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Chiang Mai Review (Best): Day 4

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Picture of Brian Kennett

Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Boozy Traveling Foodie Extraordinaire

Chiang Mai Review, day 4 of our Tour, or water day as it became affectionately known. Our mate Mr Kim came and picked us up. Let’s do something a little different today. Off we go to hot springs, and water parks. The hot springs are a fair jaunt out of town, but in some beautiful countryside of Thailand.

This place is at Sankampaeng Hot Springs. Yep, it is volcanic, yep, it is smelly because of the sulphur, it’s very hot too. But a VERY cool place, despite being HOT springs: did you see what I did there?

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs geysers

Here we are sitting next to 2 of the natural geysers – no need to sit and wait for Old Faithful as these are constantly spouting boiling water up into the sky.

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs geysers

It costs about 110 Baht to get in a use the facilities at Sankampaeng Hot Springskids pool (full of dead frogs ha ha – that’ll team them to assume the water is fine and jump in), adults pool, leg dipping area, hot showers and even a place to buy raw eggs, pop them in little baskets and dip them in the pool to be hard-boiled in 15 minutes. Delicious with a little savoury sauce. Let’s get into Chiang Mai ReviewDay 4 of our Tour.

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs massage

After a quick dip in the boiling mineral waters around the place, we decided it was time for a foot massage. How awesome! Mr Kim even bought me a beer, bless him.

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs geyser boiled eggs

Here’s our geyser-cooked hard-boiled eggs, with a lovely icy cold Chang. Yummo!

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs kids hot pools

This is the kid’s pool, way cooler than the others, but this is the one with all the dead frogs. We did not spot that until we were leaving. Yucks! Literally, it was like frog soup!!!

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs kids hot pools

Lovely lukewarm pool, just don’t swallow the water Jude Jude! Unless you like frog soup, that is…

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs egg boiling

See our little egg baskets in the pool? This is 105 degrees hot, straight from the source – BOILING hot. It also gives there eggs a really unique and delicious flavour.

Chiang Mai Review Sankampaeng Hot Springs old faithful geyser

This geyser is old and very faithful – it goes non-stop.

Chiang Mai Review Tube Trek Water Park

Next, we go off to the new water park in Chiang Mai, called Tube Trek.

This is not the best thing we have done in our Chiang Mai Review. There seems to be no agreed charging mechanism. Mary paid a different price compared to me, and Ollie was different to Amy. Amy could not go on half the rides, despite being more than able to do all the same-style rides in Singapore.

The lazy river was about 2′ deep so you had to walk around. For food and drinks, you can only use a pre-paid wristband, and you can only top that up with cash – no cash, you are f*cked. A really painful, place and process. A place we surely won’t be rushing back to.

Still, the kids had fun.

Chiang Mai Review Tube Trek Water Park

And believe me, it was hot hot hot today. So parental tempers were frayed…

Chiang Mai Review Tube Trek Water Park

Amy could not go on any of these rides. Ollie tried on a couple and they said only 4 at a time, er just add 4 single riders and you have 4, you dummy. So again this was just yet more annoyance about this place.

Chiang Mai Review tuk-tuk rides

It’s tuk-tuk time on the way home – I took this photo to prove to my colleagues I was on vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and could not join a conference call.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

Now to the highlight of the day. Dinner. This place will knock your socks off, The Service 1921. Read on.

Seriously, how cool is this place, this is the restaurant in the Anantara Hotel, a 5* renovation in Chiang Mai, keeping the old Governor’s house, and converting it as you’ll see behind Mary and the kids. Without any shadow of a doubt this some of the best food I have ever eaten, and when you think we had 6 main courses, 2 desserts, 2 beers, 2 cocktails, free nibbles, free palate cleanser, some of the very best staff ever, and amazing seat and so on, to be charged a little over $200 was mind-blowing.

It’s all themed on Secret Services. So much so that they have a special list of cocktails, and we had Golden Gun and Gold Finger – yep actual gold flakes within the drink.

Secret rooms that you’ll see soon. Fantastic display cabinets full of very cool spy-stuff, which made us feel like we were in a film: The Kingsman. What a genius place this restaurant is.

This is truly a bucket-list, or death-row cuisine. You have to come here if you visit Chiang Mai, and try the food. You have to!

Anantara Hotel, The Service 1921, 123-123/1, Charoen Prathet Road, Chiangklan. +66 (0) 5325 3333 – make sure you do ring to book, as it was heaving the night before we could not walk-in. 

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

I like it, I like it: A LOT!!!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

Menus and drinks lists get served in a bound top-secret manila folders. Check the display cabinets too. The eye for detail and coolness is on steroids.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

See what I mean about being on the set of The Kingsman?

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant cocktails

Gold Finger and Golden Gun cocktails, see the gold flakes glistening?

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant beef shank in yellow curry sauce

Ollie goes with slow-cooked beef shank in yellow curry sauce – BOOM!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant nue pad

Mary goes for Nue Pad, or beef in oyster sauce with Spring onion. This was very very good.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant tom kah gai

I tried the Tom Kha Gai. Up there with the best for sure, and I love the fact that they served it on paper. Yep, this is not a bowl, it’s paper, sat on a little burner to keep it warm – genius!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant Szechuan pocahed wagyu

But, to the highlight of the week from a food perspective. The Szechuan Poached Beef with Cabbage and Bean Sprouts. This was massive, but we polished this off in no time.

One of the very best dishes I have eaten in my 49 years on this planet – it was just fantastic. I will fly back to Chiang Mai just for this. I had a good chat too with the Chef about this. DOUBLE BOOM, DOUBLE WOW!!!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant Szechuan pocahed wagyu

Very sad Daddy, now that I have finished it. See what I mean about the size, it was HUGE, but ALL gone. Oh my goodness, so so good.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant james bond cocktails

Here are your James Bond cocktails from The Service 1921, bloody good they were too. Yes, that is circa $12 for a cocktail. Crazy cheap!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

We loved this place!

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

All around you there is just the coolest stuff to soak in, on top of the amazing food.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant

This was free, tofu skin with sesame oil, and some peanuts with a variety of things to merge together.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant Head Chef

A legend in the making, the Head Chef of The Service 1921. From China. I tell you mate, promise me you’ll keep pumping out that food and I will follow you everywhere.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant desserts

Now some delicious dessert, fruit, jelly and coconut ice cream.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant desserts

I went with poached bananas in sweet creamed coconut milk, what a great finish to the end of the meal.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant secret room

Here is another one of the dining rooms, at The Service 1921, Chiang Mai with a sort of bookcase at the back wall.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant secret room

Looks like any other normal bookcase right?

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant secret room

WRONG, folks, it is a hidden door. Let’s go and explore.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant secret room

The gorgeous Amy shows that behind the secret door is a caged door.

Chiang Mai Review Anantara Hotel The Service 1921 Restaurant secret room

And now you’re in a completely new room, secret and secure for discussing those secret missions. Bloody brilliant!

Chiang Mai Day #4 Kennett's Tour

So there you go folks, Chiang Mai Review Day 4. A rather interesting day. One very unique place, one place I would rather never go back to, and one place I am planning to get back to ASAP.

The more we stay in Chiang Mai, the more she opens her Kimono and shows off more and more amazing things to do. I wholeheartedly recommend getting a friendly tuk-tuk driver, as we did, as you get to see the secrets that are a little off the beaten track.

You MUST go to The Service 1921 Chiang Mai, that is an order, and I know 100% that you will ENJOY!!!

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