South East Asia- Chiang Mai Part 2!

Saa Wat Dii Ka! Yay I'm back from the dead...almost! I don't know what is up with me but it seems every time I go to a new country I come down with some sort of stomach bug! TDH and I have eaten and drank the same exact thing and I get sick and he doesn't. It kind of sucks because one of my biggest draws to traveling and seeing new countries is the food and I can't eat! I have absolutely no appetite and just the sight of food makes me nauseous. Of course the day after I got sick I decided to take a Thai Food Carving Class! Brilliant! But I wasn't going to let a stupid stomach bug ruin my trip and Chiang Mai is famous for their cooking and carving classes! I was lucky to get a private lesson. A full day just focused on food carving! After getting picked up from my guest house our first stop was the market. Here, my teacher Tom is picking out perfectly round and straight cucumbers.
Here is my loot of fresh vegetables. We carved carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, and onions!
Here is the setup: a basket for trash and left over scraps, a bowl of water, carving knives, a cutting board, and of course our loot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
There was a Thai Cooking class going on at the same place where I was getting my private food carving lesson and they kept feeding me all this food. It all looked so delicious but I was too sick to eat it. Although I tried, I really tried! Above is a plate full of Thai goodies they gave me. There is dragon fruit, rosehip apple, a corn jelly, sticky rice with banana, a coconut jelly, and some other kind of fruit that I forgot the name of.
They also tried to feed me Pad Thai freshly made by some of the students and some fried bananas with ice cream. I managed to eat some of the Pad Thai but felt so sick afterwards. Ughhh....why me????

Anyways, here is the finished product. I spent all day carving all kinds of different flours and leaves. In the end, my teacher Tom helped me arrange them in this beautiful display. Isn't it awesome! I can't wait to use some of the neat tricks I learned when I get home!
After getting home and laying on the bed comatose for awhile while my stomach recovered from the days torture Eddie and I set out once again. We went to the Sunday Market. This is a huge night market that they have in Chiang Mai every Sunday Night. Huge doesn't even describe it. It was massive, ginormous, covering most of the city. We were pretty overwhelmed. Above is a troupe of blind musicians performing in the middle of all the chaos. I thought they were cute!
You can get anything and everything at this market from handmade jewelry,
hand crafted wood carvings,

Purses and bags,
and hand carved soaps, to anything and everything you can think of. It is all really really cheap and they expect you to haggle. I ended up with two pairs of really really cool pants. Together they cost me barely over $10!
Here is a little sneak peak at how crazy it can get at this market.

and here is a picture from above. We are standing on the wall that surrounds the city. Chiang Mai is surrounded by a wall and a moat!!!!

The one thing I did not take a picture of at this market, because I couldn't go anywhere near it without wanting to hurl was the food. They had a whole section of street food. Everything and anything you can think of! Eddie had his pick of several items. I couldn't even stand the smell. Although it all looked so interesting and tasty!

The next day Eddie and I decided to rent a motorbike and ride it up the mountain to visit the Wat Prathat Doi Suthep a buddhist temple on top of a mountain above Chiang Mai and some waterfalls along the way.
I was a little nervous about the bike. I have only ridden on one before, in Sienna, Italy and almost died of fright. I have to say I was a bit frightened on the ride up there. Praying to God and screaming profanities at several instances but I eased up after a bit and even enjoyed it. I even drove it myself a little, although it mostly consisted of me screaming and holding onto the breaks. I do have to say after our ride I did feel a lot more comfortable about riding on a scooter. It was so cheap to rent too! 200 Bhat a day ( a little over $6!!!)!!!!
This is the road we took up to the waterfalls. Isn't it beautiful?
The waterfalls were amazing! There are seven of them that go down the mountain and you can hike up to all of them. It is quite a trek! 1900 meters up and when I say up I mean straight freaking up! The path is not always clear cut and I had a few near death experiences along the way! I was also very weak from not eating and feeling a bit sick but I stuck it out and man am I glad I did.
There were so many...
so many....
so many....
so many...
so many....(are you sick of this yet cause I'm not even close to being done!)
so many...
so many...
so many incredible waterfalls along the way! (phew I'm done!)
And a beautiful view of the city at the top! Our trek up the waterfalls was fairly long and left me fairly exhausted. But we aren't done yet!
We continued our ride up the mountain to the Doi Suthep to check out the Buddhist temple. This is the entrance to the temple.

And after walking up 308 steps (of which I had to stop about thirty or so times!)
We made it up to the top (barely)! It's pretty cool and very beautiful as all the Buddhist temples are.
There are many different buildings where you can go in and pray.
They like to use gold and a lot of bright colors in all of there buddhist temples. They are by far the most colorful things in all the cities!
The cool thing about this temple was they had a buddha made entirely of Jade...

And another made entirely of mother of pearl! How beautiful are they?!!!!

Eddie and I went into the temple, and even got blessed by a monk! After walking around the temple we spend a short time walking around outside where all the street venders were selling food and handmade goods. We also stopped by the Jade factory to check out how Jade is made (apparently Thailand is a huge Jade country) and even bought a couple of peices.

On our way back down the mountain we stopped at the Zoo located at the base of the mountain but they were closing so we didn't get to go inside. So back home we went where we got some food (and I actually ate it! My first full meal in three days!) and then went back to the room to relax and I am here writing to you now) Tomorrow, I take a Thai cooking class and Eddie ventures to the zoo!


NancyRicci said...

Katie, I've never seen such gorgeous food art. You did a great job on your first try at carving. Don't know how you did it with an upset stomach, but I know how determined you are when you have your mind set. Hope you are feeling better. Have a great time, be safe.

Angel said...

Hey, Katie - how wonderful to read your posts! You are being a great sport for surviving the stomach flu. The Buddhist temples are Gorgeous! You've got to bring me some of that beautiful Jade, for sure (Pre-blessed by a monk if possible). Wishing you a safe journey and keep on writing! You are off to an amazing Year, so happy New Year and happy trails in Thailand! XOXOXO

Micha .:. Scraping the Skillet said...

Your carved veggies are SO awesome! Hope you start to feel better soon - I can imagine how you feel being around all that interesting and delicious food and not being able to enjoy it!

Gina said...

What a great cooking class you took, amazing!