So, obviously we took a little break from the moat hopping. What can we say, things got busy, fast. This past weekeng Becca stayed the night with us and since she's been short on photos of downtown, we picked it back up, this time venturing to the east side of the moat and starting at Wat Phra Singh.

Wat Phra Singh was one of the first Buddhist temples that I visited when I moved here. I hadn't been back since, and this time there was more time to spare. Of all the temples I've seen, I would say this one has the best gardens and the most color around its grounds. We saw so much orange that our eyes hurt, and so much green that I felt like I was hiking.

After the temple tour, we headed down the main street and stopped at Akha Ama café for a pick me up and some A/C. I'd heard about this place as the best place to go in Chiang Mai for coffee, and of course, I didn't even order coffee. Becca's macchiato was good, but I had a peach tea. Either way, there's motivation to go again.

We wandered tither and thither, passing the Chiang Mai police station, seeing plenty of pretty homes and cool patterns. The moat is full of 'em. We checked out another wat, a few hipster stores and discovered a beautiful little guesthouse called Inn Oon Chiang Mai. I may be booking a room there soon. Absolutely adorable, affordable, and the owner loves to speak Thai with foreigners. Check!

We finally stopped for lunch at Jane's Kitchen, a healthy restaurant about a block in from the moat. Jane's was cute and fresh, the owner had switched summers with a friend and was covering her restaurant in NYC while her friend relaxingly ran her café in Chiang Mai. Talk about a set up. This place was simple. Becca ordered the Green Goddess juice and a panini, and I had the Funky Monkey smoothie (SO much peanut butter) and "The Special," a delicious plate of fresh vegetables and soft-boiled eggs. We then proceeded to haggle a songtaew driver down to 30 baht for a cross-town ride. All in all a pretty good hop, and it didn't rain until we were through!


Our second moat-hoppin' Saturday came with a bit of wizening due to what did and didn't work the week before. This time we were completely new to the block In the morning we prepared for the day by planning our route almost completely, which sois to take which way, what turns to make.

One of our favorite spots for the day was near a restaurant called Wrap & Roll. The cute place could only seat six guests and was closed when we walked by, but the little tribal shops around it were the main draw for us. It seemed that this area of town was a big hit with the hippie-type foreigners, little half-naked white kids with rat tails running around in tribal garb was proof.

We walked past Graph Table, a new bougie restaurant (that we tried later and fell in love with: amazing breakfast, delicious coffee and fabulous service), to get to a market near the main road. I wish this were more easily accessible to us considering the incredible selection of produce!

For a late lunch we ate at Da's Home Bakery, a small shop with a ton to offer. Katie ordered an avacado sandwich, myself the bruschetta. This place is obviously more than a bakery. It's sister restaurant, Blue Diamond Breakfast Club, sells organic beauty goods and other similar natural products.

We finished the day up by spending a couple of hours reading and chatting at The House at Ginger, a boutique café and set of shops that would put Anthropologie to shame. The café's seating was several different posh couches, and the menu boasted some really nice dishes like stirfried crab over organic rice. We ordered chai tea and botched up the making of it ourselves considering we'd never had it this way. They served my latte in a bowl (yes, a bowl) and we browsed the shops wistfully knowing our wallets couldn't take the hit.


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.