Thursday, 2 June 2022

Thai cooking school in Chiang Mai

by Adam Corney in Chiang Mai

 I’m a bit of an amateur cook.

I love to gather my ingredients, lay them all out on the kitchen bench, turn on some Meatloaf, and lose myself in the joy of food for an hour or two as I prepare a delicious meal. A glass of wine or three always seems to make my cooking taste even better.

So when I get the chance, I love to take cooking classes to learn something new.

Last time I was in Thailand, I took a class at Gap’s House. It was full of character, and taught me about the five sensations of Thai cooking: sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and crunchy. Get the ratios right, and you have yourself a recipe for a delicious meal.

But this time I wanted to take it up a notch. I’m not really a beginner anymore. I know my way around a cutting board and how to craft a Thai meal.

I discovered that the Thai Cookery School does Master Classes - basically one-on-one sessions with Chef Sompon Nabnian, a man who I would come to learn was the head of a sprawling business empire.

I signed up to do a beginner class during the day for AUD$33. After the end of the beginner class in the afternoon, my newfound partner Spanish Kim and I would tackle a Master Class creating five dishes in three hours under the tutelage of Chef Nabnian.

In the morning, after a tour of the markets where we picked up a slew of ingredients for the day, we arrived at the cooking school.

***

Thai Cookery School

The school was founded in 1993 by Chef Nabnian, and has to be one of the most professionally organised cooking classes I’ve been on.

Upon arrival you’re given your station, and then ushered into an air conditioned training room where the Chefs cook and demonstrate the dish you’re about to prepare.

As an added bonus, there’s an angled mirror above the training station where you can look directly down onto the station: no more craning and peering. Just look up.

***

We cooked six dishes varying in difficulty, and our group of 20 had no struggles at all. We covered the basics of pad thai (or in this case, fried big noodles with chicken and sweet soy sauce), yellow curry chicken, steamed fish in banana leaves, chicken with cashew nuts, a spicy prawn salad and finally bananas in coconut milk.

If it sounds delicious, I assure you: it was.

After the beginner class, Spanish Kim and I teamed up with Chef Nabnian for the Master Class. Since there were only two of us, we got to pick and choose the dishes to cook. We came up with:

•    Barbecued prawns with a kaffir lime dressing

•    Fried pork spare ribs with garlic

•    Lemongrass sticks with minced chicken, prawns, and pork

•    Banana flower salad

•    And the ultimate: Chiangmai Noodles with curry sauce and chicken, or the famous Khao Soi Gai: staple food of the north.

It was intensive and educational, and worth every penny of the AUD$90 we paid. Kim is a cook in Spain, so he’s taking his certificate back with him to move up the corporate ladder.

Me? I’m just chuffed to have cooked such brilliantly delicious dishes under the guidance of a master.

Look out ladies, I’ve got a repertoire of meals to cook for you, and I’m not afraid to use them.


Delights of Chiang Dao

 Just an hour north of Chiang Mai is the community of Chiang Dao, a gateway to trekking in the mountains and a hub for elephant camps. Chiang Dao is where the rice field meets the jungle and home to a weekly market full of ethnic charm. Villagers from miles around head for Chiang Dao every Tuesday to shop for essentials and trade their homegrown harvests. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Thailand’s entry requirements from 1 June 2022

 This information has been updated on 31 May, 2022.

The following rules will be in effect from 1 June, 2022, with specific requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated/not fully vaccinated travellers from all countries/territories with scheduled arrivals from this date.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Thailand’s latest entry requirements from 1 May 2022



The following rules will be in effect from 1 May, 2022, with specific requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated / not fully vaccinated travellers from all countries/territories with scheduled arrivals from this date.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

TAT launches first Amazing Thailand eBook of all destinations, special interest activities and maps nationwide

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has compiled more than 200 of its amazing destination brochures, leaflets, books, maps, and media covering all aspects of Thai tourism into one easily-searchable eBook platform to make it easy for visitors to find their place and activity of interest.



The Amazing Thailand eBook allows both domestic and foreign tourists an easy one-stop opportunity to explore all 77 provinces as well as Emerging Provinces, Top Destinations, Special Interest activities and Thai culinary locations including 12 Tourist Maps and guidebooks.

Designed both as an app and website, the Thai-English guidebook can be accessed via smartphone and tablets with clear categorisation for searching and downloading the information.

Tablet and smartphone users can either scan the QR code or visit the App Store for Apple iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. Then, type the word 'amazingthailandebook' (no space between the letters). The application can be downloaded for immediate use or accessed via the website www.amazingthailandebook.com.

Special kiosks with the QR code have also been placed at the TAT offices at the Head Office building, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports.

For further information, please check out https://www.amazingthailandebook.com

Monday, 20 July 2020

Thai Folk Tales: The Water Elephant



"Do not follow that little stream," said the hermit, "true, there are some very fine mushrooms to be found along its banks. But it is not safe for young people like you to wander about there."

Thursday, 14 May 2020

WIN THAILAND HOLIDAY

It’s a double celebration this year! Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways International are Celebrating 60th Anniversary.



We’d like to invite you to join our celebration and you can enter to ‘Win Thailand Holiday Now and travel later’

👉 WIN THAILAND HOLIDAY
https://amazingthailand.com.au/thailandweek/competition

One good thing about being stuck at home is that getting out into the big wide world will seem so sweet. If escaping to Thailand is on your wish list, here's your chance to win a trip to tantalising Thailand, or win a stay at a luxury hotel in the mesmerising hotspots of Phuket, Samui, Krabi or Bangkok.

👉 14 PRIZES I TOTAL VALUE OF $17,000+
https://amazingthailand.com.au/thailandweek/competition

Monday, 13 January 2020

Banyan Tree Bangkok - Reach for the Skygarden

Skygarden

Bangkok is a city overflowing with amazing quality accommodation and dining options. The choice can be overwhelming, but some properties just keep shining through. One such beacon is iconic The Banyan Tree, located in the upmarket Sathon district.

The 61-floor, 5-star all-suite hotel has recently completed upgrades to its signature Saffron offering which includes the acclaimed fine dining venue and Sky Garden on the 52nd floor.

Whether dining inside or out, the unobstructed view is spectacular right across the city and provides the perfect location to enjoy their Award-winning contemporary Thai cuisine which includes such stand-out dishes as seared Tasmanian salmon with crisp pork crackling and a spicy citrus dressing, banana blossom salad with perfectly grilled and marinated prawns served with a coconut dressing and fried banana flowers.

Resident guests can further enjoy the newly upgraded products of Serenity Club, located on the very top floors. These expansive suites also afford exclusive access to the 19th floor Club Lounge with complimentary happy hour, buffet breakfast, laundry as well as express check-in and out among other benefits.

Two Bedroom Suite

The pick of the rooms is certainly the Two Bedroom Suite with space for up to four guests, making it perfect for either families or good friends. Rollaway beds can even be added and each bedroom enjoys its own ensuite bathroom and comes with a rain shower, and jumbo bathtubs.

The Banyan Tree Bangkok also offers outstanding event and meeting spaces as well as the Spa with such signature treatments as the Thai Blossom Romance and Tropical Rainmist for a total mind and body experience.

The Banyan Tree Bangkok is rated 4.5/5 by TripAdvisor.