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Life in Chiang Mai  

 

My life in Chiang Mai is a full one!

By Martin-Venzky Stalling
I am more of a night worker, but I love the morning air of Chiang Mai. Since our children’s international school in Saraphee is small, there is no school bus and it is often my turn in the morning to send them there. Often, I go back home to put an a couple of hours work when I am still fresh, or – if disciplined enough – do some exercise on the home trainer.

I have a nice office with very nice colleagues at the Technology Development Center for Industry (TDCI) at Chiang Mai University, which is also the secretariat for the Chiang Mai Creative City initiative. However, I really like working in one of Chiang Mai great cafés. The Royal Project Shop at the Faculty of Agriculture is really nice (and was one of the 20 recipients of the Chiang Mai Design Award), or Wawee Punna, or Doi Tung, or or… (so many). There are many more like Cofesta, Chan 1, and Ristretto, but I prefer a bit larger and air-conditioned, particularly when I also work. If I am really lazy, I can also stay at the office and get my staff call the coffee shop at the faculty, for 5-10 Baht extra, it is office delivery – great service. In fact, or almost don’t have to leave the office, they bring me everything if asked.

My favorite lunch places are noodle places like the one on Soi 1 (Tamlueng), or Soi 17 (Khun Mor). But Salad Konzept, Pasta Café, Annie’s Su Casa, and Marisa’s Compassion Café are also popular choices for me. (Editor’s note: Compassion Café is now closed). On the weekend our family also loves Gai Wichien with Som Tum and sticky rice for lunch.

My day often consists of various meetings at CMU, FTI, various hotels. If they don’t go on for too long, I try to head back home before its dark and go swimming, our village has one of the best pools in Chiang Mai (and salt water!) and that is why we moved there. I am not going as much as some people seem to think, but I keep a close eye on new food places. In our neighborhood, Cuisine de Garden is a very creative new comer. For a less informal atmosphere, Win’s BarFry & Jagajee plus Sara’s adjacent House of Wine are great.

Since my wife opened an art learning center (Meedee Depot) for (mainly) children a few houses down from Sangdee Gallery, at least part weekend tends to be with busy activities related to Meedee. When we have more time, we enjoy going to local waterfalls, Mae Ngat Dam, Chiang Dao, or a brunch or late coffee in Mae Rim. We tend to avoid Chiang Mai’s shopping malls, we are not excited by them. It is also not what really excites us about Chiang Mai.

I think it is hard to define what makes Chiang Mai so special, but for me Chiang Mai is, apart from Bangkok, the only true city in Thailand. It has galleries, interest groups, great restaurants, cultural activities, and music venues. As a father crazy about his two sons, I do not make use of this as much I want, but the fact that Chiang Mai has all these charming places and great nature as its environment makes it so special. And the range of people here is really unique, I can have discussions about the latest technology trends with friends that run software companies, or I can discuss local crafts and arts with friends in that sector, food and packaging with people at the FTI, or tourism issues with yet another group of people. Every month I discover something new in Chiang Mai, this variety and the many somewhat hidden gems make this city such a great place to live in.

The Chiang Mai Mail is publishing a series of articles on residents’ experiences of life in Chiang Mai. If you would like to contribute please email [email protected]


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My life in Chiang Mai is a full one!