The Swan is a pleasant little place, decorated with local art – all for sale – with a courtyard replete with pond and fountain, and an upstairs area that looks over the city moat. Many Burmese dishes – cooked both in the traditional and the ‘tribal’ way – are on offer including favourites such as tea leaf salad and Burmese curries. You must try their delicious meat balls mixed with vegetables. Vegetarians can try their ‘han lay’ curry with tofu instead of pork. They sell all sorts of drinks including fresh coffee, Burmese tea, smoothies and alcoholic drinks. End the lip smacking meal with an ice-cream which they make fresh every day. The Swan, one of the rare Burmese restaurants in the city, is already popular and has become a trendy place to hang out at night as well as to eat by day. They have wi-fi and some chilled areas where you can relax. Prices are eminently reasonable.
Open 10 a.m. – late (restaurant closes at 11 p.m.)
48 Chaiyaphum Road (next to El Diabalo’s)
Tel: 087 3817935, 081 099 2777
Crossroads Asia, purveyors of ethnic furniture and objects d’art, is a must visit for anyone with a taste for the exotic and the unique. An exciting new addition to their masses of godowns filled with jaw-dropping treasures is the creation of their new gallery. Naive and contemporary art from North and North East Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Europe vie for attention along a brightly coloured gallery. This ever-evolving space features some rare talent, as well as exciting and well established artists from all over the world, with paintings on sale for very affordable prices – starting from low single-digit thousands. Paintings come with certificate of authentication and cover a wide genre and medium, most of which have two things in common – they come from far far away, and none of your friends will have anything like it on their walls!
Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
214/7 Hang Dong Road, Baan Wan
Tel: 053 434 650 Tel/Fax: 053 434 658
At Pensuk Healthy home, it’s easy to combine a healthy lifestyle with eating well in cosy surroundings. Everything on the menu is made with both healthiness and deliciousness in mind. They use fresh meat and vegetables that aren’t filled with toxic chemicals. All ingredients contain less sodium and 40 percent less sugar than the average. Even though all meals here are low in fat and sodium and rich in fibre, the food tastes great and fresh. Pensuk Healthy Home is a place both for those already concerned with eating healthy and those who would like to begin a healthier lifestyle.
Open daily 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Located on Maneenopparat Road, before Lotus Express (Chang Phuek Market)
Tel: 053 404 304 or 086 431 7372
A good sign for Chiang Mai, is when some serious hitters decide to open shop here, and we are glad to report that the Four Seasons Resort & Spa are opening their petite shopping village in mid-October. Jim Thompson, for the first time in the north, has already opened its doors selling Thai silks, clothing, accessories, and more. Private Collection, selling handcrafted clothing homeware items and antiques from all over Asia is also already open, and by mid-October, Lotus Art de Vive will be selling their lifestyle and luxury jewellery and crafts, Paul Ropp will bring their fashionable shoes, bags, scarves and accessories for men, women and children to Chiang Mai and the hotel’s very own The Boutique will feature products from some of Chiang Mai’s favourite brands – Ginger, Nomad, Chananond, Manop Rachote – as well as serve coffee and cakes under their grand banyan tree. So, pop on down to check out Chiang Mai’s latest exclusive shopping village.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
502 Moo 1, Mae Rim-Samoeng
Tel: 053 298 181, Fax: 053-298 189
The first thing that catches your eye as you enter this brand new nail salon is the rainbow of nail polish in all shades lined up on white shelves to your right, along with the wide range of different acrylic nails. You will find anything from smiling puppies to diamonds, zebra stripes and colourful plastic ribbons on these faux nails. If you don’t fall for any of these spectacular patterns and glittery designs, you have the option to create your own unique style – at the Angel Nails salon, they will paint anything you desire, either directly on your own nails or on a set of faux nails. The salon opened recently on August 31 this year, offering more than just the usual manicure and pedicure treatments. They also have a full body and facial waxing menu to choose from, and spa treatments for your hands and feet. You easily forget about the time when you get comfortable in one of the soft black armchairs here for a treatment that is thorough, relaxing and enjoyable.
Open everyday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
61/1 Nimmanhaemin Road
An overflow of lusciously green exotic plants stands tall in the little yard, framing an azure pool and providing a relieving shade from the heat. “We put the natural forest in the middle of the city,” says the owner of Shewe Wana. Shewe means ‘life’, wana means ‘forest’, and when you are enjoying your lunch or breakfast in the little wooden restaurant situated right where the backyard jungle begins, you get more of a forest feeling than you do most other places in the city. The tables are elegantly made out of old sewing machines, that are all still somewhat intact. The food is presented stylishly, with water served in heavy ceramic cups that lean like the Tower of Pisa. The different kinds of jam on sale are all homemade with no sugar added. They also sell bread and cookies and loads of other treats, all with the telling taste of the ‘homemade’ hand.
Open 7 a.m., lunch is 12 – 4 p.m. and dinner 6 -10 p.m.
296, 298 Charoen Muang Road
Tel: 053 240 020