We're from the North, I don't know if it's like that all over the world, but the North is where you eat best: Portugal and Spain are two perfect examples. Do not you think?
And when we arrived in Chiang Mai, we were already going with part of the homework done, Bourdain had already been there and so many other chefs. So we started right away the first day having dinner at the lady with the hat... I don't know the name, neither I nor the hundreds of tourists who go there every day, it's the "lady in the hat" for everyone. With a cowboy hat, he makes pork knuckle with rice and a boiled egg. Weird? Yes, but a little Asian flavor and it was worth a 7 in our grades, and look how demanding we are.
But even though Chiang Mai is not only made of food, but also of temples. The next day was for a Thai soup, khao soy. We paid €2 for both, a kitchen almost inside a temple serves this soup with noodles and chicken. We became fans, so much so that we wanted to learn how to cook. So we schedule a course for the next day. It was fast and we cooked a lot of dishes so I don't know if we got anything on our minds but the food we cooked was great and we had a good dinner again: vegetarian crepes, papaya salad, pad Thai, Tom yum (great soup I've already mentioned here , which is like eating a garden), khao soy, rice crepes,... And we went to visit more temples.
There are for all types: white, silver, colored, full of people and without anyone. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the life in the temples and, curious, we learned that there is the possibility of talking with monks who respond to tourists about religion, Thai culture, among others. We were talking for over an hour...
And quickly came Christmas, our first Christmas away from home. On the 24th we spent it looking for marriages, they put us on the phone with people who spoke English to understand us, we talked to monks, we looked and nothing, but we still had a lot of fun. In the evening we decided to have a more European dinner and ate our favorite foods, there was no cod but Carbonara, Pizza, Tomato Soup, tiramisu, pana cotta, and even Port wine. We were already asleep when our family started dinner and it was 7 am, midnight in Portugal when Santa Claus visited us. It was our gift..
We researched a lot about the possibility of going to see elephants. We know that there are sanctuaries in Chiang Mai where it is possible to be with them and although you cannot ride an elephant, they are not well cared for and there is nothing like a sanctuary. The best thing we have taken from this trip has been this contact with nature, with animals. We couldn't bear and feed our money to a place that wasn't fair to them. And so we went to a spectacular place: an enclosure, with a mountain, a river, and 5 elephants, including a pregnant woman and a baby. We feed them, we can touch them, bathe them in the river. The smallest didn't want to bathe and started running running over some as they passed, it was a hilarious moment.
The one who was pregnant didn't rest until we gave her all the food, she was always coming to us with all that force, always asking for more. We can have lunch while watching them, they are always eating. Feeding a body that a green is dose. It was spectacular. Some of these elephants were treated badly before they arrived here, and the money we give is to buy them medicine, food,... and for the keepers, of course. But these even sing to them, there was love there. I don't know, but if I were an elephant I would want to live there in the middle of the forest. When you go, do it, research the place where you're going, read the comments, ask. It will be a unique experience, these "little ones" are used to humans since they were once elephants that walked tourists, they don't bother with them but they can be very scared about other things. We even saw an elephant running after the chickens that scared her and no one was hurt but it was beautiful.
*sorry for the lack of pictures of the food, but it's stronger than us: whenever the food arrives we start eating right away and we only remember the photo when we're halfway through. We definitely cannot be food bloggers, food always comes first. Work later.