Red hot chili peppers

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Monday, April 4, 2011

So after our nightmare bus journey we are now in the northern city of Chiang Mai. We are also now in our 8th month of traveling: we can't believe how quickly time has flown by, if I close my eyes I can remember chatting to the guy on our flight from Manchester to London or the taste of our food in Hong Kong or seeing our campervan in New Zealand for the very first time. It’s funny how 8 months can disappear in the flash of an eye. So having been traveling for so long we have decided to have a holiday from our trip! Chiang Mai is the activities capital of northern Thailand, so we are going to stay here for 2 weeks and treat ourselves to doing as many activities as we want. During our 2nd week in Chiang Mai we will also be celebrating Thai New Year. In Thailand the New Year is called Songkran and is celebrated with a huge 3 day water-fight (I’ll explain more about it in a later blog), however Chiang Mai is the biggest place to celebrate Songkran so we are very lucky to be here for the New Year.

Once we arrived in Chiang Mai on Saturday we checked in to our guesthouse and fell asleep until 3pm (this seems to be a bit of a habit with us lately). The following day we walked down into town and booked ourselves onto a couple of tours and activities with a local operator. Our first activity of the holiday was a Thai cooking course! Now, as Tom will attest to, I cannot cook to save my life and at home Tom does all the cooking as I can’t even make a sandwich without buggering it up. So I was slightly nervous about going on a cooking course because I had visions of fires, burnt food and getting chili in my eyes. But it turned out to be a great day… and I even got a certificate to prove how good we were (that one’s going on the mantelpiece when we get home). We started the day with a trip to the local food market where we learnt about different curry pastes and the weird and wonderful fruits and veggies of Asia…Tom and I scored some brownie points from our cooking teacher because we were the only ones who knew what a tamarind was, we didn’t get any shiny stickers though so we were very disappointedJ. Afterwards we were taken to the cooking school, given aprons and shown to our cooking stations. Now the teachers obviously don’t know Tom very well… not only did they give him a huge meat cleaver but they let him use this meat cleaver whilst walking around with no shoes on! Tom is one of the most accident-prone people I have ever known and I had visions of him dropping the cleaver and taking half his foot off, but in all fairness he survived the whole day with nothing more than a few chili seeds going into his eye (a good day all round I think you’ll agree). During the day we got to make 6 dishes each: we would make them 2 at a time, eat the 2 we had just made, give our bellies time to rest, then go back into the kitchen and start all over again. By the end of the day we couldn’t eat any more food and we had to ask to take out final dishes home so we could eat them for our tea instead. It was a fantastic day and I didn’t poison anyone with my food (which is always a bonus). We even got to make our own curry pastes by mashing all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar…this is how Tom got chili seeds in his eye! And yes, before you ask, we are available for hire as caters when we return home ;)

So here is our menu for the day:

Tom made:

Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

Ginger and Szechuan peppercorn stir-fry

Papaya salad (the best one we have tasted so far in Thailand)

Pad Thai

Massaman curry

Pumpkin in coconut milk

Hayley made:

Creamy coconut and tofu soup

Sweet and sour veg (amazing!)

Spring rolls

Spicy noodle salad

Red thai curry

Mango and sticky rice

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rach on

will deffo be coming for tea when you get home, no chicken heads tho ,do they eat them ? and in all honesty i thought a tamarand was a tropical fish , so what is a tamarand ?? lots a love to you both x

rach on

have just noticed that on the side bar on your blog , they have added a new thing , you can turn your blog into a book !

Lucy on

Nom nom nom x x

Lucy on

P.s. I would like to put my order in now for when u get back... i will have the massaman curry from tom's menu and the mango sticky rice from hayleys :)

tomandhayley on

Would you like chips with that Lucy? If u pay an extra 20p u can supersize and we throw in a free crappy toy and a cardboard box with pictures on the side ;) xxxxxxxxxx

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