Expat tips: Chiang Mai, Thailand

WHO Chris Chun, 46, textile designer and artist, chrischun.com

FROM Melbourne, eight years in Chiang Mai.

SEE Maiiam is a contemporary art museum about 30 minutes from Chiang Mai and showcases more than 600 works amassed in the past 25 years. It recently won the best Asia-Pacific newcomer in the Leading Cultural Destinations Awards, dubbed the Oscars for museums. Nearby, legendary Prempracha's Collection makes ceramics and tableware for all the big brands like Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Freedom Australia and their seconds and samples are dirt cheap, maiiam.com, prempracha.com

DO Elephant Parade Land is a social enterprise that raises funds for Asian elephants through life-sized baby elephant statues, painted by artists and celebrities including Sir Richard Branson and Katy Perry. Learn about elephants and paint your own mini masterpiece: great for kids, elephantparade.com

EAT An oldie but goodie is Cafe de Nimman for the best pla thod sa moon Thai in town (crispy sea bass with finely shredded lemongrass, kaffir lime and peppercorns), served with a delicious green chilli sauce. Yum! Reserve the dish when you book, as they run out. For great noodles, visit OngTong Noodle, a contemporary spin on classic street food dishes. 

DRINK The House has had a fabulous makeover: order the dreamy "Jardin de Rose", with pink gin and rose syrup and a subtle infusion of smoke. Monsoon Tea's wild, forest-friendly, pesticide-free teas are sourced mainly from northern Thailand. My favourites are their Dhara White and Coconut Green, thehousethailand.com, monsoon-tea-company.com

AVOID Pointing your finger or feet at Thai people is considered rude. And guys – please wear a shirt! I know it gets hot here but show some respect, amazingthailand.com.au