(Early July?) We last minutely decided to skip going to Laos and just head to Koh Chang early. We went with the French girls from Mae Salong to Chiang Mai. Let’s just say the rides there were terrible. The taxi driver from Mae Salong to the bus station in Fang made at least half a dozen stops, one of which lasted for almost an hour. A bunch of locals and their bags of fresh vegetables, half of which were bright red chili peppers, piled into the back with us. They thought it was safe for their little girl to hang off of the back of the truck.
Anyway we eventually and finally made it to the Fang bus station where there was a large market (what else is new in Thailand!). We caught a local bus to Chiang Mai. We stopped twice and military men came on to check out passports. One man a few seats up got searched twice. I wonder where his passport is from.
It should have taken only 3 hours to get to our destination but it took about 7. We took a two-benched taxi to the Little Bird Guest House. We took a creepy dark alley to the surprisingly colorful and cheerful guesthouse. We took the all-female dorm which ended up being four beds for two of us which is always nice.
We strolled down the Chiang Mai streets looking for some cheap, quick eats to fill our fasting bellies. We saw a decent looking street noodle shop, ordered two phad thais, and sat next to a table with an American expat eating fried rice. He warned us that the food will take a long time to cook. One chef, a dozen hungry people. Do the math. He recommended a high quality, inexpensive vegetarian restaurant around the corner. We canceled our order, thanked the expat, and walked off.
May Kaidee’s is a vegetarian restaurant/cooking school. Everything on the menu looked DELICIOUS. I ordered what I was craving – vegetable soup. It was the best damn vegetable soup I have ever tasted. It was not full of mushy carrots and peas as in the states. The broth was a perfect blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. The vegetables could not have been fresher. I can’t even describe how delicious the meal was. We also ordered some fresh spring rolls. Please check out the menu (FYI, most meals were 60 Baht = 2 USD). We ended up returning there three more times. The second time we ordered what Chiang Mai is famous for – Khao Soi, a Burmese influenced curry dish with coconut milk, fresh vegetables, crunchy fried noodles sprinkled on top. Now I am not a huge curry fan, but May Kaidee’s vegetarian Khao Soi curry was without a doubt the best meal I had in Thailand. The smooth yet crunch texture, the nose-cleansing smells, the explosion of fresh flavors….. excuse me while I dream of this dish in my mouth right now.
Our last meal at May Kaidee’s was breakfast. We actually walked to this other far place we discovered the day prior. We went for a dragon fruit smoothie and sat in this little outdoor room with vines surrounding us. A tomato mozzarella sandwich caught Beca’s eye so we made it a point to revisit just for that sandwich. The following morning, we returned just to be disappointed by the “closed” sign even though the time was well past its posted opening time (totally not uncommon in Thailand). Frustrated and hungry, we just decided to go to May Kaidee’s. What a grand decision. We shared a DELICIOUS sandwich and I got a fresh banana smoothie. I’ve had my fair of smoothies in Thailand (let’s say I replaced my coffee addiction with smoothies). I don’t know what May Kaidee’s does to their food but it is just stellar.
Next time I go back to Chiang Mai (I will) I will take May Kaidee’s cooking class. I know exactly where it is on the Chiang Mai city map.