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Thai Cooking Classes: Eat Your Way to Bliss
When Brian Battjer went to Thailand (see Justin's post), he did partake in one of the fine aspects of this country, the Thai massage. Even a half-hour hand or foot massage is bliss.
While massages transport you to heaven through the sense of touch, a Thai cooking class will bring you there through your taste buds. Besides that, it's fun and a way to meet fellow travelers. And, if you happen to be traveling with kids, it's one of those things to do as a family where everyone is happy. Our daughter was 8-years old the first time we took a class. We returned the next year for course number two.
Cooking schools have several options ranging from one day to several day courses. We did the one-day option, signing up at the travel agency stand at our hotel the day before the class. All travel agencies in Thailand seem to have a big book filled with tour options and will point you towards a class that suits your needs. Cooking classes will list the menu items. We headed to the one that had green curry chicken for our first class.
Our cooking school class in Chiang Mai involved meeting at the cooking school to eat tropical fruit from Thailand before taking a trip to the market where the instructor lead us from stall to stall to tell us about each of the ingredients that makes Thai food so delectable. Afterwards we became chefs and worked in pairs to cook five different dishes from salads to main courses to dessert. Our daughter was paired with John, another participant who was there on his own. We figured John would let her chop and dice more readily than we would. She chopped away with a very large knife at the cooking station next to us.
After we cooked each dish we ate it before cooking another. This is one way to cook your way through breakfast, lunch and up to dinner. Here is a link that lists cooking classes in Chiang Mai. One of the schools, Chaing Mai Thai Cookery School looks like the one we went to, although it's not. Ours was run by a guy named Tim, but I don't think they have a website since I haven't come across it. Here is another interesting option. Chiang Mai Kitchen also offers a "stay in a countryside village" and the fare is organic. From the website photos you can see what dishes you'll be cooking and it looks like a lot of the ingredients are grown on-site.