Spreading Christmas Cheer in Santitham, Chiang Mai
After living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for nearly four months, we’ve become very fond of the locals in our neighbourhood of Santitham. Santitham is a very local area of the city, unlike other popular areas that are populated with quite a few expats and tourists. Santitham has plenty of great cafes, restaurants, street food spots and shops, so we spend the majority of our time in the area. And after a few months living here, we, of course, have our favourites.
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These places aren’t our favourite just because of the delicious and cheap food they serve, they’re also run by some of the loveliest Thai people we’ve met. These people remind us why Thailand is known as the ‘land of a thousand smiles’.
We love spending our money in their welcoming businesses and interacting with them has become part of our daily routine. Even if we don’t happen to be eating or drinking with them on any given day, we’ll still at some point be passing by and will exchange smiles and waves as we do. This is something we’ve never experienced in any town we’ve lived in the UK.
The language barrier in Santitham is quite high as not many locals speak English, but we all try our best to get to know each other. We embarrassingly have only learnt to say hello and thank you in Thai so we haven’t helped the situation.
With it being Christmas, we wanted to use the occasion to say thank you to our favourite locals. We’d been sent a lot of sweet treats from our generous families in the UK, so we had plenty to share with our new Thai friends.
So with our plates of goodies and Santa hat upon Shelley’s head, we took to the streets to spread some Christmas cheer.
This in one of our apartment security guards. These guys are always smiling as we walk past them multiple times a day.
Our closest and most visited restaurant is owned by this lovely couple. We eat here most lunch times in the week as her food is delicious and costs just £1 a meal. We got invited to his 52nd birthday last week which was great fun.
Our favourite coffee shop (Moom La Moon Cafe) is run by this very friendly lady and her husband. We buy their awesome coffee almost every day and enjoy their welcoming smiles and chats. They also have a kitten! 🙂
These places really are very local to us. That’s our apartment block in the top left corner.
This guy and his wife are our go to couple to buy our fruit each day. They have a fruit stall outside our local 7 Eleven and they always serve us with a beaming smile.
Another of our favourite lunch places is this lady’s Pad Tai shop. It’s one of the smallest restaurants in the area and her Pad Tai is sooooo tasty. She’s constantly smiling and laughing 🙂
When we want a cheap iced drink on the go, we come to this guy. His iced coffees, teas and shakes are less than 50p and he ALWAYS gives us a smiley wave to say hello and goodbye. Such a nice chap.
We’ll be extremely sad to leave Santitham and it’s people in just two weeks time. Chiang Mai almost feels like home. We imagine we’ll be back at some point in the future. Hopefully next year. Fingers crossed all our new friends will still be here when we do. Merry Christmas!!!