Monday, 5 August 2013

Baan Piem Suk - Cafe / bakery

After hearing one of my friends gushed about Baan Piem Suk's coconut cake, I simply had to visit this little cafe selling drinks, cakes and cookies.

Baan Piem Suk is a cosy little shop on the "Riverside" strip .. If you come from The Riverside Restaurant towards Good View then keep going down the road, the cafe is on the left hand side of the road, opposite Sop Moei Arts. There are only about 5 tables. We were lucky it was a quiet moment when we arrived.

Their specialty cakes are the  Coconut Cream Pie and Coconut Cake.

As I was going with another lady friend, we couldn't possibly try everything...we do have to watch our figures! We settled on Mango Cream Pie to share, as it was the special of the day. Mango is in season!
Although it's pretty much a biscuit base with mango pieces and lots of cream, the "pie" was rather light and lovely. The mango was nice and ripe - very intensely flavoured - a nice contrast to the lightly sweetened cream and slightly salty base. We both rather enjoyed it.

Since Baan Piem Suk is famous for the coconut cake, I took away one of these, as well as a cheesecake to try. The coconut cake was great - light sponge cake layered with cream and fresh young coconut pieces. Very refreshing when served chilled. The cheesecake was nice, but not really something to write home about. I'd love to go back and try the other cakes (and have more coconut cake!).

Mango Cream Pie & Thai Tea

There's not much by way of parking in front of the shop. If you are riding a motorbike, there's a small parking area at the back of the shop. If you have a car, you can park at the sheik temple across the road from the  (I've checked this with the shop assistant!).

Baan Piem Suk
Charoenraj Rd, T. Watket,
A. Muang, Chiang Mai
Tel: 0857088988, 0855250752
GPS location: 18.792908,99.001831
Opens daily: 9:30am - 7pm daily

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Thursday, 1 August 2013 - eating with local families whilst travelling

Would you be interested in eating at a local family's home when you're travelling? A Dutch organisation contacted me and asked me to post info about their website, I don't normally "advertise", but the work they do sounds very interesting and worthwhile.

The organisation aims to connect travellers with local people who could act as tour guides or host you for a meal. I would love to try a meal cooked by a local family while visiting a new place, or even have a local person to guide would give a whole new perspective to the place I'm visiting ...more than just seeing things through tourists' eyes.

A few questions that come to mind, like safety for the traveller. I was told that the family / guide is selected by a local person.

If you are interested or have questions, please contact them directly. I'm not involved with them in anyway other than helping to "spread the word".

Anyway, here's their spill:

The ultimate travel experience: seeing Thailand through the eyes of a local

Everyone recognizes it: you are visiting a new city and all the streets seem unfamiliar yet exciting, but you have no clue where to start exploring. Often, you find yourself ending up in one of those already crowded touristic places, while missing out on a whole lot of fun that is going on a few streets down the block. Touristic places like to sell the idea of being authentic, but mostly, they are all providing you with the same experience. On your journey abroad, the real magic happens when you step out of the touristic comfort zone, and start thinking like a local. A place can be incredibly touristic, still there are areas where the ‘real stuff’ is going on. Ever wondered where the locals live, eat or do their shopping? You probably did, but weren’t sure how to take the next step in following this thought. 

Now there is a new kid on the block in travel land, Withlocals, which aims to change some things in the travel industry. By removing the intermediary travel agencies, Withlocals connects locals and travelers directly through food and experiences.

Now what exactly does this mean? Imagine yourself going on a trip to Chiang Mai, and having a dinner in a local family’s home. Instead of eating a standard meal in a tourist restaurant, you will meet new friends, discover a different culture and taste a real authentic dinner you will never forget.  

The idea is to enable people to show their own strengths and skills. After all, everybody is good at something. Withlocals gives you the chance to eat with locals, but also to go on tours and exciting activities with them. Locals are the experts of their area. Learn for instance how to make your own milk, navigate a long-tail boat, or where to find the best street food stalls!
The locals get a honest price for something they do daily because they can set their own prices. The ultimate local experience will be cheaper than in a tourist agency, but will make a huge difference for a local family. 

Withlocals will kick off in Thailand, a country renowned for its open culture and friendliness, making it the ideal base to depart from. After this, the organization will expand to other countries to Asia. Got excited? You can find more information and even subscribe for the first launch in September on the website of Withlocals. 

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