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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Where can I find kombucha in Chiang Mai?
Lindsey (intern): Kombucha, a fermented tea drink made from “symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY), is praised by many for its healing and health benefits. Said to be a powerful detoxifier, a great probiotic, strengthening to the immune system and even potentially cancer-killing, there are many reasons to drink nutrient-packed kombucha. You can find it at many shops and restaurants around Chiang Mai, including Monsoon Tea, Dada Kafe, Blue Diamond, Food4Thought and Hungry Vegie café. The last two are supplied by a new local kombucha-making company called Cha Mama (www.facebook.com/ ChaMamaThailand), which is said to make some of the best completely organic kombucha around and even includes special regional flavourings like lemongrass and roselle. Another option is to try your hand at brewing the drink yourself, a process that takes a couple weeks to a couple months depending on your recipe and method. If you are interested in doing so, Baan Suan Pak, a health food shop close to the President Hotel, offers starter kits upon special request. They also sell their own homemade kombucha along with other healthy products like raw fermented kimchee, noni fermented drink and wheatgrass.
Are there any places with open mic nights, slams or jams in Chiang Mai?
Lindsey: There are plenty! Sangdee Gallery and Café on Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 hosts Open Mic Nights every Thursday, Karaoke Night on Tuesday and “Writers Who Read” Nights every Monday (www.facebook.com/sangdeegallery). Another spot to check out is the Tea Tree Café on Moon Muang Soi 6, which hosts regular jams (www.facebook.com/theteatreechiangmai). The Living Place, near Tha Pae Gate, is another great place to meet friends and share your talents (www.facebook.com/The LivingPlaceChiangMai).
I’m wondering, are there any treatment programmes here for someone with a gambling problem?
Lindsey: The most acclaimed treatment centre in Chiang Mai is The Cabin, which has very high completion and recovery rates. The Office of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation even enlists training help from this centre when trying to increase the skill of Thai medical professionals for drug or alcohol addiction treatment. Managed by western trained and qualified clinicians, The Cabin treats substance addictions (i.e. drugs and alcohol) as well as process addictions like that of gambling, eating, or sex. Dual diagnosis is also welcomed to treatment, should one suffer from co-occurring addictions. Unlike 12-step type programmes, The Cabin’s approach is more tailored to an Asian cultural context with respect shown to religious, cultural and societal understandings. Should you wish to contact them, visit www.thecabinchiangmai.com, email [email protected] or call 080 446 8850. Warning: not cheap! For more resources, you can also check out the Bangkok-based Information Centre for Gambling Control Policy at icgp.thaissf.org.
Help! I found a sick baby squirrel. Is there a wildlife rehabilitation shelter in Chiang Mai?
May (editorial assistant): The Development of Wildlife Conservation Department Office, Doi Suthep could take care of it for you. They raise wildlife for educational and research purposes and they are also open for visitors. Call them at 053 277 402. For dogs and cats, try Santisook Dog and Cat Rescue (www.santisookdogsandcats.org, 085 035 5523) or Care for Dogs (www.carefordogs.org, 084 752 5255).
I’m looking for some of my favourite western clothing brands (and sizes). Where can I find these in Chiang Mai?
Pooja (intern): There are a number of export shops around the city, which basically sell exported rejects of well-known American and European brands for men and women at throwaway prices. Warehouse is a famous export shop located at Central Airport Plaza. Der Export is another such store which is mostly located at all the Big C’s. 71 Export is located on Huay Kaew Road just a few minutes up the street from the Kad Suan Kaew shopping centre. Of course, many of the new malls in town, such as Central Festival and Maya, offer a number of western clothing stores, including H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer.