Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai during the Yi Peng Festival (also called Loy Kratong Festival). Before the trip I had read about the festival in the country, so we tried to schedule that in our itinerary. The festival is based on the lunar calendar; it is commemorated on the 12th full moon of the year.

The first day there we met a Thai family (Pracha, Jam e Gik) in the hotel. They took us for dinner and told us about their culture and the festival Together with them we bough “Krathong” (floating offerings made of flowers where in that top we put a candle and an incense). These are offerings to the mother water as an apology for polluting the waters. We put our offerings on the Ping River in front of the hotel and did same wishes. Another symbol of the festival are the hot air lanterns. Some say that when the lanterns go up they take with them our problems, bad luck, sins… Others say that they are an offering to the Buddha and the light represents illumination. The meanings would vary; the only unanimity was that the sky was beautifully lightened by the “stars” made of hot-air lanterns.

We went to see the festival parade. Downtown was crowded. There were many decorated trucks, candles on the streets, food and handcraft stands everywhere. It was definitely a good idea to have chosen the festival days to visit the city. We also visited many Buddhist temples and the famous “night bazaar”. Some time ago the place was known for being a meeting point of sellers from several parts of Southeast Asia. Nowadays is more likely to be another market to sell handcraft to tourists.

In Chiang Mai we took Thai cooking class. I was always a good fan of the countries cook, so why not to learn how to make some of the dishes…We got late to the class because we messed us the days. We only made it because they called us asking why we did not show up on the meeting point. The class would teach us to cook 6 dishes, and, of course, eat the food. We also had a tour to the local food market in order to learn about the species, fruits, vegetables and kinds of meet. At last we learn so much that was difficult to remember the name of everything. The good thing is that the course includes a book with the recipes and names. Even arriving late, the class was wonderful and well organized. We loved the experience and specially the kindness of the owners, Yui and Kwan.

See photos cooking class:


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