Chiang Mai Cooking Class | Lanna Kingdom Luxury

Cook, Eat, Pray....

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There is something about the countryside of any nation that tells you about their soul, their identity. Bouncing around in our van we leave fast-growing Chiang Mai for a date with organic farmers and a Chiang Mai cooking class

Chiang Mai Cooking Class

chiang mai cooking school
Learn to make sticky rice and mango at a Chiang Mai cooking class

The cooking school is the Chiang Mai Thai Farm Cooking School.

Have you ever seen galangal grow? Or ginger? Have you ever wondered how on earth jackfruits being so heavy don’t break the branches they grow on?

Well, ginger and galangal (which are related) are tubers that grow underground and jackfruits grow directly on the trunk of their huge trees!

I’m mesmerised by the variety grown here in the organic farm.

Chiang Mai Cooking Class | Lanna Kingdom Luxury

Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Jackfruit is one of the ingredients used at our Chiang Mai cooking class
Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Jackfruit tree

Despite the trees and the surrounding mountains, it is hot out here.


Farmers have been waiting for the rainy season that has yet to materialise to give a good soak to the dusty rows of beans, garlic, shallots, eggplants and so on.

As we are a small group our stations are ready on the veranda, next to the table where we are going to eventually eat what we cook.

Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice

Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Fruits of our labour at the cooking school

MB, our instructor, has fantastic English. She jokes and keeps up a funny banter throughout our Chiang Mai cooking class.

We are to keep up with her through the steps of four traditional dishes we have chosen: green chicken curry, pad thai, tom ka gai (the sweet and spicy coconut soup) and finally sticky rice with mango for desert.

It feels like a Master Chef challenge but without the pressure. Lunch is delicious and unexpectedly different.

Making curry paste from scratch is easy and makes an amazing difference. Every herb pulsates with fresh flavour giving the dishes a vibrant touch.

Altogether it is a fun day out starting with a pick up from your hotel, a stop at a local market, an introduction to organic farming on site, a hands-on picking of the necessary herbs and vegetables and finally the actual cooking and eating.

It’s a Chiang Mai cooking class definitely worth experiencing. 

Discover Chiang Mai

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

cooking class chiang mai

Khum Paya Resort and Spa has a fabulous Chaign Mai cooking classKhum Paya Resort & Spa is a real treat after our exertions at the stove. Just the entrance is enough to put you in the mood. The great Lanna style pavilion serving as reception/lobby has no walls, spectacular architecture and is crammed with antiques and comfy seats.


It looks very authentic but I am told it is a reproduction. I give it to the local artisans for having re-created a beautiful space, unfettered by walls, kept cool by the height of the teak pillars supporting wooden rooves and achieving an altogether inviting place.

Getting to our rooms, we meander through a pathway following a stream with attractive bridges, a waterfall and dense vegetation. What looks like an inviting pond, is in effect the swimming pool shaded by old trees.

The rooms are meant to be turn-of-the-century chic, mosquito nets and all, despite the fact that there is ducted air-con. 

An abundance of wood panels and shaded balconies give the rooms that cooling darkness you seek after a day out in the searing sun.

The Centara’s Spas attached to all Centara Hotels and Resorts never disappoint and this one is no exception.

Treatments available are comprehensive but I cannot help but falling for a Traditional Thai massage, my favourite way of relaxing.

Things to do in Chiang Mai

While in Chiang Mai, here are some things to do:

1- Dine by the Ping River

Dinner by the Ping River is always treat. There are many locales to choose from and many have live music. It is a matter of poking your head in and feeling the vibe before you decide.

2- Shop in the Chiang Mai night market

Chiang Mai night markets are lively and the perfect place to find fine silver jewellery and artisanal products such as beaten copper/silver cutlery.

3- Visit Doi Suthep

A visit to Chiang Mai is not complete without going up to Doi Suthep, the monastery at the top of the hill.

Climbing or cycling there is an option (it will take hours) but better done by car or motorbike. There are some 300 steps for the final ascent but there is a cable car that will take you there in comfort.

The complex has been recently renovated and the ancient stupa has been re-gilded. It now is a true competitor to the resplendent Burmese temples.

Don’t forget to get a blessing from the ever-patient resident monks… If you go around 5 pm you will be able to hear the monks chanting their last prayers for the day. Un-missable…

Discover Thailand

When visiting Thailand, most travellers spend some time in Bangkok. Bangkok is a river city that never sleeps. It’s a top spot in Asia to go on a shopping spree and if you like silk, here’s a guide to Thai silk.

Chiang Mai Cooking Class
Doi Suthep

khum paya resort and spa

Plan Your Trip

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Rent A Car – Find the best car rental rates at Discover Cars. They compare car hire companies to provide you with the best deal right now.

Find A Hotel – If you’re curious about this article and are looking for somewhere to stay, take a look at these amazing hotels.

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Maria Visconti
As a travel writer and photographer, I owe my present ‘incarnation’ to two authors who –I have recently realised- influenced me greatly: Emilio Salgari and Lobsang Rampa. They shaped my craving for adventure and far away places while growing up in Buenos Aires.