The Best Cooking Classes and Food Tours in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains ruins of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It's also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents. Thailand's northern capital is an escape from the whirlwind pace of life of its southern rival. Despite the constant arrival of planes and trains full of sightseers, the city is still blissfully calm and laid-back. This is a place to relax after the chaos of Bangkok and recharge your batteries with fabulous food and leisurely wandering. If you don't want to participate in the vast array of activities on offer, just stroll around the backstreets, and discover a city that is still firmly Thai in its aspect, atmosphere, and attitude. A sprawling modern city has grown up around ancient Chiang Mai, ringed by a tangle of superhighways, but if you drive in a straight line in any direction, you'll soon find yourself in the lush green countryside of northern Thailand. A short ride by motorcycle or chartered rot daang ('red truck') will deliver you to pristine rainforest reserves, churning waterfalls, serene forest wat, bubbling hot springs and peaceful country villages - as well as a host of adventure camps, elephant sanctuaries and souvenir markets. With so much to see, do, and taste Chiang Mai is a great place to experience, and there are several options for experiencing the culinary delights of the city.
After being picked up from your hotel you will experience a traditional Chiang Mai home with a magnificent garden and a home-cooked meal. Your chef started to cook when she was 12, waking up early in the morning with her mother to do the family shopping in order to select the best ingredients. She'll help you do the same in her gardens before you head to her kitchen to chop, pound and grind as you learn to make a Thai-Chinese meal from scratch. Sitting around the table that your chef designed to teach her sons how to cook, you will enjoy the delicious, authentic meal you helped prepare. During your afternoon, you might be treated to Miang kham (a local snack of fresh betel leaves with lime, coconut, and peanuts) and dishes such as beef noodle soup, kaeng khiao wan (chicken green curry), kai kraphrao khai dao (stir fried chicken with holy basil) and rice noodles. At the end of your meal together, you will enjoy refreshing coconut ice cream or mango sticky rice (when in season) for dessert, before being driven back to your hotel. This experience is a visit into an authentic, local home to meet a local person and share the culture and cuisine together.
Wake up to local life with a bright-and-early food tour that gives you a literal taste for this northern Thai town. Your Chiang Mai food tour will start out with a visit to Warorot Market, where you can find better quality and better prices than at the city's more touristy markets. You'll grab a light breakfast here and explore the produce market, clothing market, and flower market, and try some local snacks and fresh fruit. From there, catch a local songthaew (those famed red trucks of Chiang Mai) to Wua Lai Road, to visit with the traditional silversmiths at Wat Sri Suphan.
Then walk back to the old city moat and have a coffee break in the garden of a local art center, a little oasis is a hidden gem of Chiang Mai. Continuing our Chiang Mai tour, walk to Chedi Luang Temple and visit the giant pagoda and Chiang Mai city pillar. From there, walk to the Three Kings Monument for lunch at a local restaurant that's loved by the locals, and dig into authentic Thai dishes like khao soi (a soup-like curry with crispy egg noodles), lim lao ngow noodles, saad noodles, and khao man gai (chicken with rice). We'll finish with a dessert of coconut ice cream or some other sweets unique to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai's old city is the prettiest place in town - and also the best area for grabbing delicious Thai food. But with so many choices to find the good stuff if you don't know where to look. This tour can help! With local guide by your side, you'll discover the hidden spots where the food is authentic and locals love to eat. This private Chiang Mai food tour will lead you to some of the best hidden restaurants and street food stalls inside the moat walls - and all within easy walking distance of the Tha Phae, Suan Dok, and Chang Phueak gates. The local, food-obsessed guides will share with you their handpicked all-time favorite spots. They'll introduce you to the places that only locals know about, tucked down back alleys, in quiet corners, and even hiding in plain sight, invisible to most tourists who walk past. Every tour is a little different as each guide has their own preferences, but if you are looking for something in particular that you want to taste, then be sure to let your guide know and they will try to find something amazing for you along the route. You could grab an early-morning breakfast of congee and pork blood soup from a stall that locals have loved for over two decades, or sample Hainanese chicken rice from a restaurant that many travelers have heard of, but can never find. Or try the most famous khao soi in town, followed with a towering sundae topped with chocolate and cornflakes at a dessert shop frequented by local students. Whatever you're looking for to satisfy your appetite, the guides will help you find it.
Traditional Chiang Mai cuisine, or Muang Food, is mouthwatering and quite distinct from Thai food. With the setting sun pedal forth for a culinary journey of Chiang Mai. Riding Chiang Mai's backstreets and alleyways stopping at street side stalls and food markets. The whole world of Northern Thai food will spring forth to delight your taste buds and to fill your belly. In addition to Muang Food you will also get to sample some Shan or Tai Yai food. Your food tour will finish with a spot of tea with some a unique traditional dessert on the banks of the River Ping. Come cycle through Chiang Mai and discover authentic Northern Thai cuisine.
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