Indulge your passion for food and travel on this authentic Thailand cultural and cookery holiday. Chop and eat your way around four regions and cook up a storm in locations as diverse as a cooking school in Bangkok, an organic farm and waterfalls. You'll be introduced to an amazing variety of flavours.
This cookery adventure is a small group holiday and is escorted. It is ideal for those who like to travel with other people, in a more laidback style than a regimented group tour. Solo travellers are welcome as are vegetarians and vegans are welcome to join (just bear in mind others will be cooking with meat and fish).
There are only 1-2 set departures a year and the absolute maximum group size is 12 people. Due to our preference and support for smaller accommodation, if the first 9 places on any departure are booked by solo travellers, it may be closed with this smaller group size. For the same reason, we can only accommodate one set of sharers who require twin beds (rather than a double). Early booking is advised.
Your tour begins with a welcome dinner in Bangkok before an introductory lesson at a world-famous cookery school. People you know may tell you they've learnt how to cook Thai food on holiday - what they learnt is the mere tip of what you will learn and experience in these two weeks. Treat today as a foundation in ingredients and basic skills needed for Thai cooking; there's a lot more to come. While you are in Bangkok, you'll also do a bit of sightseeing with one of our expert guides, go on a boat trip along the river and canals and visit a night bazaar by the river.
After Bangkok, you'll move onto a rural area in Thailand's fertile Central Plains and arrive at a village where life has remained unchanged for years. The village headman's wife will show you how to pick the best vegetables at the bustling local market and share her family's recipes for regional specialities. While you're here, you will also explore the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya before an overnight journey north on a sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
Influenced by the northern Lanna kingdom and local hill tribe customs, Chiang Mai cuisine has a very distinctive, fiery flavour. You will pick and cook your own vegetables at an organic farm and learn a series of Lanna dishes including pad ka prow (stir-fried pork or chicken, chilli and holy basil), often considered to be the Thai version of bangers and mash. Another highlight of this part of your cookery adventure is learning 'jungle survival skills' (on a half-day excursion) and a vegetarian cookery demonstration by one of our very special friends. We have built some leisure time in too, so you can kick back and relax by the pool between cooking lessons and sightseeing.
For the last part of your holiday, you'll be in Krabi on the Andaman Coast, famous for its breathtaking limestone karst scenery. Here, you'll learn to cook a range of sizzling southern dishes such as the slightly sweet and delicious massaman curry. You'll visit smallholdings and also have a boat trip to the desert islands of the Andaman sea. We have included a summary of this itinerary on this page, we recommend clicking on the pink download button on the right for the full itinerary.
Meet at Heathrow and overnight direct flight to Bangkok with Thai Airways or Eva Air. If you prefer to fly from a regional airport, ask us for options. And if you live in a different country, you can meet the group in Bangkok on Day 2, we will pick you up at the airport
Day 2: D
Pick up Bangkok airport and transfer in air-conditioned private minibus to Ban Pra Nond, a centrally-located boutique inn. Time to relax, then a stroll through the local area for a welcome dinner.
Day 3: B L
Morning boat trip and introductory cooking lesson. Time to relax in the afternoon. Evening visit around Chinatown.
Day 4: B
Morning boat trip on the Chao Phraya River to visit the magnificent Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha with an expert guide. Mid-afternoon free to enjoy the pool or go shopping. Evening visit to the Asiatique night bazaar on the riverbank.
Day 5: B D
Time to pack up. Then a 1-1.5 hour drive in your private minibus to a sleepy village in the Central Plains. Settle in and enjoy sitting by the canal. Late afternoon local area tour by boat. Dinner, lesson on Thai desserts and overnight stay at the village headman's elegant but simple teak house.
Day 6: B L
Early morning at the local market with the headman's wife followed by a cookery lesson and lunch. Then you will be driven to nearby Ayutthaya, one-time capital of Thailand, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some sightseeing, before you make a stop for a shower and change and then catch an overnight sleeper train north to Chiang Mai.
Day 7: B D
Morning arrival in Chiang Mai the centre of the old 'Lanna' kingdom and transfer to your hotel. Settle in, then have a dip in the small pool. Day at leisure. Evening dinner out.
Day 8: B L
Pick your own at an organic farm and northern Thai cookery lesson. Mid afternoon at leisure. In the evening, there is a special weekly market in your street.
Day 9: B L
Morning visit to our friend's Mae's home where you will have a fun pottery lesson (or just look around her quirky pottery museum if you prefer). Then she'll give you a short demonstration in vegetarian Thai cooking and lunch. Then you'll spend the afternoon sightseeing in Chiang Mai.
Day 10: B L
'Jungle survival skills'. Learn how to make a makeshift kitchen of bamboo and banana leaves and cook over an open fire. Swim in waterfalls.
Day 11: B
Time to pack up. Then a morning flight to Bangkok and onto Krabi. Short transfer away from the hustle and bustle to your small resort, Phu Pha
. Settle in and have a dip in the pool.
Day 12: B L
Island hopping around the Hong archipelago; a series of uninhabited islands with pristine white beaches and hidden lagoons that are considered to be the most beautiful in the region. Snorkelling amid tropical fish on the coral reef and picnic lunch.
Day 13: B L D
Morning at cooking school to learn sizzling Southern-style dishes. Mid afternoon onwards free. Evening visit to night market to graze amongst the food stalls.
Day 14: B D
Drive to Tubkaak beach, the nicest beach on the mainland (or stay behind and relax by the pool if you prefer). Visit to a local village and dinner.
Day 15: B
End of your tour. Transfer to Krabi airport for a short internal flight to Bangkok and connect to the international flight. Arrive at London Heathrow approximately 7pm UK time (same day). If you have different flight arrangements, we can arrange a separate transfer.
This tour costs £2,225 pp including direct scheduled flights from the UK, accommodation, cooking, other activities/excursions, most meals, overnight train, internal flights and private comfortable air-conditioned minibuses. If you are not from the UK, it is also possible to book this trip excluding flights for £1,425 pp (note: you will need internal flights as well as international flights, we are happy to provide details for you to book separately, alternatively we can book these for you).
Please download the full itinerary which has more details than we can provide online (PDF format)
Departures in 2014 and 2015:
1 to 15 February 2014
31 January to 14 February 2015