Where in the world are Raime and Kate? travel blog

Selecting tiger prawns at the market

Armed with giant banana leaves

Sights of the market

Varieties of rice...or maybe they're all the same?


Boom, one of our instructors

Kate's signature "Steamed fish in banana leaves"

Ready for steamin...

World-famous chef, Sompon Nabnian

Now we're cookin'!

Mmmmm, yellow curry...

So very proud!

Big Mama, another instructor


Above Chiang Mai

Doi Suthep

A buddha for each day of the week (we still need to...

More dragons for Willie!

And more!

Outside Doi Suthep

Dragon restoration, and 300+ steps to the temple

Gimme that banana!

Mom and one-month old baby

Gimme that one too!

Our new friend

Elephants and their 'mahouts'

A painting pachyderm!

Elephant massage

Yes, they even play soccer

A well-earned tip

Exploring the jungle with Paliman the elephant, and our very bored mahout

Bai orchid farm


Making paper for umbrellas at Saa factory

Sealing the paper with tapioca!

Drying in the sun

Making silk fiber from cocoons at Shariwati factory

200 baht is only FIVE DOLLARS!

Our friend who makes Pad Thai, and only Pad Thai, for 50...

So our cooking class was a success. No third degree burns, no severed fingers, and we even made some edible food-it was great! It really was a fun time. The class was incredibly well run and organized. We made 5 different dishes throughout the day, and we all had our own work stations. We learned (and ate!) a lot. And now we have cookbooks and notes and some new techniques for our wok. We're pros!

We were going to head to another town from here the other day, but we decided to hang out here instead. It's a fun city with lots to do, and we weren't psyched for the schlep. So our stay here will be 6 nights-the longest time we've been in one place for the whole trip! We headed out to the night market to get rid of some more money on Tuesday night only to find that rains in the north had caused flooding on that side of the city. When we fist arrived many of the vendors were there and a lot of the road was dry. But as an hour passed, the water rose and people were grabbing their wares and getting out of there! We still managed to buy enough goodies to send a couple of packages home, but we felt bad for the vendors who lost at least a couple of nights of business.

Yesterday we went up to Doi Suthet, a temple on a mountain about 16K outside of town. It was pretty cloudy so the views came and went, but when we could see it the view of the city was really nice. And the temple was really beautiful. Apparently a white elephant carrying an important sacred item dropped dead here on a journey so they decided to build the temple here! Lots of tourists but it was worth it.

Today we had a long but great day. We went on a tour with a really nice guide and only 1 other tourist. We went first to an elephant camp, which was really fun! We got to play with and feed a couple of elephants who are only a month old - who knew they have really bristly hair on them when they're babies? They were pretty funny, they haven't really learned to use their trunks like their moms yet so they were just sort of flopping around. Very cute. Then they had an elephant show, where they did everything from dance to paint to 'massage' audience participants! Then we got to go on an hour long elephant ride in the jungle, which was pretty fun. Our elephant was of course the disobedient one who drank water in the river and stopped when he felt like it and even sprayed us at one point! And for those of you who are worried (we were) they take good care of the elephants here. They only work for a few hours and they have time to hang out in the jungle and eat a lot. They even have an elephant hospital where they bring sick elephants and those that step on mines out in the jungle near the border.

Then we were carted around to a bunch of other touristy sites around the city which had lots of other white people checking them out and spending money, but it was still neat. We went on an ox cart ride (not nearly as much fun as the elephants, but a traditional way of getting around), visited an orchid farm and learned about how they cultivate the flowers, a paper umbrella factory where we saw how they make the umbrellas-even the paper, and finally a silk factory where we saw people making silk by hand. It was really neat.

Tomorrow we're heading up to Chiang Rai where we'll stay in a nice hotel and then meet 'Dr. David' on Saturday morning. He's an ayurverdic doctor who works with the hilltribe people of northern Thailand and we'll be volunteering with him for 2 weeks. We'll be back in town for a day in the middle, but we'll mostly be out of touch so don't worry! We're a little anxious since we know the accommodations won't be comfortable and we'll be eating a lot of rice and not much else, but we're excited to be doing something for someone else for a change. We think and hope it will be a rewarding experience, we'll see! The adventure continues. xoxo.

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