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This is Thailand

 

For those of you with questions regarding Thailand, Thai culture, history, tourism, laws, rules, food, nightlife, subculture, dating, or generally anything as long as it is relevant, we have a panel of experts ready to respond to your enquiries.

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I think I got attacked by bed bugs at my guesthouse! What should I do?

Garance (intern): If you wake up itchy and covered in red spots (and have already had chicken pox), then yes, it is probably bed bugs! These little parasitic bastards are

human blood lovers, and unfortunately, quite common in Southeast Asia. You may find them under your mattress and near your bed, but never during the day because they hate any kind of light. If you discover them in your guesthouse, inform the staff immediately and ask for another room – or leave. But don’t expect to be reimbursed – the owners might even try to accuse you of carrying the critters into their establishment! Anyway, if your bites are small you can put Tiger Balm on them to stop the itching right away. If they are big, go immediately to the nearest pharmacy and ask for antihistamines, because this could be a sign of an allergic reaction. My best

advice? When you arrive at your guesthouse for the first time, check the bed before paying for the room. Look under the sheets and between the mattress seams. You

won’t be able to see the actual bugs, but if you notice the tiny black faecal spots they leave behind (delightful!), this is a good sign that the bed–or even the room–is

infested, and that you should run away as fast as you can.

Is it possible to eat real Swiss fondue in Chiang Mai?

 

Garance: Yes it is! (I was happy to discover this, since I am Swiss!) Swiss fondue is delicious and comes in several different types. However, the most famous (and

tastiest, in my opinion) is called “moitié-moitié” and is made with two different kinds of melted cheeses (Vacherin and Gruyère), white wine, garlic and kirsh fruit brandy. It’s all stirred up into a nice hot liquid, into which you can dip big pieces of bread with a long-stemmed fork. Interested? Check out Le Chalet Suisse next to Chang Phuak Gate, which is probably the best place in town to for authentic Swiss fondue. They also offer other Swiss specialities here, like rösti, cervela salad, raclette and so much more. Le Chalet Suisse is open daily (except Mondays) from 6 p.m. to midnight. For more info, visit www.lechaletsuisse.blogspot.com. 

My laptop broke! Where in Chiang Mai can I get it fixed?

 

Garance: Fear not, as nearly every shopping centre in the city offers repair services for electronics. Check out Chi Chang, which has two locations, one on Chiang Mai-Land Road and another at Promenada Resort Mall, or Computer City, located on the

northwest corner of the moat on Manee Nopparat Road. However, if your laptop is an Apple product, it would probably be wiser to go to a specialised Mac store. Try iBeat on the ground floor of the Kad Suan Kaew Mall or iStudio at Central Airport Plaza, on the 3rd floor (both are also authorised Apple dealers).

Where in the city can I find healthy, sugar-free green juices?

 

Garance: Fresh juices and smoothies are everywhere you look in Chiang Mai, especially in the old city. But, if you want truly healthy green juices you must dig a little

deeper. One great option is Dada Kafe (20/1 Ratchamanka Road), where you can eat and drink healthy ‘til your heart’s content. They have a huge selection of vegetable and?fruit juices to which you can add spirulina powder, bee pollen, wheatgrass and more. They are served in big glasses without ice and sugar (pretty rare in Thailand, I know) and you can ask for soya milk instead of real milk for shakes and lassies if you so desire. Don’t miss the delicious mango-avocado-spirulina-wheatgrass juice for 180 baht. Just across the street you will find Juicy 4U (5 Ratchamanka Road), which offers similar options to Dada, but in a smaller space. Khun Kae’s Juice Bar (Moon Muang Road, Soi 7) is also a good place to try, with wheatgrass shots for 40 baht, or other kinds of vegetable and fruit juices for just 20 baht, and everything sugar and MSG free. If you’re interested in the production of spirulina, you can also visit the Boonsom family’s spirulina farm in San Pa Tong District, about 40 minutes from Chiang Mai (www.boonsomfarm.com). Here you can buy all kinds of homemade spirulina products, from spirulina capsules to soap to massage oil.