Cooking Your Way Through Thailand

Cooking your way through Thailand is an itinerary that appeals to vacationers these days!

July 07, 2009 | by Sharlene Tan
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Shopping your way through Bangkok is a given. But cooking your way through Thailand’s capital city? It’s an itinerary that appeals to more and more vacationing people these days. Certainly to someone like me, who has enjoyed cooking all her life. Pre-departure, I went online and made booking reservations to two top-rated cooking schools. As easy as that, my culinary vacation was all set.

On our Thai Airways flight, the bento-style Thai lunch served got me more jazzed about Bangkok. From the airport, we headed for the Amari Watergate Hotel and Spa, where we had our first Thai meal at their famous Thai on 4 restaurant. The appetizer sampler was impressive and so was the beef curry. In fact, I don’t remember any dish we didn’t consume entirely. For dessert, I went for the classic Sticky Rice with Mango—sweetened sticky rice with coconut milk topped with really thick slices of sweet mangoes. It was so good. Every dish left me wondering how Thai chefs cook and what ingredients they use. I would get my answers early the next day.

Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant


From our hotel, we took a 15-minute walk to the Siam Skytrain station and rode the BTS to the Surasak station. I quickly spotted the Blue Elephant building from the station exit and it was exactly as it was described—a dazzling century old mansion. From afar, it looked like a piece of architecture with a great story to tell. Sandra Steppe, daughter of the owner, told us that the building, built in 1903 and also known as the Thai Chine, was once a posh department store. It was later converted into the headquarters of the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which now occupies a building behind the Blue Elephant. Despite partial renovations done in 2000, it is preserved as a historical landmark.

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