A Foodie's Guide to Chiang Mai Trekking: Sampling Local Cuisine on the Trail

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Are you a foodie ready to embark on a trekking adventure in Chiang Mai? Well, you’re in for a treat! You will be surrounded by breathtaking mountains, lush greenery, and scenic views, and you’ll also get to indulge in some of the most flavorful local cuisines along the trail. From the famous Khao Soi to the must-try Pad Thai, we have curated a list of local delicacies you want to experience during your trekking trip to Chiang Mai. So, pack your hiking boots, pack your appetite, and prepare to embark on this culinary adventure with us.

Khao Soi

Khao Soi is a popular dish in Chiang Mai, a city located in northern Thailand. It is a creamy coconut-based curry soup typically made with egg noodles and chicken, but it can also be made with beef, pork, or tofu. The dish is flavored with a blend of spices, including turmeric, coriander, and chili, and is usually served with a side of pickled cabbage, shallots, and lime.

Khao Soi has a unique combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors and is a beloved staple in Northern Thai cuisine. It is often found in street food stalls and small local restaurants and is a must-try dish for anyone visiting Chiang Mai.

Khao Soi is believed to have originated from the Yunnan province of China, which borders northern Thailand, and is brought to Thailand by Chinese Muslim traders. The dish is particularly popular among the Muslim community in Chiang Mai and has since become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Nam Prik Ong

Nam Prik Ong is a popular dish in the Chiang Mai region of Thailand, made with minced pork, tomatoes, and a mixture of chili paste, garlic, shallots, and fish sauce. The ingredients are fried together in a pan until the pork is cooked and the tomatoes have softened, and the dish is then served with steamed vegetables or sticky rice.

The dish has a spicy, slightly sweet, and sour flavor and is often enjoyed as a dip for raw vegetables or as a side dish to accompany other Thai dishes. It is a popular street food found in markets and food stalls throughout Chiang Mai. When you go Chiang Mai trekking, experience the taste of northern Thailand at its best by trying the Nam Prik Ong dish.

Sai Oua

Sai Oua is a type of sausage commonly found in Northern Thailand, particularly in Chiang Mai. It is made with ground pork that is mixed with a blend of herbs and spices, such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili peppers. The mixture is then stuffed into casings made from pig intestine and grilled or fried until crispy on the outside.

Sai Oua is a popular snack and street food in Chiang Mai, often served with sticky rice and a spicy dipping sauce. It is also commonly used as an ingredient in other dishes, such as stir-fries and curries. Its unique blend of herbs and spices gives it a distinctive spicy, tangy, and aromatic flavor.

Most trekkers in Chiang Mai will recommend trying the Sai Oua dish when you visit the city. Not only is it a delicious and unique snack, but it also provides a taste of northern Thailand that is hard to find elsewhere in Thailand.

Gaeng Hang Lay

A foodie visit to Chiang Mai is complete with experiencing the flavor of local cuisine while trekking. Gaeng Hang Lay, a Northern Thai Curry, is the perfect dish to try when venturing into the lush landscapes of Chiang Mai. Besides, trekking offers many sightseeing and adventure opportunities like a hill tribe culture tour or bamboo rafting, making the experience even more exciting.

The dish is made with pork, beef, or chicken. It is typically slow-cooked with various spices and herbs, such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, and cardamom. The dish has a distinct flavor that is sweet and salty, with a slightly sour taste from the tamarind used in the recipe.

Additionally, the dish is often served with sticky rice and pickled vegetables. Gaeng Hang Lay is a popular dish in Chiang Mai, often served at local restaurants and street vendors.

Larb Muang Moo

Larb Muang Moo, a Thai salad, is a popular dish among tourists who explore the vast cuisine scene of Chiang Mai. Locals can prepare this dish for visitors both on and off the trail. It is a type of larb, a minced meat salad typically made with pork or chicken. The meat is seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce, chili flakes, and various herbs such as mint, cilantro, and scallions.

Larb Muang Moo is also made with roasted rice powder, giving it a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It is usually served with sticky rice and fresh vegetables, such as lettuce leaves, cucumber, and Thai eggplant. This dish is popular among locals and tourists and is a must-try for anyone visiting Chiang Mai. This is a popular dish for trekkers in Chiang Mai as it is made of easy to find and cooked ingredients. The dish is quick and easy to make, making it perfect for a quick meal on the trail.

Yam Pla Duk Fu

One of the top dishes to try while trekking in Chiang Mai is Yam Pla Duk Fu. It is a popular Thai salad with crispy fried catfish mixed with fresh herbs, vegetables, and a spicy dressing. The catfish is deboned, then shredded into small pieces, and deep-fried until crispy.

The crispy catfish is mixed with thinly sliced shallots, shredded green mango, and chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, and lemongrass. The dressing is typically made with fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and sugar and is poured over the salad just before serving.

Yam Pla Duk Fu is a popular dish in northern Thailand, particularly in Chiang Mai. It is often served as an appetizer or a side dish and is enjoyed for its complex flavors and textures. The crispy catfish provides a satisfying crunch, while the fresh herbs and tangy dressing add freshness and spice.

Khao Kha Moo

Khao Kha Moo is a local dish that you should try when trekking through Chiang Mai, Thailand. This signature pork dish is served with rice and a hard-boiled egg. Many people believe that khao kha moo is one of the best dishes in Thailand, and it’s no wonder why!

The pork is slow-cooked in a soup mix containing galangal, garlic, and ginger. The resulting sauce is rich and flavorful, with a depth of flavor that can only be achieved by slowly cooking the pork over low heat for hours. The tender shredded pork pairs perfectly with the soft rice and crispy egg yolk.

If you’re trekking through Chiang Mai and want to try something delicious but hearty, Khao Kha Moo is a great option. Not only is the dish delicious and filling, but it’s also hearty enough to keep you going during your trekking adventures.

Kaeng Khanun

If you are a foodie and love to explore new cuisines, you cannot miss Kaeng Khanun on the Chiang Mai trekking route! This place is a go-to destination for anyone who wants to taste fresh, local food in its true form. Kaeng Khanun offers a plethora of dishes that you can try. Kaeng Khanun phet thai, kaeng khanun wat, and kaeng khanun som tam are some popular dishes to be noticed.

If you want a more adventurous taste, try dishes like kaeng khanun kaew nam manao or kaeng khanun phat moo. Kaeng Khanun is an easy day hike that offers great local eats. So, pack your bags, wear your trekking shoes, and set out on a gastronomical adventure in one of the most scenic parts of Thailand!

Tom Yum Goong

If you plan a Chiang Mai trekking trip, Tom Yum Goong is one dish you must try. This spicy soup is made using fresh ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves. You can also have famous dishes like Pad Thai and chicken satay while trekking through Chiang Mai. While on your food trail, try the local fruits and vegetables too.

To get the best culinary experience, we suggest you book a food tour with an experienced local guide who can show you the best eateries and hidden food gems. Chiang Mai’s local cuisine is unique and affordable, so take advantage of this delicious experience.

Gai Yang

One of the must-try food items in Chiang Mai is Gai Yang, the popular local grilled chicken dish. But why not take it up a notch and enjoy this delicious food on a hiking trail? Trekking tours in Chiang Mai allow travelers to explore the magnificent countryside while enjoying an authentic culinary experience. On these tours, local guides provide extensive knowledge of plants on a hiking day trip, which can also include organic coffee and hill tribe culture experiences.

The Gai Yang dish will leave a great impression on your taste buds, so don’t wait any longer and book a hiking trail trip in Chiang Mai today! If you love to trek at Chiang Mai and want to explore local food and culture while hiking, we suggest Gai Yang in Chiang Mai.

Pad Thai

Chiang Mai is a trekker’s paradise, and what better way to sample the local cuisine than to go on a trekking adventure in the beautiful national parks and high mountains. Mae Taeng is a must-visit hiking destination in Northern Thailand, with its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Siam River Adventures is known for its expertise in hill tribe trekking adventures, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking trips, ensuring you’ll have the ultimate mountain experience in Chiang Mai.

One of Thailand’s most famous dishes is Pad Thai, and Chiang Mai offers some of the best versions of this classic dish. While on your trek, stop at local vendors and try their Pad Thai. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. So, go on a hike or take a rafting adventure down the river and indulge in some of the best local cuisine Chiang Mai offers.


Chiang Mai has a rich culinary culture that offers a vast range of flavors and delicacies. Trekking through the trails is a golden opportunity for a foodie to explore the essence of Chiang Mai’s local cuisine. Here at Chiang Mai Hiking Tours, we have the best local hiking trails in the city for you to enjoy. Book your Chiang Mai trekking tour today and get ready to experience some of Thailand’s best food! Call us at +66821421464 to schedule a reservation!

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