+ Travel in a world of adventures
Read my full day to day blog of my first big overseas solo trip.
Day 51 (26th Jan) The train arrives at 6:00am in Chiang Mai and we hop on a mini bus that takes us 20 minutes into the city to our hotel. It is FREEZING!!! So cold. I have packed clothes for summer, bringing with me 1x hoodie and it just so happens we have arrived in a cold snap, the coldest weather Chiang Mai has had for the last 20 years. It feels as though I could be skiing down the road instead of walking.
We are told that we can only cheek-in after 2:00pm so I decided to go on one of the optional activities on the list for my tour, which was a Thai cooking class starting at 9:00am. Most of the group decided to do the cooking class so we all piled into the back of the truck, me wrapped in my one hoodie plus my light travelling fat pants and lightweight scarf. First things first, the chef takes us to the local vegetable market which is just filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, all so colourful just inviting you to reach out and grab one. Chef walks through the market picking up different vegetables saying what they were and how you could use that item also showing us the traditional sources and what was in them. 15 minutes later we arrived at the cooking school where we split into two groups most of my tour people were upstairs and Morgane, Laura and me were downstairs outside amongst the frost, grouped with four other Taiwan people. They were so funny taking photos every 2 minutes wanting us to join in and teaching us a few words of Mandarin. We were to make four dishes altogether, my first was green curry then 2nd dish was chicken cashew nut, 3rd raw spring rolls, 4th yellow chicken soup. It was such a fun experience cooking the meals I would be eating over the next 2 weeks. Our chef’s name was Nanna, very good at what she does and apparently she teaches cooking on TV.
Once back at the hotel we were finally able to check in and go put our belonging in a safe place and have a much needed shower. Me, Parie, Laura, Morgane and Emily decided to go for a walk to explore Chiang Mai a bit. We came across about a hundred temples - one every 100 metres. They are all made with such detail, all similar but slightly different as a Thai would say "same same but different ". It is now absolutely freezing and it starts to rain so we pop into a little coffee shop on the corner and order some tea and coffee to warm us up and to act as a hand heater.
We walk back to the hotel to meet the group to head out for street food. Everyone orders sticky rice and mango and I order corn-on-the-cob roasted which was just amazing and a Thai pancake thing which is almost like a pancake but fried and puffy. We had heard of a night market here in Chiang Mai so we all jump into a ute (bakkie) which is used as a taxi here and ask to be dropped off at the nearest night market. The streets are flooded with stalls, lights and people everywhere. The night life here is amazing. The energy is so cool to be apart of. The group decide on a meeting point and a time to meet back which is about an hour. Little groups are formed to shop in as is easier to stay with one person down tiny little stall alley ways. If I wanted an item I soon learnt I would need to barter with the price in order to score a deal. The trick is to offer about half their asking price or just under what you are willing to pay for an item and then work your way up to a meeting point in price. It became almost a game searching for the perfect price and if you muck it up once you know that item will be just around the corner to start again. The clock strikes midnight and we all meet up again and head back to the hotel for bed.
xx Kirsty Claire xx