Cyclemania Racing Team journey to Chiang Rai

As cycling tours of Thailand become more and more popular, many keen cyclists are returning to discover new routes and new challenges.

The Cyclemania Racing Team first discovered the beauty of Thailand when they competed in ‘The Great Mekong Bike Race’ in Nakhon Phanom and were so delighted with the country they returned recently to race in Chiang Rai. Here’s their account of the experience.  Continue reading “Cyclemania Racing Team journey to Chiang Rai”

B’n’Tree – new hotel booking website helps reforest Southern Thailand

Girl plants tree B'n'TreeChris Kaiser, former manager of award-winning eco resort and elephant sanctuary Elephant Hills, has invented a new way for travellers to help save the environment – simply by booking a room: B’n’Tree. The concept of B‘n’Tree (Bed and Tree) is as simple as it is powerful: Whenever you book a bed using one of their partner links on the B’n’Tree website, they plant a tree, for free. Continue reading “B’n’Tree – new hotel booking website helps reforest Southern Thailand”

Sai oua: Thailand’s answer to curried sausages

sai oua thailand curry sausages

Sai oua (or sai ua) is a spicy pork sausage famously hailing from the mountainous area of Chiang Mai. Some say its roots could stem back to Burma and Laos. However, the key point of this culinary attraction is that the sausage derives its flavour from the same base as a red curry paste. So how easy is it to make sai oua?

Although there are a few variations on the recipe, sai oua can be made using some of the basic ingredients featured in khao soi, a traditional curry soup also hailing from the area in Thailand’s north.

Khao soi soup

In a recent interview, executive chef at Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, Phubase Chuprakong explained to SBS it’s a good idea to make both khao soi and sai oua directly after each other to cut down on food waste and boost your kitchen efficiency. “The paste for sai oua is similar to khao soi paste because it has galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and turmeric,” Chuprakong says. “Then you make the paste and mix it with the meat or pork and make it into a sausage.”

To make the spicy sausage from scratch, use the dried chilli, fresh turmeric and shallots that are leftover from your khao soi paste. Add lemongrass, a few kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, soy sauce and sugar. Mix in your mince of choice – use pork if you want to stick to the authentic recipe. Fill the spicy meat mixture into a sausage casing and grill.

Read more about sai oua in the recent SBS Feature here.

Best Things to Do in Chiang Mai with kids

Chiang Mai is the provincial capital of Thailand’s north. It’s known for its rich cultural history and it’s one of the best places to visit in Thailand with family. What’s there to do in Chiang Mai with kids? We asked the professionals at Expedia.com.au to narrow it down for you.

Chiang Mai with kids Wat Phra Singh temple

Eat

 

Food stalls: Thai food includes kid-friendly options that may surprise you. Some favourites are sweet potato balls, cashew chicken, mango sticky rice, and roti (flatbread topped with condensed milk and bananas). The stalls near Chang Phuak Gate at the north edge of Old Town are a good starting point.

Chiang Mai with kids close up of food stall

Dash Teak House: This is a popular spot for Thai families and tourists alike. There are large tables, plenty of space outdoors for the kids to tire themselves out, and a big, diverse menu. What more could a family ask for?

iBerry Garden: Located northwest of the Old City in Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai’s trendiest area, this artsy ice cream shop offers cones, cakes, and great photo ops with its quirky art installations. Bonus: It has air conditioning.

Café de Thaan Aoan: You’ve had an exciting day exploring, and all you want is some cheap, tasty food and a nice blast of air conditioning. Enter this Old Town café, which has a huge menu and reasonable prices for the area.

Play

Old City temples: There are three temples in the Old City, located within walking distance of one another: Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Man, and Wat Phra Singh. Teens will love Monk Chats at Wat Chedi Luang, which is just what it sounds like—a chance to sit down and chat with a monk!

Chiang Mai with kids Wat Chedi Luana temple

Saturday Market: The markets of the Old City are a must-visit for all travellers, including families. However, the Sunday Market tends to be more crowded; try the Saturday Market instead if you’ve got little ones in tow.

Cooking school: It’s perfect—a unique family activity that will keep the kids occupied and introduce them to the cuisine of a different culture. Many cooking schools in Chiang Mai welcome kids of all ages, complete with a trip to the market for ingredients.

Art in Paradise: This is an art museum with a twist kids (and adults!) love—it’s filled with impressive 3D murals. From the jungle to ancient Egypt, you’ll look like you’re really there. Don’t forget your camera!

Stay

Old City: If you want to walk to everything, the Old City is the most central place to stay in Chiang Mai with kids. Hotels here tend to be boutique, but are ideal for smaller groups who like that personal touch.

Chiang Mai with kids walls of the Old City

Nimmanhaemin: This neighbourhood just northwest of the Old City is great for families. Maya Mall has a movie theatre, food court, playroom, and arcade. The area is also home to off-the-beaten-path, kid-friendly attractions like the Museum of World Insects.

Riverside: Got a large family? If you’re bringing along everyone from bub to grandma—or travelling with multiple families—consider a stay in one of the spacious resorts of the Riverside area.