Six cool places at Wat Umong where time frozen

If compared to the light of Nimman Road, Mueang District, Chiang Mai Province, would be neon reflecting light during the day and brink bright light at night time. Different from Wat Umong district that is more comfortable to look at, seems like using a painting brush paint slowly and calmly with the natural colors.

Why is that? Because of the opening hours of shops in this area most will start late. Many shops are labeled as open at 9 am. So, if anyone plan to visit this neighborhood, should spare 1-2 days here or it’s better to stay overnight around 2 nights.

Don’t rush! I just made up this rule myself. After walking through this alley and turn to other alleys and then find out that a good time ’happen here when we give enough time to each individual spot and each store. Because of Wat Umong area watch is not necessary.

Either a pastry shop, a coffee shop, a guesthouse or even a barber shop—these made me had to change my trip plan. Because of the atmosphere - market - shop Wat Umong area, stealing time.

why? Try to visit each store.

1. Shizen : Backdoor hair salon with only one hairdresser

Former skilled hairdresser in the capital who decided to leave chaos and intended to open a small hair salon that quiet and simple in Chiang Mai. Khun Plai, Kochamon Taiyong,  a shorted hair girl, the owner of this lovely name salon “Shizen” that comes from Japanese word means “Nature”.

Because the hair salon is located under the shade of Soi Wat Umong, this create the atmosphere of hair salon even closer to nature. The green of the tree intersects the blue of the house. If viewed from the outside, many people would not think that this house would be divided into small hair salons but equipped with cutting tools, like other general hair salons. Plus, the ground floor here also hides a small studio space for yoga classes or doing various workshops as well.

Shizen is a secret hair salon in Wat Umong neighborhood but it is popular with both Thai and foreigners. They often come by to have Plai does the hair styling for them but must first say that not everyone will come in and receive service immediately.

You will have to make an appointment first because the concept of Shizen is to provide the details and the highest attention to every customer. Shizen hair salon has only one hairdresser, that is Khun Plai. In one day, only one customer is accepted, there is some time that can accept more than one but not often. Because Khun Plai will devote all time to speaking to each customer to understand the identity of the customer most.

"When we understand the nature of customer and her hair condition, will make the haircut that suit her the most.”

While working on hair cut, Plai is chatting with the client, asking about customer every life, movie and music. But not urging if customers like privacy. Plus, not skimp on knowledge, she recommends a little trick about hair care as a complimentary.

Khun Plai often observes the identity of the customer since walking into the salon and using her own excellent sense of evaluation, which style customer should like. Suppose there is a woman wanting a short haircut and she likes a dark makeup and fashionable. She will design the hair style roughly, to be consistent or in the same tone as the customer's identity. If still unsatisfied, welcome to adjust Find the middle between each other In order to give the most impressive hairstyle.

Plai often meet customers who are enjoying talking to each other and many became friends, both foreigners who are Westerners or Asian like Hong Kong, Japanese, Korean, that they intend to visit Chiang Mai to have hair cut with Plai.

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Tel : 091-858-0612

2. Enough For Life : Warm guesthouse with only 2 rooms

Sufficient  bring happiness

The area is not large, but not too small to divide into small coffee shops, small pool shops and two guest houses. Which is all set in the Viltage style, a mixture of words Villa + Vintage. According to Khun NuJung, Nuttawut Punsin, former young engineer from a large company in the city center who transformed his life and this land together with a young Korean wife named Kim Dawun.

This white gable building is designed and fully integrated. Khun Nujung used his knowledges and abilities that he must design the entire space to look warm and maximize benefits. The upper floor of the building is open for only 2 rooms and clearly separates the stairs on both sides because he wants the guests have the most privacy. The ground floor is the area for selling cute products such as crockery, ceramic plates, craft works such as knitted hats, clothing and bags, including vintage home decorations.

But it was not easy to make this place warm and nice like this. Khun Nujung told that he and his wife had a violent fight and almost break up because the engineer profession took time between him and the family. Every day, was to leave home to work from seven o'clock in the morning and went back after five o'clock, because he just thought that he had to earn a lot of money. Until he and his wife began to fight frequently Therefore decided to deflate his life, resign from his job, and create a new life, simple, with this product, a chic place in Wat Among area.

Khun Nujung and his wife tried to close the cracks completely by using the Enough for Life space to replace the time between neglect. Gradually adjust understanding Until the current family members increase three son’s names, Porpieng, Piengpor and Pordee.

“Wants to do something small that I can have time with my wife and children. "

Khun Nujung said that what he did made himself see that time is more valuable than money by apply the sufficiency economy philosophy that everyone is familiar with to apply to business and family life.

When we asked this guy if there would be an opportunity to expand the room further?

Khun Nujung replied, "No, this is enough. Like the word Enough for Life "

We don't have to do anything that is too big or no need to have many rooms, do not have to make a big coffee shop. Do as much as you can take care of. Focus on good customer service and impressed them that they wanting to come back and here stay again, this is enough. Because in the end, our lives do not need more money than happiness and good relationships between family members.

So, he never thought of regretting that he chose to leave a career in a big city and Came to start a new life here Because Khun Nu-chan said "Just having time for the family That's enough. "

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Tel : 084-504-5084

Slow Hands Studio: Let it go and find

After passing through the 4th year, from the banana forest land to the sculpture studio, in Wat Umong area named Slow Hands Studio which is belong to Khun Ting, Chonticha Sujaritpinit and her best friend Khun Jern, Kochanun Srirakit.

Initially they used this area as a base to create their own art, did not intend to teach seriously.
But with outstanding craftsmanship of Khun Ting-Khun Jern, make it here today to become the coolest pottery workshop area and famous, until receiving much attention from both Thai and foreigners.

"At the beginning of the studio opening, we were crazy about sculpting. I felt that Oh, this sculpture is fantastic!  Khun Ting is both an illustrator, translator and a ceramic sculptor.

"The molding has dimension does not like drawing. When turning to the other side it creates a new dimension which we unexpected"The molding has dimension does not like drawing. When turning to the other side it creates a new dimension which we unexpected

Therefore, it is no surprise that many tourists are serious and booking tickets overseas to study here. In addition to cheap tuition fees, when compared to other studios. Another reason is that Slow Hands Studio offers a good experience.

Khun Ting said that each piece of work is unique. All works are made from two human hands. Each person creates a different job. That piece of work is just one piece in the world.

“Cannot rush when do sculping, take time and enjoy doing it”

When sculping cannot be accelerated, every process is on risk. From clay molding, spread the soil to smooth, and wait to dry. If it cracks, then must start working again. Or if passing, must wait to bake. When took it into the furnace and exploded, must return to start from the beginning again. Even though it sounds complicated, everyone will learn to concentrate, release and forgive themselves from sculping.

How to apply for the class? Khun Ting said that should book in advance, just bring the intention and the idea.

Everyone can create valuable work. Don't expect to make it quick or make it beautiful. Just letting the two hands gradually sculpt the clay and mix with enjoyment. To feel that what we are sculpting is beautiful then the creativity will happen automatically "

If you think you are an impatient person or art is difficult, you may be wrong.

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Tel : 081-437-3611

4. Kaprao 168 : The desperate menu that was thought again and again before serving

Flavoring spicy, plus a pleasant aroma Causing fried basil to become a popular food for Thai people. No matter where you are, when you think of anything to eat, don't think of anything else just think of Pad Kaprao, either with pork, chicken and beef. Every meat can be used to create a fried basil menu.

As well as Kaprao 168, which is in the Lan Lamun 'project near Chiang Mai University Not far from Wat Umong. Specialty according to the restaurant name it sell only the fried basil menu. Which will be served in a zinc plate paired with a short stainless-steel spoon.

This is the intention of Khun Oil, Milin Viriya, 26 years old the restaurant owner. She had already thought of serving food in an ordinary zinc plate. Because she wants to eat, feel simple, friendly, like eating at home. In addition, the restaurant also appeases people who cannot eat spicy with the garlic menu. Both pork and chicken to provide customers with more choices.

Variety of various basil menus, starting at 35 baht to hundreds. Both typical menus like basil with pork or chicken and exotic menu that the restaurant offers, such as basil with sweet intestine, basil with stewed beef and at with egg fried, omelet or egg lava which is one of the most popular menu here.

In addition to the strong taste of fried basil which does not require adding fish sauce but is already delicious. The look of the dish arrangement also makes the customer impressed. The carefully selected meat is cooked to a reddish color of chilli and the green color of the cucumber placed on the edge of the plate and end with crispy basil leaves topping.

Kaprao 168 Is one of the favorite place of Chiang Mai University students. With a reasonable price, location is not far away, delicious taste that causing most customers are students - which matches the intended target.

Khun Oil is an alumnus of Chiang Mai University. She started this restaurant 2 years ago when he was a marketing student last year. At that time, Oil just wanted to try doing business based on the solicitation of her boyfriend who had opened a steak place before. Which the family did not agree and do not understand why she had to sell stir-fried with basil—hard job. And preferred that she works for a company. But with stubbornness, she decided to listen to her voice. Her goal was to do something unique. At that time, there was no restaurant that sold only one menu. She looked around but found only restaurant that offered a general order, so did not hesitate to start. But found that making basil menu, which is a desperate menu of many people is not that easy.

When wanting to be different, must go pass the limit. She spent a long time experimenting with formulas and find raw materials. Practiced stirring to be able to have the standard of every single dish and importantly fried dry by using the least amount of oil, no lentils, bell peppers or other vegetables mixed with emphasis on pure basil.Until finally decided to open a restaurant as a small shed on the roadside in front of the university gate and used the name Kraparo 168. This number came from the birthday of her boyfriend and Khun Aoi’s and an auspicious number according to Chinese science as well.

From just a small place with few customers and then became famous basil restaurant.Besides the quality and attention at every step, Khun Aoi told that she has magic words  “customer who come to eat must ‘be satisfied with delicious dish’. Although, it is a hard work and does not make a lot of money, decided to go this way then must be tolerant. When see that customers are enjoy the meal, especially the students, she feels proud and thought that she chose the right path.

If you are a basil lover, do not miss to taste pure basil, no mixed beans. Fast food created by the courage to think - dare to try - dare to start. Do you dare to try this mouth-watering menu?

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Tel : 097-095-0168

5. immeepeena: : Come to rest and eat caramel custard at a friend's house

This shop has only one table. And the same table used to brew coffee. But if you are in a hurry or would like to have a dessert parade that line up to pick, suggest that you go to another café. Because here on weekdays, there will be only 1-2 kinds of sweets, the maximum on weekend is still no more than 5 choices.

For coffee - Barista here will not make the brew immediately but will chat with you first to know or can guess the what kind of coffee that you may like coffee like. So, they call themselves “Slow Bar”.

The pastry chef is a young woman, Khun Peena Pipoppinyo, who opened this cafe with a life partner barista, ‘Kien 'Khun Thatri Sanganupab. That’s why this shop has a full name “immeepeena & Slow Bar Thatri”รี

Besides they are not hurry, many customers pre-book the sweets. Before coming to the café in the next 2 hours.

"All of this is just for a small cup custard" that some people even get double.

In addition to aromatic caramel fragrant, the smoothness, softness and texture of the first bite of custard made us even stunned. Before speaking at the same time, "Is there a custard like this in the world?" So, it is no surprise that Caramel Custard is became the best Seller menu of the café. Regular customers usually call to order in advance. And should eat and finish all at the cafe or for take home also should finish it all in the same day.

Ranked equally but can keep for a long time is Taiwan Pineapple Tart Cheese Khun Peena went to study from the original Chinese-style bakery teacher.

Started from learn to make Chinese pastry cake, I started from where I like to eat mainly and continue to find the recipe. Went to learn how to make moon cake and I liked the teacher a lot so I wanted to learn another dessert with her more. Until it is a pineapple tart cheese that focus on small pieces in Chinese style. I feel it is wonderful and unlike other pastry"

The menu that she got a lot of orders every year is homemade moon cake, Khun Pena put all the best ingredients and craftsmanship.

"When making must be very attentive and neat. Intending to choose every ingredient, every step, so I was the first. that sold moon cakes at high prices. I was scared at first but the word of mouth spreader. So, it has been done for 4 years. "

The menu that is constantly changing will be set according to the season, such as durian cake, carrot cake, taro cake, fresh orange cake. In the winter, I normally serve green tea with red bean rolls, strawberry shortcake or flawless chocolate, no added powder chocolate cake that customers say "Can eat and don't feel fat and don't feel guilty"

"The raw materials we use may be light. We choose every good thing. But everything that is delicious you must exercise after ate it. Khun Peena warns

This piece of pastry is often ordered with coffee. Barista proudly presents ‘Ruenrudee 'cold brew coffee. Add sweetness with honey from coffee flower that gives a little bit of cider and sweet, mellow, not sharp.

We just want to make a cafe that people feel that drinks don't have to be difficult to understand but everyone should have his own drink. Children can drink milk, or everyone has the right to choose the drink they like. Nothing is right or wrong, customer can just come and have a chat for a while if possible, this is Khun Thatri intention.

I must tell you before that, immeepeena is not a full bakery cafe. Who wants to stop by must open the door? You may find Pena is busy working on the pastry.

“We want our customers feel like sitting at a friend's house and a walk to see when making pastry or even can help me make it. Khun Peena admitted that this place still does not look like a café. Many people told me to put the pastry cabinet outside, but Khun Peena refused to do because she was afraid of the dust. Importantly, each piece of candy does not want to be kept for a long time.

We don’t want to be Indy but that all ability that we can take care of and we want our customer to have the most delicious pastry. Some customer walked in and we told that she had to wait for 15 minutes and she could wait with no rush.

This is immeepeena & Slow Bar Thatri

Tel : 085-161-2952