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TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

COUNTRY > Thailand > Chiang Mai
DATE > 2022 > Jul
SECTIONS: > Food Odyssey | Peoplescape

Food Odyssey Peoplescape

Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022

Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason

Location Google Map: Seichi Yakiniku, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Max's Birthday Dinner
A recent acquaintance/friend, Max, invited me to his birthday dinner together with our common friend, Jason, at Seichi Yakiniku restaurant. I didn't pay too much attention to the place or the dinner itself, but I was happy to be with these 2 great guys. I was in for some surprise!

Bike Ride?
On Google Map, it was 6 kms away near the newly opened Decathlon - not a formidable bicycle ride, as that has always been my staple commutescape. But I'd be arriving sweaty. I'd rather be at the venue feeling I just came out of the shower. It was a relief when Jason message me, "Pick you up at 4:30 tomorrow for Max's bday?" Yes! I have to be careful with my thoughts - someone powerful is listening 🙂

Jason also picked up Max after picking me up. Finally, after a few missed turns using the talking Google traffic adviser, we arrived.

Seichi Yakiniku
Seichi Yakiniku wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I thought it was your typical Japanese joint serving localized sushi - which is quite popular in Chiang Mai. I didn't even know what a Yakiniku resto was. Now I know. There was no lavish decor, but it had good a/c and gave this feeling of being a high-quality food place.

Perhaps this is already common practice, but you place your order using your mobile and the resto's QR code. You don't even talk to the waitresses. The food and the bill (Baht 900/person) are just delivered to you accordingly.

The Thai Patrons
It was popular with well-heeled Thai patrons who monopolized the place. They were not out to impress as they didn't make an effort to look the part. I mean, where I come from, if you eat at such a place, you make a fashion statement that you can afford the place. True, B900 is roughly US$25 - par for the course if you're making US$. But in Thailand, that's a lotta khao sois! Such a statement also puts mere mortals in their rightful place. Absurd, yes, but that's how it works there. The Thais don't feel the need to do that. Why? Because they get it (or it takes a more expensive meal for them to look the part). Sorry, I digress.

Master of Ceremonies
Jason, being a regular at the place, was the master of ceremonies. We gave him the reigns as he placed orders for everyone - the pictures say all. Not in the picture were sashimi salmon, sushi, kiwi and strawberry desserts, etc. He made three successive orders as we paced ourselves, interspersed with our shared story-telling.

Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason
food glorious food at Seichi Yakiniku with Max and Jason

The Nutrition Gurus
Jason and Max are unique because they are both nutrition gurus. They hold talks and events where they pontificate about their food theology to a growing tide of wellness denizens who cannot optimize themselves enough with all the cutting-edge science, health protocols and latest nootropics out there.

So, it was with curiosity that I noticed they didn't use any of the sauce or condiments with the grilled dishes - not even a pinch of salt. Like most Asians, soaking a dish in its traditional sauce makes the meal.

Following their cue, I also ate the dishes 'as is' after cooking. Initially, the food tasted bland. But towards the end of the meal, the natural flavor of meat and seafood was already dominating my palate. The taste was like stars revealed by the night sky when the sun began to set. You cannot un-see it and you cannot un-taste these natural flavors. That unto itself was a compelling realization.

Ending Thoughts
I'm glad I didn't know it was Baht 900/person. Otherwise, I would have begged off and totally miss the dining experience. For a guy who eats street food and draws the line when the meal goes beyond B50, it would have been a deal-breaker.

But now, for some stroke of synchronistic fortuity, I actually have the money for such indulgence. As much as I enjoy my street food, this yakiniku meal was such a pleasant change of scene for me. I can't even remember the last time I pleasured myself with expensive food. Why? Largely because I'm still a backpacker on a shoestring despite my opulent boutique-hotel living. Also, I never felt shortchanged by life for defaulting to street food. Even if I win the lottery, I would still eat street food - I revel in this and find true joy in doing this. But as I said, this epicurean divergence is a pleasant change I perhaps needed.

The story doesn't end here. When I reached out for my money, I realized I didn't even have enough. I had to ask them to spot me for the difference. Like true gentlemen, they were magnanimous and even asked me to 'fogetaboutit'. Sweet. But I'll have to insist when I see them again.

I think I've said too much about the mundane experience of tossing meat on a grill, but this one feels special. Thank you Jason and Max - this one's for the books.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Jason blogs:
  1. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  2. Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Jul 28, 2022
  3. Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022
  4. Tell John Feb 16, 2022
  5. Pizza Nite with the Chiang Mai Boyz Feb 6, 2022
  6. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022
  7. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  8. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021


Max blogs:
  1. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  2. Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Jul 28, 2022
  3. Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022


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Next story:

Chiang Mai Peoplescape people

Chiang Mai Peoplescape

(Jul 31, 2022) I seldom invite people over my place anymore. Usually, it's a coffee gathering at My Moka Coffee instead. Neither do I feel the need to invite friends when I'm not with one. I'm more selective and the first sign of someone being psychologically unbalanced or emotionally disturbed, I simply walk away from. My existential cave simulaton continues. Still, I often find myself with tested friends, and continue to meet new ones. It all works out and I'm better off for it.....more »»

Next Food Odysseys:

Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Pizza

Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite

(Jul 28, 2022) Jason just arrived back in Chiang Mai, I just met Max, and quite recently, I also just met Elizabeth. These are good people whose company I enjoy. This is all the excuse I need for another Pizza Nite! more »»

Chiang Mai INFORMATION

Chiang Mai Map
Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200



Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Jazz Coop - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays at 11pm by the Chiang Mai Blues band
  2. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
  3. My Secret Cafe - near Wat Phra Singh. Tuesdays at 7:30pm for the changing front-act and 9:00pm for the Panic Band
  4. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
Chiang Mai Trains by Train36.com
  1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
  2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
  3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
Chiang Mai to Bangkok Trains source: railway.co.th
  1. Check Train Schedule & Fares
  2. Book Online - direct booking with State Railway of Thailand. Best to register first. If going to BKK from CNX, click "Northern Line".

    note -- big difference between booking direct with the State Railway and booking with an online 3rd party agent. 12GO was charging B1330 for the same trip that only cost me B941 with the State Railway.

    note -- Oct 2022, I took the #10 Train from CNX to BKK, upper berth, 2nd class, a/c, sleeper, B941. The train was clean, fast, comfortable and modern. If you have heavy luggage that will cost more money in flight checkin, I would suggest this train. Otherwise, the flight now is so much cheaper it doesn't even make sense to take the bus or train.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
  1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
  2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
  3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
  4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
  5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
Book Train Tickets in Thailand

Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com

General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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