Lemongrass, chillis, lime, green chillies
Cooking Holiday in Thailand
The Lemongrass Trail

This web page is being updated. In the meantime, please download the full itinerary (PDF format) and note we are currently only able to offer Variation II (we cannot currently offer the island homestay on Variation I). Boutique beach extensions are possible. Please phone with any questions.

What better way of really getting to know a country than through its food? This two-week cooking holiday in Thailand will see you return with expert skills to brighten up your winter meals and spice up your parties! You'll visit four areas of Thailand, feasting on local delicacies and learning how to pick, catch and cook them from the real experts, the locals themselves.

You'll start in Bangkok where you'll kick off your culinary adventures with an introductory lesson in Thai cuisine at the world-famous Blue Elephant cooking school as well as get a taster of what's to come when a friendly grandma teaches you how to pound your own curry paste. Then, it's time to pack your apron and expand on your new-found skills and learn from the experts in Thai cooking!

First stop, the Central Plains, the agricultural heart of the Thailand, known as the 'rice bowl'. You'll arrive in a picturesque canal-side village where the pace of life is incredibly relaxed. The village headman's wife herself will show you how to pick from the vibrantly-coloured vegetables in her local market and how to make intricate Thai desserts as well as typical regional dishes using seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Next, you'll go to Isan in the north east, well away from the tourist trail. You'll learn to make the best sticky rice and Som Tam, the famous spicy papaya based salad from the region, as well as Larb, an influence from neighbouring Laos. You'll have to gather your own ingredients by picking them at the organic farm and foraging in the forest!

Finally, you are off to the Andaman Coast where you will make your way to a small island, just off the mainland where people still make their living from fishing and farming. Make sure you have the freshest catch of the day by getting up early to get it yourself. There will also be time to relax on one of Thailand's most beautiful beaches before you return home to test your new expert cooking skills. Alternatively, you can spend the last part of this holiday on the mainland - please download the full itinerary (PDF format) for more details.

Day 1: (typically Saturday) Direct overnight flight from the London Heathrow to Bangkok by Eva Air or Thai Airways. It is also possible to fly from UK regional airports, ask us for details. It is also possible to book this tour excluding flights.

Day 2: One of our drivers will pick you up and whisk you away from the airport. Time to settle in. Early evening walk and dinner with a local family.

Day 3: Morning free, your driver will pick you up at midday and take you into the city centre for an afternoon's introduction into Thai cuisine at the Blue Elephant cookery school. In the evening, explore the city at your leisure (your driver will take and wait for you), visit Chinatown, a night market or have a drink by the river.

Day 4: A day sightseeing with our guide who will take you to the main sights and in a riverboat and to a local flower market. In the evening, you'll be taught how to make curry pastes by one of our favourite grandmas in the whole of Thailand.

Day 5: Morning visit to Bangkok's vast agricultural market then transfer to the rural Central Plains. Relax in the afternoon before a boat ride down the canal that the houses are built alongside, followed by a lesson in making Thai desserts and a traditional farmer's dinner.

Day 6: Morning visit with the village headman's wife to her local market where she'll show you how to jostle for the best crops of the day, then teach you how to make typical regional dishes. Spend the afternoon relaxing with a book on your terrace by the canal, then enjoy a cycle ride along the rice fields.

Day 7: Transfer to the northern part of rural Isan via a short plane ride, then a 2 hour drive. Arrive at a village nestled in the foot of a forest, settle in and enjoy the pool before a walk around the village to meet the friendly locals.

Day 8: Spend the morning at the market and picking vegetatables at the organic farm, then cook up a storm! Evening out at a town along the Mekong River, have dinner at a riverside restaurant or visit the bustling night market, a great place to pick up the silk woven in the area.

Day 9: Day sightseeing, visiting a beautiful temple which would be worth visiting for the views alone and local villages to see local handicrafts being made. Evening cooking lesson.

Day 10: Forage in the forest with a monkey leading the way, afternoon to relax by the pool and evening cooking lesson, before feasting on your efforts.

Day 11: Transfer to Krabi in the south of the country, on the Andaman Sea, by plane with cars either end (you will spend most of the day travelling). Transfer to nearby island where people still make their living through fishing and farming rather than tourism and settle into your rustic but charming chalet (as featured in an article covering a Tell Tale trip in the Times) and dinner. There is an alternative version of the Lemongrass Trail for days 11-16 where you stay in an air-conditioned miniresort on the Krabi mainland throughout.

Day 12: Visit Krabi market to look at the seafood on offer, from squid literally straight off the boat to crabs sprawling down in lines to the freshest vegetables and fruit from this area, once nearly all covered in rainforest. Spend the afternoon learning how to make spicy southern food which has influences from nearby Malaysia.

Day 13: Get up early to go fishing at dawn with the local fishermen - help them haul in the catch before picking the best to learn to make the most delicious seafood specailities of the island.

Day 14: Transfer via car to boutique beachside hotel, the beautiful Tubkaak Resort. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 15: Day at leisure at resort.

Day 16:(typically Sunday) Fly back to the UK (via a short connecting flight from Krabi to Bangkok). The default flights in this recommended itinerary return to London Heathrow at approximately 7pm on Sunday evening

There are two variations of the last section of the Lemongrass Trail. Please download the full itinerary for all the details.
Thailand Cooking Itinerary

The Lemongrass Trail costs £1,950-£2,050 most of the year (flight surcharges may apply in peak summer or Christmas). This is based on 2 people sharing a private tour and includes direct scheduled flights from the UK, as well as all internal flights. If you do not live in the UK, you can start this trip in Bangkok, prices start at £1,150 excluding all flights, please download the full itinerary for more details.

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