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Farm to Kitchen Cooking Experience in The North of Thailand

Posted by Ayer Chengtrakun on

Farm to Kitchen Cooking Experience in The North of Thailand

Day 1  Highlights:

  • Hotel pick-up and welcomes
  • Enjoy the famous Khao Soi for lunch
  • Transfer to Mae Kampong and meet your host family
  • Hike to a mountain waterfall for cool relief
  • Enjoy the view of three Northern Provinces
  • Visit a jungle coffee shop on the hike down
  • Use the evening to explore the local town by yourself

Day 2 Highlights:

  • Visit a fresh market and learn about local vegetables and ingredients
  • Learn about Thai herbs and spices on an organic farm
  • Pick your own ingredients with a local chef guiding you
  • Learn the secrets of Thai cooking in an open-air kitchen
  • Choose between: Visiting a Buddhist temple or enjoying a Khantok Dinner

The North of Thailand needs no introduction. Lush, tropical forests cover hills, mountains and valleys in shades of emerald green as the soft mist romantically drifts through the tree tops.

Chiang Mai is nestled between these large mountains and jungles, its streets filled with culinary delights that will draw you in, entertain your tastebuds and appetite, and let you leave - a changed person.

Its traditional dishes are so savory and flavorful that it can only be described as a journey into the palate of history - as if you are stepping into the recipe books of the Chiang Mai Ancestors.

However, this trip will leave you with more than memories and stunning photos. You will return home with the cooking secrets this region is well known for, while finding time in-between to delve into the natural delights of Chiang Mai.

Bon appetite!

Day 1: Fall in Love with Khao Soi - The Taste of the North

After a warm welcome at the Chiang Mai Airport, you will be transferred to your chosen accommodation in Chiang Mai Lanna.

Once you have settled in, your culinary journey will begin with a Khao Soi lunch. This delightfully rich curry is unique due to the sweet relish, pickled onions, and fresh lime juice you add to it just before the devouring commences. These last-minute ingredients intensify the Khao Sois sweetness adding to its unique taste, while providing hints of tangy lemon with every other bite. If there is one dish in Thailand that will bring you to your knees - it is Khao Soi.

After lunch, a local guide will take you through the homestay area known as Mae Kampong. Famous for its warm-hearted villagers who welcome exploring strangers into their homes, this small village is also home to tea, coffee, and rice plantations. Here you will meet a local guide, who will lead you to a waterfall in the mountains. This two-hour hike will provide the opportunity to splash in the crystal waterfall and enjoy some local snacks and drinks midway. Continue to the top of the hill. Here you will see a spellbinding view of all three provinces: Chiang Mai, Lampang and Lamphun.

On the return hike you will have the chance to get your caffeine fix at a jungle coffee shop with a panoramic view of Northern Thailand. Enjoy the rest of your walk back and take some free time to explore this gorgeous city by night.

Day 2: From Market to Farm to Kitchen

Today will be filled with fragrant flavours and Thai-cooking traditions. One of the unique things about Thailand is the farm to table as well as market to table cooking process.

Your diver will pick you at your resort and escort you to a fresh market. Here you will experience true Thai-Kindness, with smiling faces and offering hands. This is also a unique opportunity to see the local way of life - unchanged by tourist conditions. Look for the older lady shuffling through the market, collecting her ingredients for the day. Or the little girl or boy, stretched out on a chair behind a vegetable stand, probably playing on a cellphone.

This visit will be an introduction to Thai vegetables, fruits and meat and your eyes will feast on many colours, textures and Thai-Life in general.

After the hustle and bustle of the market, you will visit an organic farm to explore authentic Thai herbs and flavours. These greens are quite unique, having strong flavours and smells that might shock your senses at first, yet they will seamlessly blend into traditional dishes. That is, if the chef understands how to cook it. Learning these secrets are essential to creating traditional Thai Cuisine.

Once you have selected and picked your ingredients under the watchful eye and knowledgeable tongue of a local chef, you will be guided to an open-air kitchen to learn the craft of Thai cooking first-hand. Your menu will include dishes such as Thai soup, stir-fry, and curry. You will also learn to make Thai Curry Paste - a must have in any seasoned Thai kitchen.

Once you have learned, cooked, and feasted like no other time in your life, you will have the choice of one of the following optional excursions:

Option 1: Walking the Secret Halls of Faith.

For the Buddhist fanatic, this excursion will provide a temple experience like no other. At 3:30 PM you will be taken to Wat Umong, a one-of-a-kind temple with a secret story. This temple has a unique design. It consists of a series of temple-tunnels hidden almost under the main shrine. Legend has it that these were built to keep an aged monk from wandering into the neighbouring forest and getting lost. The walls were covered with depictions of the trees he loved, providing a safe and familiar place for his daily walks.

The temple grounds are ancient, with a hushed serenity filling its many layers. Feed the birds found at the island in the lake or wander up to the shrine. Its point reaching for the blue sky at the top of a flight of stone-stairs.

However you choose to explore this temple, you can be sure to see kind monks - young and old - going about their rituals and ancient ruins and statues of the peaceful Buddha. If you are lucky - a beloved English Bull Terrier will greet you along the way. 

Option 2: Can You Say Khantok”?

For this option, the expression dinner and a show” is very apt. While in Chiang Mai, you will often hear the word Lanna”. It refers to the agriculture Northern Thailand is known for, honouring its traditions with pride.

Just as the farming tradition is a source of pride and honour for Thai people, so are the rituals formed in connection with their ways of eating, providing enjoyment for all five senses. Pleasure for the eyes, watching traditional dancing, and hearing the bell-like rhythmic sounds of Thai-music. Pleasure for the palate and nose - small dishes from Northern cuisine, brought to your table on a flat, round basket. The array of colours and tastes, is nicely complimented by the fresh leaves and herbs set at the side of the basket- traditionally combined and enjoyed together.

The dances will include many cultural favourites, and your eyes will be mesmerised by the dancers’ grace and nimble movements, while the stunning costumes and make-up will dazzle you and your company. If you are open to a truly immersive affair, you might be invited to participate.

This option will truly lead you into an older Thai era - welcoming you into the heart of Thai Culture.

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