Friday, March 27, 2009

Chaing Mai and a Cooking Course

So we spent two days in Bangkok relaxing as well as doing some errands before taking off to Chiang Mai. We rode the night bus to Chiang Mai which was alright except for the fact that I didn’t sleep at all and it was freezing the whole time. It was a 12 hour journey and we finally arrived at about 6am. A British couple and Bryan and I walked for a good 20 minutes before finding the perfect guesthouse known as Julie’s. The rooms aren’t especially great but there is a wonderful common area where many backpackers hang out.

Once we settled into our rooms we went and had lunch at an organic restaurant where I had the best Pad Thai ever. So far, Chiang Mai has had the best food in all of Thailand (in my opinion). We are really liking Chiang Mai so far. The people seem to be much nicer in Northern Thailand than in Southern Thailand. They are always smiling and laughing which is nice.
Later that evening we went to dinner with a guy from Italy, a girl from Australia, and a girl from Switzerland. Bryan, Daniel, and Rebecca all ordered what is known as Khao Soi (not quite sure how to spell it) and it was delicious. It tastes sort of like a red curry but with noodles. After talking for a couple hours, Bryan and I went back to the guesthouse as we were quite tired from the bus ride the night before. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was gone.
Today was a good day as it was the day that Bryan and I learned how to cook Thai food. It was a one day cooking course where each of us had the opportunity to choose which Thai dish we wanted to cook. I chose Tom Yam soup, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pad Thai, and Penaeng Curry. Bryan made Coconut milk soup, Red Curry, Pad Thai, and Cashew Chicken. We were cooking with 8 other people, but we all had our own cooking area. Our instructor was actually the owner and he had quite the personality. He was constantly making jokes that he thought was hilarious. We all laughed because we didn’t know what else to do.  He was really nice and taught us a lot. FYI – we now know how to peel garlic and it only takes about a second. We also had the opportunity to “cook with adventure.” Basically cooking with really big flames. I now have about 15 burn marks on my left arm. They were from the guys flames next to me. It was kind of funny but not.  All and all, the cooking course was a lot of fun. Maybe Bryan and I will cook for you (yes you) if you are lucky. 
Tonight we are heading to a night market with some friends we met at our guesthouse. We are still deciding whether or not we will be trekking here or in Pai. We will probably go to Pai and do a 2 night 3 day trekking tour. We’ll see what happens.
~Leslie Dawn

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