As we all know, eating is important. It is no wonder that the bags of tasty souvenirs of the tour groups prepared to return home after the trip to Chiang Rai are almost as big as their baggage. In this review, we will look at what are top and popular snack foods to take home from Chiang Rai.
Caep Moo (Pork Rinds) and Nam Prik Num (Northern Thai Green Chili Dip) are the ultimate classic northern Thai foods. Many brands of Caep Moo and Nam Prik Num are sold in Chiang Rai. Just imagine the pork rinds eaten together with the salty and aromatic green chili dip; it will be an irresistible combination, especially at the shop "Nantawan" which has sold them for over 30 years.
Also, the delicious smell of freshly grilled Sai Aua (Northern Thai Spicy Sausage) floating around is tempting as well. If you want to buy them as a takeaway, the vacuum packing is available in many shops now. For instance, the shop “Nopparat” near the Clock Tower offers the always hot Sai Aua, “Ancient Herbal Sai Aua”, which is guaranteed by several awards.
Moo Yor (Vietnamese Pork Sausage) is another famous local product of Chiang Rai. "Su Jin Moo Yor", a well-known shop near the Clock Tower, sells Moo Yor for more than 50 years. This shop sells traditional Vietnamese Pork Sausage and black pepper recipe that both locals and tourists enjoy and buy them as souvenirs. Additionally, strawberries in Chiang Rai are worth buying as well due to their uniqueness of nice smell and sweet taste, without sour taste. These strawberries (Fragaria ananassa Duch.) are grown over 800 meters above sea level at an average temperature of 15-18 degrees Celsius. There are numerous strawberry farms in Chiang Rai, but the trendy one right now is "Mon Kiang Dao". Recently, the organic strawberries have been planted in Mae Chan District.
Chinsom, a local Lanna food which is similar to Naem - a Thai pork sausage with sour flavor, is another option. The main ingredients of Chinsom can be pork, beef, or buffalo meat fermented with other ingredients, and then it is wrapped with banana leaves. You may eat it with vegetables, fry it with the vegetables or eggs, or even grill it. The most famous Chinsom is in Mae Kha Jarn Sub-district, Wiang Pa Pao District. There are several brands available to buy, most of which are made by elders in the community. Thus, whichever shop you buy, it can be trusted. Or, you can try it at the bigger souvenir shops in the city as well.
Finally, you can have “Non Rod Duan” (Fried Bamboo Caterpillars). Chiang Rai is famous for its abundant nature, so it is a source of bamboo caterpillars that consume bamboo. In addition to its delicious taste, the bamboo caterpillars are also packed with protein and amino acids.
As you can see, Chiang Rai has a lot of tasty foods. Don’t worry about gaining weight; if you resist not to taste and buy them, you may regret this later. See you in your next trip!