Day 12 – Chiang Mai – Sunday March 13th 2011
In the morning we booked a bus for tomorrow morning to take us North to Pai. We had heard about the place via the backpacker grapevine and it sounded like a relaxed small town. The minibus was only £3.60 each for the 4 hour trip.
We had booked a cooking course at the same office as Elephant Nature Park, so knew it would be good.
We were the only people on the course this time, so we had the place to ourselves. We started the evening at the local market, where our teacher showed us the various spices and ingredients. She was really knowledgeable and gave us ideas for things we could substitute if we couldn’t get hold of them back home. She bought some ingredients and then walked us to the house where we would be cooking.
Whilst the kitchen was prepared, we were given a starter to try. We were seated on cushions at a low table in an open fronted house. The food was served in a round dish with separate sections, with peanut, chill, sauce and some other things which I cannot remember. The idea is to pick the ingredients, wrap them in a leaf and then eat. It was like a chilli bomb. Very tasty.
When we had demolished those, we were taken outside where the cooking stations were all arranged. We were shown how to prepare the vegetables and herbs and were given some choices of what to cook.
We cooked papaya salad or stir fry first, and then went back inside to eat. After that we cooked our curries. I made a Thai green curry and got to make the curry paste from scratch. For desert I had sticky rice and mango.
All the food was genius. So tasty and not too difficult to cook. We also got a recipe book to take home.
Night market revisited.
We walked back to our guesthouse via the night market. We were lucky to get another Sunday here, I love this market. There was a row of blind musicians busking in the market in a line, and they were playing lovely music. I had a lump in my throat listening to them. They were really skilful and must have been playing together for ages.
I found a Chang t-shirt, but the woman wouldn’t budge from 170B, so I walked away (£3.50 for a t-shirt, what a cheapskate I have become!)
In the middle of the night I woke up and was convinced I saw two ghost monks standing in the darkness of our guesthouse. They would have been around 7 feet tall so it was probably just a trick of the light. I just went back to sleep.