02.01.2013 - 04.01.2013
Before heading off for the airport we managed (after spending a bit of time reviewing our options) to download a app for our phone that is perfect for tracking spend in different currencies and payment types against a budget. May seem dorky, but its a brilliant tool to give us a live feed of our finances and budget, and will give us a bit of peace of mind whilst we are travelling.
After leaving bangkok we caught a 1 hour flight up north to a lovely town called Chaing Mai. It is a really nice lad back town with loads of Wats (temples) and monks everywhere.
We visited a few wats in the evening and watched the monks all dressed in their
orange robes worshiping and having lessons from the old monks - each
with a little watch dog lying at the door keeping watch. It's so peaceful watching them. Each Thai family has to give one son up to become a monk and the entire community takes responsibility for them. Every day the monks walk along the streets in a procession collecting food that the people provide for them - its called the alms giving.
On our first day in Chaing Mai we did a Thai cooking course. It was a half day course and we learned to make 5 dishes - Pad Thai, curry paste, curry, spring rolls and a soup. We strated off by catching a song-thaw (a refashioned bakkie used to carry passengers)to the local food market where we wer taught about all the diffeerent ingredients that are used in Thai food. About 10 min into the market tour I saw Greg's face start to drop as we moved onto the fishy ingredient list - shrimp paste, dried baby shrimps, fish sauce, oyster sauce etc etc! Every recipe we made had some kind of a fish element to it but he embraced it and by the end he even had a taste of pure shrimp paste without even being prompted! Once we had finished in the market we went to the cooking school which was a simple Thai kitchen with a few gas cookers with woks and a prep area. The food was absolutely delicious and we didn't need to eat again for the day.
We visited the night market which was lots of fun - and I finally convinced Greg to join me for a foot massage. We arrived at the massage place which was in the middle of the market and they showed us to our wicker chairs. The ladies took one look at Greg and had a giggle - they swapped him between the ladies until eventually one sat down to do the massage. She grabbed his leg hairs in her fingers and she and the lady doing my massage laughed and said something in Thai to each other. They then looked at Greg and said to him 'you have golden hairs - it's like Thai silk!' We laughed so hard - they are obviously not used to seeing light haired people despite the market being quite touristy!