Ruth: It is Sauturday in Chiang Rai and that means it is time to head down to "Walking Street."
The whole community comes out for a stroll along a cordoned off street filled with food and shopping stalls stretching out for several blocks. Our first find was coffee, and yes, in Thailand, a coffee growing country, it is hard to find. At home we drink Doi Chiang coffee that is produced by a fair trade union between a Vancouver business and Hill tribes from this region. The Hill tribes own 50% of the company. Here in Chiang Rai swanky coffee shops proudly advertise that they serve Doi Chiang. Real coffee is a relatively expensive luxury good here with most guest houses only providing Nescafé. I brought our drip coffee filter so as long as we can boil water we have the real stuff. Instead of dinner Gord and I sampled street food up and down the street. Our favorite were the chocolate banana waffles!
After a tour of the excellent Hilltribe museum we stopped in at the very popular Cat'n'a Cup. And yes, it is just what it describes: a coffee and cake shop with 28 cats to lounge with. I found the pairing of cats and chocolate cake an excellent match.