Chiang Mai Travel Diary – Part 5

Day 4 and I’m acutely aware that time is running out for us to visit this region’s famous attractions. It’s Sunday and temperatures are expected to soar (I’m told they hit 45°C yesterday).

Baby Noah is back to his normal, happy self but the beautiful hotel pool beckons along with the prospect of travelling far distances in the searing heat.  I make a final decision to skip the tours and instead catch a complimentary shuttle to the air conditioned shopping mall near the airport (I know, kill me now).

Baby Noah hangs out with the elephant statues at the Shangri-La lobby while waiting for our shuttle bus. This is as close as we’ll get to the elephants in Chiang Mai on this trip.

Baby Noah hangs out with the elephant statues at the Shangri-La lobby while waiting for our shuttle bus. This is as close as we’ll get to the elephants in Chiang Mai on this trip.

Exquisite arrangement in hotel lobby

Exquisite arrangement in hotel lobby

Cute shoes for baby Noah picked up at last night’s bazaar

Cute shoes for baby Noah picked up at last night’s bazaar

Flashback: Sights and sounds enroute to the shopping mall

Posted by Jackie M. on Friday, October 9, 2015

Sights and sounds enroute to the shopping mall

There’s not much to hold our interest at the shopping mall, so it’s back to the hotel and in the pool.

Baby Noah feeling much better at the hotel pool

Baby Noah feeling much better at the hotel pool

Baby Noah with his Lenovo Yoga Tablet

Baby Noah with his Lenovo Yoga Tablet

What’s left of the rambutans in my room every day about 5 minutes after they refill the fruit basket

What’s left of the rambutans in my room every day about 5 minutes after they refill the fruit basket

I decide we should at least try to experience a proper Northern Thai meal, and I’ve heard about a well-regarded dinner and traditional dance & music performance package. I ask concierge about how to get there and whether they can accommodate my non-pork diet. No probs re: pork-free options but it turns out this place is some 45 minutes’ drive away. The concierge advises there’s another place that does the same thing but is closer, so I go with that instead.

We are picked up by a shuttle to take us to the place in sort of a village setting. Bus-loads of tourists pour into the large traditional building and after checking in and removing our shoes, we are shown to our seats.

My pork-free request is honoured, not with substitution but with more of the non-pork dishes, which as it turns out means fried chicken and salad.

My pork-free meal at the dinner and dance

My pork-free meal at the dinner and dance

The traditional dance and music performance starts shortly into our meal and right away Noah begins to fret (I’ve always known Noah dislikes loud noises and enclosed spaces but I’ve failed to anticipate how badly it affects him).

Traditional danceTraditional dance performance at dinner

Posted by Jackie M. on Friday, October 9, 2015

Traditional dance performance at dinner. Noah is whining in the background.

I have to be honest – growing up in the same part of the world and having performed all kinds of traditional Southeast Asian dances at school concerts my whole life in Malaysia, I’m not as intrigued by these cultural performances as some of the Western tourists are. The bus that brought us isn’t due to depart for the hotel for another 2 hours, but I approach the property owners and explain that I’d like to leave (using Noah as the excuse). They very kindly make arrangements to have me and Noah taken back to the hotel.

Well, at least that’s something I can tick off the Chiang Mai things-to-do list.

Day 5 and Executive Chef Georg has managed to arrange for Chef Wassana to teach me 3 northern Thai royal dishes. Chef Wassana’s cooking skills are highly-regarded at Shangri-La Chiang Mai so I’m very excited to learn from her.

Steamer used for the dishes in today’s cooking videos

Steamer used for the dishes in today’s cooking videos

Click on image to go to recipe and video for Khao Kriab Pak Moh

Click on image to go to recipe and video for Khao Kriab Pak Moh

Click on image to go to recipe and video for Chor Muang

Click on image to go to recipe and video for Chor Muang

Click on image to go to recipe and video for Sakoo Sai Moo

We leave early the next day for the airport and head back to Malaysia. Baby Noah and I have loved our stay in Chiang Mai and the hospitality we experienced at Shangri-La Hotel. I’m a bit annoyed with myself for not having ticked off more of the places and activities on my list, but on the plus side, it’ll give us a reason to come back another time.

Flashback: Heading to Chiang Mai airport for our flight back to Malaysia.

Posted by Jackie M. on Friday, October 9, 2015

Heading to Chiang Mai airport for our flight back to Malaysia.

Oh and by the way, after years of getting annoyed with Aussies saying Sawatdi Kha/Sawatdi Khrap to me, I end up spending the next few days instinctively wanting to use this Thai greeting on everyone I meet in Malaysia.

Baby Noah wondering what’s next in our travel adventures.

Baby Noah wondering what’s next in our travel adventures.

I travelled to Chiang Mai in June 2015 and was hosted by Shangri-La Chiang Mai.

For the rest of this series, please visit the links below –

Chiang Mai Travel Diary – Part 1
Chiang Mai Travel Diary – Part 2
Chiang Mai Travel Diary – Part 3
Chiang Mai Travel Diary – Part 4

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