In Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai we wandered the temples and attempted to capture the essence of Buddhist architecture with a photo. If any of these photos succeed at that, then they are probably Aaron’s work. He is definitely the better photographer.
After a while the temples all start to look alike both inside and outside. We got too lazy to even enter several because we didn’t want to take our shoes on and off for the tenth time that morning. You can take in he view room the threshhold anyway. We visited all the temples within the old town of Chiang Mai, and one very distinctive temple in Chiang Rai.
We weren’t allowed to photograph the interior of the White Temple, but it was filled with paintings of pop culture references: Charmander, Hello Kitty, Captain Jack Sparrow, Sailor Moon, and the Avengers to name a few. It was so much fun to walk around this temple and enjoy the creative architecture. It had some inspiration from Gaudi and the Sedlec Ossuary, I believe.
The other half of this week has been eating. We ate our way through the food stands of a night market, filled up on fruit shakes, and learned to cook Thai food for ourselves. We had been loving all of our Thai meals for three weeks, so when our dinner one night was a handstand above our previous meals, we had to compliment the chef. I told her that I loved her food and that we would come back the next night. Instead, she invited us to join her cooking school the next morning. It was on our list of things to do and we knew we liked her cooking, so we said yes.
She picked us up the next morning and we drove through the pouring rain to get to her farm 50 miles out of town. We stopped at a market to buy ingredients and begin our private tasting tour.
Lek had twelve dishes to teach us: six for Aaron, six for me. After we finished making a dish, we would sit down and eat it. By the fourth dish, we could only take a bite because we were so full! The leftovers we bagged up to eat later that night.
- Coconut chicken soup
- Tom ya goon
- Cashew chicken
- Sweet and sour chicken
- Spicy papaya salad
- Khao Soi
- Pad Thai
- Panang Curry
- Pad see ew
- Mango sticky rice
- Fried bananas in coconut
These recipes had many more ingredients than typical western recipes. Several of these had 10+ ingredients to be chopped and ground. I hope we remember what we learned because every dish was delicious.