Hidden in downtown Chiang Mai near the bustling Tha Pae Gate awaits a serene hideaway hotel -De Naga. If you’re not staying the night you can still take advantage of two great hotel assets; Kopi-o, a high-quality yet affordable gourmet bakery, and Naga Restaurant, serving luxurious Thai classics. Kopi-o offers deli-style sandwiches and tempting French fancies; breads, macaroons, scones and more. Naga Restaurant is a good place to wine and dine guests. Signature dishes include roast duck and pomelo salad with sticky coffee sauce and chocolate fondant with coconut ice-cream in a caramel dish with mango and passion fruit salsa. Care and quality oozes from the ingredients used to the chefs’ preparation techniques and presentation. Prices won’t break the bank at either establishment. There is ample parking underneath the hotel.
Open Daily 8.30. a.m. – 8.30 p.m. (Kopi-o Gourmet Bakery)
Open Daily 6.30 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Naga Restaurant)
Soi 2 Moon Muang Road
053 209 030
Scribe Books is a spanking new second hand book shop offering an impressive and extensive range of English language books spread out over two floors. There are also a few books in French and German. Academic books include art, philosophy, classics, mythology, religion, history, cookery, etc. As for fiction, there are many famous titles ranging from girly reads, children’s stories and an impressive array of alphabetically arranged contemporary fiction _ boasting over 14,000 books at extremely competitive prices. The friendly owners Nai and Richard are happy to chat, help you find what you want, offer advice on good reads and let you sit around reading in the air conditioned room upstairs.
Open Daily 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Just 20 metres down the Wing 41 Road off Suthep Road.
089 264 2206, 090 893 3580
Truly appropriate in being on this page, the buzz around town about this hidden little coffee shop, restaurant and wine bar is deafening! An adorable little house with cosy and cute nooks and crannies and a lovely garden with outdoors seating, Ka-Fe-Vi-No’s owner recently returned from New York to introduce San Sai to fine wines and great food at really lovely prices. They have a very generous wine buffet (details change according to promotions, so best to check up first) and the charming waiters are super attentive in making sure that your glass is merrily full at all times!
Cakes, cookies, coffees by day: steaks, snacks, and wines by night. Those of you living in the San Sai area can take advantage of having this excellent venue nearby and those living in the city should definitely schlep to the ‘burbs for a night out at Ka-Fe-Vi-No.
Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Closed on Mondays
38 T. Nong Jom, A. San Sai
084 595 5777
Pai, as we are sure you have now discovered if you have read the previous pages, has something to offer all tastes and pockets. If you are looking for an inexpensive – let’s just call it what it is…cheap! – place to spend the night, then look no further. Bunny Pai sits on a vast five rai of land with sweeping views in most directions. It is only a couple of minutes’ drive from the heart of Pai and its individual bungalows are simple, clean, and come with free wifi, television and fans. In the evenings you can build a camp fire and sit around singing songs or gazing at the stars. If you like life even simpler, bring your own tent, or rent one of theirs and simply pitch it anywhere on the grounds. The staff is super friendly and while this gem of a resort may not have all the bells and whistles, the prices are worth a whistle over.
114 Moo 11, Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son Road, Tungyao, Pai
089 515 1055, 083 760 3150
A group of friends who love wine have joined up to open this cute and casual little wine bar – another addition to Nimmanhaemin’s trendy wine scene. Prices are eminently reasonable, ranging between a sensible 500 plus baht to under 2000. The highlight of this modest bar is its large courtyard, where, we predict, lovers of the nectar will be swirling their glasses in the cold months to come. Next door to Y Lover, is 8 Inche Pizza, so if you have had a few too many glasses, you can soak it all up with some intriguing creations such as the vodka seafood pizza! Y Lover is unpretentious, inexpensive and has both indoor and outdoor seating.
Open Daily 5 p.m. – midnight
Sois 11 & 13 Nimmanhaemin Road
084 484 9142
Hollanda Montri Guesthouse is a family run guesthouse where you will be made to feel at home with the friendly English, Thai and Dutch speaking staff, cosy decor and laid back atmosphere. The accommodation has a pretty view over the River Ping to the market and shops on the opposite side. The rooms are quite spacious and are all en-suite, with hot and cold water and TVs with sky channels. The guesthouse is close to some night spots, as well as galleries, antique shops, coffee shops and tea rooms. There is also a decent restaurant serving Thai and western food. Room rates are inexpensive, starting at 450 baht.
Hollanda Montri Guesthouse
365 Charoenrat Road
053 242 450, 086 179 6641