Ton Nam (?) "waterfall restaurant" (Mae Rim)

After the trek to see the "Long Necks" of the Baan Tong Luang hill-tribe village (see "sights" ), we had succumbed to virtual starvation!  Through the pouring rain, we noticed what looked like a very intriguing restaurant off the side of the road.  Though we were unsure as to whether or not it was open, we took a chance and crossed over the wooden bridge that spanned the muddy river below.  As the hostess greeted us, we soon realized that we were the only patrons in the fairly large outdoor establishment - usually not a very good sign.  Still, we were mesmerized by the exotic ambiance thriving all around us and proceeded to sit down in our choice of about seven different personal tree huts!

What made the spot even more magical (beyond the succulent leafage and charming Thai paper lanterns) was the fact that the restaurant's huts (including the larger banquet hut) were all suspended over a waterfall!  And while this was not the place for conversation - you couldn't hear anything over the sound of the rushing water - the home-cooked dishes were well-spiced, perfectly hot, and very tasty!  (Doug had a bad stomach that day and was trying to take it easy, so I ended up eating most of both of our lunches!)

After a couple of beers, alas, it was time to return to the Samoeng Road.  As we left our nameless paradise, we were left thinking about what a killer place this would be to throw a party!   In another lifetime, perhaps!  Set of Drifters video:  For video from this event, check out our YouTube channel!

Ton Nam (this may or may not be the name of the restaurant) - Mae Rim - Samoeng Road (just to the east of the Mae Sa Elephant Camp), Mae Rim, Chiang Mai

The Antique House

After our invigorating Thai massage at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (see "goodies" below), we were absolutely starving! It was time for some grub, and a drink!  As we walked through the rain-slicked streets we broke out into song every time we saw an advertisement for the local zip-line attraction Flight of the Gibbon.  ("She was a Long-Neck Karen... ohhhh yeah, on the Flight of the Gibbon, yeah, yeah.")  Just be happenstance, we soon came upon one of Chiang Mai's most popular restaurants, The Antique House.  (So popular in fact that we even ran into the same family of German tourists that had joined us on our day trip to Ayutthaya the day prior!)

The Antique House specializes in the khan toke cuisine that is indigenous to the Chiang Mai/ Lanna region.  Handsomely served on bamboo or teak trays, khan toke dishes are to Thailand what tapas are to Spain - which means they are perfect for sharing.   (Your "Set of Drifters" sampled a curry housed in pineapple husks that could have been a bit spicier.)  While the interior of The Antique House is full of beautiful Thai antique woodcarvings (check 'em out on the way to the restroom), we especially appreciated the ambiance outside.  The deck oddly felt both "authentic" and modern at the same time, with its bright red Thai umbrellas shading patrons from the charming strings of lights hung between the palms.  While the food was not necessarily anything to write home about, the tropical drinks were a bonafide hit... and the restaurant's patina is really hard to beat!  The Antique House, now a national heritage site, is open daily between 11:00 AM until 12:00 midnight.

Antique House - 71 Charoen Prathet, Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, 011 (66) 53-27-6810

Dunkin' Donuts

You think we are kidding, but we're not.  While traveling to Chiang Mai, we happened across a Dunkin' Donuts in the airport that had some of the most charming designs we had ever seen.  Clearly, these Thai franchisees have more pride in their work than those stateside, and better senses of humor.

Smiley faces, floral designs and other charming motifs certainly awakened out spirits on that early morning trek to the countryside, and with colorful sugar icing like this, who cares how many calories you are packing on?  Check it out...  Nadim Salhani, Managing Director of Golden Donuts, was even awarded the 2010 Dunkin’ Brands Franchisee Award for International Partner of the Year by Dunkin' Donuts COO Tony Pavese.  You can even become their fan on Facebook!

Dunkin' Donuts Thailand - many locations throughout Thailand