We had no luck at Khao Soi Khun Yai on our first day in Chiang Mai. But then, we had another highly recommended khao soi spot, Khao Soi Maesai! If you intend to visit this restaurant, let me share our experience and queue system tips so you won’t be lost. Let’s go~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

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Why Khao Soi Maesai

A trip to Chiang Mai is not complete without having tried khao soi. Hence my initial plan was to have khao soi at the two most popular khao soi restaurants, Khao Soi Khun Yai and Khao Soi Maesai. But luck has it that Khao Soi Khun Yai was closed during the time we visited. (ノД`) So we were only left with one choice. Luckily, Khao Soi Maesai was open when we visited and boy was it crowded when we got there! w(°o°)w

Navigating the Queue System

Khao Soi Maesai is featured in the Michelin Guide 2021 and 2022. And we knew how popular it is through many YouTubers’ videos. But we just did not expect a crowd outside the restaurant when we reached (at about 1.30 PM). (⊙_⊙) Hubs and I were wondering where was the start or end of the queue since everyone seemed to be surrounding the restaurant. So we decided to just sort of join the random queue.

Probably sensing our confusion, a lovely couple told us that we would need to get a queue number from one of the staff. We tried to approach said staff to get our queue number but he seemed to be ignoring us, as he was busily walking around serving everyone their food. At this point in time, we were thinking if we should just retreat out of the bustling restaurant. We were just standing in the middle of the restaurant, feeling lost. (◎ ◎)ゞ

The crowd outside Khao Soi Maesai when we arrived and the queue buzzer that we got from the restaurant

Eventually, that same staff told us to wait for a while as he finished serving the dishes before attending to us. By then, a lot of people were queuing behind us without us noticing. Haha! Anyway, we told him the number of pax and after that, he gave us a queue number. It is one of those buzzers that vibrates when it is your turn. I don’t remember if it vibrates but I remembered the staff calling out our number. Since this place is with both locals and foreigners, he made sure to call out in Thai and English.

Who to Approach

We have seen a lot of people like us, who were so lost and not sure what to do when they reached the restaurant. Most would be like us, joining the crowd, thinking that that is the queue. So let me tell you what you need to do when you reach Khao Soi Maesai for your meal. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

If you reach there during the peak hour, be ready to see a big crowd. These people are the ones who have already gotten a queue number and just waiting for their number to be called out. So just go past them and approach the service staff to get your queue number. I am not sure if it is the same person every time but he seemed to be the only one speaking both Thai and English to serve all the tables so he might just be the only one managing the queue.

An image illustrating where we waited to get our queue number from the staff at Khao Soi Maesai

What to Do

He might be busy so be prepared to not get a response from him. But he knows. He just needs time to serve everyone their food before attending to the queue again. So you simply approach him for the queue number and then just wait in the middle of the restaurant. Don’t be afraid to take up space in the restaurant. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Once he has the time, he would ask you for the number of pax dining in and then he would pass you the queue buzzer. And that is when the waiting happens outside the restaurant, where everyone is. As I said, I don’t remember if the buzzer goes off so you could try to listen out for your number to be called. Do not worry about not understanding Thai as he would call out in English as well, though there is no harm in learning the numbers in Thai. And there you have it! You now master the queuing system at Khao Soi Maesai and can go out there to help others! (´• ω •`)ノ

The crowd continues outside Khao Soi Maesai after we had our meal

What We Ate at Khao Soi Maesai

I think the answer is obvious. We had khao soi. Haha! But there are a lot of choices when it comes to protein you want to pair with your noodles. Both hubs and I chose to have the original protein that goes with all khao soi, chicken! I noticed that they had kanom jeen nam ngiao on their menu as well. I am not sure how many people would come here for their kanom jeen but if you are interested, I had one of the most authentic experiences at Nam Ngiaw Loong Pong so check it out if you are interested!

The interior of Khao Soi Maesai as well as the cooking station

Anyway, back to our khao soi. We ordered the Khao Soi with Chicken and it was absolutely delicious. The broth was super tasty with a hint of spiciness to it. We tried another restaurant’s khao soi through GrabFood and THAT was way too spicy for us. Here at Khao Soi Maesai, the spicy level was just enough to bring a bit of heat to your mouth. (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

Our Khao Soi with Chicken and the pickled vegetables, garlic and lime that came with the khao soi at Khao Soi Maesai

The chicken drumstick that came with the noodles was amazingly tender. You know that they have cooked it for a long time when the meat just falls off the bone easily. The crispy egg toppings that came with the noodles also add another dimension to the dish. There was a plate of pickled vegetables, garlic and lime that was served with our khao soi as well as some condiments on the table. You could also use these to adjust the taste and add yet another dimension to every spoonful of noodles. I tried a bit of the pickled vegetables with the noodles but still prefer to have just the original taste. So you do you! ( ´ ω ` )

Overall Experience at Khao Soi Maesai

I would 1000% recommend Khao Soi Maesai to everyone who wants to try khao soi in Chiang Mai. The broth, noodles and tender chicken were just so good that I think we could have another serving right there and then. As I mentioned, we tried khao soi from another restaurant through GrabFood before coming here and Khao Soi Masesai definitely wins hands-down.

I wish we had tried Khao Soi Khun Yai to give you a better comparison. But as of now, Khao Soi Maesai will remain a champion in our hearts. Now that you understand how the queuing system works, you are ready to venture to Khao Soi Maesai to help the poor souls there and have your legendary bowl of khao soi! (´ ω `♡)

Information about Khao Soi Maesai


⏰ Opening Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM (Closed on Sundays)
☎️ Phone Number: +66 53 213 284

🔎 You can find out more about Khao Soi Maesai on Facebook HERE

Bonus: Door Bell Ice-Cream Recommendation by Our Favourite YouTuber!

This was a recommendation from our favourite YouTube channel, Flora and Note. Since Note is a local and both of them have been staying in Thailand for years, hubs and I trust their local tastebuds and decided to give this cute little place they recommend a try. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Basically, the place that we went to is called Door Bell Ice-Cream and it is only a short 10-minute walk from Khao Soi Maesai. This ice cream shop is unlike other shops in that there is actually no one manning the shop. Everything is self-service here, from getting your ice cream to dropping off your payment. We thought it was rather cute after watching Flora and Note’s video so we made it a point to visit it after our meal at Khao Soi Maesai.

How to Buy the Ice-Cream

Before entering the shop, we were still wondering if we were in the right place because it looked like someone’s house. (・・;)ゞ Then we saw some students having ice cream in there and that sort of confirmed that we were in the right location. I think they are wondering how two foreigners actually find this place. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The sign showing where Door Bell Ice-Cream is and a view of the shopfront

Anyway, a lot of infographics are placed around the little shop to illustrate the buying process. The ice cream flavours are shown on the freezer and a chart of prices is on the wall. Basically, each cup of ice cream costs 33 baht. But to make it easier for everyone, the owner has laid out the cost depending on the number of cups you are buying so that you don’t need to do your mental calculations. How thoughtful is that!? \(★ω★)/ Paper bags and spoons are found by the counter. Depending on the number of cups you get, you will choose the appropriate bag size to bag your purchase. Payment is done through a QR code or the metal money box that is placed at the counter. I assume the QR code is more for locals so we used the money box instead.

Signs and illustrations around the shop at Door Bell Ice-Cream

What Flavours We Got

Hubs and I went for the Lychee and Mango with Sticky Rice respectively. The Mango with Sticky Rice is an interesting flavour that is hardly found anywhere else so I thought I should try it. I love having mango sticky rice while in Thailand but in this instance, I don’t think the ice cream is exactly like eating mango sticky rice. it is basically mango ice cream with sticky rice mixed in it. it is kind of nice to bite on the sticky rice while having the ice cream. (´ ω `♡) The Lychee flavour was nice and refreshing, similar to that of a sorbet and a good flavour to have after having the creamier Mango with Sticky Rice ice cream.

The flavours we chose, Lychee and Mango with Sticky Rice, at Door Bell Ice-Cream and a view of the storefront showing the signs around it

Is It Worth It to Try?

Besides the honesty system of Door Bell Ice-Cream, I love that it has a lot of interesting flavours being offered at this place. If we are ever back in Chiang Mai or staying in the Ninman area, we would definitely want to come back again to try other flavours. So similarly, I recommend you come to try this cute little shop if you are within the vicinity!

About Door Bell Ice-Cream


⏰ Opening Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +66 53 210 491

🔎 You can find out more about Door Bell Ice-Cream on its website HERE

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Useful Travel Resources

Pack your wanderlust, and let’s set sail! I have prepared the following travel resources that you might find helpful to fuel your next adventure. This section will be ever-growing, and if you think there is anything that you want me to add to this list, drop me a message to let me know! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending
Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal
Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Transform Your Travel with Lounge Access + Cards I Use to Get Free Visits!
Ready to ditch airport stress? Visit my post to discover the magic of lounge access and my go-to credit cards for complimentary lounge visits!

Tips on Packing for 10 – 20 Degrees Celsius Weather
Winter packing woes got you stressed? My guide will turn your “Gaaaah!” into a smooth vacay in 10 to 20 degrees Celsius weather!

Feeling hungry and in need of some great food options? No worries, I’ve got you covered with my handpicked list of restaurants in Chiang Mai Old City, and there are even some convenient GrabFood choices! Plus, with countless temples to explore, I’ve also narrowed down some must-visit temples in Chiang Mai for you to enjoy!

If you’re on the lookout for a fantastic place to stay, I’d highly suggest considering either The Astra Condo or The Inside House. Alternatively, you can also explore some more Chiang Mai food-related articles that could catch your eye. ( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝


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Alternatively, you can reach out through my contact form or email me! Looking forward to connecting with you lovely people! (´ ε ` )♡

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