One of the oldest cities in Thailand, the 700 years old ancient capital of Chiang Mai boosts its charms like nowhere else, from the characteristic taste of Northern Thai cuisine, the exceptional beauty of Lanna culture, to the welcoming smile of local people.
We are proud to present a package, 3- Day Chiang Mai Culinary Adventure, which showcases well-known local restaurants, cooking lesson, visit to local markets and cultural preservation.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN CHIANG MAI
Pick up upon arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport.
For your first visit to Northern Thailand and to make you feel more confident to enjoy the tastes and smells the capital of the Lanna Kingdom Chiang Mai has offered, our first start is at the legendary Warorot Market which is home to many a tasty treat where you will learn specifically about ingredients and spices used for Northern Thai cooking. It is also a must visit for food lovers as it offers a wide range of ready-to-eat meals, local snacks and all kinds of fresh produce. Here, you can sample Sai Oua (grilled northern-style sausage), Nam Prik Ong & Nam Prik Noom (red and green chili dip) and Cap Moo (crispy pork skin). Grilled meats and ready-to-eat curries are also popular. Besides tasting various mouthwatering treats, we will stroll around and watch the vendors preparing their products for the busy morning rush, experience the scents and sights of a bustling market and pick up tips on choosing herbs, spices and fruits. This place is one of the places where lots of Chiang Mai locals do their own shopping and usually cook back home. Adjacent to Warorot Market, we will wander to Ton Lam Yai Market, the city’s main flower and fruit market. The sizes, shapes, colors, smells and tastes of Asian fruits will amaze you.
Afterwards, we head out of the city to sample the typical Northern Thailand dish “Kao Soi”, the soft and crispy wheat noodles in a curry broth. With the intense spices and meats of Chiang Mai cuisines, sometimes you need a break. A bit more walking is a good way to ease your stomach. It is time to experience a historical and architectural charm of Chiang Mai. Visit the unveiling the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam, situated in the vast plains of the far north of the country, the largest area of flat land at the site of present-day Chiang Mai and Lamphun. Archaeological remains excavated at the site, such as the stone tablets with Mon inscriptions, pottery, earthenware moulds, Buddhist sculpture and architecture dating back to the 8th century Haripoonchai era.
After the visit here, drive back to Chiang Mai city, stop for refreshment at Aka Ama, a small quaint coffee house and also one of the winners of the World Cup Testers competition 2011. Run by Lee Ayu, an Aka young man who is very knowledgeable about coffee and also working on sustainable agriculture project to his origin community. Sipping a cup of delicious coffee before proceeding to your hotel for check .
Khantoke Dinner. There are several traditions that eventually became northern heritage, one of which is Khantoke. Lanna people use Khantoke as a customary way of greeting and serving meal especially dinner for very important guest who has a chance to visit in the North.
Enjoy an evening out by having a Khantoke Dinner which food being served in pedestal tray used as a small dining table while you sit on mats on the floor. Try the Northern local Thai food such as “Nam Prik Ong”, mince pork with tomatoes and chilli dipping sauce, “Kaeb Moo”, pork rind, which are for dipping with paste. . “Gaeng Hung-Lay”, Burmese pork curry; “Gai Tawd” fried chicken; “Paad Pugg”, fried vegetable (usually cabbage) and more. You can eat either using spoon and fork or the traditional way of using your fingers. As you enjoy your meal, be entertained by a selection of northern cultural performances including the charming Fon Lep (Thai Finger Dance), Ram Dab (Thai Sword Dance), Fon Thiean (Thai Candle Dance), and Ram Wong (Group Dance). There is also a special hilltribe show performed by various members of Yao, Lahu, Meo, Lisu, and Karen hilltribe to end your wonderful evening.
After dinner, continue to Chiang Mai’s colorful Night Bazaar. The guide will escort you through the city’s most popular and typical market. There are plenty of stalls selling stuff, everything from local crafts to fun imitation goods. It is a fun place to wander around in the evening to window shop and people watch even if you’re not looking for anything to buy.
For ones who know the Night Bazaar already and wish to have a drink in a nice bar at the Ping River, our guide has some interesting recommendations for you. Return to hotel for accommodation.
Thailand’s “Rose of the North” is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions and welcoming hospitality.
DAY 2: CHIANG MAI – TEA PLANTATION & NIGHT STREET FOOD TOUR
Breakfast at hotel.
Today, you will enjoy the beauty of the lush tea plantation and learn all about the tea growing process. Araksa Tea Plantation is located on a scenic, evergreen hill in Mae Tang District, about 60 kilometers north of Chiang Mai. It specializes in producing high quality Assam tea, a black tea named after India’s largest tea growing region. You will be invited to join resident tea pickers, watch how the leaves are processed according to age-old traditions and then enjoy a cup of tea and traditional Thai snack.
Upon arrival at the tea plantation, you will be greeted by the staff, who will explain the different processes and methods used to cultivate young tea plants. After that, the resident pucker will lead you to the tea bushes where she will show you how to pluck tea leaves. You are welcome to join her (you will be given a bamboo basket to carry during the tea plucking activity).
At the roasting station, staff will demonstrate the art of making tea by hand from kneading to roasting tea leaves. When the roasting is done, enjoy a cup of tea with a delicious Thai snack. This trip will give you an understanding of cultural preservation, sustainable agriculture and healthy living. Return to Chiang Mai City
Take a break from Northern-Thai style food. As you may know that cuisine of Thailand’s neighbors have mutually influenced on Thai dishes over centuries. Northern Thai cuisine shares dishes with Shan State in Burma, northern Laos, and also with Yunnan Province in China. For luncheon, we will take you to taste astonishing Yunnanese foods at a local restaurant which has been opened for three decades, run by an extended Chinese family from Yunnan. Try these recommended dishes: Ka Moo with Mantou (Pork stew in five spice and Chinese steamed buns), Deep-fried Chinese Mushrooms, Stir-fried Chayote shoot and a dish called Tom Som Yod Ma Praw (Coconut shoot with prawns in spicy and sour soup).
After lunch, drive up the serpentine road to the magnificently situated Wat Doi Suthep. Perched on a forested mountain, this most sacred Chiang Mai temple (3,280 ft) provides a superb view over the city, as well as a wealth of images and frescos. Then, continue to hilltribe village with its unique marts at Doi Pui. Here you see the Hmong people in their colorful costumes, selling their wide range of antiques, curious decorative ornaments and fabrics. Return to hotel.
Night Street Food Tour You will be driven to the city’s best food eateries and stalls, accompanied by our guide who can explain not only the ingredients and cooking methods of each dish, but also teach you a few Thai phrases to order some of the food yourself and guide you to properly eat of each dish. You will discover that there is so much more than the famous Pat Thai and Tom Yam Kung. Our guide will recommend you for dishes worth trying from snacks to main dishes. At the end of meal, it is time for something sweet, stroll along the street and enjoy the exotic Thai fruits and desserts. Before returning to your hotel, wash your stomach down with hot or cold drinks.
DAY 3: CHIANG MAI – COOKING COURSE & DEPARTURE
Breakfast at hotel.
Your culinary adventure will not be completed if experience in a cooking course in Chiang Mai is missing. Let’s start cooking in a friendly environment with lots of fun at Pantawan Cooking School. The cooking course starts with a visit of local market, an introduction to Thai ingredients and actual cooking. The course has been designed as a half-day course with 4 of mouth-watering Northern Thai dishes. Example: Abb Pla (Grilled fish with herbs in banana leaves), Nam Prig Ong (Northern style chilli dip with minced pork and cherry tomatoes), Lab Muang Kai (Northern Thai spicy chicken salad with herbs) and Khao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai curry noodle with chicken).
The lesson has a warm and easy-going atmosphere of Thai hospitality, beautiful modern wooden house set in a relaxing garden and an organic farm. You will also have to prepare food yourself step by step with a great help, tips and hints from professional instructors. The class is full of fun with a real hands-on experience and testing of what you have cooked will make your day so memorable. After having lunch of your own cook, return to your hotel.
This afternoon, transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for your next destination.
Flight: CHIANG MAI
Phone one of our Asia Specialists at 1-800-227-5317 to start planning your Asian Holiday now!