Cornwall week away, including Mevagissey, St Nectan’s Glen and Boscastle!

Three people at Asia Scenic Cooking School wearing traditional Thai hats

We headed to Thailand in May and couldn’t wait to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai! There were so many options, but we settled on Asia Scenic Cooking School.

It was incredible! We started the morning in the home garden, full to bursting with herbs, fruit and spices to be used in the dishes. Following this, we then went to the local market, wearing full Asia Scenic uniform of course. During our time there, we spent a while learning about different types of rice, fish and vegetables. It was such a different experience from the tourist markets!

Once back in the Asia Scenic Cooking School, we began making different dishes, including soup, curry paste, curry, sticky rice and spring rolls. We’ve captured the spring rolls well in the video. Will had a great time making his…not.

We were able to sit and eat each dish, which was lovely, except we were so ridiculously full afterwards.

It was honestly such a lovely day. We picked up so many tips to use at home – and trust me I have been! We even received an Asia Scenic cookbook to take home, which has proved successful in our house.

I’d recommend Asia Scenic Cooking School to anyone. The price was amazing (about 800B for half day and 1,200B full). We met so many lovely people on our course too, with nationalities spanning Australia, Germany, Korea, Netherlands and of course, England.

If you’re in Chiang Mai and have a few hours to spare, just go for it – you won’t regret it!

Video

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pink fresh fruit lycheesI recently wrote a post on the best things to eat in Berlin, which inspired me to create another post focusing on our fave country, Thailand.

We’ve been twice now, and both times we’ve tried to be really adventurous with what we eat throughout the whole trip. We may have had a couple of hangover pizzas, not gonna lie, but the majority of the time we ate authentic Thai food. The food is UNREAL out there, and almost offensively cheap for how good it is.

Here are our top picks for what to eat in Thailand…visit hungry!

Pad Pak Boong (Morning Glory)

The best hangover cure EVER. It’s basically stir fried veggies, specifically water spinach with chilies. It’s quick, healthy and a perfect way to start the day. Definitely get this over there, because I’m yet to find it on a menu in the UK.

Mango Sticky Rice

My FAVOURITE! This is such a great, cheap food for breakfast, light lunch or just a quick snack. Imagine the juiciest mango ever, with a side of perfect sticky rice, covered with the sweetest coconut cream. It is the actual best. It usually costs between 40B and 60B (90p – £1.30) on the street depending on where you are, and up to 80B – 150B (£1.80 – £3.50) in a restaurant (rip off, it’s better on the street, anyway).

young man at a thai cooking class in thailand

Khao Soi (Yellow Curry)

This is a famous dish in Northern Thailand and especially in Chiang Mai. It’s a creamy but spicy curry with coconut milk and usually chicken thighs, topped with pickled shallots and crispy noodles. Buy some for 150B at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (if you can resist all the other amazing food there!).

Fresh fruit

There’s just no excuse not to. You can buy SO much fresh fruit wherever you go in Thailand and once again, it’s better from the street. Mango, bananas, jackfruit, dragonfruit, watermelon…the list goes on. You can get a large amount of fruit for about 50B (£1) – we used to stock up and take it all down to the beach for snacking.

You can also find durian fruit, usually accompanied by a sign asking for 10B, should you want to take a picture of it. If you haven’t heard, durian is the ‘smelliest fruit in the world’, with a smell some people describe as either onions or vomit. When I smell it, I just think of bin juice. Surprisingly, it tastes fine? Odd. Most hotels ban them and put signs up with warnings of an 1000B fine should you bring them in!

girl drinking strawberry drink in chiang mai night bazaar thailand

Geang Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry)

A classic, but still worth eating! Thai Green Curry is one of the most well known Thai dishes throughout the world. It’s so cheap too. In fact, you’ll find that at restaurants, most Thai dishes are the cheapest (and nicest), whereas more European dishes are more expensive, most likely because they need to import the ingredients.

Bugs & Scorpions

Because obviously. When I went last year it was a must-do tourist thing for me, and I dutifully made my way down to Khao San Road and bought a deep-fried scorpion from a man on the street. I mean, it’s not the nicest thing in the world, but it’s not the worst. At least you can say you’ve been there, got the t-shirt (and the pic for the ‘gram!)

What have I missed? Take a look at some more of our Thailand content here and here.

We went to Berlin in February and the thing I was most looking forward to was the food. I used to work in a German restaurant so knew what to expect, but Will isn’t familiar with any German food – I couldn’t wait to introduce him to my favourites.

The below foods aren’t exactly, er, healthy – but what’s a holiday for? If you’re wanting a nutritious meal though, Berlin has 100% got what you need. Vegan haven! However, if you’re looking for something a little more traditional, here are the best things to eat in Berlin.

Currywurst

You can get this ANYWHERE in Berlin and it’s best from the pop-up stands, served in cardboard than in a restaurant. There’s even a museum dedicated to the snack! It’s a salty pork sausage, usually chopped up for you to eat with a wooden fork. Perfect with chips as a quick lunch.

Best things to eat in Berlin currywurst

Wiener Schnitzel

A must-eat! Made from veal, chicken or pork, the meat is flattened and covered in breadcrumbs. There are so many variations of dish including schnitzel – my favourite is a Jägerschnitzel (meat with mushroom gravy). We went to Scheer’s Schnitzel, really close to the East Side Gallery. It’s fairly cheap with walls covered in graffiti by patrons. We cracked out a pen and started doodling away.

Doner Kebab

The ultimate drunk food, the German doner kebab is becoming more and more popular in the UK. I don’t know what it is that makes it so different, but it’s heaven. No thin, soggy pitta breads or mystery meat here! To experience it authentically, grab one for the journey home on the S-Bahn, after getting drunk at an experimental DJ set comprised of microwave pings and horse clops (really).

best things to eat in Berlin doner kebab

Eisbein

Bit of a weird one, sweet’art. It’s basically a massive, boiled pork knuckle. It doesn’t sound (or even look) very appealing, but it tastes AMAZING. I chose it as it was a quick way to introduce Will to the meat, sauerkraut and beer of Germany on our first night. We headed to Brauhaus Georgebræu to get ours. Word of warning – order one to share. We got a bit overexcited and basically had two pigs worth sat on the table, and as for the piles of sauerkraut!? Christ. Alternatively, get Schweinshaxe – the same thing but roasted. However, this is more common in Southern Germany.

Weißwurst mit Brezel

Ooookay, so this isn’t strictly famous in Berlin and I actually had real trouble trying to find it there. Sad times, it’s my favourite German dish! It’s a Bavarian pork and veal sausage, served alongside a Brezeln. Totally an experience. You don’t eat the skin of the sausage and can eat them in the traditional way – zuzeln (German for sucking, i.e. cut the end off and suck the meat out of the skin…) – but a little more subtle and polite way in company is to split the skin and cut the meat out. Absolutely amazing with Senf süß (sweet mustard). It’s a popular breakfast – or früstück – to have, with a non-alcoholic wheat beer. PLEASE try it if you can.

Have you had any of these things on your travels? What do you think are the best things to eat in Berlin? Let me know.

After our epic adventure in Thailand last year, in which we managed to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phi Phi, we were super excited to book our next adventure for this year.

We spent absolutely ages poring over forums and websites, considering where to go next. Coming out on top were Vietnam, India and Nepal. Unfortunately though, we simply couldn’t decide where to go! There were so many pros and cons to each place.

It was difficult because Thailand last year was just such a pull [not least because I’d wanted to visit for so long]. It was super easy to choose where to go because we both had a set idea of what we wanted and expected from our travels. The country has the best of everything. Shopping, nightlife, animals, tranquillity, bustling cities, religion and culture alongside just the right amount of sleaze.

We managed to fit a hell of a lot in, although we had to cut out some must-go places simply to fit into the time we had. On our hunt for the next adventure, we kept finding ourselves saying things like “Why don’t we try to fly to XX via Chiang Mai” and “Perhaps we could do half in XX, half in Thailand?”. In the end, we just looked at each other and decided there and then that we’d return to Thailand.

And here we are.

We worried that returning to Thailand would be a cop out. Why not try somewhere new? But then again, why not return to somewhere you loved? We’re changing up our itinerary to fit in all the stuff we couldn’t get to last time.

We also have more time, and a considerably bigger budget than last year [watch out, ballers coming through], so we can afford to live in style. Here’s what we’ve got planned so far. Let us know if we’ve missed something amazing.

Be massive poshos in Bangkok

Our first night in Bangkok, we were happy to forgo Khao San Road and head to the Sky Bar from The Hangover for ridiculously overpriced cocktails. Totally predictable, but whatever. Unfortunately, the receptionist at the hotel who was arranging our taxi took one look at Mr Jones’ shorts and told us they wouldn’t let us in. It wasn’t the end of the world, we just had the craic in the form of buckets and a game of checkers above KSR. We’ll make sure Will has something suitable to wear this time round and head to the bar. I feel like it’s just one of those things that needs to be done. Literally so excited for hangover Schweppes Manao as well – we’ve missed this shit so much!

Patong

We have a thing by which we visit a strip bar in every new place we visit. That sounds wrong, but it’s out of hilarity’s sake than anything else. Whilst we went to a few go-go bars in Bangkok, we found that the main ‘action’ was over in Patong. However, last year we’d heard about a few scams and because we were fresh off the boat as it were, we decided not to go. We’re going to head over this time though. I’ll write about it here if I can get away with not being TOO graphic.

Although, I’m not sure anything will beat the guy in the go-go bar in Chiang Mai. He was basically dressed as the KFC Colonel, drinking tea from a cup and saucer and cheers-ing with it every so often.  He was loving it!

Pai

One of our friends travelled around Thailand before heading off to Australia – he recommended Pai as the place to go. I’ve heard about the 726 curves to Pai and don’t really fancy sitting in a mini-bus trying to avoid other people throwing up on me [Will included, he’d get motion sickness on an escalator!] – but apparently it’s worth it.

There is also an opportunity here to visit a Karen Long Neck tribe…but I’m torn on this. This is something that really interests me, but I’ve read a fair few reviews that have put me off slightly. Quite a few have mentioned how much of a tourist trap it is – and really, how authentic can it be? Like the elephants last year, I’m going to have to do some more research into whether or not this is ethical, or even worth it.

Cooking class

Since we began living together, we’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen. We’re always up for trying new things and I’d love to learn how to cook some authentic Thai food in an authentic setting. We couldn’t do this last year as we ran out of time, but I’ve found an amazing deal to do a half day at the famous Mama Noi cooking school for under £20 each! Bangin’.

More animals

One of the best experiences of my life was visiting the elephants at the Chiang Mai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. We did a load of research and found so many cheaper options. Unfortunately, a vast majority of these had tethered and ridden elephants. So sad! The elephants at EJS looked so happy and were literally loving it – although we did nearly get trampled by some over-zealous teenage ‘phants! You know when they say “my life flashed before my eyes” …literally.

Anyway, similarly to the above, we want to have the best experience possible…ethically. I do like the idea of hanging out with tigers in theory – but it’s unlikely we’ll find somewhere we can see them where they’ve not been drugged or taken from their mothers. Do you know anywhere?

More beach time

As I say, we crammed a shit ton of stuff into two weeks, and barely rested. We spent one or two nights in different places and lived out of our bags. We finally slowed down and spent four days and three nights on Koh Phi Phi. Absolute dream – stay at Beach Front Divers Resort for a brilliant experience and practically your own private beach! They also run a diving school which is much less overrun with tourists than the ones nearer the ferry port.

ANYWAY. We loved those days on the beach to just chill, take boat rides island hopping, eat and drink at leisure without worrying about catching our next flight. In fact, we loved it so much we considered missing our flight back to Bangkok and booking a new one because we really didn’t want to leave.

This time, we’ve been able to learn from experience and have set aside a good five days to be beach bums and simply be. That being said, which island should we choose? Top of the list are Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Lanta or Koh Tao…

We’ve got a whole travel bucket list [and another 14 holiday days spare later in the year], so are looking for inspiration to go elsewhere this year and next. Where would you recommend?