A taste of Thailand: Chiang Mai’s organic food scene

Khao Soi Northern Style Curried Noodle Soup with Chicken
Khao Soi Northern Style Curried Noodle Soup with Chicken

The historical city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is famous for its ancient temples, spectacular mountainous landscape, bustling markets and elephant sanctuaries. It’s also the heart of Thailand’s thriving organic food community, with a vast variety of food on offer from locally grown coffee to organic vegetables.


Founded in 1296, Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until 1558. The Old City, with its beautiful temples, museums and interesting sites, still sits in the centre of the city, and is one of the most historically and spiritually significant places in Thailand. With approximately 95 per cent of the population Buddhist, the philosophy of non-violence – with a focus on a simple and natural approach to life – extends to food. Amazing vegetarian restaurants abound in Chiang Mai, as does access to wholesome, organic food.

  • The organic food scene is growing every year in Chiang Mai, with a wide range of options to choose from – including markets, restaurants and cooking classes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  • Visit and learn about organic agricultural processes, from planting seeds to the harvesting and transportation of fresh produce to market, at the Royal Agricultural Station in Doi Inthanon.
  • Learn how to cook authentic Thai food at an organic farm. Pick fresh ingredients and enjoy a delicious organic meal at the Thai Farm Cooking School. thaifarmcooking.net
  • Visit Baan Pha Mon Village to learn how to roast and drip coffee beans, as well as forage for wild ingredients in the forest.
  • Take your pick from one of the great organic restaurants on offer, including Ohkajhu Farm and Pun Pun Organic Restaurant.

To market: There are so many great markets selling organics, including Chiang Mai Organic Home Market, a bustling organic marketplace with vendors selling fresh fruit and vegetables on Canal Road; and Organic Farmers’ Market Chiang Mai at JJ Handicraft Market, 45 Atsadathorn Road.

For more information on the world-renowned food coming out of Thailand, or to plan your next foodie adventure, visit amazingthailand.com.au and @Hug Thailand on Facebook.



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