Escape to Chiang Mai

The Jing Jai organic farmers market is held on a Sunday just a few minutes out of the centre of town and outside the moat. It’s a thriving market with locals and tourists enjoying the healthy food and artisan atmosphere.

Most sellers now are all organic and plastic free and wrap the fruit and veg in banana leaf and natural fibre string. The salads are delicious and almost look too good to eat..

There are many food stalls, very smart clothing sellers, sewing cooperative goods and makers of all sorts of things, different to your normal Thai markets.

There is more space, musicians playing in a couple of locations and lots to see with seating around to eat or watch the comings and goings.

Good coffee and small artisan bakers and producers abound, there is lots of lovely food, yum.

We wanted to get out of the city and away from the influx of tourists arriving for New Year. We decided to drive up into the mountains, unfortunately everyone else had the same idea and we ended up in at least a 30 mile traffic jam which is not a problem on a bike as you can weave your way through, Thai style. We took a wrong turn and noticed lots of people all going somewhere all in their finery.

We came across a Hmong festival with people in all their various National dress, it’s different in every village. There were thousands of people.

There were 4 other non Thai tourists there as surprised as we were at our good fortune. It was their New Year festival. The colours were amazing and the people are good natured and very welcoming. They like having their photos taken, well mostly.

This last picture of throwing a black ball to each other is a dating ritual….allegedly!

Thunder started rumbling deeply across the darkening valley so we decided to leave, not fancying the wet long ride home. It would have been fun to stay, we were invited but it might have got messy. The party was starting, the beer and whisky was piled up and food on the BBQ…….Next time!

Sawadee pee mai ( happy NewYear) Kha

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