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Featured Image: Cowboy Hat Lady, Chang Phuak Market
Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 8 May 2023
Articles in the series on food and restaurants in Chiang Mai are: 1 Akha Tribal Food, 2 Pho Vieng Chane, 3 Khao Soy, 4 French & Italian Restaurants, 5 Airport Plaza, 6 Update 2017, 7 Update 2023, 8 Street Food. Another article is about What Travel Costs in Chiang Mai, part of another memorable series.
Food in Chiang Mai 8: Street Food
- Food Tours
- A Short History of Thai and Northern Thai Food
- Typical Chiang Mai Street Food
- 13 Terrific Places to Go for Authentic Chiang Mai Street Food
- Further Sources of Information
1 Preamble on Food Tours
This article the eighth on food in Chiang Mai is also a companion article to Street Food in Bangkok (my next article).
When we arrived in Bangkok in January 2023, we took a Chef’s Tour hosted by Nutth lasting four hours. This was a terrific and well-organised tour around Chinatown lasting around four hours.
I’d done some research on food tours in Bangkok before leaving Australia and there appeared to be quite a number. There were also plenty of blog articles recommending street food and cheap restaurants, indeed all types of restaurants some of which were excellent. This is a big change on only a few years ago.
We’d previously done a food tour in Bangkok on a visit for my nephew’s wedding in 2017 in the old European quarter of Bang Rak, which was also terrific.
However, although there seemed to be plenty of tours, closer investigation showed that the number of tours that focussed on better and more inventive food were actually limited. This may change as Thailand really comes out of Covid tourism. Our ad hoc estimate down south was that in January/ February 2023 numbers were around 40% of pre-covid levels.
Many popular tours that didn’t appeal to us seemed to be targeted at first time or relatively new visitors to Thailand. I’m not knocking these, as they are probably excellent, but we were looking at something more in-depth. A Chef’s Tour seemed to fill our bill and they made a clever marketing statement that they wouldn’t take us to a pad Thai venue. This isn’t to say there is anything wrong with pad Thai but a more discriminating palate wants something a bit more special.