CityGuide: Nong Hoi
Resident Expert: Josh Morris, 38
Occupation: Rock climber, caver and owner of Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures
What are the defining characteristics of your neighbourhood?
Nong Hoi is an old and traditional area of the city. It is where the ancient temple complex of Wiang Kum Kam is located and has many characteristics of a typical quaint traditional Thai neighbourhood. There is no shortage of fun little pathways to follow along with weekly markets, temple complexes and lots of really good food.
Who lives here?
Mostly Thais but there are a few foreigners floating around.
Why did you choose to live in this neighbourhood?
We used to live in Nimmanhaemin and it just has become insanely crowded and noisy in the past few years. Nong Hoi is a serene paradise. We were looking for an accessible place with some space for my daughter and dog to play.
What do you like least about it?
It’s a bit buggy. Nong actually means swamp in Thai and the bog in the empty lot behind our house is a great breeding ground for the blood suckers!
Best everyday restaurant:
There are so many to choose from. I can eat at a different restaurant for breakfast and lunch everyday and go for weeks without repeating. If I had to choose, I really love Som Tam Korat, located opposite Wat Phan Lao. They have all the classics including som tam, laab, grilled chicken, etc. and it is outstanding (Tel. 086 198 1102).
Best special occasion restaurant:
Blah Pao Pak Sod is one of my favourites. They specialise in grilled salted fish and have a huge menu of other classic Thai dishes
(Tel. 053 141 1277, www.facebook.com/Phaphopaksod).
Best cheap eat:
Malee Guay Teow Sukhothai is great and quick with lots of choices including noodles, pad thai and som tam. Its location in 89 Plaza makes it easy to access
(Tel. 053 334 321, www.facebook.com/maleenoodle.co.th).
There are loads of small little beer stalls all around the neighbourhood. After a hot day, sitting with some of my neighbours and enjoying a Leo is perfect.
Best night out:
The neighbourhood goes to bed pretty early, especially me. I tend to follow my 18-month-old daughter to bed before the night gets going so I haven’t had a chance to experience the true nightlife. Sorry to bore!
Best daytime activity:
Running or biking in Wiang Kum Kam is outstanding. It feels like an older, more traditional Thailand. My daughter rides my bike with me and we explore and climb around in the temples. It’s our Lara Croft time!
Best place to shop:
I’m not much of a shopper, but access to all the major malls is pretty easy and 89 Plaza has pretty much everything I need including a great Royal Project shop, groceries, pharmacies and other necessities.
Wiang Kum Kam, the recently restored settlement along the Ping River.
Arabica cookies at the Royal Project shop.
The weekly market at Wat Chedi Liem is only on Fridays and its location at one of the most beautiful temples in the neighbourhood completes the experience.
We love living here. It’s a great mix of being close to the city and in the middle of things but also feeling a bit outside. It’s quiet and family-oriented and noticeably cooler as there is much better vegetation than in the city. Unfortunately, I can’t share all my favourite places so I encourage you to get out and explore and discover your own favourite place!