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


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 Baipai 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 choose 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 northeast, 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. And 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 stay in a chalet nestled beneath giant palm trees, just outside a small village where people still make their living from fishing and farming. Here you'll explore the beautiful uninhabited islands by longtailed boat, snorkel in coral reefs teeming with fish, and picnic on pristine white beaches. And if you can't bear to leave, you have the option to extend your stay in a boutique beach resort.


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, dinner included
One of our drivers will pick you up and whisk you away from the airport. Then you'll have some time to settle into your cosy chalet in your friendly hosts' garden. Later, you can enjoy an early evening walk around the local area, before watching your hosts create a home-cooked feast for you all to savour together. All-in-all, a great introduction to Thai culture and cuisine.

Day 3, breakfast & lunch or dinner*
Today, it's time to kick off your culinary adventures and learn some core Thai cookery skills. Your driver will pick you up and take you to the beautiful Baipai Cooking School. Here you'll learn about the many vegetables, herbs, spices and fruit used in Thai cuisine, before creating some classic dishes yourselves. In the evening, you can explore the city at your leisure (your driver will take you there and wait for you), visit Chinatown or a lively night market, or simply relax with a refreshing drink by the Chao Praya river.
*depending on time of cooking class

Day 4, breakfast & dinner
A day sightseeing with our expert guide who will take you to the main sights. Travelling via riverboat, you'll see the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho (the oldest temple in Bangkok), and Wat Arun, along with a beautiful 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!

"What a great holiday! We had a wonderful time and met some lovely people...who were so warm and welcoming and who made us feel like family rather than guests... Thank you for your wonderful organisation."
– Rod & Margaret Hurst, West Sussex
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Day 5, breakfast & dinner
Morning visit to Bangkok's vast farmers' market where you can see the freshest crops from around Thailand and feast on a vast array of finger foods. Then it's time to head off to the rural heartland of the country, often referred to as the "rice bowl" of Thailand. On arrival in the sleepy, canal-side village you'll be greeted by the village headman and his family, who will welcome you into their beautiful home. You'll be staying in their guestroom, which has its own terrace overlooking the paddy fields. As the sun sets you'll be taken around the local area by traditional wooden boat, stopping at a local temple on the way. After a traditional rural dinner, the headman's wife will show you how to make some of her favourite traditional Thai desserts – extremely sweet and the perfect end to a spicy meal.

Day 6, breakfast, lunch & dinner
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, and then teach you how to make typical regional dishes. After feasting on your efforts, you can spend the afternoon relaxing with a book on your terrace. Later you can enjoy a cycle ride around the village surrounding fields.


Day 7, breakfast & dinner
Time to say goodbye to your hosts and take a short flight to the northern part of rural Isan, before a 2-hour drive through the countryside. You'll arrive in a small village, nestled at the foot of a hilly forest, and then settle into your charming chalet. There's a lovely pool here and herb-filled tranquil gardens with a delightful menagerie of animals wandering freely. Later your hosts will take you for a walk around their village to meet the friendly locals, before a dinner of delicious Isan food, which is famous for its abundant use of chillies and accompanying sticky rice.

Day 8, breakfast & lunch
Spend this morning at the market and picking vegetables at the organic farm, before cooking up a storm! You'll be learning how to make typical Isan dishes, like those you tried last night. Then it's an evening out at a town along the Mekong River, where you can have dinner at a riverside restaurant or visit the bustling night market, a great place to pick up the silk woven in the area. Packets of coffee from Laos also make a good, lightweight gift to take back home.

Day 9, breakfast, lunch & dinner
A day sightseeing, including visiting a beautiful temple which is worth visiting for the views alone. After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll stop off at some local villages to see local handicrafts being made. Later you'll learn how to cook Larb, a typical Isan dish made with shredded meat, chilli, and mint.

Day 10, breakfast, lunch & dinner
Discover a traditional aspect of Isan life today when you go foraging in the forest! Then come back and relax by the pool in the garden, before sifting through the fruits of your morning efforts and helping to make dinner.


Day 11, breakfast
This morning it's time to leave the north-east and head to Krabi, beside the Andaman Sea. You'll travel almost the whole length of the country, first by plane, and then onwards by car, winding through the jungle-vine-covered rock formations that line the roads. This breathtaking landscape might well seem familiar – it's been the backdrop for many films, including The Beach and The Man With The Golden Gun. You'll be staying down the road from a small village where people still make their living through fishing and farming, in a charming rustic chalet nestled beneath the giant palm trees of an old plantation. As the sun sets, you'll head into town for the amazing night market, where vendors are busy cooking food, selling flowers, and making sweets. Graze among the stalls with the locals, choosing from sizzling kebabs, spicy soup with noodles, and delicious curries. The coffee shakes – a kind of local 'frappe' – make a fantastic after-dinner drink.

Day 12, breakfast & dinner
You'll have most of the day free to relax and enjoy the swimming pool. In the late afternoon, you will visit a local village, which you'll explore with the deputy headman, Eh. He'll show you his rubber plantation and the various smallholdings producing crops like cashews. Then you'll meet his sister, Pah, who is known for miles around for her fantastic food – she'll show you her take on traditional Thai desserts after dinner with their parents.

Day 13, breakfast & lunch
It's off to Krabi market this morning with Eh and Pah to breakfast on roti and curry, before shopping for the freshest vegetables. You probably won't buy any fish, because Pah's husband is a fisherman – one of her signature dishes is a fried whole fish in chilli sauce, which is utterly delicious. After the market, you'll have the rest of the day to relax.

Day 14, breakfast & lunch
This morning you'll go out on a longtailed boat to explore the uninhabited islands dotted around the Andaman Sea, stopping to snorkel in coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. When you're hungry, you'll land on a pristine white beach and feast on a delicious picnic lunch while gazing out at the emerald lagoon beyond.

Day 15, breakfast
First stop today with your driver is a local village where you will see traditional crafts being made, from pineapple pulp stationery to batik, and coconut shell products. This is a great opportunity to buy souvenirs directly from the people who make them. Next, it's off to a giant catfish farm and beautiful botanic gardens. Then it's up to you – either spend the afternoon at a quiet beach or escape the heat and head into the hills to see an interesting temple with spectacular views (your driver will take you and wait nearby).


Day 16, breakfast (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.


This 16-day private tour costs from £2,175 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 for £1,575, which excludes international flights, but includes all internal flights as detailed in the itinerary above. Boutique beach extensions are possible – please ask when booking.


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