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Tuesday 22 Jan 2013
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Trains and more food

Right now we're at Sukhothai Airport waiting for our flight but I haven't written for a few days so I'll start at the beginning.

When I last wrote, we were about to hop on an overnight train to Chiang Mai. We took at taxi from our guesthouse in Bangkok to the train station, wherewe found a nice slice of floor to sit on and play cards while awaiting our platform number to be announced. The station was hopping with school groups, families, other farangs (foreigners) and, my favourite, monks. When they announced our platform, we got on right away and found our seats. At this point, our seats were seats and not beds. We quickly discovered that our train was the white people train ... Just not in our section of the compartment. A train employee came around right before we started moving to take our order for dinner. W ended up choosing a shared meal where we got Tom yum Kung (shrimp Tom yum soup), chili sea bass, rice, fruit and seafood salad. It was overpriced at 400 B (about $13) for both of us, but they have a captive market. The employee warned us that it was going to be spicy. We were happy. We also ordered 2 large beers (630 ml).

Our food was delivered to our seats at 7 pm. We were done eating at 7:30, at which point the car attendant transformed our seats into bunk beds, complete with sheets, pillows, blankets and curtains for privacy. We decided to lie down and were instantly lulled to sleep by the rocking of the train (yes, at 7:30). At 9:30 I decided to go to my bed on the top bunk. At 4:30, I was wide awake (having slept 9 hours). I read for about an hour and then wanted to look outside. Unfortunately, the top bunk didn't have a window. Obviously, I had no choice except to wake Richard up so that he could share his tiny lower bunk and so that I could look outside.


I will now take a momentary pause in this blog to explain what is happening around me. There are giraffes. Seriously. "But Alison" you say, "why are there giraffes at the airport in Sukhothai." I don't know but there are 4 giraffes running around in an enclosure right next to this airport that is open air with one gate. Richard's now rambling about how he thinks that elephants and giraffes are friends and about how he thinks that the giraffes have a role in air traffic control. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.


Anyway, our train arrived in Chiang Mai about a half hour late (which was fine because we had no place to be for another 8 hours). We then made out way to our hotel, dropped off our bags and went to check out the local sights in the area.

We wandered around some wats and got our bearings. Old Chiang Mai is a walled area of just a few kilometres and is very walkable.

We made it back to our hotel in plenty of time to be picked up by our cooking school course (Basil Thai Cookery). We, along with 4 other people were driven to a local market to be shown typical Thai ingredients. I love markets so I was happy. I was even more happy when I noticed another cooking school which had about 20 students with one instructor.

We went back to the cooking school where we were each handed a sheet of paper and told to pick one dish each from each of 7 courses to cook. Richard and I, being who we are came prepared. We picked all different dishes of the dishes that interested us (why pick fried banana when you can pick both mango sticky rice and black sticky rice with coconut. We then were provided with ingredients (largely pre measured) a cutting board each and the world's sharpest knife (Jackie - my nails will not be perfect for the wedding because I chopped one of them off. Believe me though, that pales in comparison to the tan lines I have created. Incidentally, I didn't hurt my hand or the food.)

I don't know if you realise this but 7 courses is a lot of food. It's especially a lot of food if you're a garbage eater like Richard ("what, you don't want that spring roll. Sure, I'll eat it.") I brought my leftover green curry shrimp, tamarind shrimp and rice back to the hotel for breakfast. Richard's a garbage eater and ate all of his so he had no leftovers.

All in all, the cooking class was amazing. We're coming home with a recipe book and a mission to find fresh thai ingredients (where do you get kafir like leaves and fresh tamarind?) and a certificate to put on our walls that we successfully completed the cooking class (it was time to throw out those old medical and law degrees anyway, right? They were getting dusty.)

0 Comments for this Travel blog entry

Some stupid Thailand pun

Travel blog by 6weeksineurope


Richard gave me a bad pun to make the title. I forget it - hence the title of this blog. I promise you that his name was silly and you're not missing anything by not having it. Anyway ... welcome to the maybe 6 people interested in our trip.

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