After a long bus trip, we finally arrived at the hotel in Chiang Mai. This was the city I was most excited about. In the evening we went to the night food market. Let me tell you, you can find any food here! So there is something for everyone. From Thai to French crepes and Japanese food.
I went to the night bazaar 3 from the 4 nights. If the night bazaar was also on Sunday, it would have been 4 out of 4. The night bazaar is gigantic. The perfect place to find your souvenirs, elephant pants ( you know the ones with the little elephants on them), street food and enjoy live music.
You will find everything at least twice, so try to bargain and just leave if they do not go low enough. Another stall will give you a lower price.
If you go to a beach destination at the end of your holiday, get your souvenirs here. At the beach, the prices are way higher. I bought a painting for 100 baht and the same was in Krabi 600 baht.
Ploen Ruedee market
We went a lot to the Ploen Ruedee market. There were more places with live music, but I really liked this one. There was a lot of street food, but also a bit more western food. We saw another band every time we went there. You will find enough tables and chairs and even some hay bales to sit on. So get some food, sit down and enjoy it.
I love cooking, so I went to a Thai cooking class. I was going with two others from the group. We got picked up at the hotel at 4 pm. The total group was 7 persons. First, we went to the local market. Here we got explanations about ingredients and how to use them. I love this part because I can use it also at home.
After the market, we went to the cooking school. There was a dining table set up for us and there was a big kitchen. We all got a space on the cooking island and we had a cooking pit. We could choose 6 dishes we wanted to make.
We each made a Stir fry, curry, appetizer, desserts, noodles, curry paste, and a soup.
The choices that were possible:
Curry: green curry, Pa-nang curry, red curry with bamboo shoot.
Soup: Hot and sour Prawn soup, Chicken coconut soup, Hot and sour chicken soup.
Stir fry: chicken with cashew nut, prawns in tamarind sauce, minced pork with basil.
Noodles: Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle, rice noodle with soy sauce.
Appetizer: Papaya salad, Spring rolls, minced chicken salad.
Dessert: Deep fried banana, black sticky rice pudding, sweet sticky rice with Mango.
We also made the curry paste and coconut milk.
With every dish, we got the ingredients on a plate. Just enough for one. Step for step, we were told what to do and why. There were different dishes every round. When I made the Drunken noodle, someone else was making Pad Thai. We made about 75% of all the choices with the whole group. Of course, we tried the dishes someone else made too.
We first made the noodles and tried it. Second, we made the soup and immediately we made the appetizers. After we tried this, we started with the dessert, stir fry and the curry. The last we tried all at the same time.
The Thai kitchen is so easy! Once you found all the ingredients, it is really easy to make. Most of the recipes are: throw in the pan and wait until cooked.
I have to say, it was an amazing experience and well worth your money. We got some rice and ice cream with the made dishes and we even got a recipe book with all the possible choices and explanations about the ingredients.
I am home for about a week now and I already made the curry and banana for my family. They really liked it and asked me to make it again. The spring rolls are on the list to make on Christmas.
Update: The spring rolls I made for Christmas and they were a huge success! We even froze a few and fried them a few weeks later and they were still good!
I am always up for an adventure and I love ziplining. I have done it a few times in Spain and France, so why not do it in Thailand? We went with a small group to Eagle Track.
They have 3 different packages and we all chose gold. That was the longest and ‘scariest’.
We had a hilarious time. The guides were so funny. They made a lot of jokes, but safety was always first. This was it was very funny, but it also felt very secure. There were a lot of sexy jokes, which made the end very funny. In the end, there was a big sign ‘Happy Ending’. Which a lot of people will probably get or else maybe a time to look it up.
We ziplined above rice fields and across a waterfall. The views were amazing and the zip lines were long.
I was really scared that I would pay a lot for 1 or 2 short zip lines, but that was definitely not the case. We also got lunch, a t-shirt and the chance to buy a photo they made.
There were different companies for zip lining by Chang Mai and this is the most known and it definitely got my approval.
Elephant care center
If you say Thailand, people think elephants. That was also one of my first thoughts. I just did not want to ride an elephant, because this is animal abuse. I went on my trip with Shoestring, which is a green company. We went to the Thai Elephant Care Center and I loved it!
We all got the same outfits, so our clothes would not smell. Of course, I had to take the hat with it. There was a basket with small bananas for everyone. We fed the elephants the bananas and it was so funny. Their snouts are so flexible and fun.
After the bananas, we went to a small hut with an explanation and an elephant’s skeleton. There was also a cemetery for the elephants. They also showed how they make paper from elephant poop.
We made our own ‘meatballs’ for the elephants. These ‘meatballs’ were made from tamarind, salt, and some herbs. We were also allowed to help with shredding the leaves and mixing the food. We just made enough for 3 elephants, but it was so much!
When they finished eating, we went to the river for a bath. There were baskets and brush for all of us and it was hilarious. Especially when 2 guys went into the water after the elephant and he started pooping. So they quickly stepped back. A lady was standing a bit further down the stream and was catching the poop.
After I was done laughing, I went into the river to help wash the elephants. It was mainly throwing water over them and spent a minute of brushing the little stones away. But it was very fun.
If you want to do something with elephants, which is totally logical, this is an amazing option. We got a lot of information and the guide was very nice. You could see that the elephants are very well cared for. There was only one other group and we actually did barely saw them.
In between all the activities we also saw a lot of Chiang Mai. The night markets, temples, some shopping streets, and restaurants. Chiang Mai is my favorite city in Thailand for now. There was so much to do and the feeling was very nice and welcoming. There were a lot of backpackers here. I did like the temples here more than in Bangkok, although they were also beautiful!
Make sure Chiang Mai is on your route in Thailand.
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What was your favorite thing in Chiang Mai?