Magical Jungle Dining Experience at Phutawan Cafe

by Aug 5, 2019

I wonder what it’s like to eat over there?

Let’s go check it out.

Phutawan Cafe tl;dr

  • Northern Thai Cuisine
  • Serves Chai Lai Orchid Across the Bridge
  • Plenty of Items in Their Menu

All food at Chai Lai was made available outside the check in counter. After eating breakfast there we realized that meals were being delivered across the bridge. As we sat there waiting for food to be delivered to all the guests, we thought that maybe, just maybe service would be that much quicker sitting over there…

More importantly, I kind of felt bad that they were hustling to get our food across when we could just as easily sit up there closer to the source.

Chai Lai Orchid Nadia and JM Breakfast Chiang Mai

Slowly making our way carefully up across the bridge (perhaps it’s because I’m wary of heights or overly cautious or both) we found our seats and ordered from the very same menu presented to us back at Chai Lai.

The food that came out was very delicious and came at a great price. We would sometimes see people from the Chai Lai also dining up here as well versus eating back down by the lobby (sometimes it can get crowded).

As the sky began to get dark, we could see elephants being walked to and from the water’s edge. Every other bite, accompanied with a blast from walking elephantine trumpets was something in itself to experience.

All the way up here looking down at the water and watching the sun set into the hills, the world seemed to slow down and with it all sense of time. Nadia and I easily took twice as long to enjoy our meal taking in the scene before us. The beers helped too!

What is It

Phutawan Cafe is a Northern Thai cuisine open air cafe that serves both locals and hotel guests alike. There’s a few seats inside however most seating area is on the balcony patio that runs the perimeter of the building.

Where is It

Phutawan is situated just off the main road, or across the suspension bridge from the Chai Lai Orchid Hotel.

What to Eat There

Eat everything and take in the gorgeous view overlooking both the Chai Lai Orchid and the Mae Wang River. I imagine during the wet season that the river’s water level is much higher and quite something to see.

Good or bad, Nadia and I have a tendency to order the same thing, especially if we’re on a mission to find new flavors in a new place. And for that reason, we ordered some of the same items throughout our trip was papaya salad and khao soi. But we did try a number of other seafood and vegetable dishes that were equally tasty.

There’s so much food on their menu, plus ice cream and beers (the table next to us was filled with empty beer bottles and those very same guests walked away with a bag full of even more beers). After eating there for the entire duration of our stay at the Chai Lai Orchid, there was plenty of things on the menu I still wanted to try. Next time!

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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