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Sankampaeng – Best places to visit

Chiang Mai Air Pollution | Burning Smoky Season

As human beings of this planet we all deserve the right to breathe clean air no matter what country we come from, and in March 2018 that right was taken away from me and left a dark stain in my mind forever. 

Every year around mid February through till mid April something tragic happens in the great North of Thailand, large crops of mostly corn are harvested and the foliage that is left behind is burned to clear the land in the most cost effective way possible. The majority of these corn crops are primarily grown to feed animal livestock like pigs, chickens and cow’s.

Chiang Mai Sky 10th February 2018
Chiang Mai Sky 10th February 2018

 

Chiang Mai Sky 1st March 2018
Chiang Mai Sky 1st March 2018

 

The smoke from thousands of burning crops across the Northern Thailand, Laos and Myanmar region make its way to the city of Chiang Mai where it becomes trapped amongst the mountain ranges. There is  no breeze to blow it away, very little rainfall or storms, just hot dry climate with thick smoky air.

I have been living in Chiang Mai for 3 years and it had bothered me on previous years but 2018 was particularly bad, I became effected physically, emotionally and energetically. 

 

 

Controversial Image drawn by local Thai artist

 

Staying protected

 

I avoided going outdoors, the clammy polluted air would get in my skin and my hair burn my eyes and make me feel really lousy. I ran my air purifier 24/7 and stayed inside as much as possible but sometimes that wasn’t enough. Especially for me being a guy that loves to run and play in the outdoors every day. 

I could see how it was effecting the local people, everywhere I went I heard coughing and spluttering, even people in my yoga class were wearing masks during yoga! How can I enjoy yoga, a practice that is focused on deep breathing when every breath I take is toxic. 

After around 4 weeks of living through the burning season It was definitely time to leave, so I made my way to Hua Hin by the beach. Here are some videos below I made documenting my experience.

For more information about the Air Pollution in Northern Thailand please visit these Facebook groups:
https://www.facebook.com/smokethedocumentary/

https://www.facebook.com/DustView/

Chiang Mai Vegan Explosion!

Chiang Mai has been rated one of the top Vegan friendly cities in the world, with its abundance of tropical fruits and a saturation of Vegan restaurants its the reason why I have called this place home for the past three years. Its believed there is over 100 vegan friendly places to eat, so where to start??

To ensure you dont miss out on the very best Chiang Mai has to offer, have a read over this article and drool over the pics. 


 

Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant
Im going to start with one of my neighborhood favorites.
Serving up authentic Thai cuisine done to perfection and bursting with flavor. Anchan always delivers the goods! 
The restaurant is nice inside with friendly staff and the generous portions will ensure you are fully loaded by the time you leave. 
Favorite Dishes: Massaman Curry / Pad Thai 
Google Maps Location


 

Goodsouls 
Located inside the Old City Goodsouls is to be experienced to be believed! Undeniably the best burgers found in Chiang Mai, the flavors the sauces and the entire menu is all 100% vegan, made with Love and guaranteed to blow your mind! With an extensive menu covering everything from Pasta’s to Thai food to Burgers to delicious desserts this gem ticks all the boxes. Great customer service with a perfectly priced menu in a modern and cosy, stylish restaurant. Right now this is my top pick, you will see me here every second day! 
Favorite dish: Quinoa Eggplant Burger
Google Maps Location


 

Pun Pun Vegetarian Restaurant 
Located at the back of What Suan Doi Temple with some indoor and outdoor dining. Pun Pun has a very large menu with many creative Thai dishes and healthy drinks. With lower prices and smaller portions, I find the best way to enjoy the food here is to order a variety of things, fill up and table and indulge. Pun Pun’s Som Tum is the best in town! Its truly amazing! Ensure you visit Pun Pun during your time in Chiang Mai.
Favorite Dishes: Som Tum Laos
Google Maps Location


 

Vegan Heaven 
With a massive menu of both Western and Thai dishes. Vegan Heaven has it all! Feeling like a burger and chips, hot dog, falafel or bacon sandwich? Its all at Vegan Heaven all 100% plant based and delicious! Drop in for breakfast and order the breakfast set of scrambled tofu, hash browns, sausage and beans. Prices are excellent, portion sizes are generous, loosen your belt load up and indulge. Enjoy Vegan Heaven and support this 100% Vegan Enterprise in Chiang Mai! 
2 Locations in Chiang Mai with exact same menu
Favorite Dishes: Hot Dog with cheese / Vegan Brownie
Google Maps Location 1
Google Maps Location 2


 

May Kai Dee 
This little back alley restaurant serves up the most delicious and unique asian dishes. The food always taste fresh and bursting with flavour and like most Chiang Mai restaurants the prices are excellent. The banana flower salad is really something very special and complements all the other dishes. There are some tasty mock meat options that I highly recommend. Its all excellent! A must visit during your stay in Chiang Mai!
Favorite Dishes: Cashew Nut Sushi / Banana flower salad
Google Maps Location


 

ImmAim Vegetarian & Bike Cafe
Owned and operated by local legend Mr O and his family, ImmAim is a trendy little spot in the heart of Santitham. If your after super clean and fresh healthy ingredients, this is your place! The salads are the best in town, the curries hit the spot the smoothies are to die for. Portion sizes are generous and the price is cheap. The interior design on this 2 storey abode is very stylish and makes for a great dining experience. A new addition to ImmAim is the vegan bakery goods including sourdough bread, croissants and other sweet pastries.
Favorite dish: Sweet potato salad with Pumpkin dressing
Google Maps Location


 

Ice Love You
A Vegan ice cream parlor with a Superhero theme! This place is just unbelievably cool, swankfully decorated with some cosy sofas to chill out on. You have tons of home made vegan ice cream flavors to choose from, take a selfie with a superhero mask on and chow down on some mango sticky rice. 
Favorite Dishes: Durian Ice cream / Roti Love you 
Google Maps Location


 

Pure Vegan Heaven
One the newest additions to Chiang Mai’s Vegan circuit and a much needed vegan choice for the Nimman area is Pure Vegan Heaven. They have amazing Mexican food with real authentic Mexican taste! Super fresh ingredients here. Loads of superfood smoothies, Thai dishes and even falafel. A great menu with many creative healthy items to choose from! Drop in for breakfast and get energized with a smoothie bowl. 
Favorite Dishes: Mexican bowl / Soft shell tacos 
Google Maps Location

Golf in Northern Thailand

Golf enthusiast from all over the world are travelling to the great North of Thailand to experience what is some of the best golf Asia has to offer. Laid out around the capital of Chiang Mai, Thailands second largest city is approximately 11 excellent courses all within 30 – 60 minutes drive.

It was recently the Golf travel association focused its attention on Chiang Mai as many golf tour operators from around the world gathered for the 5th Annual Golf Tourism Convention. As a direct result of this event Golf travel is predicted to rise by an unprecedented 25% over the next two years in the North of Thailand.

Golf tour operators have played a big part in growing golf tourism in Thailand over the past few years and for travelling golfer, choosing the right company makes the experience much more enjoyable while golfing in Thailand. A large presence at this year’s convention was “CocoGolf” a well established Golf tour operator that have been hosting golfers in Thailand for over 20 years and from hotel to tee off provide a first class service and cater for all travel and leisure during your holiday.

One course many golfers travel to Chiang Mai to play is “Chiang Mai Highlands”, considered by some as the jewel of Chiang Mai’s golf courses. Its a course that has beautifully captured Chiang Mai surrounding’s hills and rolling landscapes and is perfectly capable to host world professional tournaments. Requiring some strategy navigating the bunkers and water hazards may test even the most skilled of golfers, the challenge will be worth it as each hole offers a new and interesting challenge. After your game enjoy the great facilities in the clubhouse and a drink and delicious meal in the restaurant. A perfect day golfing in Chiang Mai.

 

If we head further South an hour or so outside Chiang Mai in a tranquil, rural setting of orchards, canyons and woodland lies Lamphun’s Gassan Legacy a 72 par course with wide fairways and island greens set around a lush landscape and unique clubhouse towering high overlooking this beautiful course. A newly renovated course it has now been transformed into one of the best conditioned courses in the area.

After spending a few days golfing in Chiang Mai why not venture further north towards the Golden Triangle and the magnificent city of Chiang Rai, The journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai can be taken by road and arranged with your Golf Tour Operator. Stop for a buffet lunch along the way and even take the option of travelling down the breathtaking Thaton river by boat, here you will see villages of people and wildlife living harmoniously in their natural environment.

There are 2 main golf courses close to Chiang Rai and Santiburi Golf Course should be at the top of your list to play in Thailand. It is home to many championship events, yet very enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels. There are many natural features on this course including 2 large lakes and rolling hills, each hole cleverly designed into the contours of the valleys. Most greens are protected by bunkers and there are several good dogleg holes. Santiburi is in immaculate condition all year round and rated by many travelling golfers as “The best golf course they have ever played!”

So why not start planning your next golfing adventure to the magnificent North of Thailand, discover the many amazing courses in the area and create a memory you will treasure for years to come.