Sunday Walking Street

Sunday Walking Street

Ratchadamnoen Rd
Chiang Mai

Sunday evenings around 5pm, Ratchadamnoen Road in Chiang Mai's "Old City" is closed to traffic and turns into a half-mile long mosh-pit of tourists and Thais, shopping for art and handicrafts and eating their way through night. The grounds of three different Buddhist temples along the street are converted into food courts. My favorite is Wat Muen Lan, nearest to Thapae Gate. Walk into the court, and you'll see twin mortar and pestles pounding out the cold explosion of flavor that is som tam, green papaya salad. Further back and to the right are a couple of tables where you can get khanom jeen, ground pork and rice vermicelli in a salty tomato broth, and khao soi, the iconic mixed-up and comforting soup of the north. Head all the way back and you'll find a grill loaded with "moo toop" - pinkish, candied-looking hunks of pork. Select a piece, and they'll give it a beating with a mallet, cleav it into bite-size pieces and pour a tart and spicy sauce over it. The som tam pairs well, as would a beer if you could get one: You're on temple grounds, so you'll have to settle for water or juice!

Next Destination » Huay Kaew Mukata: Epic Thai Feast

Curator Dietrich Ayala

Dietrich was an espresso jerk in Seattle, a catering chef in New Orleans, a dinner chef in Seattle, and finally hit rock bottom after buying a computer, which saddled him with an addiction to technology as well as food. He and his family live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he eats unreasonably well during the day, and makes Firefox better at night.

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