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    Sunday, 6 September 2009

    Thai Cooking in Chiang Mai

    Relaxed Chiang Mai[Enlarge & More]
    It was my second time in Chiang Mai. The last time I came here was for New Year’s Eve in 2001. This time it did dawn on me as we were taking the bus to Chiang Mai that it may be full of skyscrapers, but thankfully not. It had all the charm and warmth I remember from the last time but it was just a bit more laid back as New Year was not being celebrated.

    Demonstration by Yui [Enlarge & More]
    As I’d already done the bamboo rafting and trekking into the hills to a village on my previous visit, I decided to spend a lot more time in the city. We spent 7 nights here and my week started off with a full day of what I’d call traditional tourist activities. I loved it but it was like being anywhere else in the world. The real pleasure for me was the cooking course I did with Yui at A Lot of Thai the next day, a fantastic recommendation by Gade, our guesthouse owner. I had a fun filled day cooking and eating some of my favourite Thai dishes.

    Tom Yam [Enlarge & More]
    Yui started off with a demonstration of each dish and then we had a go. There were 4 of us in the class and there are only ever a maximum of 8, so you really get the personal touch. In the morning to get to the class I was picked up from our guesthouse, Elliebum, in a blue VW camper van kitted out with sofas. That set the feel for the rest of the day, relaxed, fun and informative. My favourite dish of the day was Tom Yam, just delicious.

    City Pillar [Enlarge & More]

    As Jono was busy doing a Thai massage course, I had the days to myself. I spent them wandering around the city and just enjoying the place and taking photographs. The people are so friendly too that it was just bliss. I’m a real exponent of travelling in the off season now as wherever I was it was tranquil and peaceful. No tour bus loads of tourists descending like ants in one particular place.

    Cooking with Gade [Enlarge & More]

    Staying at Elliebum really made it for me in Chiang Mai and as we were there for over 5 nights we got a free cooking course with Gade. Before we started, Gade had one request - that I cook something too which was traditional to me. I chose to do dahl (yellow lentils) and chapattis as it’s my favourite food and its simple to make. We cooked in the evening so that Jono could join in after his Thai massage course. It was fun and manic at the same time, as Gade’s nieces and nephews were also ‘helping’ while we tried to cook. It was sweaty work but the food was delicious and it made a nice change from eating out.

    I would say that if you get to Chiang Mai, definitely do the trekking, elephants and rafting but if you have the time just wonder the streets and enjoy the place.

    1 comment:

    1. Shame you've not done cooking classes in every place you've visited - the menu in Swindon may have been more varied than pizza & salad in the past!


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