Chiand Mai Floating Restaurant, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiangmai, Thailand has many great restaurants, but the Chiangmai Floating Restaurant is my favorite for lunch. If you are not in a rush and want to try excellent Thai dishes in a wonderful atmosphere for an unbelieveable price, this place is for you.
Now if you are in a hurry, it’s best to eat at a vendor’s stall, as Excellent Thai food takes a lot of preparation and is cooked fresh. Almost all good Thai restaurants have beautiful flower gardens, waterfalls, or ponds with fountains, lots of orchids, and playgrounds for the children. For Thai people, eating out is a pleasure and the food takes a while before it comes to the table, so the atmosphere is very important. Taking family or friends to a noisy restaurant on a busy street is unacceptable and considered very rude for Thai people. Street vendors and busy street side restaurants are OK to purchase food to take home or if you are on your way somewhere, but never for pleasure dinning.
One of my favorite restaurants in Chiangmai, Thailand is Chiang Mai Lan Ahan Reampae, or Chiangmai Floating Restaurant. They now have two, one on Sankhampaeng Road and the other on the outer-ring road to Mae Rim. Since the one off Sankhampaeng road is near my home and closer to town, I always eat at this one.
When you first enter the restaurant, you will notice right away a sign with their health department number and government rating of ‘Very Good”. This puts us at ease knowing the kitchen and dinning area are clean with the food prepared with fresh ingredients.
You will be escorted to your seat in one of the three areas of your choice, one open-air and the other two, covered. The dinning area is floating on pontoons that are extended out into a large pond surrounded by fields and trees. During warm days, it is best to sit in the covered area where a sprinkler system is installed on the roof to cool the hot metal sheets.
They have an extensive Thai menu and a shorter English menu. If you have a Thai friend or your Thai guide along with you, ordering from the Thai menu is best, however, the English menu is sufficient.
My wife and I went there last Sunday with friends, five adults and two children, and had 11 different dishes including rice, soft drinks, and fruit shakes, and the total price was under $18. The dishes were Tom Yum Goog (Lemon Grass Soup with Shrimp), Gai Priew Waan (Sweet and Sour Chicken), Khai Jiew Pak (Vegetable Omelet), Pla Grapong Khao Neung Manao (Steamed Sea Perch with Chili in Lime Sauce), Poh Pia Sod (Fried Spring Rolls with Pork, Vegetable Filling and Tamarind Sauce), Paad Bai Gra-pow Gai (Sautéed Chicken with Chili and Basil Leaves), Gai Paad Med Ma-muang Himmapaan (Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts and Dry Chili), Paad Paak Boong (Stir-fried Morning Glory), Plaa Goong (Grilled River Prawn Salad Marinated with Peppermint and Lemon Grass), Gai Hor Bai Toey (Marinated Chicken in Coconut Milk, Wrapped and Baked in Pandan Leaves), and a large plate of mixed fruit.
Once we placed the order the drinks came first, then the soup and finger food such as the spring rolls then the food for the children such as the omelet. When eating Thai food DO NOT scrape one dish onto your plate. Each dish has it’s own serving spoon where you take a little and put it on your plate then use your own spoon and fork. This gives everyone a chance to taste all the wonderful dishes. You are provided a small soup bowl, a plate, fork and spoon. Chop sticks are provided if you order a noodle dish.
The great thing I enjoy about eating Thai-style at a good restaurant is you never know what dish is coming next and when. The first two or three come rather quickly, and then comes the rice. Just as we are almost finishing one or two dishes, one or two more come to replace them.
Also, I love the service. There is always someone there to fill up your water or beer glass when it gets low or add more rice to your plate before you run out. All you need to do is enjoy your food, friends, family, and the beautiful, quiet surroundings.
There are many other restaurants in Chiangmai that I like for evening dinning. All have beautiful gardens and water features, while some have traditional live Thai music. But for lunch you can’t beat the Chiangmai Floating Restaurant for cleanliness, quality of food, excellent atmosphere, and service. I recommend you take your friends or family here for a few hours to enjoy great lunch.