This morning I decided to take a Thai cooking class, and I’m now so excited to try the recipes again when I get home! The class started at a local market, where we learned about various produce that is prevalent in Thai cooking. I was amazed by how many fruits and veggies I’d never seen before or that were vastly different from the version I’m used to in the States.
Then, we returned back to the instructor’s house, where he began to show us how to prepare the meals. We cooked five dishes in total:
1- Pad Thai
2- Tom Yum Soup
3- Spring Rolls
4- Khao Soi
5- Mango Sticky Rice
If you have a free morning or afternoon in Chiang Mai, I’d highly highly recommend taking a cooking class with Tom Yum Thai Cooking School. It was such a cool way to learn about Thai culture by gaining a an understanding of the food and ingredients. Im so excited to recreate the recipes when I get home. With that being said, definitely go on an empty stomach!! I was full for the rest of the day!
After the cooking class, we embarked on a six hour journey to the town of Chiang Khong on the border of Thailand and Laos. We stopped half way at Chiang Rai to visit Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple). OH MY GOODNESS!!! This temple absolutely baffled my mind.
For starters, it looks even more intricate in real life than it does in photos. I learned that while this is a temple, it’s also was designed as an art piece. The bridge leading up to the temple is actually surrounded by hands reaching up out of the ground with skulls and bones surrounding them. The artist intended this to represent all the temptation and sin that tries to grab you and keep you from crossing over into heaven. However, all of this imagery is covered in glistening and reflective surface of the entire temple creates such an unbelievable appearance.
Once inside the temple, you aren’t able to take photos (so now you’ll have to go to truly experience the art inside). There is a giant mural that is supposed to represent the good and bad of humanity. And on one part of it, the artist adds a new little design that represents the current state of the world during that year. So there was a little Yoda, minion, angry bird, and so many other silly pop culture references painting inside. I can’t even imagine what people will think when they visit the temple hundreds of years in the future.
What really had my cracking up was the public toilet. The artist wanted to make a commentary on how you can’t judge a book by its cover, so here’s what the bathroom looks like:
Before hopping back into the car, we tried a special type of mini pineapple that was special to Chiang Rai and bamboo sticky rice (which is sticky rice steamed in a stalk of bamboo). Both were soooooo good. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after having all this delicious Thai food during this trip!
From there, we drove the rest of the way to the border where we slept for the night so we could wake up bright and early to cross into Laos!!