Walking along Nimmanheamin road is a must for every one visiting Chiangmai. There're loads of HIP coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels. You can walk on this road every day and try different coffee and food from different places. The variety of shops here won't bore you as each of them has their taste and style uniquely.
Today I visited De Ja Moon on Nimmanhemin Soi 17. This place stopped me for its front look of a dark castle that made me feel like I was under its spell. I couldn't resist to push into the glass door that was painted with colourful hand drawings telling the story of the place itself.
From a small chat with a barista inside, "De Ja Moon" is a pun from "Déjà vu", which is a French word refers to a strong feeling that what is happening to us now has already happened in the past, but we can't explain when and how. I guess almost everybody has had this feeling before. It's a sensation of familiarity. Sometimes, it happens to someone we first met, but we feel like we met before and have already done what we're doing together now. After all, it could be a romantic feeling. So, the concept of De Ja Moon is "When the remembrance coincides the serene atmosphere the passionate Moon night has begun." As to romanticise the place, the word "Moon" and the moon symbols appear in the name of De Ja Moon, as well as in all its rooms and logo.
De Ja Moon is a 3 story shophouse. The first floor is a coffee shop, and the 2nd and 3rd floor are open as a hotel with 5 rooms altogether. Each room is designed individually, but all have Thai names related to the moon with a moon symbol in every room.
The coffee shop is on the first floor and has just officially opened on July 15, 2016. Here they have nice coffee and smoothies, and a variety of hot and cold drinks. The food is mostly a quick served a la cart menu. The price is so reasonable and very friendly for students and digital nomads who both are the big population in Chiangmai, especially on Nimmanheamin road.
My favourite drink here today is Green Monster; a mint smoothie with Oreos. It refreshed and calmed me down at the same time after having black pasta with spicy Chiangmai sausages for lunch. The pasta mixed with local sausages is such a good combination of east-meet-west style of dish. The spiciness and the aroma of the herbs from the sausages blend in well with the pasta without any need of extra ingredients. I highly recommend this dish when you come here.
There're still a lot more places to explore on Nimmanheamin road. Here you can enjoy lunch in one place, then move to another for afternoon coffee, and end the night with some drinks in a local little bar at the corner of the road. When tomorrow comes you can wake up early and make a getaway to the outside of the city for mountainous and greenery views.
If you're the one who enjoys slow life, Chiangmai is your best answer. So, for this afternoon, I'll be hanging around at De Ja Moon a bit longer for my espresso vanilla ice cream. Maybe the sweet and bitterness from this dessert will give me an idea of the next place to allow myself to be slowly under its spell again.
De Ja Moon is on Nimmanheamin Road Soi 17. The coffee shop opens from 10am to 10pm.
The room rate is between 990 to 1,290 baht/night depending on the season and not including breakfast.
Visit their Facebook page at dejamooncafe.
**HIP = High Individual Place or Person