Three vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai

Pumpkin curry and Pad Thai like we never had before! Yummy!!
Pumpkin curry and Pad Thai like we never had before! Yummy!!

This one is for all the vegetarians, vegans and generally health-conscious folks that are new to or will be new to Chiang Mai.

Personally, as a person who once struggled to find good vegetarian places to eat at, I know that having an easy list of a few good places is invaluable. Hence my golden Chiang Mai selections:

1. Morning Glory: named after the glorious Thai dish, this restaurant offers not only delicious Thai meals but cooking classes so you can take the goodness with you wherever you go. Check them out on Prapokklao road:

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2. Anchan Vegetarian:  This lovely place offers some great smoothies as well that are not only delicious but healthy and filling. Have a bite here:

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3. Bamboo Bee: My personal favourite, their Pad Thai and Pumkin curry are top notch. Have a bite, here:

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If you have any recommendations for places offering good vegetarian food in Chiang Mai, please post it as a comment below!

 

That white stuff

It is everywhere. In packets at seven eleven, in cups and dispensers at restaurants, in all the food, in all the soup broths, – just everywhere.

At first I thought it was sugar, as it certainly didn’t taste like salt! It wasn’t sweet either, but I thought maybe it was a very weak, highly processed sugar, or some bland spice. I couldn’t figure it out because my mind did not want to accept the horibble truth.

It was our first day in Thailand, we’d just gotten off the train from the airport to the downtown and were looking for something to eat. We’d found a noodle place outside a seven eleven and decided the prices looked good and the patrons there seemed to be enjoying their good-sized portions of food. We each ordered a different, unpronounceable dish off the menu and sat down to wait for our food.

Whilst waiting I took note of all the different sauces and spices one could add to their dish. There was dry powdered red chili, a clear liquid with green chilis, soy sauce, what looked like fish sauce and a white crystal-like substance in a cup which I couldn’t identify.

I tasted it and so did Mustafa but we were still clueless as to what it was. I looked around at the other people eating their food and saw one guy putting great heaping tablespoonfuls of the stuff into his noodles. He clearly loved it. Whatever it was.

Fast forward to nearly three and a half weeks later. I had, by this time, just started taking the white crystal stuff at every restaurant for granted. It was night time, around 7pm. We had just eaten dinner with our new classmates and had decided to grab a few things from seven eleven for breakfast. We were looking for salt and I saw a packet on one of the shelves but neither Mustafa nor I could determine if it was salt or that mystery substance. So we asked one of the helpful staff. It wasn’t salt.

It was MSG. Monosodium glutamate. The entire country uses it in almost every dish. Not only is it already in the food but it’s put as a flavor additive on the table for you, I’d you think your food isn’t tasty enough you can simply trick your brain by adding more msg.

 

Thoughts on the ideal job.

Relaxing at the hotel's pool after a long day of exploration and research.
Relaxing at the hotel’s pool after a long day of exploration and research.

Koh Lanta – It’s been a long day of island exploration, food and drink experiences and supplying/scouring the internet for articles, Instagram photos and YouTube videos. I’m laying on a deck chair, poolside, fanning away a mosquito and admiring the colors of the sunset sky.

Even while enjoying the peace and quiet of Thailand in the low season my new ‘work’ never stops. Writing about social issues, personal experiences, and journalling our travels are all things I can do from anywhere so long as my battery is charged and I can find good internet.

However, this type of work, nomadic blogging or freelance journalism, is not the fairytale you might imagine it to be. Whilst the most obvious perk is that one gets to travel to some amazing places and meet some incredible people, there is a less talked about, less ‘wow’, side to it all.

Earlier today I read an article that took a look at how some young adults were treating the concept of using the internet as their workplace. There was a romantic feel to the article, hinting at an exciting life of travel with no end, having a job that gave you the freedom to do it from anywhere in the world…so long as you had a good wifi connection.

The trade, from what I’ve seen, is that one gives up certain comforts or aspirations to pursue, for an indefinite time, the fulfilment of a dream, i.e., traveling the world. Or at least traveling South-East Asia, more specifically, Thailand.

Thailand is one of the best places to lead a budget life and work online. All the basic necessities and then some are a great deal cheaper than most everywhere else. One can easily find free wifi in coffee shops as well.

The drawback to this ideal picture is the reality that many writing jobs can’t fully support any kind of comfortable, financially secure, lifestyle. There’s not a lot of high paying online writing jobs, not when someone in India can do it for a fraction of what you’d get paid. Sooner or later a person runs the risk of running out of the savings they brought with them.
Not only can a person run out of funds but the life led up to that point is normally one of strict budgeting, toting heavy backpacks from one hostel to another, watching in frustrated amazement as tourists get scammed incredible amounts of bhat by tuk tuk drivers and tour agencies.

So what happens when a person whose workplace is online runs out of money? Well, that’s truly up to that person. Common stories normally see these people becoming ESL teachers or flying back to their home countries to find whatever support they can from immediate family.

Despite the grim picture I’ve attempted to paint, the allure of traveling can never be diminished by the possible threat of bankruptcy. Dreamers, writers, nomads and those who are all three at once always find a way, even if we struggle  along some parts of the journey.

Our views on cheating.

Hi everyone, Leshanta here with a reflection/recap of the podcast you just listened to.  So, what is cheating? Mustafa and I came up with a few points as to what we thought constituted cheating. In the podcast we both debate the finer details and grey areas as to what cheating looks like. However, I think the main point we agreed on was that engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is not your partner without your partner’s knowledge or consent is, as a crude, bare bones way of putting it, cheating.

We also took a look at why men and women cheat. A tricky topic with no clear answer, our insight was that cheating normally takes place when there is a breakdown in the communication between the partners in the relationship.  We also looked at how difficult it is for someone in a relationship to admit to their partner that they might have feelings of attraction to someone else  – society trains us to believe that once you are in a relationship your desire for other people disappears. This one person is now all you are allowed to see, to feel lust for and develop emotional connections with. Is this reality institutionalized or not? And if so, for what purpose?

We round off our discussion with a very sensitive question – “Is cheating wrong?” Personally, I still feel that cheating is wrong, simply because it end up hurting the one you are with. However, some very valid points and some well though out recommendations were made coming down to the end of this podcast and your feedback on this and any other points that were made would be most welcome.