When I was first planning the Chiang Mai trip for Alex’s birthday, I wanted the shortest flight. There are no direct flights to Chiang Mai; there is always a stopover in Bangkok. That stopover can last for an hour to as long as 12 hours depending on the airline. The shortest flight I found was with Thai Airways. The stopover was one hour and 25 minutes.
I knew that a full meal would be served on the flight to Bangkok and a lighter one on the flight to Chiang Mai. I was fully prepared for tummy fillers and I told Alex we’d just get better food the moment we reached Chiang Mai.
Oh, boy, was I in for a surprise.
Thai Airways in-flight food rocks
The choice was between beef and noodles, and pork and rice. I had the beef; Alex had the pork.
The food was hot. Not scorching hot but not lukewarm either. The temperature of the food is like we ordered a la carte in a restaurant, and the food was served straight from the kitchen.
After trying a piece of meat, Alex and I were trying each other’s food. Both were so good. The beef cubes (shank, I could tell from the gelatinous tendon running through the meat) was tender, succulent and tasty. There was just enough thickened sauce to toss the noodles in. The noodles were springy and far, far from being soggy.
The side vegetables were crisp and lightly seasoned. The salad, I can’t remember well. But then I’m not a salad person so singing praises to a salad shouldn’t really be expected of me.
But dessert I can still see so clearly in my mind. Sponge cake smothered on top with oh, so fine orange-colored strips coated with syrup. We were so smitten that when a flight attendant passed by, I had to ask.
“What’s the orange topping on the cake?”
“Egg,” she replied.
“It’s so good.”
“Glad you liked it.”
For the entire duration of our Chiang Mai vacation, we hunted for that egg topping. We wanted to bring home some if it was possible. But that’s another story.
The sad part is that I never thought about taking photos of the food on the plane. Who takes photos of plane meals, right? Well, unless it’s to document lousy in-flight food. But that meal on the flight to Bangkok was such an a ha moment and I so wanted to document it. I attempted to wiggle my hand under the folding tray to fish out my bag from under the seat in front of me to get the camera. Or my phone, at least. But it was cramped and I could have sent food, coffee and water flying all over. So, never mind.
Airbnb Plus accommodation is luxurious in more ways than one
We landed in Chiang Mai after sunset. We picked up the SIM Cards I had ordered via Klook at the arrival area where we were met by the driver who would bring us to our accommodation.
When I booked the accommodation via Airbnb, I already knew that the one-bedroom apartment was luxurious. A full kitchen, a washing machine, TV with Netflix, a beautiful bathroom, a balcony…
We were met by the owners at the building lobby and they took us up to the apartment. And then, they showed us what the photos at Airbnb didn’t and that was when I fully understood what Airbnb Plus meant.
The fridge was stocked with bottled water, juices and fruit. On the dining table was a tiered tray that contained coffee pods, tea, sugar and creamer. In front of the TV were bags of potato chips.
In the kitchen was a Nespresso machine, bread toaster… Why don’t I just show you? I took photos the next morning.
We didn’t even have to buy laundry detergent because even that came with the apartment. Yes, we did laundry. When we travel, we bring minimal amount of clothes to leave plenty of room in the luggage for the shopping loot. So, yes, we washed our clothes (well, Alex did) every two days.
In the squeaky clean bathroom and toilet, there were large dispensers of hand soap, bath gel, shampoo and lotion, toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, shower caps, and plenty of toilet paper. And there were oil diffusers with lemongrass scent.
There really was no reason to walk anywhere on our first night in Chiang Mai except that we needed to get dinner.
Convenience store food in Chiang Mai is far from pitiful
I don’t think convenience store food can get any better than in Japan but 7-11 meals in Chiang Mai was not bad at all. Pretty good, in fact.
Duck and noodles. Stick in the microwave to heat, and it’s delicious.
Alex, however, wasn’t able to finish her Pad Krapow. Too spicy. She should have taken heed of the “spicy” label in the packaging. When they say “spicy” in Thailand, well, don’t take that to mean mildly spicy. That means really hot. Good thing we bought a large bottle of milk. Milk neutralizes heat in the mouth fast, in case you didn’t know.
After dinner, we showered and watched a few episodes of Signal on Netflix before going to bed. We needed to rest. A four-hour walking food tour was in our schedule for the next day.