Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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After a few days in Northern India, we were so excited to spend time in Thailand. After a flight to Bangkok, an airport transfer, and another flight, we arrived to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai,  a city in the northern hills of Thailand, is the country's fourth most populated city. We arrived late at night and immediately felt a welcoming, safe tone--we quickly decided to get a bit to eat at the night market just five minutes away from our hotel. 

Our first meal was amazing, and cost about $5 total! We enjoyed cashew chicken and spring rolls.

The first full day in Chiang Mai we strolled around looking for breakfast around 8 am. Apparently this is a night city, because we could barely find one place to eat! 

We settled on a local spot and discovered that Thai people don't eat different foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So we ordered a papya salad and pad see ew at 9 am! So delicious.

We took a ride in a songthaew up a huge mountain to visit the Doi Suthep temple and the Bhubing Palace, the winter residence for the Royal family. The views on the ride up and down the mountain were spectacular!
That afternoon, we participated in a cooking class at the Siam Rice Thai Cookery School. 

As part of the class, we got to visit a local market and learn about traditional Thai ingredients. Then, at the school we got to pick a soup, a main course, a curry, and a dessert to make from scratch. 

For my soup, I chose the Tom Kha, a traditional coconut milk soup with chicken.

My main course was druken noodles with chicken. 

As you can see, it was a really exciting dish to cook!

For the curry dish, I opted for panag and even got to make the curry paste from scratch. This is no small feat, but made the dish even more enjoyable to consume. Dessert was an easy choice: mango sticky rice. I'm not sure I'll be able to prepare this dish as amazingly as I did at the cooking school because the sticky rice takes hours up on hours to prepare. That was basically the only ingredient that was pre-preared for the class.

Overall the cooking school was probably my favorite experience of my entire vacation. I highly recommend it and can't say enough great things about Bunpot and his amazing school!