This is Thailand
It’s hot! Where can I find some good, non-artificial ice cream in Chiang Mai?
Natacha (intern): You can find many ice cream shops in Chiang Mai, probably due to the hot temperatures. The most famous (and pricey) would be Swensen’s at Airport Plaza or Cold Stone Creamery at Central Festival or even H?agen Dazs in the Night Bazaar. But delicious and relatively healthy ice cream can be found at Freshy Freeze (www.facebook.com/FreshyFreezeChiangmai) on the third floor of Central Festival, where you can add on a wide range of toppings from fresh fruits to Oreo pieces. Homemade ice cream can be found at Butter is Better on Chang Klan Road, but they only have a few flavours such as vanilla, caramel and chocolate. I Like Ice Cream on Suthep Road by CMU has ice cream starting 19 baht a scoop and all homemade (www.facebook.com/icecream.ilike), with a range of flavours, including cheese, if that’s your thing.
Where can I get a henna tattoo?
Nicolas (intern): Henna, also known as mehndi, is a temporary tattoo which is a great idea while you’re on holiday or if you’re not sure about imprinting your skin with something that will stay there forever. Henna can last from a week up to a month. The henna paste usually dries within 15 minutes but you must leave it on your skin for at least six hours. You should keep in mind though that not all colours can be applied with henna, which typically consists of shades of red, brown and near-black. And take extra caution with black henna because this paste contains chemicals that can cause allergic reactions such as rashes and other irritations of the skin. In Chiang Mai there are three tattoo parlours where you can get a henna tattoo: Naga Tattoo & Piercing Studio & Art Gallery (73/1-2 Loi Kroh Road, www.nagatattoo.com), Feeltattoo (Nimman haemin Soi 11, www.feeltattoo.com) and Power House Ink Tattoo Studio (70 Chai yaphum Road, www.powerhouseinkchiangmai.com).
What is going on with the tuk tuks these days? I sometimes see 20 tuk tuks in a row going around the moat…
Natacha: Yep, often nowadays you’ll see parades of tuk tuks full of people following one another around the moat. There’s a simple explanation: the tuk tuks are often just taking a tour group around. Guides can arrange to take everyone at the same time which apparently creates a special experience for the tourists who have not had a chance to ride a tuk tuk before since they might have been travelling in big tour buses. Although they may seem more like a parade of smog, especially if you’ve gotten caught up in one on a motorbike…
Where can I avoid the smog and go trail running in the area?
Natacha: There are quite a few trails to go running in nature, which is a nice way to exercise without all the car emissions (which you probably know by now are way more terrible in the heat!). Huay Tung Tao Reservoir is well-known by locals and is approximately 4.5 km long for a run (or bike), on mostly flat land. Doi Suthep trail road is very steep and dirt road all the way, recommended for advanced trail runners only. Ob Khan National Park has a nature trail which you can follow; it’s not too steep but mostly uphill. And lastly, Mae Hia Agricultural and Research Centre, which is a part of Chiang Mai University but located off Canal Road just south of the city, offers both paved and dirt roads where you can run some nice distances. The CMU main campus off Huay Kaew Road is a good spot also if you want to stay within the city.