Just a short update as over the last two days the three of us have developed Thai Culinary skills - but also trekked around Chiang Mountains, rideen Elephants, white water rafted, bamboo raftered and dipped under a waterfall!
Beginning with yesterday, the three of us tropped over to Gaps Coking School, another LonelyPlanet recommended hitspot, where we went to the Chiang Mai food market to smell and learn about typical Thai ingredients, as well as have the luck of seeing a live fish brutally knocked out by the back of a knife! Dead fish... We then travelled to the school, where a colourful Thai Chef who named himself Joe taught us to make Thai Green Curry, Chicken with cashew nuts, fish cakes, fish souffle, vegetable spring rolls, Pad Thai and jasmine rice. Everything was delicious, and it formed not only our lunch but our dinner too! The outher chef who taught us, who's name sounded to me like Mitsubushi took J Rae's Essex accent, and proceeded to mould his own accent onto it - expecially the term "a little bit" (dropping the t's) used to state the proportion of ingredients added! Very amusing! We also (well I attemped) to cut shallots and skin tomatoes to create a rose and a lotus flower. Mine were pitiful, with Jonny surprisingly coming through with some extremely feminine creations - and 'Mitsubishi' pitying mine, because no matter how much he tried to correct - each attempt failed miserably! In the evening, the boys got yet another massage - whilst I took a wonder this time around the Night Market, and managed to spend more money. I have to admitt, after the last blog when I traisped to the Sunday Market I was unstoppable, and had so many bags that at one stall, two Thai women felt sorry for me, and gave me a dustbin liner sized bag to put at least 15 plastic bags in. I was happy though - I'd bought lots of cheap goodies, which did mount up! My only problem at the moment is taking them back to Bangkok!
Today was our trek. I woke at half 7, the boys at 8ish to be collected by our tour company, then driving for roughly an hour and a half out of the city and into the mountains where we finally rode an elephant!! J Rae and Jonny on a beast of an Elephant, whilst I lonely rode my teeny tiny one. There were 3 other English people with us, funnily enough two of the guys were from Chelmsford! There was also a Canadian couple and a lone guys from California. So, with 9 people and 5 elephants we all walked (slowly) through the forest which lined the mountains, naming our carriers as we went! Mine, (Dumbo) attempted to go AWOL too often, with one of the others almost taking them over a cliff! We plodded for about an hour, before dismounting and trekking for another hour over rocks, across tree trunks, slipping over mud (me and one of the Chelmsford guys especially becuase unlike th others, we only really had converse eseque shoes on in comparison to the experts in their walking boots!) We then arrived t a beautiful waterfall, where we relaxed and took photos. We then walked back along a similar path, to gratefully feed on Pad Thai and Lycee....Next was water rapids! They were likewise lots of fun, kitted in luminous orange lifejackets and crash helmet, with a magenta colour kayak! After getting stuck several times on rocks, with our captain shouting "All right!" with J Rae throwing himself onto my side and me, we sailed 50% smoothly! After our expedition, was a slow and peaceful float along on a raft made purely from bamboo, which shockingly didn't sink!
Tonights our last night in Chiang Mai, so cheap beer is on the agenda - 35thb for a bottle! Absolutely crazy stuff...Then we leave tomorrow night for another long bus journey back to Bangkok, arriving at 6am and leaving at 8am to head for Koh Samet, a reknown beautiful and popular beach to relax on for our last week. I am not thinking about it! On that disheartening note, hope everyone is well - and enjoying what I hear is typical British weather! Joy!
Soph x x