So, You Think You Can Cook?

Culturally, Chiang Mai offers much more than your usual tourist hotspots. With a huge variety of attractions and sites the city is guaranteed to please even the savviest of travellers. However, to fully understand the culture of this magical city you must immerse yourself in the Thai cuisine, and what better way to do this than by learning how to cook some special dishes for your friends and family back home.

Throughout the Western world it seems that Thai food is becoming extremely popular with an increasing number of restaurants opening their doors to a mass of expectant customers. These days (due to an increasingly competitive environment) food quality and presentation must be of the highest standards in order to survive. Because of this demand Chiang Mai now offer a number of cooking classes designed to teach customers not only how to cook traditional Thai dishes, but also how to choose the freshest ingredients.

Student cooked yellow curry in the Baan Thai kitchen

The recommended cooking class to take when visiting Chiang Mai is the Baan Thai home cooking class, which is situated on Rachadamnern Road and boasts a wholly traditional setting ensuring a memorable cultural experience. The cooking classes are very reasonably priced at around 900 baht (around $28) per person for the entire day (about 10:00 until 4:00), and this includes not only the cooking of 7 dishes but also a guided tour of the local food markets where you will buy your ingredients for the day.

Note: the price of these ingredients is included in your initial fee, though you will have to pay for any personal food purchases while in the markets.

The cooking begins at Baan Thai

The markets are a fantastic cultural opportunity which allow you to experience traditional Thai life, while enjoying a variety of spectacularly fresh produce. Within the market you will visit a number of small stalls selling fresh food at a cheap price; from vegetables and fruit to an impressive variety of nuts, rice and poultry. You will also be encouraged to let your guide, or any of the friendly shop owners, answer any questions you might have regarding Thai cooking. Once the shopping has been completed your guide will escort you back to the school where your first cooking challenge awaits.

Baan Thai cooking instructor, Salam Mahayat, chooses the freshest ingredients from local markets

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