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Chiang Dao

Eat and meet

Chiang Dao

As a small, quiet town in the Thai countryside, Chiang Dao does not boast an overwhelming number of options when it comes to dining and drinking. It does however boast many guesthouses and resorts, and nearly all of them have restaurants, or serve basic food at the very least. As such, your best bet for a hot meal, especially in the evening hours, will likely be the same place you are staying.

Of these choices, Chiang Dao Nest is certainly the most reputable, and boasts an exciting array of classy high-end European-influenced dishes – as well as high-end European-influenced prices.

Next door, Malee Nature Lover's Guesthouse serves up excellent Thai food at much more reasonable prices; we highly recommend their gaeng hua plee, a northern-style banana flower curry.

For those craving some Western eats that won't break the budget, Mon and Kurt's Guesthouse and Restaurant has several Euro favourites on the menu.

If you're tired of the food on offer at your guesthouse and have your own means of transport, there are certainly several options available around town, though many are not all that English-speaking friendly, and often close quite early. But those eating during normal Chiang Dao business hours (9:00-20:00) will not go hungry.

Along the main road about 200 metres north of the bus station, Chiang Dao Coffee &Bakery (09:00-17:00) has excellent and rather inexpensive fresh coffee and tea. They also serve food, but only two dishes: Thai standbys pad see iew and rad na.

On Soi 25 - the road that leads out of town to Chiang Dao Cave - and just west of the highway lies Ta-Ke Japanese Restaurant, (10:00-20:00, closed Tuesday) whose menu is quite authentic, albeit slightly pricey.

Further out toward the cave, a small riverside Thai joint called Rim Nam seems to be a real favourite with the locals, and offers respite from the midday heat. Set next to a crudely dammed-up stream, merrymakers can come to enjoy some grilled chicken or pork, along with papaya salad and other Thai dishes, and go for a dip in the water in between bites. The proprietors may be a bit taken aback by business from foreigners, but a little body language will go a long way in getting what you want.

If you've left dinner a bit late and are struggling to find any good options, there is at least one restaurant that claims to be open until 22:00; on the highway, north of the intersection with Soi 25, Mokloung offers food, coffee, beer and WiFi to boot.

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