Gordon Ramsey eat your heart out!

Trip Start Nov 30, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rux Thai

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, March 19, 2010

Despite my initial reservations about what Chiang Mai was going to be like it ended up being one of my favourite places so far and we stayed twice as long as we originally intended.  Although definitely well and truly on the tourist track it has a certain laid back charm - and some of the best shopping so far on the trip!  If we had been heading straight home from there we'd have needed to charter our own plane to carry all of the things I could have bought!

Top on my list of to do's for Thailand was to do a Thai cookery course as the food here has been delicious. With only full day courses available at 900 baht (about 18 pounds) Kev decided to sit it out and I went along on my own.  If you ever visit Thailand and in particular Chiang Mai I definitely recommend you sign up with "The Best Thai Cookery school" as the day was fantastic.  We started with a tour of the local market with the chef, who taught us all about the ingredients used in Thai cooking,plus some fantastic general tips about how to choose the freshest fruit, vegetables, eggs, spices and herbs.  A full sensory experience with lots of feeling and sniffing - which in the case of the pink 45 day old fermented "Horse piss" eggs was not such a treat!

There were 14 students in our class altogether - from all corners of the globe.  The guy next to me was in his 60's and from Austria. By his own admission he had never cooked in his life,only warmed things up.  This was definitely evident once we started to cook - as using the gas hob was a real challenge and resulted in me having to turn carer and help him through every recipe.

We were given choices from a menu and each learned to cook a soup, a curry, stir fry and noodles of our choosing - plus assisted with making spring rolls and watched the chef prepare the Thais favourite dessert Mango and sweet sticky rice.  If you have never eaten this you must try it before you die -it's food heaven.  Perm our chef gave us so many useful little tips during the day that I left feeling like I could enter master chef and promptly went out that night and bought some Thai spatulas to take home so that I can look all authentic when I rustle up Pad Thai in Gladstone Mills when we get home. The  course included a recipe book to take home - so no danger of me forgetting the ingredients, just need to find somewhere to buy fermented plums in Stalybridge and I'm good to go

Highlight of the cooking adventure was rather dramatic stir frying of chicken and cashew nuts - which resulted in a huge ball of flames. This was all part of the plan as Prem had made sure we swapped cameras with those opposite so they could capture it for us. Not sure where I have disappeared to in the photo - I was standing somewhere to the right of the picture but all you can see is my hob.

In addition to cookery school the rest of our time in Chiang Mai itself was spent relaxing in the park, visiting the temples or mooching around the many markets, including the fantastic Sunday Walking Street - endless stalls that wound there way through many of the streets in the old walled part of the city.  Delicious street food everywhere, including amazing and super cheap Sushi, lots of BBQ sticks of meat and rice and noodles a go go.  I loved the little VW camper coffee bar and the many stalls selling strings of coloured lights that looked fantastic as it got dark.

The pair of us are starting to get very competitive about taking photos - with Kev getting surprisingly arty for a boy from Dagenham!  We're undecided about what was our favourite shot from Chiang Mai - so would welcome your comments to decide the winner - just click on comment or "I like this" on your favourite picture.
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eugenie and sue on

Hi from Ireland, glorius day yesterday and Sue and I headed for the wicklow hills. In the evening went into Dublin to meet up with Charlotte who said that if you were going to Thailand to be sure to go to Chang Mai!! Her favourite bit was a 3 day treck to see the villages and to go white water rafting and riding elephants. It's great to see Sue , she is such a tonic(especially when we both add in the gin!!). Have started planning our 60th birthdays back in Scull, so make sure you're home by then as we need Kev for the Quiz. Glad to see you are both having such a great trip, love, Eugenie xxxx

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