SP Chicken Chiang Mai Restaurant Review

SP Chicken – Chiang Mai Restaurant Review

By Louise

It’s hard to not go to a restaurant that’s so highly recommended by Andy Ricker, and so we tried 3 times to get some chicken at SP Chicken (SP ไก่ย่าง) in Chiang Mai. Quick note – they run out of chicken way way earlier than their supposed closing time.

But luckily for us, third time was a charm and we settled happily down to our very large and very delicious lunch meal.
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How To Live In Chiang Mai Comfortably For 3 Months – Tips and Tricks

By Louise

I landed in Chiang Mai with my husband in mid-October, and even though we had researched Chiang Mai, read books about living in Chiang Mai, and talked to several friend who had been to Chiang Mai, there were still many many surprises upon our arrival.

So this post is to help other Western travelers looking to live in Chiang Mai for a few months during the colder winter months. I’ll update the post more and more as I find out more from living here.

Just a quick note: I’m sure there are lots of different opinions on how best to do things, and this post is just what I’ve found to work – you might experience things differently. Also, this post is NOT about how to live in Chiang Mai on a budget or as a backpacker. I own my own internet business, and I like living in relative comfort (I’m not talking about spending a lot of money, but I have found that my standards are slightly higher than many of the 20-30 year old single guys in the city).

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Wifi Speeds at Chiang Mai Work Spaces and Cafes

Wifi Speeds at Chiang Mai Work Spaces and Cafes

By Louise

I’m going to be spending some time in Chiang Mai, so I’ve been testing the wifi speeds at various places. This list hopefully helps others who are looking for some fast wifi to work here!

CAMP at MAYA MALL (Google Map Link)

Maya Mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand
CAMP is found on the 5th floor of the MAYA mall).

Camp’s own Wifi is a bit slow and you have to purchase something over 50 Baht to get a wifi code that lasts for 2 hours. However, you can get the AIS wifi here and the environment is really nice (it does get super crowded though).
Wifi internet speed test at CAMP in MAYA mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand

AIS Wifi At CAMP

You can purchase a SIM card from the AIS store (3rd floor) in the Maya mall for 60-100 Baht ($2-3) [it works even if you don’t want to use the SIM in your phone – just ask them to get the password for you for the AISsuper wifi] and then use it at CAMP on the 5th floor.
CAMP cafe and coworking space at Maya Mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand

AIS wifi at CAMP cafe and coworking space at Maya Mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cotton Tree Cafe at Green Hill (Google Map Link)

Just around the corner from the Maya Mall, this cute little cafe is in the Green Hill apartments complex (Green Hill residents get a slight discount for purchases). Their coffee is decent (they do pourovers too) and the space is really new and clean with a great modern atmosphere. Internet is reasonably fast.

CottonTree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Menu at CottonTree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

CottonTree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cotton Tree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cotton Tree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wifi speed at Cotton Tree Cafe at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kaweh Cafe (Google Map Link)

Nice and quiet, but sadly the internet is rather slow. I tested both their wifis several times and got poor speeds. In fact, it was so slow, it was difficult to get US websites to load well.
Kaweh Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kaweh Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kaweh Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kaweh Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wifi internet speed test at Kaweh Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ristr8to (Google Map Link)

This a cute place popular with tourists and often touted as “the best coffee in Chiang Mai.” It’s OK, and they do have lots of iced coffee drinks and even a Long Black for the Aussies, but I wouldn’t call it the best coffee personally.

Ristr8to coffee chiang mai

For working, it’s not great as it’s often filled with tourists since it’s on one of the main roads (Nimmanhemin road), but it is a convenient spot for meeting people or if none of the other cafes are open (as this one is open daily).

Ristr8to coffee chiang mai

Their own wifi (3BB_Ristr8to) was so slow that I couldn’t get the wifi speed test page to even load, but they do have both AIS wifi and AIS Super Wifi.

Here’s the wifi speed test for the AIS Super Wifi, which is pretty fast:

wifi speed at ristr8to chiang mai thailand

And here’s the regular AIS Wifi speed, which is much slower but works fine for webpages and emails:

ais wifi speed at ristr8to chiang mai thailand

Ristr8to Labs (Google Map Link)

This is around the corner (2 minutes walk around the block) from the main Ristr8to Cafe (described above) on Nimmanhemin Road. It was way less crowded than the main one and serves pourover coffee (in a very fancy cup). Wifi was pretty fast using the AIS wifi (I was able to have a video Skype call there without issues) and the coffee was decent. All the seating is outdoors, so beware of bugs.

Ristr8to Labs Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Pourover coffee at Ristr8to Labs Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Pourover coffee at Ristr8to Labs Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wifi internet speed test at Ristr8to Labs Cafe, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Green Hill Apartments (Google Map Link)

These are nice apartments (not quite luxury if you’re used to luxury places in the US), and if you want to stay here they offer month to month furnished apartments – choose building 2 or 3 if you can as they are much newer. Internet speed is pretty slow on their wifi, but you can pay to upgrade to a faster wifi.

If you don’t upgrade, then this is the internet speed:
Wifi Internet Speed Test at Green Hill Apartments, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Akha Ama Coffee กาแฟอาข่า อ่ามา (Google Map Link)

The coffee is pretty good and it’s a nice work atmosphere – quiet with both outdoor and indoor (AC’ed) seating. Lots of greenery outside, which is pretty. It’s located in a very residential area so there are fewer tourists as well.

There’s an extensive coffee menu with both cold brew and 3 single origin pourover options.

Internet speed is fairly poor, but pages do load, so not bad if you’re not uploading or downloading much.

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Coffee Menu Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Coffee Menu Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Akha Ama Cafe Wifi internet speed test Chiang Mai Thailand

BKK (Bangkok) Airport Domestic Terminal

I tested the AIS wifi speed there. It felt a bit slow at loading pages from the US, but the speed test came up good.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 3.00.13 PM

Cafe de L’Amour (Google Map Link)

This is a cute cafe on the other side of town, but the internet speed is slow (you have to buy something for a 2 hour internet code).

cafe de l'amour chiang mai thailand

cafe de l'amour chiang mai thailand

cafe de l'amour chiang mai thailand

cafe de l'amour chiang mai thailand

cafe de l'amour chiang mai thailand internet wifi speed test

Graph Cafe (Google Map Link)

They have some superb cold brew (I tried the nitro cold brew – images below – and I absolutely loved it). Sadly, their internet speed is awful and the space is super small (3 tables). I’m going to try their second location which the barista told me is larger and serves food.

Starbucks, Mueang Chiang Mai District (Google Map Link)

Unlike in the US, Starbucks in Chiang Mai do not have their own free wifi! This came as a shock to me since I had always been used to stopping in Starbucks in foreign countries for a quick drink and free wifi.

However, some Starbucks in the city have AIS wifi.

This one next to Le Meridien hotel and near the Night Bazaar has a nice big table to work at and AIS Super Wifi (the regular AIS wifi was very slow when I tested it).

Here’s the AIS Super Wifi test speed:

The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg

By Louise

The Power Of Habit book summary

Overview of The Power Of Habit Book By Charles Duhigg

You can change your life dramatically – from taking control of your life to quitting smoking or exercising more by building habits.

Key Concepts from The Power Of Habit Book

There are 3 key parts to a habit:
1. Cue – this triggers your brain to go into an automatic habit mode e.g., getting into the car in the morning.
2. Routine – this is the thing that you go do or experience e.g., driving to Starbucks to get your morning fix.
3. Reward – the thing you get that makes your brain crave it more and more e.g., the caffeine rush from your Starbucks drink.

Keystone habits:
Keystone habits create structures that help other habits to flourish.
For Example:
Teaching teachers so that they pass on health and nutrition info to teenage girls lowers baby mortality rates.
Food journaling (for 1 week) creates a structure that helps other habits to flourish – 6 month into the study, people who kept daily food records had lost twice as much weight.

Duhigg’s framework for building habits
1. Identify the routine
2. Experiment with rewards
3. Isolate the cue
4. Have a plan

What I liked about The Power Of Habit Book

The book contains lots of stories illustrating habits – from personal stories of people who built habits, to stories about the people who were studied in the experiments that created habit theory, to stories of how companies used the basic concepts of habits to create better (and more profitable) companies or advertising campaigns (Target and Frebreze) but also happier and more fulfilled employees (Alco and Starbucks).

In brief, the book is super easy to read and very memorable.

What I didn’t like about The Power Of Habit Book

It’s not a practical book. It’s a book written by a journalist reporting on habit theory. While there is a chapter on how to build habits yourself, it’s less from experience of having helped others through this process and more about his interpretation of habit theory (mostly based on the 3 components of habits).

It’s a great introduction to habits and why you should build good habits (as well as the power of building them), but it’s not a book for how to build sustainable habits.

Also, I wish he had talked about accountability more specifically – it was mentioned with respect to Alco and the employees reporting accidents and how a manager was fired for not reporting the accidents. It was also touched on when he mentioned the AA and how community helps with sticking to habits, but exactly how or why accountability can help wasn’t discussed.

Link to purchase The Power Of Habit on Amazon.

These are my personal book summaries that I write for all non-fiction books that I read – they are my own quick and raw opinions.

Review of Failla Winery, Napa, CA – Photographs

By Louise

failla winery review napa california photographs

Second stop on our Napa winery tour – Failla Winery. This place is stunning. You’ll need to make a reservation for a tasting, but it’s great for medium sized groups.

What Failla is known for:  Pinot Noir.

Review of Failla:  The tasting takes place at a beautiful wooden table under the shade of trees. If you want some great photos and someone knowledgeable to quiz about wines, then this is the place.

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Ryu teppanyaki steak restaurant review, okinawa, japan

Ryu Teppanyaki Steak Restaurant, Okinawa, Japan

By Louise

Ryu Teppanyaki Steak Restaurant

This is probably the most expensive restaurant on the island, but it was well worth the money! The food was phenomenal and the experience was beautiful. I highly recommend getting the Ishigaki steak – it was so melt-in-your-mouth good. Although all the steaks there were cooked to perfection and way better than your regular steakhouse stuff!

Just check out the video below to see what I’m talking about!
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