Chiang Mai! Cooking like the locals

This post is delayed but we’re FINALLY in Chiang Mai. I’ve been most excited to come here of all the places in Thailand. Especially since everyone we’ve met has given it rave reviews. Bangkok is amazing, but a big city can be very intimidating sometimes. There are major political protests happening there also, which makes traveling around the city extremely difficult and potentially dangerous. We left at the perfect time.

We took an overnight bus to Chiang Mai, it was only 10 hours. The VIP buses here are unreal, the seats are almost as wide as beds and recline almost all the way. They also provide snacks and drinks. The bus curry wasn’t amazing, but not the worst thing we’ve had.

The bus got in at about 6 am. We hung out at McDonalds, like real Americans, to kill some time since it was so early. When we finally arrived to the hotel, I was so relieved to see how nice it was. We’re staying at Teeraya Boutique Hotel, right outside the old city. Spense and I have our own room, which is a nice change of pace compared to dorm rooms. The place also has a pool which is even more exciting. Oh yeah, AND a restaurant in the lobby, something we’ve really come to appreciate.

After napping and regrouping, we decided to take a cooking class that night. We had heard great things about them in Chiang Mai so we went for it. We actually haven’t really paid for much entertainment thus far so we decided to give it a shot. It was 800 baht for a 4 1/2 hour class. They picked us up at the hotel and brought us to a local market to see the foods we’d be cooking with. There were ten people in our group, meaning we had six new friends to cook with, that always keeps things interesting

Our teacher, Nam, was adorable. She was so enthusiastic and helpful with everything, it was impossible not to have a good time.

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We made 5 dishes each. Picking them out was the hard part. I went with sweet and creamy soup, big noodles, panang curry, chicken and ginger, and mango and sticky rice. We made the first two dishes first and ate them together. They were amazing, but I preferred my soup to the noodles. Spense made Pad Thai that was actually really good, I was a proud mama. Everyone was a little too excited and ate too much of the first courses, so when the second part came around, we were stuffed.

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Luckily, being full doesn’t actually ever stop us from eating. My favorite part was making curry paste from scratch. So many little things went into it, I was amazed. Panang curry had the most ingredients so I was standing there grinding for a while. I forget what the boys made but mine totally won the taste test.

My chicken was eh, but the sticky rice was to die for. Beer had been flowing for the entirety of the class so by the time we sat down again, everyone was a bit silly.

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Everyone left with a certificate of verification, proving that we are in fact, true chefs now. We also got a book of recipes so we can remember all the fun dishes we made. Hopefully I can hold on to mine until I go home.

Long story short, the cooking class was well worth it. PLUS we’re much cooler because of it. Ha.

One love.

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