Top 5 Souvenir Ideas From Chiang Mai

what to buy in chiang mai
Top 5 Souvenir Ideas From Chiang Mai

Everything is easy in Thailand.

There are no worries and hassles, and the only thing more amazing that the price is the sheer array of choices offered. From edible goods to tacky knickknacks that scream "Thai-as-hell", souvenir-picking in Thailand is a piece of cake, provided you are not already overwhelmed by all the options available.

The northern city of Chiang Mai has long been considered the cultural capital of the country. Just like its arts and heritage, the food produced in this region is nothing like those in the south. This explains why a person from Bangkok would feel obliged to make a mandatory stop at Chiang Mai's Warorot Market (ตลาดวโรรส) to buy the local specialties to be brought along with them back to the city. (According to the Thailand Department of Tourism, 9.5 millions out of the 14.1 million visitors in Chiang Mai in 2013 are really just Thais).

Listed below are the top 5 souvenir ideas from Chiang Mai:

Sai Oua (ไส้อั่ว)

Sai Oua is a type of grilled sausage found in northern Thailand and the Laotian region that is made out of coarsely chopped pork, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, coriander leaves, chilies, shallots, and other seasonings. Each bite releases rich, fragrant flavors especially of the lemongrass. Sai Oua is usually served as starter alongside the fiery Nam Prik Nume, a Thai version of salsa.

best Chiang Mai Souvenir Ideas
Sai Oua sold at the Warorot Market in Chiang Mai

Naem (แหนม)

Also known as Jim Som (literally: sour meat), Naem is a type of fermented pork that is soured using cooked sticky rice. In the olden days when refrigerators have yet to be invented, there are usually plenty of meat left after a pig is slaughtered. In order to avoid letting the excess go to waste, the pork would then be finely chopped and combined with leftover sticky rice to be preserved. The result? A addictive and delicious pork dish with a very distinctive sourness that sets it apart from every other type of cured meat in the world. Aroi mak mak!

what to buy in chiang mai
Easy packs of Naem Taeng sold in the markets

Pork Rinds/Kaeb Moo

These bite-size pork rinds are deep-fried in generous amount of salt, cloves, crushed coriander stalks and garlic. Each of these crispy, puffy golden brown cracklings comes with fatty pockets which will delicately crumble in your mouth.

best food in chiang mai
Pretty much crushed, but still good!

Nam Prik Noom (น้ำพริกหนุ่ม)

This Thai version of salsa is used as a relish with almost any kind of dish served on the table. This chunky green chili dip is made using generous amount of hot rooster spur peppers (Prik Chee Fah).

top Souvenir Ideas From Chiang Mai
Nam Prik Noom bottled and travel-friendly

Nam Prik Ong (น้ำพริกอ่อง)

This red chili dip has a slightly milder taste compared to the green one as it is made using a tomato-based paste, minced pork, coriander, and dried bird’s eye chilies. It is most frequently referred to as "Thai Bolognese".

best Chiang Mai Souvenir Ideas
Example of Nam Prik Ong sold in Chiang Mai

Shopping for foodstuffs in Chiang Mai has been made simple because most of them are properly sealed, packaged, and ready for takeaway. Listed above is just one of the few specialty Chiang Mai snacks which make great gifts for the loved ones back home.

For related travel articles, click here.

Restoranas Paukščių Takas, Vilnius TV Tower

Vilnius TV Tower
Vilnius TV Tower

Vilnius TV Tower

The Vilnius TV Tower (Vilniaus televizijos bokštas) is the tallest structure in Lithuania, measuring 326.5 metres and is located in Karoliniškės, Vilnius. On January 13, 1991, 14 civilians were killed while they formed a blockade against the Soviet troops who attempted to seize the tower. A museum dedicated to this event is housed on the ground floor.

Restoranas Paukščių Takas

Paukščių Takas, or Milky Way, is the name of the restaurant located on the 19th floor observation deck (165 metres above ground level) which offers a panoramic view of the city and the low-rise buildings surrounding it. It has a revolving platform which completes a rotation every 45 minutes. Visitors are transported to the restaurant in 40 seconds using high-speed elevators. On clear days, Vilnius and its bordering suburbs in the radius of 50 kilometers can be seen.

Restoranas Paukščių Takas
Vilniaus televizijos bokštas
Restoranas Paukščių Takas, the Milky Way restaurant

Bistro-style dishes are served from 11am to 6pm, which include salad, burgers, waffles, and assorted desserts. From 6pm onward, European main courses are served. Alcoholic beverages are available.

I had a sandwich, a cheese platter, and a few glasses of wine when I was here. Obviously, that wasn't enough for me to actually write a review about the restaurant, so you can head on to its Facebook page for honest reviews and pictures of happy, smiling Lithuanians :)

Price ranges from 5€ to 15€.

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Vilnius from above

Restoranas Paukščių Takas
Cheese platter

Vilnius TV Tower
Vilnius TV Tower from afar

Restoranas Paukščių Takas
Vilnius TV Tower
+370 5 2525 336
Opening hours: 11am-10pm (weekday), 11am-11pm (weekend)

Coconut-based Broth Steamboat, Yezi at The Roof

Award-winning YEZI is the first restaurant in Malaysia to use coconut-based broth in its steamboat, with five unique variants to choose from including Organic Chicken, Imperial Canton, Taiwanese Beef Spice, ‘Shao Xing’ Wine Seafood and Wild Forest Truffle Mushroom. Dishes are freshly prepared in the kitchen daily using raw ingredients that are mostly organic, pesticide-free, and exclusively imported.

Have a memorable family reunion this Chinese New Year by treating your loved ones to one of Yezi's lip-smacking Cantonese-style steamboat packages, which comes with auspicious Prosperity Yee Sang.

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Prosperity Yee Sang Packages

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Yezi's Chinese New Year Promotion Packages

yezi steamboat the roof 1 first avenue
Promo B for 10 pax (RM1318)

Promotion B are inclusive of the Jelly Fish and Salmon Yee Sang. Steamboat package menu comes with geoduck, tiger prawn, white clams. fresh pork slices, lamb slices, tung choy pork balls, squid balls, wagyu beef tendon balls, fried lobster salad balls, prawn and fish paste, vegetables, mushroom, white tofu, eggs, udon, and sealed with fragrant homemade coconut ice-cream.

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Ingredients that come with Promo B steamboat package

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Geoduck, tiger prawns and white clams

yezi steamboat the roof 1 first avenue
Prawn and fish paste

famous coconut steamboat malaysia
Prawn and fish paste carefully sliced before being added to the broth by a help

 Yezi at The Roof
yezi steamboat the roof 1 first avenue
Coconut ice-cream and Yezi's signature beer ice-cream to end your scrumptious meal perfectly

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Yezi at The Roof
Sky Level, 1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama
Promotion Availability: Now till 29th February 2016
Opening hours: 5pm-1am
Tel: 0377241628 / 012 323 5841

USANA 5-Day RESET Program [Review]

USANA 5-Day RESET Program
USANA 5-Day RESET Program

USANA is a Utah-based MLM company which produces nutraceuticals and nutritional products currently being sold across 20 international markets. It has three product lines, including USANA Nutritionals, USANA Diet & Energy, and Sensé. About a weeks ago, I was introduced to USANA's 5-day RESET plan, in which I am required to replace my daily meals with USANA products for five consecutive days. The meal plan includes two packets of Nutrimeal, one packet of Fibergy Plus, and a bottle of Proflavanol-C100. Within five days, it is claimed that I will be able to:
  • Lose the first few pounds
  • Curb hunger pangs
  • Break poor nutritional habits

On top of the products, it is recommended to drink at least 8 to10 glasses of water and consume at least 3 varieties of fruits/vegetables daily. Users are advised to walk for 30 minutes (approximately 3000 steps) a day, while avoiding any form of strenuous activity throughout the 5 days.

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USANA 5-Day RESET Program


Nutrimeal Dutch Chocolate

Nutrimeal is a rich meal replacement shake which allows users to feel fuller for a longer time while fully benefiting from the low glycaemic index and gluten-free components, which will result in smaller fluctuations in blood sugar levels while reducing craving for carbohydrate. Each serving comes with 8 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of soy, whey and other sources of proteins. RM132/packet.
  • Low-glycaemic-index food
  • Low in saturated fat
  • 8g of dietary fiber
  • 15g of protein
  • Gluten-free
  • Uses only natural flavors and sweeteners

Fibergy Plus

Fibergy Plus facilitates good digestion, heart health maintenance, bowel regularity, and colon toxins removal.
Failure for the colon to function properly will result in the recycling of wastes within the body, which is why it is important that they are properly and thoroughly discarded from our systems. This high-fiber diet helps users in achieving a healthier digestive system and in consuming the recommended amount of daily fiber intake. RM121/packet.
  • Flavorless fibre blend (added to juice/Nutrimeal)
  • Low-calorie
  • 10-12g of dietary fiber per serving
  • Gluten, dairy, and soy free
  • Natural ingredients


The supplement contains grape-seed extract and Vitamin C. Grape seeds are rich in Vitamin E, linoleic acid, and are powerful antioxidants against free radicals from the sun. Together with Vitamin C, it acts as a heart protector, free-radical fighters, healing agent, blood vessel and anti-aging boosters, while providing protection against harmful pollution. Proflavanol-C100 protects users against UV-induced oxidative stress to achieve healthier and more appealing skin. RM184/bottle.

About Chantel Liew

Chantel Liew is an award winning health nutritionist and business builder. She took a leap from the familiar by joining Usana after her first child. After 7 years in the business, she is a Diamond Director, mentoring and coaching many female leaders to succeed. She believes that network marketing makes it possible to have it all, a happy family, joyful marriage and time for the kids. Find out more about her at


USANA was a public listed company in USA founded by immunologist and microbiologist Myron Wentz. USANA products encompass three product lines: USANA Nutritionals (Essentials, Optimizers, and Digestion/Detox nutritional supplements), USANA Diet & Energy (RESET meal replacement shakes, and Sensé personal care (skin care, skin treatment) that market in 20 countries.

USANA Health Sciences
Facebook | Website

Lovely and Picturesque Gävle

popular restaurants in Gävle
Gävle, a town in eastern Sweden

I landed in Stockholm Arlanda Airport after a brief one-hour flight from Vilnius, Lithuania. After spending the night in Jumbo Stay Hostel, I took a train to Gävle - a quiet town located two hours north of Stockholm, where my cousin Louise and her son Tyler now reside.

Getting around Gävle

It is an ease to get around Gävle thanks to its comprehensive public transportation network. Every bus here makes a stop at Rådhustorget, the town centre, and offers free WiFi onboard. Taxi services are also plenty and reliable.

For travelers who do not understand a word of Swedish like myself, taking a bus might be challenging. Signboards at bus stops (or in fact, anywhere else in town) are only in Swedish. It is advisable to have your destination written down in case you need to show it to the driver (who will then be kind enough to point you the exit where you are supposed to get off). Since many restaurants, hotels, and bars are located close to the central Stortorget square, walking can be an option as well.

what to see in Gävle
A bread and jam stall in the middle of busy Stortorget

what to eat in Gävle
top attractions in sweden
A variety of preserved fish which sold like hot cakes at the main square

Gamla Gefle

Over the last 300 years, three town fires had taken place in Gävle. A segment of the old town, located between the library and the museum, survived the fires and has been preserved until today as a historical reserve. This area is known as Gamla Gefle.

top things to do in Gävle
Gamla Gefle


Gavleån or the Gävle River is a watercourse in the eastern coast of Sweden which connects to the Bothnian Sea. It is a pleasurable and common sight to see families and couples frolic on the riverbanks and on one of the many piers along the water during summer.

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Beautiful houses by the Gävle River

sweden travel guide
A family outing on a sunny day

At home in Gävle

My cousin Louise is the sweetest and the most thoughtful person. She has made my trip to Gävle felt like I was going home, rather than traveling in a foreign place. From each meal of the day to the places we'd be touristing, she has had everything planned ahead of time. She even bought me return tickets to Stockholm! My trip to Europe, with Sweden being the last stop, ended so delightfully all thanks to her.

Gävle travel guide
Louise and her son, Tyler

top things to do in Gävle
Tyler being cheeky

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popular restaurants in Gävle
Cozy space

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelle is a fleshy and aromatic mushroom that grows in the wild, fruiting almost all summer in the east. They come in golden apricot color and has a crisp and firm texture. Before cooking, chanterelles are usually cleaned domestically using a toothbrush to whisk away debris and unwanted surface materials under running water. To cook, these meaty mushrooms are then cut into generous chunks and the most common preparation is simply by sauteing them in butter. Optional but wise additions include half-and-half, chicken broth, and eggs. Chanterelles can be baked, and are able retain their flavors even after long cooking.

Pssst. Take a walk in IKEA Damansara and you'll notice pictures of these mushrooms on the wall!

popular restaurants in Gävle
Simple and delicious sauteed golden chanterelle

what to see in Gävle
top attractions in sweden
Homemade dinner on a chilly evening

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Strawberry picking at my cousin's backyard

The next day, Louise surprised me with a Malaysian breakfast - roti canai, chicken curry, and tea - which we gleefully tucked into while sitting beneath the sun on her lawn.

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Had roti canai in Sweden!

Dinner at Seri's

Later that week, my cousin introduced me to her bff, Seri, who lives not far away. Just like her, Seri has a beautiful house furnished with tasteful interior. A Malaysian dinner was prepared, which we arrived just in time to feast.

what to see in Gävle
what to eat in Gävle
popular restaurants in Gävle

Gävle is a lovely, picturesque destination with colorful wooden houses scattered throughout the town. I was lucky enough to see this part of Sweden thanks to the invitation by Louise. Cannot wait to be back!

Ending the post with pictures of the ever-photogenic Tyler:
top things to do in Gävle
what to see in Gävle

For similar travel stories, click here.

Mak's Chee Prawn Wonton Noodle, One Utama

Mak's Chee Prawn Wonton Noodle
Opening of Hong Kong's Mak's Chee by its director, Gary Crestejo, at One Utama

mak's chee authentic wonton hong kong
Mak's Chee Authentic Wonton is now open for business at One Utama

Fancy a plate of authentic prawn wonton noodle?

Mak's Chee (麥奀雲吞麵世家), overseen by Michelin Chef Johnny Yu, offers diners just that using a 100-year old recipe created by Guangzhou's King of Wonton Noodle, Mak Woon Chee. Mak's Chee opens its first outlet in Malaysia in One Utama, providing Malaysians with a variety of delicious dishes including its signature wonton which comes in the shape of gold fish, dumplings (sui kau), braised beef brisket, prawn roes in rich and savory broth, and fresh, springy noodle served al dente.

Michelin Chef Johnny Yu

Chef Yu is the first grandchild-in-law of the legendary Mak Woon Chee. He mastered the cooking technique of wonton noodle at a tender age of 17, under the guidance of his father-in-law, Mak En. With over 40 years of experience, Mak's Chee is expanding its business into the Malaysian market while maintaining all the traditional preparation procedures, cooking methods, as well as the tools used in order to preserve the original taste and in ensuring food quality.

mak's chee authentic wonton hong kong
 Mak's Chee Michelin Chef Johnny Yu

Mak's Chee Authentic Prawn Wonton Noodle

Quality flour and golden duck eggs are used to make the noodles, with special dough flattening techniques to achieve springiness. Mak's Chee insists on smaller noodle portions to maintain its desired texture. Fresh sea prawns and dried prawn roes are used to create fresh, crunchy wontons with a "goldfish tail", while its soup is slow-cooked to perfection using dried halibut, prawn roes, and pork bones.

Wontons are placed beneath the noodles to preserve its decades-long tradition, while the soup is poured in lastly to maintain the springy texture of the noodles.

Mak's Chee dining tips: Start eating as soon as the dish is delivered to your table!

Mak's Chee Prawn Wonton Noodle
Signature Sea Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup (RM12.90)

mak's chee price menu
Sea Prawn Wonton in Soup RM15.90 (S); RM22.90 (L)

mak's chee price menu
Noodle with Signature Sea Prawn Wonton (RM14.90)

Noodle with Braised Beef Tendon/Brisket
Noodle with Braised Beef Tendon/Brisket (RM15.90)

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Prawn Dumplings in Soup RM15.90 (S); RM 22.90 (L)

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Braised Beef Tendon/Brisket RM19.90 (S); RM 29.90 (L)

Mak's Chee Prawn Wonton Noodle
Deep Fried Wonton RM16.90 (S); RM 23.90 (L)

best restaurants in one utama
Mak's Chee is located on the LG of One Utama's new wing, opposite Cold Storage

what to eat in one utama
A section specially designed for solo diners

mak's chee authentic wonton hong kong
Mak's Chee Michelin Chef Johnny Yu cooking up a storm in the kitchen

Mak's Chee Authentic Wonton
LG311D 1 Utama (New wing)
(Opposite Cold Storage)
Opening hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm daily