Thailand: Baan Thai Cooking Class, Chiang Mai

There’s no one place to do an activity in Thailand. Every couple of blocks there’s an interesting temple to visit, every single street has a food cart, and every city has its fair share of cooking courses. Mum booked us in for a full day cooking course at Baan Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai.

We were collected from our hotel at 9am, had a quick whip round some other hotels for some other people, then arrived at Somphet Market. It’s a local food market with vendors selling Thai herbs, spices and specialist food products as well as every fruit and vegetable you could imagine. 


I’ve been eating Thai food for as long as I can remember, without a care in the world for which herbs and leaves were needed to achieve the flavours I love so much. Our guide from Baan Thai was very informative, explaining the differences between our western equivalents to Thai specialisms. We learnt about the individual components that go into many Thai dishes.


There’s a science to Thai cooking, but you won’t need a laboratory of equipment to be good at it. The recipes are surprisingly simple, and there’s almost a ‘bung it all in one’ method to some of the dishes we made. 

At Baan Thai you can select the dishes you want to make from 5 categories: appetisers, curry, soup, stir-fry, dessert. On top of that, you’re also shown how to make coconut milk from scratch… well, from a coconut. 

I opted to make spring rolls, green chicken curry, pad Thai, seafood soup, and mango with sticky rice.

Other choices up for grabs included papaya salad, red curry, fried bananas and fried cashew nut with chicken.

Even if you ruin every dish you make on the day (although impossible with the tutors watching over) you are guaranteed an invaluable day chatting to people you are unlikely to have met otherwise.

At the end of the day, everyone is given a recipe book of all the recipes they offer, even the ones you weren’t instructed through. I’m excited to give them a go, particularly the mango and sticky rice. There are a few bits I need to buy like the cheese cloth and this very handy specially shaped spatula.

Since completing our one day course, and moving on from Chiang Mai, Mother and I have met other people who also went to Baan Thai Cookery School, and heard good reviews all round!

I made the mistake of telling my friends about my day and now they’re all expecting Thai dinners at my house. Watch this space! 

Harleigh Reid
Harleigh Reid

I write about food and eat a lot.

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