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“Too much hype” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School

Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
47/2 Moon Muang Rd | (opposite Tha Phae Gate), Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
053 206388
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Ranked #23 of 43 Food & Drink in Chiang Mai
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: We are the First and Best cookery school in Chiang Mai. Owned and operated by "Master Chef" Sompon Nabnian... you will unlock the secrets of traditional Thai-style cooking. Have you ever wondered why Thai food tastes so different from restaurant to restaurant? The ingredients are the same, so it should taste the same, you would think...not at all! The best Thai food comes from using the freshest ingredients, along with the skilful art of preparation and combining the right ingredients at the right time to create an exceptional dish.Our school offers five fine mouth-watering courses for you to choose from (vegetarian options are available for all dishes in all courses):There is simply no better place to learn about the joys of Thai cooking!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Corvallis, Oregon
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Too much hype”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

On Friday, Jan 25, I called Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School on their mobile line (081 883 5206), since there was no one answering their office phone. A Thai gentleman answered the phone. I asked if they had a beginner’s 1 day course next day (Saturday Jan 26) for my brother. He wanted me to text him the details and he subsequently called back and confirmed the reservation and that someone would pick him up from the hotel between 9:30 and 9:45am. I waited in the hotel lobby with my brother until 10:30 without any sign of driver or anyone coming to pick him up. I texted the same phone number again. Here is the actual text message “Is someone coming to pick me up? I have been waiting since 9:30. Thanks”. We were actually waiting in the lobby since 9:15am because we did not want to be late. There was no reply back. Finally at 10:45, I called the office telephone and was able to contact someone who promised to send a car for pick up. By the time, we had been waiting in the lobby for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The car finally arrived at 11:00. I was expecting the class to be a full day from 10:30 till 4pm. There were no apologies offered, no explanations and no regrets for the delay and inconvenience caused. My brother overheard a gentleman from England, in his class who was not picked up as well and made his own way to the class.

The class and the instructions itself were OK. Given their attitude and the cost of the course (THB 1400), my opinion is that this particular cooking school is way overpriced and not worth what they are charging. I have seen several cooking schools in Chiangmai offering the same course for several hundred Baht less.
In short, way too much hype (Thailand’s International TV Chef), way too busy, and not deserving my recommendation. Save a bunch of money and go with one of the competitors.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Washington D.C.
Level Contributor
73 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Instructive, streamlined classes and an enjoyable homestay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

First, the disclaimer: this was our first ever hands-on cooking class, so we have nothing to compare it to. That said, we really enjoyed both the class and the stay in Chef Som Pon's home.

Class: Both chef-owner Som Pon and assistant chef Tana Pon have a well-rehearsed routine that they repeat day after day, so you can be fairly certain of how your day will go. The classroom is well-lit and the mirror on the ceiling allows you to see what the instructors are doing from most seats in the room. The instruction was professional and clear and the tips and asides about ingredients often useful and interesting. The cooking stations were well-equipped and cleaned after each dish we cooked. The staff were uniformly friendly and helpful, even if not all were fluent in English. Over three days, we learned how to prepare various curries (northern, Penang, Red, Green), soups (Tom Yum, Tom Kha), salads, and desserts. We made curry pastes from scratch. We had an informative tour of the market. We got a lot out of it all - we cook often, but our Thai food will be markedly better after this class.

The negatives? Well, 3 days was perhaps one day too long for us. The instructors' one-liners do get a bit less funny the third time around, and although there is a shift in emphasis from day to day, the classes are not as different as the descriptions of the different days made them seem to us. As others have mentioned, in order to get through cooking 6 dishes, they make things very easy for you and keep the pace fast - all the ingredients are prep'd and sitting at your station ready to go (although you do at least have to chop the peeled vegetables), the student interns tell you how much of everything to use, and they tell you when to use each. But, as Som Pon has said in response to someone else's similar comment, there is a Masters class for those who want more.

Homestay: very nice and highly recommended. The school is about a half hour out of town and the chef Som Pon's house is very comfortable and well-furnished. Tana Pon took very good care of us, driving us into town each evening, taking us for a very nice massage one evening, and to see the sights the next. And he was a delightful companion to chat with. The at-home meals were, as you'd expect in a chef's home, delicious!

Visited January 2013
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Kitchener, Canada
1 review
“A really fun day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Just came back from our classes and am full! After being picked up we headed to the market. It was a great experience and we learned a lot. But to be honest, I was a little concerned about whether I would like the food we were about to cook.

There was no need to worry. The classes were so much fun. Lots of humor - you don't even realize how much you are retaining. The chef and staff are super - well organized and very considerate when it comes to dietary concerns (I'm not a fan of fish).

Everything was delicious and I'm so glad I did this. It is going to be so much easier and more fun eating out on the rest of my trip. I highly recommend giving this a try!

Visited January 2013
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Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The first cooking school in Chiang Mai.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Was great, did not do it this year, have done many there in the past. Hands on, market tour or herb tour at his home. Lived in BKK for 3 years but always learn something new.

Visited February 2012
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great Day of Thai Cooking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I am so happy we spent a day at the school. We chose one of the courses that started at the market, which was fantastic. There are so many vegetables and fruits we had never seen before that we got to learn about at the market. Learning to cook the dishes was fun and they were delicious. I have already made three at home and plan on making many more. Thai food is delicious and it is so hard to find good Thai food in America, so it is good to be able to cook it at home. Highly recommended.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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