Friday, 27 January 2012

Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai just in time for the last night of Chinese New Years, Ryland got in the spirit of things and received noise makers which he used to their full potential to say the least. We watched the crowning of Miss Chiang Mai. The celebration wasn't as crazy as in Bangkok; three people died after fire works fell over and shot a near by buildings causing a large firer. We were exhausted from our 12 hour train ride and didn't last long!

we spent the next day at the zoo, which we could actually get close to the animals!! We went to the Aquarium as well. The zoo was located throughout the hills and it was a nice climb to and from various animal's cages. Our favourite animal was the sun bear. Ry yelled hello and it came right over and climbed over a wall to talk with us....

The next day we signed up for the Thai Farm Cooking School  which was on an organic farm. Our guide/teacher Saawat was very well versed in the principles of organic farming practices which was very nice to hear. We started out at a market where they showed us what to buy and the differences between rice and curries. Then we went out to the farm and got a tour of the different plants and vegetables that they grow. Very interesting. Lemon grass, kaffir lime, thai egg plant, tumeric, several kinds of basil, long beans (pretty much a green bean just really long, like 2 feet), coriander and thai parsley that was prickly, ouch! Then we got to cooking. First we made curry paste in a mortar. It was so easy, I never knew. Then we made Tom Yum soup with shrimp, which was also ridiculously easy. The secret is the tamarind paste. The was both our favourite. Then we made chicken curry with our curry paste followed by sweet and sour chicken stir fry and finished up with mango with cocounut milk and sticky rice and spring rolls. The spring rolls were also easy to make except you need to remember to roll them super tight or they turn into an oil sponge. We finished the day stuffed from all the delicious food and returned to Chiang Mai without a thought about eating again. All this cost only 1000b which is roughly $32. Amazing!

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