XXX – Thai cooking class, elephant riding, bamboo rafting, thai boxing training,… in Chiang Mai.

Me, Audrey, Jocelyn, Stef, Mark @ Rooftop bar!!

Back in Bangkok, I met some amazing people —Alessandra (Italy), Sarah (Canada) and Mark (Denmark, with whom I traveled by bus up North to Chiang Mai). I have to thank Sarah again for giving me her “Asia on a shoestring” lonely planet book, and for inspiring discussions 😉 !

And, in Chiang Mai, I was in a dorm with three amazing, funny, beautiful girls: Stef (Canada), Jocelyn (Canada) and Audrey (France)!! Thanks to them, I had a great time in Chiang Mai. This trip will top the charts of my mind for many years to come…

As said in previous post, my journey is about realizing my dreams, stepping out of my comfort zone and trying out new things. It’s about being curious, open to new ideas and experiences. And in Chiang Mai, I put my words into action. I challenged myself to a couple of first time experiences: Thai cooking class, elephant riding, bamboo rafting and Thai boxing training… and oh boy, that was FUN!!

Step 1 - The market

We spiced up our life with a cooking class at “Chilli Club Thai Food Cooking Academy”.  It was nearby our hostel, and it offered a half day course including a visit to the local market to purchase fresh ingredients for the meals, and the actual cooking of 3 dishes of our choice.

Step 3 - Me cooking and it's not even burning!!

………..Our teacher was quite a funny man! I can still hear him tell us “Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, iiiiiiin the bowwwwwl”!

Step 2 - Cutting cutting cutting

…..We had each our little individual workstations to work some magic (or for me, to try my best to not burn anything). My 3 dishes were chicken curry, sweet and sour chicken and spring rolls. All our dishes looked amazing and tasted delicious!!

Mark and Jocelyn cooking their dishes!!

My sweet and sour chicken!! Yummy!!

……………………And after eating (and feeling really full –our stomachs about to explode), our chef also showed us how to create decorations in a shape of a rose with tomatoes and cucumber. Looking good!!

Audrey and Stef are focused on cooking delicious dishes!!

Final step - Decorations!

…..On one afternoon, we rode elephants through the jungle. I was with Audrey on our elephant, named Noi. Noi was the cutest 29 years old female elephant and apparently she really enjoyed bananas!

Noi's tail... an artistic pic taken by her "Master"...

Beautiful Noi!!

……………We were lucky to get her, as her “master” was a funny guy who loved taking our cameras and taking pictures of the surroundings. He took A LOT of pics of us, posing in front, on, underneath,… Noi!

Noi's eye... fascinating...

Too bad Noi can't fit in my backpack...otherwise I would have taken her with me!! She was so cute!!

Me and Audrey on Noi.

…….The ride on Noi was actually quite a bumpy ride. When I sat on Noi’s neck, I was really scared to fall off her because there was nothing to grab or hold on to.

Bananas, bananas, bananas....

I kept both hands firmly on her head while trying to find some kind of balance… not easy! Riding on an elephant is one more item that I can scratch off my bucket list. So happy!

During our “1 day adventure/trek”, we didn’t just rode on an elephant, we also visited a butterfly & orchid farm, hiked to a waterfall and rode a river raft.

So, we didn’t see many butterflies at the farm… I personally only saw ONE! The explanation given to us was “Butterflies partied all night, so they were sleeping now!” LOL. But, I really liked the orchid farm, as orchids are my favorite flowers! The different colors, shapes, varieties and sizes are a few of the many reasons I like so much orchids! They’re just so pretty and exotic!!

Orchids, my favorite flowers!!

Me and Beer, our guide!!

Playing with catapults... so FUN!!

After the visit to the orchid farm, we did a small trek to a beautiful waterfall. Along the way, we had so much fun with our guide, BEER (name spelled like the drink! Easy to remember!!). We joked, goofed around with her, and played with catapults (as kids).

Afterwards, we went on 2 different rafting rides on the river: a normal raft and a bamboo raft. I didn’t take my camera with me, so no pics except the ones they were selling…

A pic of the pic for sale, of us on the river raft... I am the one behind...

………As much as I liked the first ride, I honestly didn’t like the bamboo raft down the river to get to our next destination at all. It was supposed to be a relaxing way to take in the amazing surroundings, but our bamboo raft was clearly sinking! And, there was no adrenaline rush, no physical challenge, no fast heartbeat, no high-sensation! A bit deceiving… …………

…………………………………………………………

Getting ready --putting on some burning oil

And for our last day in Chiang Mai, we took some Thai boxing lessons (which was way better than our initial plan –sitting and watching a boxing game). They put some burning oil on our legs and arms, and massaged our backs.

Hard workout!!

……..We started our workout with 10 minutes sessions of cardio exercises: running, jump ropes and jumping on old street tires.

Getting my hands ready!!

Then, we learned some cool, basic moves, and ended our 3-hour training with 1 on 1 fights against the teacher.

Learning some cool moves 😉

The ring!! Bring on the fight!!

………………………It was a good way to let out all my frustrations accumulated over the past couple months (feeling like a walking wallet, being robbed by taxi-men, losing my things in buses and cabs,… ).

The next morning, my whole body ached…but it was SO much fun and so worth it!! I loved it!!

Chiang Mai was definitely my favorite place in Thailand because I got to experience the best in culture and nature Thailand had to offer!!

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One Response to XXX – Thai cooking class, elephant riding, bamboo rafting, thai boxing training,… in Chiang Mai.

  1. Carly Larson says:

    Boxing lessons, so fun! And Noi is sooooooooo cute.

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