Top of the Mountain To Ya | Chiang Mai

The day after the elephants we thought we'd take it easy, but as we knew we probably wouldn't have long left in Chiang Mai we decided to take on some of the touristy sights for the day. Just before 10am we set off heading up the mountain for Doi Suthep, the temple in the mountain. After stopping a couple of times for waterfalls and breath-taking views #thattravellinglife, all casual and whatnot, we climbed up to the temple. I'm not entirely sure just how many steps we climbed, but there were quite a few and they were steep. You're then welcomed by the 'foreigners this way' sign to buy your 30b entrance fee which is a bit of a steal really because it's definitely one of the best temples we've seen so far.

After we soaked in the stunning scenery, we decided to go to the top of the mountain after hearing a tip off of some even better views. Surely not, but off we went in search of the summit. A palace for the royal family just so happens to be up there, so it's not completely dead but we gave the palace a swerve and headed down a little muddy path with slippery steps (just want you want so high up) and we came to the most beautiful view either of us have ever seen. The photos will never do it justice but just to drive home the point, even I was speechless, so there's that!

By this point we had definitely peaked for the day ('scuse the pun) so we headed back to our guesthouse for some well earned beers. At this point I'd like to mention our guesthouse was called Baan Rachaya, but has use of the facilities of the boutique hotel opposite, BB Mantra, just for a smidgen of the price, we paid 700b a night which we thought was an absolute bargain. All the staff were lovely and the pool area was an absolute dream.

For the evening's delights we headed off to the North Gate market in search of the 'lady in the cowboy hat' and some of her infamous pork. You'll have to excuse the blurry night time picture but I'm still getting to grips with the settings on my camera, HOWEVER, this food lives up to it's hype - pretty much anything you read or hear about Chiang Mai will mention this lady's food stall. A plate of flavoursome pulled pork, a spoon of rice and a boiled egg - you know the drill, it's always the simplest dishes that are the best. We ended up getting a small plate each for 30b a pop and then ordered another because the food was that good.

We then moved on to another stall, had a plate of fried mushrooms and rice and then some more pork satay with peanut sauce because we are greedy. After eating we took a stroll back to our room for an early night, because we had to be up bright and early for our booked cookery course.

We had booked with the Mama Noi Cookery School which has its own organic farm. I think comparably Mama Noi is one of the cheapest options, coming in at 800b per person for a half day and 1000b for a full day, and I have to say it's totally worth it. Not only are all the teachers completely fun and friendly, we learnt so much more than just how to cook a couple of dishes. We learnt that Thai food is made up of four elements, sweet, salty, spicy and sour, made up of sugar, fish sauce, chilli and lime juice respectfully. My favourite dish I made was the spicy local soup, made from a chicken stock, and a whole array of flavourings and herbs, very much representative of northern Thai cuisine. I just know that if you weren't feeling 100%, this soup will sort you out no probs. We had so much fun in the morning class and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this school in Chiang Mai. We also got given a recipe book with all the dishes they offer (oh yeah you get to choose what you make), so I'm really looking forward to giving this a go when we get home... eventually.

I know this post is getting super long, but I also just want to mention a little restaurant we found on the Moon Muang Road on the eastern side of the city. They have a seating area in a little restaurant but could be mistaken for a street food stall as they cook at the front to entice people in. They're called Aroy Dee, we ended up grabbing dinner here twice because not only was the food banging, but averaged about 40-60b for a huge plate of food. The last picture is of a crispy noodle dish in thick gravy - oh yeah so delicious, I think the most we spent here was 120b including drinks! Thoroughly recommended.

P.s. There are no photos of the cookery school here, but lots on our instagram accounts, and if you're following along on #skrobbosontour - bad food blogger I know, but I was too engrossed at the time :)

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