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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Chiang Mai (Pt 3) – Thai Secret Cooking School & Shopping

Updated: Apr 19

A journal style look into my third day in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we took a Thai cooking class in April 2019.

Chiang Mai

Day 3

We woke up early again since we were being picked up at our hotel in the morning. This time we knew the right place to wait. We were the first ones picked up this time and we got to see many different places where other people were picked up from. We arrived at a market and met up with another red truck full of passengers.

We met May, the lady who runs the cooking class, and she took us around the market and showed us different vegetables, rices and how coconut milk was made. We had the opportunity to wander around on our own for a few minutes, so my dad and I bought some fruit for later.

We all loaded up in the trucks to ride to the cooking school. We started out by going out in the garden and picking the different herbs we needed to make our chosen dishes. We got to choose from one of 4 options for each of the four different categories. In total, we got to make 4 different dishes each. We went into the “kitchen area” and cut up all the stuff we needed for our dishes. May was a really good teacher and explained everything very well. Between each dish we’d sit and eat what we made.

I liked everything I made except the green curry. But that’s only because I’m not big on green curry. We got know some of the other people in the cooking class. There were some girls from Spain that were attending medical school in Chicago and 3 other girls from Oahu. There were some other people, but we didn’t really get to talk with them that much.

What I made at the cooking school

  1. Minced Tofu with Holy Basil (stir fry)

  2. Tofu & Vegetable Soup

  3. Thai Fried Spring Rolls

  4. Green Curry with Tofu

What my dad made at the cooking school

We got to make curry paste in groups from scratch. It’s a lot of work to make.

We did the half day cooking class which basically means we didn’t get to make a desert. At the end of the class we got a certificate saying we completed it and a recipe book to take home. It had the directions on how to make all the recipes we made during the class and much more. It was worth doing the class just for that cookbook, to be honest.

We got back to our hotel around 4pm, so we still had some time to explore on our last day in Chiang Mai. I wanted to bring back some little gifts for some special people in my life, so we went out shopping and got the gifts. I bought a pair of elephant pants for myself as well. I was somewhat skeptical about whether I’d like them or not. I didn’t actually wear them until we got to Koh Yao Noi and turns out they are one of the best things ever! They cover the whole legs and are super breathable. Perfect for hot weather and a more conservative country.

I wanted to head back to the hotel and my dad still wanted to wander so we split up. I walked back to the hotel and got an Italian soda on the way. So far, the whole time I’ve been in Thailand I haven’t ever felt unsafe. I actually would be pretty comfortable traveling around on my own.

Chiang Mai surprised me. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. My recommendation would be if you’re going to stay in Chiang Mai, stay in the Old City because you can walk a lot of places easily and there’s a lot of things to see.

Purchases from the day


  • Fruit from market – dragon fruit, grapes, mangosteen, etc. (117 baht; $3.79 USD)

  • 1 Italian soda from Star Cafe (40 baht; $1.29 USD)



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