There used to be passenger boats, but I've heard that they aren't running these days.
As far as getting from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, it should be no problem. There are tons of buses and I know the train goes all the way to Chiang Mai, but I'm not sure if it goes up to Chiang Rai or not.
You can take an overnight train to Nanning (Guangzi Zhuang Autonomous Region) and then take a bus from there down to Hanoi (takes about 6-8 hours). Apparently, there are really cheap flights (less than $20US!) from Hanoi to Bangkok on Thai Air. You will have to pay for a Vietnamese Visa, though. It's 350RMB in Kunming (the Vietnamese consulate is one bus stop before the main train station) and it takes 2-3 days to process the visa (or you can pay extra to get it faster).
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The atmosphere is quite nice, modern, and clean. Of course, it's also great fun to watch your food being cooked teppanyaki style. The service is also quite good. The last time I went I kept trying to pour myself Coke from the bottle we had purchased and the waitress kept running over to pour it for me. I also had a huge dinner party with 26 people and the staff was quite helpful with reservations, etc.
Now on to the food. It's incredible! It's obvious that the meat is of a much higher quality than other places around here as it's tender and flavorful. Everything I have ever had here has been great. I especially like the terriyaki beef with wasabi in the dipping sauce and the sticky rice stuffed lotus.
**Update: I am also sad about the new menu which raised prices drastically and got rid of some of the foreign-favorite dishes. :( Sometimes they will still make them if you ask, sometimes not. Beer battered apple rings, where are you???
The atmosphere at Chicago Coffee is amazing. It is obvious that a lot of time and hard work was put into it. You might think you're at a coffee shop back in the states. The colors are great and the place just feels relaxing. Due to a high ceiling, it also seems much more spacious than the places around Wenlin Jie. There is also a fireplace (fake), but still radiates heat. Curl up with a magazine (they have a pretty good collection...Sports Illustrated, Time, National Geographic, etc.) or a book from the book shelf and you might never leave!
As far as the coffee, it's usually great! A tad on the expensive side, but worth it. It's roasted on site, so I hear. They also had some imported sodas (Dr. Pepper, Cherry Coke, etc.).
As for the food, the deep dish pizza has been around for a while (the place is called CHICAGO coffee, after all!), and it's pretty good and reasonably priced (30ish depending on what toppings). They also now have a Tortilla bar, which can do wraps, tacos, burritos, and fajitas. They're pretty tasty and also reasonably priced (14-16RMB). They also have soup of the day. The espresso brownies are to die for!
In full disclosure, I'm an employee of this company....just providing some more information!
Danyun Fair Trade Development Co., a Danish company founded in 1996, promotes Fair Trade by partnering with communities and companies in Yunnan to use business as a tool for social change and economic development. The company markets and exports handicrafts and tea under the trademark Threads of Yunnan, and has been a member of WFTO (formerly IFAT) since 2001.
Our shop (in our office) is open during normal business hours. We welcome visitors!
<a href="http://www.danyun.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.danyun.com</a>
<a href="http://www.threadsofyunnan.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.threadsofyunnan.com</a>
Threads of Yunnan on Facebook: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Threads-of-Yunnan/95601451342?ref=ts" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/[...]</a>
I've never eaten at Teresa's, but I have had the pizza delivered and it was definitely better than I expected.
The plain cheese or one with different meats were my favorites.
I try to steer clear of the strange Chinese pizza toppings like seafood, corn, etc....
In response to prd34:
First, it's ridiculous to blame a certain restaurant for your sickness.
Foodborne illness (often called food poisoning) has an incubation period of up to several days.
It's just as likely that you got sick from an earlier meal in the day or even something you ate the day before.
Second, The Silver Spoon has always offered to make a fresh sandwich if you want it.
You could have just asked.
If you have a bad experience at a restaurant that everyone else has rated with 5 "GKs," you might want to try it again because your opinion is obviously in the minority.
I have eaten at the Silver Spoon many many times and it has always been good.
I love the salads (especially the Bacon Blue Cheese and Apple Maple Walnut), but the sandwiches and soups are great too.
Silver Spoon is also a great place for coffee and dessert (and if you buy a coffee or drink, I love the raspberry lemonade, that's 16RMB or more from 2-4pm you can get a dessert for half price!).
No, I don't work for The Silver Spoon, I've just been there so often that I know...
My favorite part is the friendly staff who know my name (cue Cheers music) and the fact that it looks like a real American cafe/bistro.
The cookies classes and parties are also fun ideas.
They have wifi, too, like many of the places near Wenlinjie.
Ok, since I feel like I have to say something negative...the prices are not the cheapest, but when it comes down to it, it's worth it!
Also, they used to have Blondies
(sort of brownies, but with white chocolate) all the time, but I haven't seen them recently.
Bring back the Blondies, Silver Spoon!!!
If you're wondering about the prices, here are some examples:
Small Salad/Soup: 12
Large Salad/Soup: 22 (add 10 if you want chicken)
Bread of the Day: 8
Small Sandwich: 22 (30 for combo with a small salad or soup)
Large Sandwich: 30 (38 for a combo)
Flavored Latte: 22
Chai: 22 (I've heard it's really good!)
Small Drink (Blackcurrant Cinnamon Iced Tea, Raspberry Lemonade, Peach Iced Tea, Strawberry Apple Juice): 12
Large Drink: 20