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Featured Image: The 46th Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2023, Parade Float
Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 8 March 2023
2023 Food in Chiang Mai Update
Tourism, Marijuana and Food
Certainly, it is time for an update on Chiang Mai. I was last there in 2018 — other travel then Covid-19 got in the way. In 2023 we spent two weeks in Chiang Mai in January/February. Three highlights of this visit were:
- Birding. In many previous trips to Thailand we’d never involved ourselves in discovering Thailand’s amazing bird species;
- We’d met Ron Simpson and Panya (Toy) Suwan previously through our Akha friends Phennapha and Phing Phing but we’d never been in Chiang Mai for their annual antique textiles (mainly Chinese and tribal) exhibition. In 2023 we were actually present for their Dragon and Phoenix Exhibition near Wat Ket and bought some Hmong (Miao) cloth and two bracelets.
- We also attended the 46th annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2023 and parade from 3-5 February for the first time, which was fascinating. The parade begins at 8 am Saturday from the railway station, crosses Narawat bridge and proceeds up to and circuits the old city to the park. The floats, flower displays and stalls then remain at Nong Buak Haad Park until the festival ends on Sunday.
Times were tough for Chiang Mai and all Thailand because of Covid and because of the reliance of the Thai economy on tourism. Many shops, tourist venues and restaurants closed temporarily or permanently. Australian visas on arrival in Thailand are normally 30 days. From October 2022 to March 2023 a token by the government has extended them to 45 days. It gave us a few extra days on a month.
The Thais say that things began to improve from July 2022 and were good now. I doubt that as on the beaches of the west coast, Krabi and Ko Lanta, numbers were well down on normal. Similarly, in Chiang Mai. And, although parts of Bangkok appeared crowded — Chinatown after 6pm, Soi 4 Nana and a few other places at specific times, elsewhere wasn’t. The malls seemed relatively devoid of foreigners. Continue reading “Food in Chiang Mai 7: 2023 Update”