What better way to get to know the local cuisine than a cooking class? You’ll learn about common ingredients, favourite dishes, and best of all: taste them! There are plenty of Thai cooking schools in Chiang Mai, so here’s an overview to help you decide which one to book.
What to expect from a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai?
There are many Thai cooking schools in Chiang Mai, offering similar Thai cooking classes. No matter which school you pick, you usually visit a local market for ingredients, cook a couple of dishes at your own cooking station, and eat what you made.
Mosts Thai cooking schools come pick you up at your accommodation, and drop you off again after class. You often get a small recipe book as well, featuring all the dishes you made or got to choose from.
What to consider when choosing a Thai cooking class?
While the basics are the same for many Chiang Mai cooking classes, things like duration, dishes, and location vary. Those are the characteristics you can base your decision on. Here are a couple of question you’ll want to consider while deciding on a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai.
When you’ve decided what characteristics are important to you, you can add these filters to the Chiang Mai cooking classes table at the end of this post to find the one that best fits your needs.
How much time do you have?
Depending on how much time you’ll be spending in Chiang Mai, you can opt for half day or full day Thai cooking classes. Some Thai cooking schools offer evening classes as well, should that fit your schedule better.
Which dishes do you want to learn to cook?
If there are any particular dishes you want to learn to make, you should check the menus of the different Thai cooking schools beforehand. In most Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai, you can choose 1 dish from a couple of options for each course. Meaning you can choose one appetizer, one stir fry, one soup, one curry, and one dessert. When there’s two or more of you, we recommend chooses different dishes, so you get to taste them all.
Other Thai cooking schools have set menus, sometimes different ones for each day of the week. At Pantawan Cooking for example, they have a different themed menu every day. One day it’s Northern Thai Cuisine, the other Thai Home Style Food, and they even do Royal Thai Cuisine day.
Most schools cater to vegetarians and vegans as well, either by slightly altering the non-vegetarian dishes, or by offering specialised vegetarian and/or vegan Thai cooking classes.
What’s your budget?
There are a bunch of half day Chiang Mai cooking classes starting at 700 baht (~ $21 ~ €18) per person for 4 dishes. That’s a reasonable price for everything that’s included. If you’re budget is higher however, you can also do a half day course with an internationally renowned Thai chef for 1,450 baht (~ $43 ~ €37) per person.
Full day Thai cooking classes on the other hand, vary from 5 to 7 dishes for 1,000 (~ $30 ~ €26) to 1,500 baht (~ $45 ~ €38) per person.
Where do you want the Thai cooking school to be located?
Depending on where you’re staying in Chiang Mai, different Thai cooking schools can have the best location. There are several Chiang Mai cooking classes taking place in Chiang Mai Old Town, but plenty outside of the old walls as well. Some are even on an organic farm, where you can get away from the bustling city and cook some delicious Thai food in a green and peaceful setting.
Which are the best Thai cooking schools in Chiang Mai?
Here’s a brief introduction of some of the best Thai cooking schools in Chiang Mai, in no particular order.
Thai Farm Cooking School
We had our first Thai cooking experience at Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai. They offer full day cooking classes at an organic farm about an hour outside of the city. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the setting green and peaceful.
For 1,500 baht (~ $45 ~ €38) per person you get picked up at your accommodation, visit a local market, get a tour through the Thai Farm organic garden, and cook and eat 5 dishes of your choice, including a soup, a curry, a noodle dish, a rice dish, and a dessert. Before they drop you back off at your accommodation, you get a small recipe book to try their Thai recipes back home.
Red Chili Cooking School
Whereas most Chiang Mai cooking schools let you choose 1 dish per course, Red Chili Cooking School has a set menu. It differs between the morning and evening half day classes, except for dessert, which is mango sticky rice for both. With a maximum of 6 people per class, this cooking school has the smallest groups in Chiang Mai.
For 1,000 baht (~ $30 ~ €26) per person you get picked up at your accommodation, visit a local market, and cook and eat 4 dishes of the set menu. Just as nearly every other Chiang Mai cooking class, this one ends with you receiving a small recipe book. They drop you off again at your accommodation as well.
Zabb-E-Lee Thai Cooking School
The second time we visited Chiang Mai, we took an evening Thai cooking class at Zabb-E-Lee Thai Cooking School. This Thai cooking school is located within Chiang Mai Old Town. They offer morning and evening half day Thai cooking classes in groups of 2 to 10 people.
For 1,000 baht (~ $30 ~ €26) per person you get picked up at your accommodation, visit a local market, and cook and eat 5 dishes of your choice, including an appetizer, a stir fry, a soup, a curry, and mango sticky rice for dessert. After class, you get a small recipe book before they drop you off again at your accommodation.
May Kaidee’s Thai Cooking School
Most Chiang Mai cooking classes substitute certain ingredients for vegetarians and vegans, but May Kaidee's Thai Cooking School offers specialised vegetarian and vegan Thai cooking classes. Not only in Chiang Mai, but in Bangkok and New York City as well.
This Chiang Mai Cooking School has a whole range of classes, including a fruit carving one. However, the most popular one is a morning or afternoon half day vegetarian and vegan Thai cooking class.
For 1,500 baht (~ $45 ~ €38) per person you’ll learn to cook a set menu of 7 dishes, get picked up and dropped off at your accommodation, and treated to a demonstration of traditional Thai dancing. A small recipe book is included as well.
Pantawan Cooking is one of the more expensive Chiang Mai cooking classes, costing 1,790 baht (~ $54 ~ €46) per person for 4 dishes. As with other Thai cooking schools, pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation is included, together with a visit to a local market, a welcome drink, all ingredients, and a recipe book.
You’ll be cooking in an old Thai style teak wooden house on an organic farm, and eat your creations with a view over the garden. Pantawan Cooking offers morning and evening half day Thai cooking classes. The set menu of 4 dishes differs every day of the week, so take a look at the menu before you book.
Note that there’s a 15% discount for email reservations via the Pantawan Cooking website.
Thai Cookery School
If you want to take a Chiang Mai cooking class at the school of a famous Thai chef, the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School is what you’re looking for. Chef Sompon has his own TV series, The Thai Way, and has been on Thai cooking shows on many international TV Networks.
The Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai offers a morning half day Thai cooking class, where you’ll learn to cook a set menu of 6 dishes. There are 5 different set menus that rotate 7 days per week, so definitely check the menu before booking.
A cooking class at the Thai Cookery School costs 1,450 baht (~ $43 ~ €37) per person and includes pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation, a welcome drink (the school’s secret recipe), drinking water, tea, and coffee.
Note that you get a 10% discount or a free embroidered apron when booking directly through the Thai Cookery School website.
Which Chiang Mai cooking class best fits your needs?
Here’s a comparison of the different Thai cooking classes on offer in Chiang Mai, including links to the booking pages. Filter and sort the records in this table to find the Chiang Mai cooking class that best fits your needs.
For a full screen view of this table, click the “View larger version” button at the bottom of the table or follow this link.
Did we forget to include your (favourite) Chiang Mai cooking school? Let us know in the comments or drop us an email at [email protected]
With dozens of Chiang Mai cooking schools, it can be hard to make the right decision. Hopefully this overview helped you to choose the Thai cooking class that best fits your needs. Enjoy!
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