Markets are some of our favorite spots to visit to familiarize ourselves with the local culture. There are a couple of markets to visit in Chiang Mai but to kill two birds with one stone, just go to the famous Warorot Market, followed by Ton Lamyai (flower and food market) just across the street.
If cheap food, snacks and goods interest you, my suggestion is to skip your hotel breakfast and eat here instead. After that, you can spend a good two to three hours sightseeing, people watching and shopping at both markets.
For those who find Chiang Mai’s food too foreign or exotic to handle, fret not, there’s a fried cruller stall nearby that sells a couple of stuff that we are more familiar with. What is known to us as ‘cakoi’ or ‘you tiao’ is called Pa Thong Ko in Thailand and it’s regarded as a donut instead.
The main reason to visit Go Neng’s stall is because he takes the art of making this simple snack to another level by shaping them into animals. Not just any animal mind you, but dragon, crocodile and even T-Rex! If that’s not enough to convince you to come, I don’t know what will.
And actually, we did not plan for this stop. But after bumping into this unique vendor after walking around randomly, we knew we had to try it. Luckily for us, we were their last customer of the day and there were still some donuts left for us to buy. As for the animal shaped donut, the last one was sold to the lady who came before us.
Here you can see Go Neng painstakingly arranging the dough into the shape of a crocodile. From what we observed, it takes him a few minutes to complete, which is why these animal shaped donuts cost double or triple – depending on the animal you chose.
For the donuts, you can have them plain or with dip of pandan coconut jam or condensed milk – the choice is yours. In our case, the decision was made for us since they had already run out of the jam.
They were deliciously light and crispy and paired well (surprisingly) with condensed milk. It might sounds ‘jelak’ but it was actually not that bad since the donuts were not greasy at all. Then, wash all that down with a cup of fresh soy milk – and that’s how a cheap and cheerful breakfast is had in Chiang Mai.
To get here, simply follow the alley alongside Ton Lamyai market where the hardware shops are located. There should be a Chinese temple around too.
The stall is open from 6am to 11am daily, but don’t push your luck and try to reach before 10am to avoid disappointment. Go Neng’s fried crullers are incredibly popular with the locals and tourists alike.