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Thai culinary tours

11 Days / 10 Nights

Thai culinary tours

Destination highlight: Bangkok -Pakklong Talad -Chiang Mai

Thai food is an exceptional combination of exotic sweet, tangy and peppery spices, fresh ingredients, and stunning presentation, and most who try it are hooked for life. Traditional Thai cooking is taught at home. Every mother is a "teacher" and family recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. Meals are always shared family affairs and are an important part of Thai cultural heritage. Therefore, our Bangkok and Chiang Mai cooking schools are set in home-style learning environments, with open-air, Thai-style kitchens, surrounded by aromatic herb gardens, orchards and rice paddies. Our instructors will pass down their family recipes, as they teach us about ingredient selection, combining spices into curry pastes, and preparation of full meals of Thai cuisine. And of course, at the end of our lesson, we will enjoy the incredible feast we have prepared.

  • Itinerary detail
  • Price & Inclusion - Exclusion
  • Traveler notes
Day 1
Welcome to our Thailand culinary tour! Thailand is a fascinating, exotic, friendly country with something for everyone. Since you are reading this, you already know how delicious Thai food is, and Thailand is a perfect destination to learn to cook. We will pick you up at Bangkok International Airport and drive you to your hotel. You will stay in a beautiful boutique hotel, located in a private and tranquil lane in the heart of Central Bangkok. The Main house, built in 1942, was turned into a hotel in 2008, using old re-cycled teak floors, antique and reproduction furniture, and Thai silk drapes. You may wish to enjoy your first dinner in Thailand at the hotel’s organic and vegetarian (with some fish) restaurant.

Day 2
We’ll begin our Thai tour with a visit to Pakklong Talad vegetable and flower market for a stroll past the vast displays of orchids and other exotic blooms of the East. After that, we’ll take a short ride on a tuk-tuk (a three wheel, open-air taxi) to tour the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple. The palace and temple are an architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics, all gleaming under the tropical sun. We will enjoy lunch in a gracious old Thai home on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, with spectacular views of the Grand Palace and Wat Arun. After lunch we will visit Jim Thompson’s magnificent Thai-style house which contains a collection of art objects and antiques.

Day 3
Get ready for your first Thai cooking class. We will leave the hotel at approximately 8:30am and head up the Chao Phraya River by long-tail boat to our Thai cooking school, which is located beside a klong (canal), amidst beautiful gardens and an orchard. We’ll begin our class with a short tour of the farm and then head for the open-air kitchen where we will learn to cook a Thai feast. You’ll have plenty of time for questions, and an opportunity to try everything you’ve cooked. We will return to Bangkok by van, arriving back at the hotel at approximately 5:00pm.

Day 4
One of the best ways to experience the true flavor of a city is to walk its streets. A walk in Bangkok’s Chinatown, one of the most densely populated, richly ethnic neighborhoods in the city, will captivate you. While walking along narrow lanes, peer into the doorways of Chinese pharmacies with their medicinal herbs and natural cures, or watch fresh Chinese delicacies being prepared and served, savouring the aromatic fragrance of spice and herbs that saturate the air. Pay special attention to the “funeral shops” where paper models of worldly items are sold, ensuring the deceased will have the comforts of home on their journey to the afterworld. After lunch you can enjoy an optional 2-hour Thai massage at our hotel (cost is approximately USD 50). Traditional Thai massage includes both stretching of the joints and muscles and applied pressure to the major channels of the body to aid regional blood flow, relieve aches and pain, and relax you mentally and physically. Tonight we’ll enjoy our last dinner in Bangkok aboard a converted rice barge while slowly cruising along the Chao Phraya River, past the Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace.

Day 5
After breakfast at our hotel we’ll bid farewell to Bangkok and board a flight to the charming northern city of Chiang Mai. We’ll enjoy lunch at our boutique hotel in Chiang Mai and then head out for a city tour. Chiang Mai has remained the principal religious center in northern Thailand and the focal point of temples and monasteries. The moat bounding the historic old city is still intact, but the walls were largely destroyed during World War II. We’ll tour the old city area by trishaw, passing markets and getting a glimpse of how the locals live and work. We’ll stop at Wat Pra Singh (Monastery of the Lion Lord) founded in the 14th Century to house the ashes of King Kham Fu and to serve as the principal religious center of the Lanna Kingdom. We’ll then head out of town to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep. Built some 600 years ago, this temple is Chiang Mai’s most important and visible landmark, located near the summit of Doi Suthep, at 3,520 feet above sea level. After a drive up the mountain's winding road, the final climb to the site is via a magnificent Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase of 306 steps. Enjoy the sunset from the summit of Doi Suthep before returning to our cozy hotel for a well-earned rest. Our accommodation in Chiang Mai is at a small boutique hotel whose architectural style is inspired by traditional wooden homes found in Chiang Mai. Our hotel is located in a heritage zone that is home to the city’s greatest concentration of antique wooden buildings, yet is within walking distance of the commercial center of Chiang Mai and the famous Night Bazaar.

Day 6
After breakfast we’ll head to our Chiang Mai cooking school for a full day of Thai cooking lessons. Our class begins with a visit to the local country market, guided by our experienced teacher, who will instruct you in the selection of fresh Thai ingredients that you will need for today’s cooking course. Returning to the tranquil, semi-rural setting of our Thai culinary school, you will learn every stage of the cooking process, until you finally get to dine on the feast you have just created. Our Thai cooking school is located just outside of Chiang Mai, in an ideal home-style learning environment. You will cook in a charming, open-air, Thai style kitchen, surrounded by aromatic herb gardens and over looking rice paddies. Dinner this evening will be at a restaurant housed in a cluster of renovated wooden Lanna buildings, each one with its own special history. The restaurant is lavishly decorated with priceless antiques and treasures from the region. After dinner we will explore Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, a great place to pick up gifts, hill tribe crafts, leather goods and clothing. Be ready to bargain!

Day 7
Today we’ll get a chance to see the beautiful Northern Thailand countryside. We’ll drive about an hour to Mae Kampong, a rustic little village set along a stream in the mountains. We’ll take a walk through the forest with locals and learn about their conservation efforts. If you choose, you can enjoy an optional thrilling zip line adventure through the forest (cost is approximately USD 70). After lunch and a relaxing massage we’ll explore the village, and in the early evening we’ll cook dinner with a local family in their home before returning to Chiang Mai.

Day 8
Today we’ll enjoy another visit to the local market, followed by a full-day cooking class at our Thai culinary school. The late afternoon is yours to explore the backstreets of Chiang Mai, get a massage, or do a little shopping.

Day 9
After breakfast we’ll head out of Chiang Mai for a visit to an elephant camp. We’ll see how the elephants take their morning bath, as well as some of their skills, and explore the camp to learn how it contributes to elephant conservation. Then we’ll climb aboard for an elephant trek through the lovely forest to a nearby Lisu hill tribe village. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then drive to our riverside resort in Ban Thaton, near the Burmese border. Our resort is an exquisitely relaxing place to wind down at the end of our tour, with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, herb and fruit gardens.

Day 10
Today is your day to do whatever you please. You can enjoy a 2-hour canoe trip on the river, visit a local Shan school, take another Thai cooking class, indulge in a massage, or simply do nothing at all. You may sign up for any of these activities when you get to the resort (cost ranges from approximately USD 10 to USD 50).

Day 11
Today our Thai culinary tour ends, as we head back to Chiang Mai. You can choose to stay on in Chiang Mai, head back to Bangkok for your flight home, or fly to Phuket or Ko Samui for a few days in the island sun.

Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during our trip but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored to the interests of the group.