Rice terraces are known from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand is lesser known for growing rice in terraces on the slopes of hills.
The most famous place with rice terraces in Thailand is Ban Pa Pong Pian บ้านป่าบงเปียง (sometimes spelt as Pa Pong Pieng or Ban Pabongpiang ), Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai province. It is located in the mountains on the western side of Doi Inthanon national park in the proximity of Chiang Mai city. Rice fields are very beautiful (green) during the rain season. Please be warned that the unpaved roads on the county side may turn in a big muddy and slippery affair. Bringing a vehicle that can handle these though conditions is recommended. Due to it’s remote location it is a great option to experience off-the-beaten path Chiang Mai, and its full natural beauty away from the tourist crowds.
The relatively cool mountains in the north of Thailand (close to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) are very suitable for coffee and tea production. The royal family launched several projects to support the hill tribes who lived in these mountains. One of the things was the introduction of coffee growing as a replacement for the opium growing. The small coffee farms try to focus on the production of high quality (single estate) coffees rather than big volumes of cheaper blend coffees. Some brands are Doi Tung, Phu kha, Doi Chaang, Nacha Coffee and Akha Ama.
Coffee shops in Thailand can be found in all sizes and shapes. From simple street vendors to luxury bakeries with a shady garden. One of the biggest Thai coffee shop chains is Black Canyon Coffee. Besides coffee you can also buy food here. When you are exhausted from the heat, look around for a shop with a glass front window and door. This is very often a coffee shop with air conditioning inside ! Sometimes you can also recognize coffee shops by the drying of used coffee powder outside the shop. This is used as a natural skin scrubbing agent. Especially in the smaller streets (sois) this can be seen.
Iced coffees in Thailand are usually prepared with condensed milk and a lot of sugar. It is so popular that there is even a page about it on Wikipedia. Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant from www.hot-thai-kitchen.com shows how you can prepare these coffees by yourself.
Canned and instant coffee from the 7-Eleven supermarket
In every supermarket from 7-Eleven you can buy instant coffee and canned ice coffee. Usually it comes with milk and lots of sugar.