Learning to Cook Thai Food in Chiang Mai and Other Mindful Travel Experiences
“You are always smiling, ALWAYS!,” says my host couple, Nok and Aek.
I live in the busy capital of Colombo and I hardly touch a knife at home. And joining an actual cooking class was a really exciting experience for me. I have previously joined a few cooking classes in Arugam Bay and Dikwella in Sri Lanka with Nathan, but they were more like a demonstration of food preparation. But here in Chiang Mai, I went to a market, bought my ingredients and cut my veggies. I did all the steps of preparing a five-course Thai menu.
Thai Cooking Class with Aromdii Cooking School
Nok and Aek have their own cooking class in Aromdii Cooking School. Aromodii in Thai means happy self. It’s something like positive, good vibes. And in their beautiful home kitchen, you’ll get nothing but good vibes. The open kitchen is indeed one of the prettiest kitchens I’ve ever seen. You get to eat all the meals you prepare, so don’t have anything before you come here.
Nok and Aek guided me throughout the preparation process. I made Pad Thai, Thai Papaya Salad, Khao Soi, Tom Yum Kung and Goreng Pisang (Thai Fried Bananas). Khao Soi is actually a dish unique to Northern Thailand and some parts of Laos and Myanmar. Safe to say that it was one of the happiest experiences I had in Chiang Mai.
Gold Leaf Lacquerware
My entire trip to Thailand in December was filled with happiness. I was a happy, temple-hopping kid with my local expert. I was a happy kid learning how to cook Thai food. And on my fourth day, I had two other mindful experiences with Backstreet Academy. I joined a lacquerware class. It was my first time, and I think I miserably failed. But learning how to do it, sweet conversations with Ann (who took me around Chiang Mai that day) and giggling with my teacher remain so close to my heart. You can find all the details about the class and book it here.
Glass Blowing in Chiang Mai
At last, I went to learn glass blowing with Noy. While gold leaf lacquerware requires great workmanship and attention to detail, I found glass blowing to be the real challenge. It’s a trade which requires great skills and complete concentration. Noy first showed me how to make a pig, which is one of the easiest things for a first-timer. I made one with Noy’s help, but it was a sad, paralyzed pig. Hey, I was a first-timer. And I actually felt happy and proud of my work. Noy was incredibly friendly and gifted me a lovely elephant to take back home.
Looking back, I’m happy I joined these community-based experiences with Backstreet Academy. It’s a travel platform that connects you with locals in places you travel. And as we always say, being with locals when we travel is one of the most fulfilling learning experiences. Nathan and I are so excited to travel together again and join more mindful experiences.
Wishing you all a wonderful time with travels, happiness and love.