Hi everyone! I am back this week with another travel post and I am so excited to share with you my experience traveling and eating through the beautiful city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The past few weeks have been hectic at school and this trip couldn’t have come at a perfect time. This has by far been one of the most relaxing trips of my life filled with food, drink, waterfalls, Tuk Tuk’s, and elephants. I had no idea that the food scene in Chiang Mai was so vegan friendly, which made me incredibly happy. In Chiang Mai I ate some of the best food I’ve had since coming to Asia…Maybe some of the best food I’ve had in my life. As much as I love Asian food, I missed diversity in my diet, and so in this post you’ll see that the food I ate reflected this. Quick warning right now, if you’re hungry grab a snack because this post has a tendency to make people drool…I had a hard time writing this without my stomach growling. With that said, let’s dive in!
The name says it all, walking into Vegan Heaven I could hear the vegan angels sing. After a night of one too many vodka shots and Chang beers, I was in need of a fully loaded vegan breakfast to cure my hangover. Vegan Heaven was conveniently located near my hotel (about a 5 minute walk) and it offers a variety of dishes ranging from traditional Thai cuisine to a Western all day breakfast. My breakfast platter consisted of a “sausage”, two slices of toast, hashbrowns, tofu scramble, baked beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and greens. This is hands down one of the best breakfasts I ever had. The tofu scramble had the right amount of moisture and with the addition of ketchup, it was everything I wanted. The hashbrowns were the real star, fried to perfection, with a fluffy centre. A thing to note about Thailand is food is fairly cheap, I paid just over 100 Baht, which is around $5 Canadian! I also got the green juice to give me an extra boost of vitamins, but it was way to vegetable-y tasting for me. But I forgot all about that after I tried their vegan brownie. I haven’t had brownies in months before coming here, and it was well worth the wait. The desserts at Vegan Heaven looked all so good, but if you’re stuck on what to get, the brownie is a good way to go. I loved the place so much that I came back the day after for the bacon sandwich with vegan cheese…Seriously I can not say enough good things about the place. If you go to Chiang Mai, make this your first stop!
What would your trip to Thailand be without getting a plate of pad thai? You can find pad thai almost anywhere in Chaing Mai and it’s fairly easy to have it prepared vegan. On this day particularly I went to the Ploen Ruedee Night Market, an international market. I don’t remember the name of the place I went to for this pad thai specifically but there’s only a few places that do traditional Thai food here, so your search for pad thai won’t be hard. What’s great about pad thai is that every place you go to it’s going to taste slightly different. Sometimes I find pad thai to be quite heavy and oily, but this one was surprisingly light! The broccoli was still crisp and the sauce was light. It wasn’t my favourite pad thai, but it was still a nice and healthy choice especially after eating all the greasy food in my university’s canteen. If you’re in need of western food (like I was) this is a great market to hit up as well. I got vegan burritos here that were delicious! The ambience of the market is beautiful, with fairy lights showering the place and a variety of food stalls/trucks. Some nights have live music and the Night Bazaar is located only a couple minutes away.
When there are vegan versions of traditional dishes, you bet I am taking advantage of it. Cafe de Siam is a gorgeous little cafe that was only a minute walk from my hotel. They serve a variety of cuisine ranging from Western, Thai, Italian, and more. This is the perfect spot to go to if you’re looking satisfy both omnivores and vegans. After a day of feeding the elephants of the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, I was in need of something hearty and comforting. I’ve been eager to try Tom Yum soup since coming to Asia, but it’s been hard to find a vegan option. The moment I saw that they offered a vegetarian version of the traditional Thai dish, I was ready to order. This soup had all the flavours you wanted in a Tom Yum soup, there was a balance between both sour, spicy, and salty. There was fresh ginger sliced within this bowl of goodness, kafir lime leaves, and plenty of lime juice. I loved the variety of fresh vegetables, which made each bite unique.
On our last full day in Chiang Mai, my friends and I wanted to have a relaxed morning filled with good food. I had read some reviews on a place called Cat House, which was a short 10 minute tuk tuk ride away. Cat House is a great spot for breakfast or lunch (in our case brunch) consisting a menu that has Mediterranean, Mexcian and Indian cuisine. The menu is small but has everything that you would want for brunch, and dishes that are vegan or that can be made vegan are easily identified with a “V”. From my memory I believe everything was vegetarian, so all you vegans should have an easy time finding something to eat! I ordered the pesto wrap, a banana peanut butter smoothie, and I couldn’t resist ordering some hummus and pita to share. There was silence at the brunch table, the food was to die for. My wrap was packed with fresh veggies and creamy pesto sauce. I loved the picked radishes and the grilled onions together, and washing it all down with my smoothie was perfection. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the Canadian flags in the food? I think the vegan gods were looking down on us that day.
What a way to end my trip by having one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Salsa Kitchen is the place you want to go to if you’re in need on some American Mexican food…Which let’s be honest, I always am down for Mexican. The menu has everything from quesadillas, chips and guac, taquitos, burritos, and more! Almost everything here can easily be made vegan, I just told my server and she simply opted out on the sour and cheese in my food. I wanted to eat everything on the menu but I had to make a tough decision: veggie chorizo tacos or chimichangas? In the end of the long and hard battle I went for the chimichangas and split a salsa and chips with my pal Kenzie. If you’re in Thailand, or anywhere in Asia really, you need to try Chang beer. Served ice cold and with Mexican food, I guarantee you’ll love it. I was surprised to see the generous portions, I’m used to slightly smaller portions since I’ve arrived in Asia, but I paid just over 300 Baht for salsa and chips, a generous portion of 3 chimichangas, and a beer! The food was incredible, if you ask my friends they’ll tell you that I shed a tear, which I did. I felt so full and happy by the end of the meal, it was perfect.
My overall rating for Chiang Mai? 10/10, basically get your ass on a plane and go. Besides the food, the people and city are a reason to go. I got to play in the mud with elephants, climb a waterfall, and spend some quality time with my friends. If you have the chance to visit Thailand, put Chiang Mai on your list of places to see. I hope you enjoyed this post and tune in in a couple of weeks for more! As always, follow me on my social media, links are listed in the sidebar. There is no new video this week since my parents are actually visiting me in Singapore right now, but I assure you I will be vlogging all of it! Talk soon!