© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated chiang mai cooking school 08

Thailand – Chiang Mai – 1st-3rd March

We started the day with our customary Luang Prabang breakfast; JoMa’s cinnamon and raisin bagel with jam, followed by oats, fruit and yoghurt. Our pick up was at 11.10am and off we went to the airport. The whole process was very smooth indeed and by 2.30pm we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Bliss.

A taxi took us from the airport to Julie’s guesthouse in the south-east area of the old town in Chiang Mai. They had a few rooms available and saving cash we opted for a triple for the night at 270 baht between the 3 of us. We spent that day sorting out things for the next few days of our trip with the most important on the list being a good cooking class. Helen has done the class in one of the many schools before and so we wanted to do one that was a little different. We booked a full day class for the 3rd with the Thai Farm Cooking School, costing us 1900 baht each, a little more pricey than some but with the experience of cooking at the farm and getting away from the city for the day. Other things we looked into were possible elephant sanctuary’s and buses to Pai. There are so many tours to choose from half the time it’s just a case of getting the price you want to pay for a tour that looks good value. The food choices in Chiang Mai are very good with a wide range of thai and international restaurants to choose from. We opted for a local cafe style restaurant for some long awaited authentic Pad Thai and Papaya salad.

We booked minivan tickets from Julie’s for 180 baht each to take us on the morning of the 4th so we had a few days to play in Chiang Mai before the next part of our adventures. We took in more temples, this time in Thai style design, and recognised some elements that have been taken into some of the temples we saw in Laos. We picked up a Thailand Lonely Planet second hand and paid more than we should have, only to realise this later on and we found a few useful camera accessory items from Paantip Plaza near to where the Night Bazaare starts from the east side. We explored the busy night bazaare and bargained for a fake north-face rucksack, hoping that it lasts! We asked at Julie’s about swapping to single rooms but they were very vague and we couldn’t help but think they had rooms available but were waiting for people booking treks and tours with them to use up the room allocation. This happens a lot in Chiang Mai.

The cooking class took place on the 3rd and we were picked up from Julie’s as part of the package. Our tour guide Tommy talked us through the day and explained that he would also be our chef for the day too. He was a real charmer with the ladies and had a good sense of humour to go with it. We started the tour by going to one of the markets a little out of town, we were really surprised by the organisation and cleanliness of the market. Tommy talked us through traditional Thai foods used on a regular basis, rice, sticky rice, fish sauce, coconut, curry pastes and so on. We then explored the market ourselves for a short while before continuing onto the farm. A couple on the tour bought some deep friend insects and frogs and managed to pass them around on the bus causing intrigue and disgust.

The farm is really nicely located around 45 minutes from Chiang Mai, we were introduced to the vegetable gardens and talked through the various herbs, fruits and vegetables growing there. Our first task was to make curry paste for our curry of choice, Dave chose green curry and Helen yellow curry. We bashed away with a mortar and pestle for around 10 minutes until all ingredients were nicely combined into a paste, some of which were chillies; fresh and dried, kaffir lime, galangal and garlic (many more went into each one!!) turmeric being the one that makes the yellow curry go yellow!

Once the pastes were made we went into the kitchen and started on the mains. We all chose from a selection of 3 different dishes per course and so have 5 in total to cook. We chose different options on purpose so we could try different things. The mains being green and yellow curry, a soup either traditional Thai or Tom Yum, a stir-fired dish, papaya salad, a noodle dish and a dessert. By the end of the day we had cooked and eaten most of our food including the dessert and we had pad thai and noodle dishes ready to take away and eat later on. It was a good course and we’d recommend this school to anyone looking for a cookery get away.

We enjoyed Thai massages that evening along with a few people who had joined us on the course. This is something you must do when you come to Thailand; have a Thai massage. Helen opted for an oil body massage which was very good indeed, and Dave enjoyed a more hardy traditional Thai one, both costing in total 400 baht. Not bad! We went to a salon called Panna which is located near to the eastern gate and we liked the idea of doing a one day massage course and looked into this for when we would be back from Pai.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. Thailand – Chiang Mai – Massage course – 11th March On our last day in Chiang Mai we booked to do a Thai Massage course focusing on the back, back of the legs and shoulders....
  2. Thailand – Chiang Mai – Elephants – 10th March We booked to do a 1 day course at the Chang Siam Elephant Training Mahout School based on a recommendation from one of our friends...
  3. Thailand – Bangkok – 16th March A relaxing day in Bangkok exploring the streets and canals on foot, we picked up a few essential items for the wet weather which seemed...
  4. Thailand – Pai – 5th-7th March Oh oh beautiful Pai! How we loved our days camping in our wonderful boutique style tent with views across the valleys…not to make people jealous...

One Comment

  1. Stu
    Posted 6 Apr ’11 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I had Pork Chang Mai in Bankok. Just lovely…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>