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From snagging a quick snack to sharing a leisurely meal with friends and family, the art of eating is one of the cornerstones of Thai culture. Even the way of greeting with “Gin khao reu yung?” centres around the act. Instead of asking “How are you?” the question “Have you eaten rice yet?” marks the Thai emphasis on eating as well as the central role rice plays across the kingdom.

While Thai cuisine is clearly celebrated throughout the country, the area around Chiang Mai is particularly known for being home to memorable dishes, a plethora of dining options and rich food culture. Located at a crossroads between neighbouring Myanmar, Laos and China, the ancient Lanna Kingdom (covering what today is northern Thailand) rose to power as an importantcentre of trade. As people travelled through, each group of traders and settlers brought with them their own unique ingredients, cooking styles and traditional dishes contributing to the region’s vibrant, multilayered culinary scene.

These exotic flavours mixed with morelocal recipes to produce a highly unique cuisine which reflects the cultural diversity, abundance of the land and generous Lanna hospitality.

At Raya Heritage, an elegant riverside sanctuary on the edge of town, the region’s culinary history and cultural roots are showcased throughout the property’s three distinct dining venues which seamlessly blend traces of the past with modern attention to detail.

 

CROSSROADS CUISINE AT KHU KHAO

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Inspired by the rice-based culture with an emphasis on seasonal produce, Khu Khao takes its name from the large rice threshing baskets which hang overhead diners – reminders of a time not so long ago when rice was harvested by hand by the entire community. After the harvest, villagers would gather together to eat, drink and celebrate their bounty, usually with a satiating meal of freshly caught river fish, hand-picked herbs and vegetables, and plenty of sticky rice, all washed down with home-brewed rice whiskey.

At Khu Khao, guests may choose between the elegantly rustic indoor dining room or outdoor table settings on the terrace and garden along the riverbank.

The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menu pays homage to Chiang Mai’s cultural mix with flavour-packed dishes such as jin-loong, Shan-style minced pork meatballs seasoned with ginger, garlic, shallot and coriander, served with rice vermicelli noodles tossed in coconut and shrimp paste, or mohinga, Burmese fermented rice noodles with curried fish and ginger broth topped with banana stem, lemongrass, shredded cabbage, long beans and boiled egg.

 

DESSERTS & OTHER DELIGHTS AT LAAN CHA TEA ROOM

Taking a more global approach, Laan Cha Tea Room features international and fusion dishes made with local ingredients. Situated on a cosy second-storey terrace, the venue invites guests to leisurely enjoy the afternoon, lounging and nibbling while looking out over the resort grounds to the river. The colourful afternoon tea set includes six dishes of your choice from a delightful menu of creative small bites – ranging from pulled pork lemongrass salad to a rich, rum chocolate pot served with madeleines – and a selection of artisanal tea and coffee for 999 THB. À la carte specialities range from fresh salads and pasta to hearty fish and meat dishes.

 

DRINKS & LIGHT BITES AT BAAN TA LOUNGE & LAWN

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After afternoon tea, it’s only natural to segue into the evening with a sophisticated sundowner overlooking the river from the ultra-stylish Baan Ta Lounge & Lawn. While the rest of Raya Heritage is light and airy, the seductive lounge is awash with striking black décor – a nod to the natural ebony in the area used to dye textiles a dark hue. Offering a captivating space for pre-dinner cocktails or light meals, the lounge also offers buy-oneget- one-free cocktails and mocktails every evening from 17:00-19:00 hours.

All dining venues are open to the public daily from 11:00-23:00 hours.

 

EXPERIENCE THE ESSENCE OF THE PAST

With 33 expansive suites situated on the banks of the Ping River, Raya Heritage delicately blends the region’s past and present. Throughout the exquisite property, which is just 25 minutes from the centre of Chiang Mai yet feels worlds away, locally sourced handcrafts such as textiles, baskets and ceramics accent the property's minimalist aesthetic while creating a welcoming sanctuary. Suites face the Mae Ping River with most featuring their own private plunge pools for added luxury.

Guideline price: Rooms starting from 9,975 THB including breakfast.

To book contact: rayaheritage.com

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