Lemon grass, chillis, lime, green chillies

Food Adventure in Thailand
Tamarind and Spice

Indulge your passion for food and travel on this Thailand cultural, food and cooking adventure. You'll be introduced to an amazing variety of flavours in 4 different areas of Thailand.

This food adventure is a small group holiday. It is ideal for those who like to travel with other people, and is for people who are open-minded and want to learn about Thai culture.

There are only 1-2 set departures a year. Due to our preference and support for smaller accommodation, early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Your tour in Thailand begins with a welcome dinner in Bangkok before an introductory lesson at a cooking 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 tick off the main sights, take a boat long the river and canals and explore 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. We have built some leisure time in too, so a little bit of time to relax by the pool between cooking lessons and sightseeing.

"I looked at a few other cooking holidays, but lots of them either charged massive single supplements, or expected you to share rooms. Also, many seemed very packaged..Not as real as Tell Tale"

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 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.

Day 1: Evening check in at London Heathrow for overnight direct flight to Bangkok with Thai Airways or Eva Air. If you live in a different country, you can meet the group in Bangkok on Day 2.

Day 2: D Pick up Bangkok airport and transfer in air-conditioned private minibus to 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 at a waterside cooking school. Time to relax in the afternoon. Evening visit around Chinatown.

Day 4: B Sightseeing to visit the magnificent Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha with an expert guide and boat trip on the Chao Phraya river and along canals. Mid-afternoon free to have a dip in the small 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 inn in the older part of this historic city. Settle in, then day at leisure, have a dip in the small pool, visit a local 'spa' or explore on your own steam.

Day 8: B L Pick your own at an organic farm and northern Thai cookery lesson. This evening, you can head to a special weekly market (only on Saturdays).

Day 9: B L Day sightseeing in Chiang Mai.

Day 10: B L 'Jungle survival skills'. Learn how Thai people can make a makeshift kitchen of bamboo and banana leaves and cook over an open fire. Banana leaves are very handy, a perfect antidote to modern-day plastic.

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. 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 Morning at cooking school to learn sizzling southern-style dishes. Mid afternoon onwards free. Evening visit to locals' 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. If you're booking including flights, 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).

This tour costs from £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. Please allow approximately £50 for entrance fees payable in local currency. If you are not from the UK, it is possible to book this trip excluding international flights for £1,575 pp starting in Bangkok and ending in Krabi (note: this price excludes the internal flight from Krabi to Bangkok, we recommend you book this as part of your international ticket for a through connection, we are happy to advise).

Please download the full itinerary (PDF format) Thailand Cooking Itinerary

Upcoming departures with availability:
5 to 19 November 2022

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Tamarind & Spice
In the news

Tamarind & Spice named as one of the world's most delicious departures in Wanderlust magazine

Recommended trip in My Weekly magazine.

Tamarind & Spice makes top 5 trip in Solo Traveler Blog

Newspaper article of whole trip:
"This was the first time I'd been on any kind of cooking course, let alone one based in Thailand..a remarkable trip which would be hard to equal for sheer diversity of experience." Read full article