8 Days Cycling & Cooking Holiday in Bangkok, Chiang Mai

  • Bangkok - Chiang Mai

Thailand Cookery Holidays

Thai culture and cooking holidays offer lessons, classes, and courses in Thailand that will enable you to enjoy Thailand's culinary arts and its culture through hands-on experience in the kitchen as well as opportunities to explore the country. Stay in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and learn about delicious traditional dishes Thai people enjoy. Cooking styles and dishes will be demonstrated by a Thai cookery expert and then recreated by you. You will also get involved in several excursions to blend in with Thailands life and culture. Book your place now and enjoy adorable Thailand cuisine and culture right away.

Highlights

  • 2 cooking classes
  • 2 cycling tours, boat tour
  • 4 market visits, 4 street food tours, farm visit
  • 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners, snacks
  • Excursions in Bangkok and Chiang Mai
  • Visit cultural, historical, religious sites
  • Visit Lampang elephant sanctuary
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 4 days with instruction
  • Thai, English
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Glow Trinity Silom Hotel (deluxe room) ***, Bangkok, Thailand / 3 nights

Located in the heart of Bangkok, Glow by Zinc gets the modern travelers needs just right. Ease and convenience as a guiding principle. A desire to provide guests with precisely what they need. Glow by Zinc focuses on five crucial elements for todays on-the-go travellers: a delicious bed and pillows, free high-quality Wi-Fi in every room, access to a fitness center, a satisfying breakfast, and an excellent shower.

The Rimping Village Hotel (superior room) ***, Chiang Mai, Thailand / 3 nights

Rimping Village Hotel is located close to the pretty Ping River and a 10 minutes walk from the night bazaar. Its traditional Thai architectural style perfectly suits the architectures around the area, uniting the hotel and the community together. A comfortable hotel with 24 rooms and excellent facilities, this is a boutique hotel that deliver comfort and community feel to make for your perfect holiday.

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at Bangkok Airport and transfer to the hotel for a three-night stay.

Day 2: Excursions, street food tour, sky train ride, boat ride, tuk tuk ride

Meal basis: Breakfast, lunch

The best way to experience Thai culture is to live it, we start off our Thai odyssey by experiencing first-hand how the average Bangkokian eats and travels. We start the morning by taking the BTS sky train system to Saphan Taksin, from here we begin a walking street food tour of the streets of Bangkok's historic Bangrak district.

Walk from Saphan Taksin to the first tasting location, established in 1960, and enjoy samples of delicious roasted duck served with Thai rice and learn about real history of this eatery.

At the second tasting location, established in 1938, enjoy traditional Curry on Egg and Beef Sa-Tay with peanut sauce that were continued here for more than 7 decades.

Take the ferry across the Chao-Phra-Ya River with beautiful Bangkok view to the third tasting location inside the local neighborhood. Enjoy samples of Thais favorite dish, authentic Papaya Salad, or Som Tam, and learn about how it got famous in Thailand.

When you arrive at the fourth tasting location, established in 1955, you will enjoy samples of Thai green custard bun and Thai-style barbeque pork bun, served with refreshing Thai lemon iced tea.

Afterwards, explore the unique and oldest Hindu temple in Thailand before you arrive at the 5th and final tasting location, established in 1970, where you will enjoy tasting the royal recipe of green curry chicken served with roti. Then its time for dessert. You will try together the most delicious traditional Thai coconut Ice cream in town.

After a short walk, explore a 200-year-old Thai temple renowned for its charming Buddhist architecture and valuable stories, visit one of the oldest and most beautiful Roman Catholic churches in Bangkok, and sightsee while walking through Bangkoks historic landmarks.

In the afternoon, board a private boat and explore the canals of Bangkok and Thonburi and, later, travel by tuk tuk to Thailand's most impressive and revered temple, The Grand Palace, stopping en route for seasonal local refreshments such as fresh coconut juice, mango, pineapple and guava. After our tour of the Grand Palace, we jump on one Bangkok's public ferries for a cruise downstream to Saphan Taksin. From here we take the BTS back to our hotel.

Day 3: Free time, cycling trip, street food tour

Meal basis: Breakfast, dinner

Optional tour: A free morning for relaxation or optional cooking class at the excellent Silom Thai cooking school, where you will visit a market, learn about exotic local ingredients, and cook 5 classic dishes and one curry paste.

We depart our hotel at around 13.00 and take a short walk to a local clubhouse, from where we will begin our exciting cycle ride through 'the green lungs of Bangkok'. After a short cycle, we reach our first stop, the beautiful heritage listed home of former Prime Minister M.R. Kukrit, where we take a 15-minute tour of the historical complex of Thai-style timber houses.

We then meander our way across some of Bangkok’s most beautiful parkland and then into the tiny narrow lanes and warrens of high density, inner city, Bangkok. From there, we travel to the ancient Chao Phraya River, where we cross on long tail boats to Wat Bangkachao, where our journey through the famous Lungs of Bangkok begins.

The area known as Phra Pradeang is a vast network of jungle, lakes, and parkland. We traverse the jungle section on elevated pathways, where cooling breezes, birds, and fish abound; eventually passing through to the gorgeous, lush parkland area. Here we stop to give you the opportunity to feed the giant Carp and enjoy a refreshing break.

Afterwards, we wind our way back to the river and cross again on long tail boats to complete our tour with a glimpse of village and cultural life as we cycle through Kusoltong Village and back to the Club House. This tour is on a join basis with other clients and is only suitable for those with previous cycling experience.

After our exciting cycling tour, we take a short stroll back to our hotel. After some free time for relaxing, you will depart by private van to Bangkok's exciting Yaowawit road located in the heart of Bangkok's busy China Town district. Here your guide will show you all the weird and wonderful food on offer and your guide will purchase some dishes for you to try on the way.

Yaowawit is a great foody destination as the Thai / Chinese fusion food is markedly different from that which is sold in the rest of the city.

Day 4: Excursions, market visit, street food tour, transfer, train ride

Meal Basis: Breakfast, Lunch

Full day foodie and culture tour to Bang Pa in and Ayutthaya. We will take a short journey to our first foodie stop of the day, a local market close to Pra Si San Phet temple. At the market, we will observe skilled local artisans making all kinds of delicious snacks and treats.

There will be the opportunity to try local specialty snacks Candi Flos, Nang Pla Grob (crispy deep fried fish skin), Khao Kriab Pak Moh (steamed rice skin dumplings), Tua Tod (deep fried peanut cookie) and Guay Tiew Rua (Ayutthaya Boat Noodles beef or pork noodle soup).

For lunch we will try a number of local specialties: Gallopping Horses, a local specialty and a favorite snack of the Royal Household. Pla Ob Fant (fish baked in straw), we will also have the opportunity to see how this fascinating and unique local dish is cooked and prepared. Traditional Thai dessert, we have an opportunity to see how this is made and then try to do yourself.

Transfer and visit Bang Pa In, the Summer Palace of King Rama IV with its charming mixture of Thai, Chinese, and gothic architecture.After trying some delicious snacks, we will explore Pra Si San Phet Temple and Ayutthayas grandest temple Wat Mahatat. The three iconic bell-shaped chedis of Wat Phra Si Sanphet have practically become a symbol of Ayutthaya. The temple stands almost in the center of the main area of the old capital. Wat Phra Si Sanphet was built by King Boromatrailokanat in 1448. It was reportedly one of the grandest temples in the ancient capital, and it is still one of the best preserved on the island.

Wat Mahathat was probably built in the early days of Ayutthaya in the late 14th century by King Borommaracha I. The story goes that the king had a revelation, and relics of the Buddha then suddenly appeared. The temple was built to house the relics. The name, "Wat Mahathat" literally means "Monastery of the Great Relic" and when the collapsed central tower was excavated in the mid-1950s a small reliquary containing a piece of bone about the size of a grain of rice was found.

After lunch visit Wat Chi Wathanaram, widely regarded as one of Ayutthayas most beautiful temples. Standing right on the river, Wat Chai Wattanaram is widely considered to be one of the most impressive of the remaining monuments of old Ayutthaya. It was built in 1629 by King Prasat Tong. King Prasat Tong was actually a commoner who overthrew the previous king and took the throne. It is believed that the monastery may well have been established to assert his legitimacy to the throne. Transfer back to Bangkok and transfer to Bangkok Hua Lampong Station to board overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai.

Day 5: Free time, cycling trip, market visit, street food tour

Meal Basis: Breakfast, dinner

Arrive at Chiang Mai station at 08:15. Transfer by private van from the train station to your hotel. En route, we will stop to eat breakfast the local way, we will try a variety of dishes such as Jok Moo (pork rice porridge), Khanom Krok (Thai Coconut pancake), Khao Neow Moo ping (marinated grilled pork served with sticky rice), or similar dishes.

Check into Rimping Village Hotel for a 3-night stay (early check in on a request basis). And get the morning free to relax at the hotel and perhaps take a swim in the pool or explore its charming river side location.

In the early afternoon, transfer to a small village 20 minutes outside of Chiang Mai. After bike fitting, begin your cycle tour (27 kilometers, 100% flat paved roads, grade: easy). The route takes us over quiet green land roads, passing by the former capital of Lana; with Wiang Kum Kam showing us temples and ruins dating back hundreds of years.

We visit a local temple; the McKean rehabilitation center; a former leper colony; a special school for monks or an elementary school mostly attended by hill-tribe children; and stop at a small pottery, where we watch them hand make different shapes of pottery.

Riding along the Ping River, we breathe in the local atmosphere that makes Chiang Mai so special.

We’ll stop at a local bakery where we will have delicious sweet bun while watching them make many other different products by hand. At the market we will see the same products back in small traditional shops; and here you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the most delicious and exotic fruits and other snacks. The total duration is approximately 4 to 5 hours (27 kilometers). This cycling tour is a joint tour with other clients.

After the bike tour, return to hotel and evening at leisure. Join an evening walk to visit a local night market and food tasting. This trip is an introduction into the unique and fascinating world of Northern Thai Lanna cuisine and the local ingredients and to try delicious local specialties such as Chiang Mai Sausage, Nam Prik Noom (savory and sour chilli dip), Kep Moo (fried pork skin) and Khao Soy (rich and creamy noodle soup curry).

Day 6: Market visit, train ride, bicycle ride, farm visit, cooking class, free time

Meal Basis: Breakfast, lunch

In the morning, you will be picked up from Hotel and then begin tour of a local market (Somphet Market). Next, transfer to Chiang Mai train station where we will take a fascinating 20-minutes train journey on a local train to the nearby town of Lamphun, to a local farm.

Begin your cooking class. This morning you will learn to cook a variety of dishes, such as stir fry, soup, and salad or appetizer.During lunch, enjoy the dishes you have prepared and then get some free time to explore the farm grounds, local village, and local temple by bicycle.

Afterwards, learn how to prepare a Thai curry paste the traditional way. You may use the curry paste to prepare your very own traditional Thai curry later. Finally, we will prepare a traditional Thai dessert before sitting down to enjoy your final culinary creations. Return to your hotel around 15:30 and have the afternoon at leisure to relax at your riverside hotel, explore the local area or partake in an optional tour, such as trip to Doi Suthep or tour of Chiang Mais ancient city temples.

Day 7: Excursion, cooking class

Meal Basis: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Departing Chiang Mai, we will head for the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC). Founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, the TECC cares for more than 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest. Beyond being an exciting tourist experience, the TECC is also known for its pioneering work in conservation and science. The TECC also proudly houses six of HM King Bhumibol's ten white elephants in the Royal Elephant Stables.

We will arrive in time this morning to watch the Elephant's bathing. Bathing is quite a spectacle, with fifteen elephants submerging and rolling and spraying water with their trunks. The mahouts very nimbly manage not to fall into the water while scrubbing their charges.

After observing the bathing, it is time to watch the fascinating Elephant Show. The central theme of the show demonstrates traditional logging techniques that were widely practiced in Thailand for hundreds of years until logging was banned in 1989.

A healthy elephant can drag about one half of its body weight, so the display exhibits the animals' strength but also their great delicacy and finesse, particularly when stacking logs with great precision. Beyond showcasing the elephants' prowess, logging demonstrations illustrate the incredible ability of the mahouts to control their elephants, using a subtle mix of voice commands, body movements, and 'touch' points. The show also demonstrates the elephant's agility and their ability to do complex behaviors on their own.

Transfer back to Chiang Mai hotel and free time for relaxation and, at approximately 15:30, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Chiang Mai Cooking School to begin your Masters Cooking Class program. A challenging course for those looking to take their Thai culinary skills to the next level. Learn how to cook some of the most delicious Thai dishes ever created. The master classes are designed for people who are passionate about Thai food and want to learn more than what is usually offered in a Thai cooking course.

The menus have been specially designed to cater to professional chefs whilst still being accessible to food lovers who already have some knowledge of Thai cooking. Each person will be given the ingredients for 5 dishes that they will cook. They will have to prepare them from scratch and make any curry pastes that are needed. Once the preparation is completed they will cook all the dishes. A teacher will be on hand to help and will give any extra tips and hints as they go.

Once cooking is completed, you will sit down and dine on all the food you have created, in peaceful and atmospheric surroundings. At approximately 20:00 - 20:30 transfer back to your hotel and get the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 8: Departure

Meal Basis: Breakfast.

This day, your tour ends. Transfer to the airport for return flights or join optional beach extensions.

Optional tours

If you wish, there will be an opportunity to ride one of the majestic elephants on day 3 at an additional cost. You can spend the day exploring the site taking in the elephant hospital, elephant nursery, and the Dung paper factory. Other optional tours include silom cookery school in Bangkok (day 3), a walking tour of Chiang Mais old city including a visit to the famous Wat Chedi Luang where on certain days (no fixed schedule) you can participate in monk chat a program that brings tourists and the monks at Wat Chedi Luang together in order to help the monks improve their English while also teaching tourists about the beliefs and daily lives of the Buddhist monks (day 6 or 7 or morning day 5), a visit to Chiang Mai's most imporant temple Doi Suthep (day 6 or 7 or morning day 5), or perhaps a trip to Wiang Khum Khan Historical park (Including horse and cart ride and scorpion tailed boat journey on the river Ping) (day 6 or morning day 5).

  • 1 complimentary bottle of drinking water per person per half day excursion and 2 complimentary bottles of drinking water per person per full day excursion
  • 7 nights accommodation as mentioned
  • Excursions as per program including entry fees
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Local insurance
  • Private transfer with accompanying guide
  • Accommodation upgrades
  • All flights, service or fees of landing or visa application
  • All other services not specified in the program
  • Meals other than those specified
  • Other excursions or sightseeing rather than mentioned in the program
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal medical and travel insurance
  • Pre and post tour services and costs
  • Tip of local crew, local guide or hotel porters
For information about the booking conditions, please send Essential Travel Thailand an inquiry.

Verified BookCulinaryVacations.com reviews

  • Review by David Park from New York

    "I was very glad that I signed up with this tour especially since I didn't have any time to plan anything on my own because I had a big exam to study for. About 2 / 3 of your days are planned so don't worry about having too much or too little luggage.They plan just enough of the day so you can rest if you're tired, or you can do something else at night if you have enough energy left. The real advantage of signing up with these guys is that you hang out with a local tour guide.He will tell you which foods to try out , interesting things about the country, and tidbits you wouldn't get by traveling without a tour guide. You will really get a sense of how people live in Thailand. This is something hard to understand without someone else to lead you around the place.All in all, I'm really glad I did it with these guys. The tour guides (one in Bangkok, one in Chiang Mai) were extremely friendly, informative, and humorous.Here's a video if you want to see my trip!"

    BookCulinaryVacations.com website, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Kenneth Brown from South Africa

    "We made arrangement for a group of 75 travellers for a trip of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, which included many complex aspects and exursions, cooking classes, remote island and jungle excursions. This was a school group from South Africa, and I accompanied the group as a tour leader. I found Essential Travel to be extremely helpful and professional, and the actual arrangements worked flawlessly, which is always a huge relief when dealing remotly with complex travel arrangements for a group. I would highly recommend their services, and Im sure that youll feel comfortable that your arrangements will translate into well-arranged and executed travel."

    Essential Travel Thailand website, edited

Bangkok, Thailand

Essential Travel Thailand is a leading tour company specialising in tours around Thailand, Indochina and South East Asia.

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8 days / 7 nights

Availability

This vacation is available all year round, please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • April 23 - October 24, 2016

 

High season
  • October 25, 2015 - April 22, 2016

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