
It is always packed! Packed! But a must-visit attraction nonetheless. Bear in mind though that there is no halal stalls here (except rotee) . But you can have the vegetarian snacks, desserts and grilled seafood. 

You can find food, crafts, souvenirs, and even open air massage stations (for when you're tired walking along the 1km crammed street).

Must must try!!! Cha yen with grass jelly (Their grass jelly is different!) 

Grilled squid!! Make sure tho that they are not selling grilled 🐽 too

Of course there are many more interesting places in Chiang Mai.

The notable ones are
  • Doi Suthep
  • Doi Inthanon
  • Elephant Camp
  • Anusarn Night Market
  • Halal Street (Most lively on Fridays!)
You can find this Urban Forest on your way up to Doi Suthep

That's it for Chiang Mai 2018 adventure ❤

💕 Bonus Round 💕

Reminiscing my previous visits!

Bye for now!!
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Tuesday 25 December 2018

Chiang Mai : Halal and Muslim Friendly Food

It's not that difficult to find Halal food in Chiang Mai.

Personally, I felt it's a tad easier compared to Bangkok. But maybe that's because Chiang Mai is considerably smaller 😂

Halal Restaurant

Sapa Coffee 786 
For that breakfast-like-a-local experience [in fact we didn't see any foreigners here]. The food were cheap, and tasty. It's located at Chang Klan Road which is a predominantly Muslim area. We tried to order porridge but it ran out for both of the days we were there. So do come early!

If I'm not mistaken all of these only cost 120 Baht (or less)

Operating hours : 0530 to 1100 daily except Friday. Closed on Friday
Rating: 5/5

Chicken Briyani Stall 
Hands down, this is the best Thai chicken briyani (khao mok gai) I've ever had in my lifeeeee! It's a real simple food stall in front of 7Eleven, within the old city wall, specifically at the Chiang Mai Gate. This food stall is loved by both locals and foreigners alike. 

And it is only 40 Baht! 
They do sell other dishes as well but we only ordered the famous Chicken Briyani.
You can eat there (limited seating tho) or you can just buy it to-go.

Cr : Legal Nomads

Operating hours : at night only (6ish onwards)
Rating : 5/5

Choei Cafe & Bistro
This place is the most 'atas' place in this list. But it is not that expensive and the food were really good! We had the green curry chicken and drunken noodle (no, there's no actual booze in the noodle). Highly recommended!

Rating : 4.5/5

Nasmeen Halal Food
Located at Charoen Muang Road, beside Shell petrol station. We went there for chicken rice.

A plate of chicken rice is only 35 Baht!

Rating : 4/5

Khao Soi Islam
Dubbed as one of the best khao soi place in Chiang Mai. We went there twice and we were dissapointed both time. To their credit however, maybe I just don't like khao soi in general. [Khao Soi is a famous noodle dish that was brought over by Chinese Muslims to northern Thai]. This dish s incredibly famous in Chiang Mai. Basically, you have a creamy spiced broth where you eat with two types of egg noodles; blanched (as base) and fried egg noodles sprinkled on top. 

The canteen-like place is often packed so I decided to give it another go. We ordered biryani and maybe because we had the best biryani in the world earlier (the food stall), this biryani pales in comparison. 

Rating : 3/5

Yaring Cuisine
We went here due to the glowing recommendations I read on the internet. Do not trust the internet guys 😂 N was laughing at the end because we had such high hopes and they did not even meet our  minimum expectation. Hahaha

The good thing however; the place was quite nice and the waitress do speak Malay.

We had nasi kerabu (65 Baht) and fried crab rice (150 Baht).
Both we terrible, honestly up to a point we struggled to finish them.

Rating : 2/5

Muslim Friendly
These places are not Halal certified. But they either offered vegetarian meal, seafood dishes, dessert or we did inquire in advance if they used any non-Halal ingredients. 

Rustic & Blue - The Farm Shop
Located at the trendiest part of Chiang Mai, Nimmanhaemin. We ordered the vegetarian french toast and it is the best french toast ever!! May not look appetizing, but honest to God. It is freaking good!

Part of the all-day menu

The promotional photo

The actual presentation

Operating hours : 0830 to 2200 daily
Rating : 5/5

The Hide Out
A small cafe famous for its french toast (they sold limited number of toasts every day).

The portion is huge!!! We made a mistake by ordering two of 'em 😂
It is really good. Now I understand why people love this so much. I can't decide which one is better between this and the one at Rustic n Blue. It's like comparing apple to oranges. But they are both really good!

Operating hours : 0800 to 1700 daily
Rating : 5/5

Lake Huay Thung Thao
Fresh seafood, cheap, nice environment.  This place is a bit far from Chiang Mai old city tho.
Will share more about this place in the next post. 

Rating : 5/5

Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop
Dhara Dhevi is a well known luxury band in Thailand. They are famous for their resorts and Cake Shop. They had a few branches all over Chiang Mai, but I always frequented the one at the airport. 

I love their macaron (they do have other desserts as well) especially the thai tea flavor and pistachio. I personally think it's better than the one I had at Laduree, Paris.

Rating : 5/5

Butter is Better

This place served American style breakfast. We ordered the buttermilk pancake (90 Baht) and mac & cheese (145 Baht). N loved his pancakes and we both agreed the mac & cheese was the best we ever had. Ever! A dish so simple yet so delicious. I have to admit, I still think about 'em from time to time 😂

Operating hours : 0800 to 2000 daily
Rating : 4.8/5

Ton Lam Yai Market (opposite Talat Warorot)
This is a local market which has started to gain popularity among tourists. I stumbled across this dessert place many years back and it is the best mango sticky rice I had in Chiang Mai. Uncontested! They have limited seats along the shop for customers and they also sell other traditional thai dessert. 

Rating : 4/5

Aren't you guys full yet?  😂
These are only snippets of the restaurants/ cafe in Chiang Mai. There are lots more!
Do come and explore.
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