CHIANG MAI, Thailand — My fourth day in Chiang Mai was another chance to explore more of the city, more of the food (yes please), and more of the culture. This time I was alone. I was getting used to that, being alone in a new place. There’s this nice feeling of being free from having to make decisions with someone on where to go, how to get there, where to eat, etc. I was able to weave a lot of spontaneous things in and out of my planned itinerary. Now I sort of understand why some people prefer to travel alone. I did feel a little lonely when I saw something beautiful but had no one to share it with. There are always the cons with the pros.
So on to what went down on Day 4! One more thing about me is that apart from my love to chow down, I loooove to cook. Cooking is like running for me. Both take away my stress and clear my mind while I’m doing the activity. I’m such a type A person but cooking calms and slows me down.
Cooking Thai food, however, intimidates me! Watching so many Thai cooks and the way they cook their food, all the different flavors in one small dish after a fast and quick cooking time, it’s like magic before your eyes. So I leave it to them. I dare not try!
But I was running out of ideas on what to do in Chiang Mai so I said to myself, a cooking class shouldn’t hurt. If it turns out too touristy, then just charge it to experience. I did my research and compared prices as usual. Ended up with a half-day class with Thai Orchid Cookery School for 900 baht. Since i was gonna be free after 1:30 p.m., i decided to check out one of Chiang Mai’s most popular tourist area — Wat Doi Suthep.
They arranged to pick me up at 9 a.m. Pick up was prompt and I was happy about that! Punctuality speaks so much about a person or a company. I was surprised they took me to someone’s home. Garage was turned into the cooking school where all the stoves and prep tables were. I was welcomed warmly by a staff member. And so on…
I was made to choose the dishes I wanted to learn and a glass of cold water for Lauren (my real name). Well, thank you!
Our teacher “Kong” was very clear, helpful, and nice the entire time. Here he is demonstrating how to cook fried and fresh spring rolls, which we would then have for breakfast.
My spring rolls ready to fry.
Breakfast! Yay! 🙂
More info on the different types of basil available in Thailand and commonly used in their food
The famous Thai chili
“Tomyum set” – the base of tomyum soup
Different roots common in Thai dishes (galangal, ginger, and turmeric)
Off to the next area of the market
Lesson on different spices
Different spices popular in Thailand (told you it was intimidating!)
Prepped our Phad Thai and curry ingredients
Prepping and making our Thai dessert: steamed banana pudding (I usually don’t buy this but after making my own, I changed my mind!)
Cooking my red curry chicken. We had a choice to cook either green or red curry. I chose red because it is less hot.
Phad Thai demo and cooking my very own Phad Thai! It was so easy yet the ingredients are very specific. Substituting them would create a totally different taste. Really enjoyed this one because I love Phad Thai and it felt magical to finally get to cook it from scratch 🙂
Tadahhhh!!! Cooked my own Thai lunch and I got to eat it, too! Very proud of the outcome. It was very delicious and still very “Thai.” Already planning on hosting a Thai dinner for friends when I go home to Davao. 🙂
Enjoying our lunch. My classmates were from Lithuania and Spain. I was so happy when i learned I wasn’t alone compared to my bike tour.
Our dessert. It was really good and a perfect note to end this masterpiece 🙂
Went to North Gate of the Old City to check out the songthaews (their version of jeepneys). They had a terminal for Doi Suthep only, charging 50 baht per person. Not bad and the best option for a solo traveler.
Stopped by the nearest market to buy a pair of “touristy” pants for only 150 baht. I was in jumper shorts and Wat Doi Suthep has a dress code.
Poor OOTD shot. Waited for more than an hour to fill our songthaew before the driver declared take off. Full means 10 people and there were only 7 of us. We agreed to spend a li’l more just so we could leave already.
Snakes and ladders 🙂
The entrance to Wat Doi Suthep reminded me of Mines View Park in Baguio.
300 steps to get to the top!
Conquered and celebrated with taro ice cream! Thank goodness for that café up there!!!
View from above. Chiang Mai City down there. Beautiful!
Wat Doi Suthep in different angles
Asked a stranger, for the first time, to take my photo. It was a Thai student. 🙂
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