About three months ago, Katie and I decided to get better acquainted with our city, mainly it's central district, the Old Town. Each free Saturday we have we are going to pick a block to explore on foot, in and out, little sois and large streets. Restaurants and shops, wats and gardens. Here's to week one.


Our first "moat hop" took place at the beginning of hot season, when the air is still thick with haze from the burning of fields outside the city. In an attempt to cool off the streets, tourists and fill the air with moisture, we've got a giant hose. Every good Asian city needs one, right?

One old building in this block os dedicated to presenting the environmental heritage of Chiang Mai. Models of the city, maps everywhere, and a beautifully built Thai home graces a corner of the street next to several bars and busy tourist spots.

We visited Wat Umong Mahathera Chan, the green mirrored eaves catching our eyes from the street and the lack of tourists calling to our tired selves. Although there are several wats in the Old Town, there are few that are as calm and quaint as this one.

At Peppermint, a pizza joint and coffee shop, we met Jack, a migrant worker who loved to talk. We shared a good bit with him while we sipped our smoothies, thankful for a break from the heat. This place is cute and in a great spot, though they are closed on Sundays because of the weekly market close by.

Farm Story is a home-turned-restaurant that we had heard about before but never visited, and unfortunately we still have yet to visit. The place is one of a few local farm-to-table eateries. Karin and Northern Thai foodies would love this place according to some Thai insiders.

Each little alleyway and small soi had a plethora of restaurants and gardens, and each was in no short supply of little patio gardens. Little Thai-combo restaurants popped out of the greenery between each little street, and I wouldn't be able to eat and sit at them all if I had twice as much time in Chiang Mai.