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Crow Boy

Good Places To Drink In Chiang Mai

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> By far the best place to is ...... home .......

Let me extend / follow up on that with a genuine question to the readership: What is actually the point of visiting a local pub/bar, say something like Drunken Flower or perhaps the CM Saloon, O'Malleys, UN Irish Pub, i.e. something with tables & chairs and no hostesses? I can totally see the point for a limited number of entertainment venue types, namely:

* Disco's (You actually do something, you dance)

* Sports bars (You actually watch sports, and other people excited about the game add atmosphere that you don't have at home)

* Karaokes (I can totally see why people would like them, i.e. you get to torture total strangers with your singing; again you do something)

* Restaurant/bars (We all gotta eat sometime don't we, but after the food's finished, then what)

* Girlie bars / hostess bars (Chatting with girls from a radically different age and background to your own is highly fascinating culturally)

BUT: For the life of me I can't see the point in brining the Mrs., sit down at Chiang Mai Saloon or Drunken flower and 'spend money' doing the same thing you do at home, i.e. talk a bit.

Can anyone tell me what the attraction is? I have A LOT of trouble finding places that are actually fun or would add something that I don't have at home. Like you just sit there, upstairs at the Irish Pub on the balcony, looking at not much happening on the road below, where the only excitement comes from trying to stop your kid from killing herself falling down the stairs or off the balcony.

Please?

Funny you should ask. We have 3 kids so every once in a while it's nice to go out to a restaurant and maybe have a few drinks as well while the nanny/ mother-in-law looks after the rugrats at home.

1/ We can relax away from the chaos for a while.

2/ We don't prepare or cook the food / mix the drinks, so can relax for a while.

3/ We don't have to clean up or wash the dishes, so can relax for a while.

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Following on from Chanchao's post, I feel I owe people a bit of an explanation regarding my own drinking habits, or lack thereof. I have recently been questioned on the subject.

I have been in the business since 1976, as chef and restaurateur. I have seen many tens of friends broken due to the booze, (dead, imprisoned or bankrupt.) I therefore decided never to drink when I was working, which for over twenty odd years was something like 100 hours per week. I became a habitual non-drinker.

Since I ceased working full time in the business, I really have no interest in visiting bars etc., unless I am going to meet and spend time with friends. When meeting friends, I much prefer to visit their homes, or invite them to mine. I have no closing time and available beds if the night goes on too long.

Apart from the above, I don't really like the atmosphere of most bars, especially as the evening wears on. They are either too crowded and I can not hear my friends speak, or they are dead, no atmosphere and they put me to sleep. One place in the latter category is the Pub. Such a beautiful site, and such a shame it seems to be being run into the ground.

Sorry, comment almost over.

I do drink with friends, (sometimes too much,) but I don't visit pubs or bars by choice, and have never visited most of the places mentioned in this thread. Until recently my booze consumption averaged about a glass per fortnight and, as far as I can remember, I have entered pubs or bars with the intention to "have a drink" about six times in the last ten years.

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By far the best place to is ...... home .......

Agreed a chat with friends over a few drinks at their place or mine is without doubt the most pleasant way to spend an evening.

Can anyone tell me what the attraction is? I have A LOT of trouble finding places that are actually fun or would add something that I don't have at home. Like you just sit there, upstairs at the Irish Pub on the balcony, looking at not much happening on the road below, where the only excitement comes from trying to stop your kid from killing herself falling down the stairs or off the balcony.

You have the chance to meet new people and make new friends.

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> By far the best place to is ...... home .......

Let me extend / follow up on that with a genuine question to the readership: What is actually the point of visiting a local pub/bar, say something like Drunken Flower or perhaps the CM Saloon, O'Malleys, UN Irish Pub, i.e. something with tables & chairs and no hostesses? I can totally see the point for a limited number of entertainment venue types, namely:

* Disco's (You actually do something, you dance)

* Sports bars (You actually watch sports, and other people excited about the game add atmosphere that you don't have at home)

* Karaokes (I can totally see why people would like them, i.e. you get to torture total strangers with your singing; again you do something)

* Restaurant/bars (We all gotta eat sometime don't we, but after the food's finished, then what)

* Girlie bars / hostess bars (Chatting with girls from a radically different age and background to your own is highly fascinating culturally)

BUT: For the life of me I can't see the point in brining the Mrs., sit down at Chiang Mai Saloon or Drunken flower and 'spend money' doing the same thing you do at home, i.e. talk a bit.

Can anyone tell me what the attraction is? I have A LOT of trouble finding places that are actually fun or would add something that I don't have at home. Like you just sit there, upstairs at the Irish Pub on the balcony, looking at not much happening on the road below, where the only excitement comes from trying to stop your kid from killing herself falling down the stairs or off the balcony.

Please?

Hi Chanchao - interesting post and some good points. I can only answer from a personal point of view but here goes.

I live and work at San Kamphaeng so don't get into town that much. I spend all day in a Thai factory with Thais, speaking Thai. I go home to my Thai wife and speak Thai because she doesn't speak English. My whole week is in Thai and only when I am on TV do I think in English. On Friday and Saturday I like to go into town and see my friends, speak English, have a few drinks, and relax. My wife doesn't drink and dislikes the bar scene so she goes to visit her work friends at the Duang Tuan hotel and takes out little boy with her. If she come to the bar she is bored because she doesn't understand what we (the farung) are saying. If I go with her to visit family etc I have the same problem, I can't understand their dialect and they speak too fast for me to keep up so I end up sitting on a broken couch with a bunch of Thai men while they watch English Premier League football on TV. I hate to be the bearer of bad news and this is going to be a shock to most English but NOT EVERYONE LIKES OR EVEN CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOODY FOOTBALL :o . The women sit on the floor and all speak at once and the 200 or 300 kids in house run around screaming their heads off. Not my idea of fun, so she visits her friends and I visit mine. Not perfect but it works for both of us.

At my little locals in CM city I tend to go to one in the Peak area (Angels) we know eachother and sit around, bitch about wives and girlfriends or both, visas, politics, what's happening back in Australia, USA, England, NZ etc. We watch the TV with the sound off and have over the years donated copies of our music to Stefan who runs the bar and he plays it for us. It isn't sophisticated but it suits us. I rarely go in during the week because I have to start work at 7:00am and it gets harsh if I had a big night previously. A hangover when surrounded by industrial stamping machines is not a delightful combination :D

At my home I don't normally have any alcohol because I rarely drink at home. I may have a beer or two in the refridgerator but that is it. If I know friends are coming I will stock up but if anyone comes unexpectedly, they are going to be dry for a while until I can get to the 7-11.

* Disco's (You actually do something, you dance)

Leo Sayer was a 70's wa#ker but he had one good songline "you know I can't dance" I HATE discos - period, I hated them in the 70s and I hate them now. Bad music (IMNSHO) played loudly is not my idea of fun. I am happy for people who like it to enjoy them but let me out now.

* Sports bars (You actually watch sports, and other people excited about the game add atmosphere that you don't have at home)

My old bar in Samuii was a sports bar with an Australian/NZ focus. We showed the Rugby - Union and League, AFL, Cricket, Supercars, Tennis etc but kept it limited to our patch of the world. Sometimes one of my regulars (English) would ask for a specific UK soccer game but we avoided it as much as possible and definitely not if there was a Oz game on at the same time. It was our thing and we did well out of it, BUT being a sports bar here in Thailand is hard because of the time differences. To be successful the bar needs to be able to stay open outside of normal trading hours. We sometimes had to come to an arrangement with the local police to keep the bar "semi" open ie people inside can stay or leave but no one can come in after the official closing time. We had to run the risk of doing this until 4:00am because of live transmission times. In Chiang Mai it is much harder to do. Proof of this is the police shutting down the UN pub halfway through the game. I wanted to start up a 24x7 sports bar with food and drink in time for the World Soccer but the license restrictions were very hard (read expensive) to sort out with the local licensing police.

I don't have cable/satelite at home so if I want to see the GP or SBK racing I will come into town and watch it at the Downunder or (previously) True Blue. Same as for the AFL games starting this weekend (30/3- 1/4) That means I will be seeing my games at 10:30 or 11:00am in the morning which means I will not be drinking much :D The Friday night games start at about 10:30pm so it will be a good night for a beer, aussie burger, and abusing fellow Australians over their crap teams irrespective of who is playing at the time.

* Karaokes (I can totally see why people would like them, i.e. you get to torture total strangers with your singing; again you do something)

I don't go to karaoke much. I have been to them in Singapore and Japan where they are part of the culture. In Japan, they have special Karaoke singing teachers because it is a very good way to impress the boss if you can sing well. In Singapore they don't care quite so much and just sing loudly and badly - applause is expected no matter how badly the person does. Also the hostesses like to walk around the bar with the microphone and as a foreigner they will always want you to sing. The expectation is that foreigners can't sing so do it well and you will be in free drinks all night from one song. I bought a whisky in a Karaoke bar in Singapore and was immediately pounced on by a midgit with a microphone who demanded I sing. I did "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton and had a row of drinks delivered to me before I finished. My original whiskey was paid for and I got out blind drunk 6 hours later with more money than I walked in with.

In Thailand I have gone to a couple of Karaoke bars including a couple of times with board members, where our tab was over 70,000 baht and that was just for the food, drink (Johnny Walker Blue and Yellow Label), the hostesses, and our own private room. I went with some friends (Thai) to the Mandalay and we had a great time but it is much more expensive than going to a "normal" bar. Add to that and Thais expect the farung to pay as a sign of status. Fortunately one of the board members picked up the 70,000 tab but we all put in at least 3,000 baht EACH as a tip to show we weren't kee neow.

Karaoke is fun if you go with Thais but can be horrible if a bunch of farung turn up especially if they don't speak good Thai. Don't even think about it if you go on your own.

* Restaurant/bars (We all gotta eat sometime don't we, but after the food's finished, then what)

I usually go to a restaurant to eat and they rarely have a band that is worth while listening to. On the ring road at the back of Payap/Carre Four there are some that can be fun especially if you go with Thai friends. I used to go to the Blue Kiss restuarant and they had a good band, but most restuarants play mid 70s 80s Eagles, ELO etc and that normally is enough to put me off my food. The Blue Kiss girls would put on a show as well and was fun. We would go there for dinner, eat, drink, chat up the girls, and head home after 5 or 6 hours. The food in those places is normally pretty good and not expensive and is fun. THe big problem is that your are in the middle of the ring road and I have 15 km to get home from there now which is dangerous. I also avoid coming via that way if I have been in CM city because of all the drunk Thais hurtling down the road on motorbikes and in pickup trucks.

* Girlie bars / hostess bars (Chatting with girls from a radically different age and background to your own is highly fascinating culturally)

The wife hates me going to the Girlie Bars (can't imagine why) I can go to places like Number 1 which isn't a girlie bar as such but no way can I go to any of the cat house bars on Loi Kroh or in the Arcade. If I did go she would know within minutes and be calling me. Same as Spotlight or Foxy Lady - not going to happen. I don't enjoy them either they are boring and expensive without the fun of Nana or Cowboy where everything is so over the top. I took the wife to one bar in Cowboy and she was shocked but enjoyed it non the less, she also clung like a limpet to my arm and glared at any girl who even looked my way but these things are to be expected.

I went to the Guitarman for the first time in months on Saturday night. I used to go there regularly but stopped for a variety of reasons. Similarly I used to go to the Brasserie to see Took but after seeing him play the same set for 12 months straight it got really boring so I stopped. However I like seeing live music and so places like Guitar man, drunken flower, and a couple of places on the river I like. The interbar on Thapae goes through cycles and currently is in the lower end so I haven't been there in a month. Something will change there and it will be fun again - they may learn a new song or even how to play one of the current set properly who knows what is going to happen in this place.

My personal favourite bars depend on my mood and what I want to do. A quiet drink is one place, watch a game on TV is another, watch a live band is a third

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Excellent post(s) Crow Boy, I enjoyed reading that. (And made a mental note on Blue Kiss on the ring road. :o

> The wife hates me going to the Girlie Bars (can't imagine why) I can go to

> places like Number 1 which isn't a girlie bar as such but no way can I go to

> any of the cat house bars on Loi Kroh or in the Arcade. If I did go she

> would know within minutes and be calling me.

:D Interestingly enough my wife has no problem at all with me going to one of the bars you called the Loi Kroh 'cat house' area. She was however highly suspicious when I mentioned I had been in the Chiang Mai Land area, even after explaining it was a regular little bar run by the Empower Foundation (called 'Can Do') and isn't at all like the pubs/karaokes scattered around that road.

I suspect it's because the girls on the lower end of Loi Kroh are not perceived as beautiful enough to represent a threat, who knows? Come to think of it, some of the most enjoyable nights out I spent with my wife were actually AT that particular cat-house bar. (I sometimes take her there on nights when there's a party on; anniversary of the place, birthday of the owner, etc. For some reason she gets along really well with the owner there. (Possibly because she has a baby roughly the same age as we do; anyway). I genuinely like the area, the non/low-hassle bars anyway. It's also fun just sitting semi-outside looking at tourists walking by with looks various degrees of surprise/suspicion on their faces.

Then another category of entertainment place that I missed in my earlier post was those 'singalong' restaurants with dancing girls in short skirts and tall boots. I think the President Hotel is a particularly good example. That's another class of places that I never find the right occasion for. (Can't take the Mrs, can't take total newbies to Thailand, can't take the bar-flies who just want the tourist girlie bars, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of people, and going alone to such places is ridiculous. Same applies to the super low-so karaoke shacks that you find along some of the ring roads and the infamous Sri Ping Muang road. (Now THEREs a road you don't want to drive at night, the only place that comes close to it in terms of reckless drunk driving must be Soi Bua Khao in Pattaya... )

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Excellent post(s) Crow Boy, I enjoyed reading that. (And made a mental note on Blue Kiss on the ring road. :o

> The wife hates me going to the Girlie Bars (can't imagine why) I can go to

> places like Number 1 which isn't a girlie bar as such but no way can I go to

> any of the cat house bars on Loi Kroh or in the Arcade. If I did go she

> would know within minutes and be calling me.

:D Interestingly enough my wife has no problem at all with me going to one of the bars you called the Loi Kroh 'cat house' area. She was however highly suspicious when I mentioned I had been in the Chiang Mai Land area, even after explaining it was a regular little bar run by the Empower Foundation (called 'Can Do') and isn't at all like the pubs/karaokes scattered around that road.

I suspect it's because the girls on the lower end of Loi Kroh are not perceived as beautiful enough to represent a threat, who knows? Come to think of it, some of the most enjoyable nights out I spent with my wife were actually AT that particular cat-house bar. (I sometimes take her there on nights when there's a party on; anniversary of the place, birthday of the owner, etc. For some reason she gets along really well with the owner there. (Possibly because she has a baby roughly the same age as we do; anyway). I genuinely like the area, the non/low-hassle bars anyway. It's also fun just sitting semi-outside looking at tourists walking by with looks various degrees of surprise/suspicion on their faces.

I think it is like a lot of things - if she knows the place and feels comfortable about it she will not stress out if I go there. I used to go to one place and one of the girls there flippantly said to the wife that she really fancied me. That was the LAST time I was ALLOWED near let alone in there. The wife was worried about the percieved threat from this other girl. I can tell you that when I get home from ANY place she thinks has a potential of me being taken out for a Boom Boom Short time she tests me out as soon as I get home to make sure I didn't. After drinking a load of beer it has been know to be difficult, however the counter to this is I can guarantee getting some action just by saying I went to such and such a bar :D

Out of interest which bar on Loy Kroh do you go to?

I know the Chiang Mai land complex, I heard about the Empower bar froma post (I think it was from you). I remember thinking at the time it was like putting a pyromaniac in charge of the fireworks factory but from what I have heard about it, things seem to be going well for them. Good luck to the girls.

Then another category of entertainment place that I missed in my earlier post was those 'singalong' restaurants with dancing girls in short skirts and tall boots. I think the President Hotel is a particularly good example. That's another class of places that I never find the right occasion for. (Can't take the Mrs, can't take total newbies to Thailand, can't take the bar-flies who just want the tourist girlie bars, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of people, and going alone to such places is ridiculous.

Yes that is the same sort of thing at the Blue Kiss - it is really fun watching the girls do their routine. I haven't been to the President Hotel to see their show so may take a side detour one night and check it out. You are right about these types of places not being the type of bar to take the tourist but I took a couple of mates from Australia to the Blue Kiss one night and after a serious amount of drinking one of the boys was teaching the girls how to do the bood scootin' boogie. Yeah sad I know but he is from Tamworth which is the Country music capital of Australia. He dragged all of us on stage and we had to do the whole thing, then he dragged EVERYONE out of the audience to do it all together while he set up the video to capture the moment. He wanted to put it up on Utube - we wanted to kill him when we saw the results. Oh the shame of it - I will never be able to wear my Bon Scott lives Tshirt again with the knowledge I was boot scootin'.

Same applies to the super low-so karaoke shacks that you find along some of the ring roads and the infamous Sri Ping Muang road. (Now THEREs a road you don't want to drive at night, the only place that comes close to it in terms of reckless drunk driving must be Soi Bua Khao in Pattaya... )

All over Thailand there are shack wall karaoke bars - I can think of a couple near my house in San Kamphaeng that I have visited. Sitting on a plastic stool with a glass of Lao Khao and tap water with a 20" TV on a fuel drum singing some Thai song.

The other ones are follow on from Kamphaeng Din. Cross the road behind heading up to the corner of the moat and follow it as it winds its way out towards the Airport. THere are a load of little bars there that NEVER see farung and are a lot of fun. You have to speak Thai and you have to do karaoke so the tourists don't go there. There are also a couple of cheap hotels for when you know you shouldn't drive home afterwards.

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Drunken flower - love the music , and know the guitarist personally ,

the place have nice food , but the parking for cars is abit tricky ,

relaxing place and is hidden away behind the soi of the Rimkam hotel

if you need direction . you know the drill

PM me i would draw you a map

You're right Ta22; Drunken Flower is a treasure. I like to sit out in the garden, can hear the music fine, enjoy the Thai style ambience. It's also the closest quality place for me from where I live near CMU. Although the Warm Up and Fine Thanks for a different kind of atmosphere are close by, my vote goes to Drunken Flower.

But Down Under up the road is definitely #1 for motorsports viewing, now that MotoGp and F1 have started. And Gus the owner is a great guy.

Where is Drunken Flower? Ta22 my fellow hometown mate, can you show me how to get there, best with map provided. Thanks!

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> I used to go to one place and one of the girls there flippantly

> said to the wife that she really fancied me.

Well look on the bright side, far more incriminating things have been said about people in such circumstances. :D I think it was a compliment, first and foremost. :D

> she tests me out as soon as I get home to make sure I didn't.

Hmm... I mostly just find the master bedroom locked when coming back too late. :/

> Out of interest which bar on Loy Kroh do you go to?

Easy Corner.. Second one from the moat. It's more a case of which I *avoid* though, which are (IMHO) the highest-pressure ones, primarily Linda Bar, and whatever the one way at the end near the small alley is called. (Butterfly perhaps). Sadly though when friends are in town they always seem to pick Linda for obvious reasons. :o I honestly can't stand the place and everything it stands for. :D Of course all bars go through cycles in terms of staff & customers, but the management (usually) stays the same, and this is the major reason for liking or disliking a venue.

> The other ones are follow on from Kamphaeng Din. Cross the road behind heading up

> to the corner of the moat and follow it as it winds its way out towards the Airport.

Yeah I think that *IS* Sri Ping Muang Road. When you get to pretty much the end of Kamphaeng Din proper you turn left across the bridge along with all the other traffic, then right at the first traffic lights. (Passing Mother & Child Hospital). Then just keep going until you think "what the (*#$(&(# are these places?!" :D Weird area. Weird road also as it doesn't really go anywhere but ends up in a bunch of sois behind the Hai Ya area.

Edited by chanchao

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Khaomao-Khaofang has been mentioned in another thread about food, but it is also a very nice place for a drink with friends in a very relaxed atmosphere. Only 90 baht for a large icy cold (no ice cubes needed) Heineken , slightly less for Singha, Chang, etc. Great with some "Glarp Gaem" Thai finger foods. For directions show your Thai significant other to read the map here.. http://www.khaomaokhaofang.com/

Edited by Austhaied

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Khaomao-Khaofang ??? hm....

i know there is one in Maesot - which is the first one i ever visit about 3-4 years ago and i lik ethe place for it fry ice cream .. there is also wild animal at the resturant and a large crane and ducky whahah

is there one in chiangmai ? would be nice to go visit it then

is a very ncie place - and is worth visiting the price wise is kinda high , but i think is worth it

Edited by Ta22

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Khaomao-Khaofang has been mentioned in another thread about food, but it is also a very nice place for a drink with friends in a very relaxed atmosphere. Only 90 baht for a large icy cold (no ice cubes needed) Heineken , slightly less for Singha, Chang, etc. Great with some "Glarp Gaem" Thai finger foods. For directions show your Thai significant other to read the map here.. http://www.khaomaokhaofang.com/

Been there. Possibly the most spectacular loos in Chiang Mai, but didn't like the food that much.

For those that remember it, it is on the site of the old, sorely mised Rainforest Restaurant, on the newly built Rachaphreuk road from the Chiang Mai-Hangdong highway down to the Night Safari and flower expo site.

To get there from the CM-HD Highway, take a right at the first lights after the middle ring road intersection. It is on your right hand side after about 500 meters. You will need to do a U-turn to get to it.

From Irrigation Canal road, at the junction with the road to Night Safari. turn East, away from the Safari. Look for the u-turn about 2 kilometers up the road and it is on the left a couple of hundred meters later.

Beautiful site, but as Tatutu points out, it ain't cheap.

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Khaomao-Khaofang has been mentioned in another thread about food, but it is also a very nice place for a drink with friends in a very relaxed atmosphere. Only 90 baht for a large icy cold (no ice cubes needed) Heineken , slightly less for Singha, Chang, etc. Great with some "Glarp Gaem" Thai finger foods. For directions show your Thai significant other to read the map here.. http://www.khaomaokhaofang.com/

Been there. Possibly the most spectacular loos in Chiang Mai, but didn't like the food that much.

Went there a few weeks ago with a friend, it's only a couple of kms from where I live. Nice place and atmosphere, the food was ok and a little on the expensive side. Be careful of the chicken curry unless you like it really spicy. Lot's of choices but the farang part of the menu they have none of it available yet. Hostesses are pretty attentive and keep the beer glass full.

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Khaomao-Khaofang has been mentioned in another thread about food, but it is also a very nice place for a drink with friends in a very relaxed atmosphere. Only 90 baht for a large icy cold (no ice cubes needed) Heineken , slightly less for Singha, Chang, etc. Great with some "Glarp Gaem" Thai finger foods. For directions show your Thai significant other to read the map here.. http://www.khaomaokhaofang.com/

Been there. Possibly the most spectacular loos in Chiang Mai, but didn't like the food that much.

Went there a few weeks ago with a friend, it's only a couple of kms from where I live. Nice place and atmosphere, the food was ok and a little on the expensive side. Be careful of the chicken curry unless you like it really spicy. Lot's of choices but the farang part of the menu they have none of it available yet. Hostesses are pretty attentive and keep the beer glass full.

Everything we asked for on the menu they had. And the menu was in Thai and English, each and every dish. We asked for the chicken curry to be spicy and it was fine, nice served with roti (naan bread) instead of rice for a change.

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never been to the chaingmai one , maybe i will do a meeting up with my car club and check it out ,

but i like MO'c MO'L

and ROADSIDE behind payap uni .

i only been to KMKF ( maesot )

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Khaomao-Khaofang ??? hm....

i know there is one in Maesot - there is also wild animal at the resturant

That was AussieThaid when he discovered that they don't serve Beer Lao :o

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