Wednesday, 27 April 2016


The Little Kitchen Cookery School

One thing high on my to-do list when I visited Thailand was to take part in a Thai cookery class. There were tonnes to choose from in the northern city of Chiang Mai, so my new pal Tom and I went with one recommended by our hostel, The Little Kitchen. It turned out to be one of the best days of my entire trip! I met Tom randomly at the Paddy's day pool party at my hostel, turns out we have a few mutual friends and live about 30 minutes from each other. Such a small world! I love it when that happens.

We were expecting to be in a class of about 10, but it turned out it was just us two. Since we booked so last minute (a couple of hours before), I guess they had no classes planned for that afternoon. Which was perfect, as it meant we had 4 hours of one-on-one time with the chef. They even picked us up in a private car and drove us to and from the place, all included in the discounted price of 800baht/£16 each! Any activity you want to do can be organised through your hostel, so don't worry about having to book things yourself. You often get a slight discount too. For this price we made 5 dishes, with all ingredients included, which is incredibly cheap! You also get a certificate, which was such a cute touch, and recipe book to keep so you can recreate the dishes at home.

The class starts with a trip to the local market to buy fresh ingredients like meat and veg. We got to make 5 courses each papaya salad, pad Thai, green curry/massaman curry, tom yum soup and mango sticky rice. I was so excited to make my number 1 favourite Thai dish, massaman curry, which turned out beautifully! I was a bit disappointed we didn't get to make the curry paste from scratch, but it was pre-prepared fresh by the chef. The recipe book came with a recipe for the paste though, so i'll give it a go soon and share the recipe with you guys. I have since recreated the dish at home using Tesco massaman paste and it turned out amazingly tasty - you just an't go wrong with this curry!

The curry pastes are prepared with fresh ingredients by the chefs
Everything you need for a BOOM pad Thai
Smashed it
Tom Yum soup is so yum
Papaya salad
Thai green curry and chicken massaman curry
Mango sticky rice - a strangely delicious pudding
We stupidly went out for breakfast before the course, which was a big mistake! I was so full after the first two courses, that the last 3 went straight in the bin. I sooooo regret that now i'm sitting here drooling over these photos. DO NOT EAT BEFORE YOU GO!

I would recommend this cooking course to any budding chef. Even beginners will find it easy! I can't wait to cook more of these dishes at home. I lived on pad Thai, eating it most days in Thailand - for a noodle dish it's sooo full of flavour! YUM YUM.

Lucy xoxo

Sunday, 24 April 2016


Let me first start by saying please excuse the major delay between my last blog post and now. Blogging from an iPad whilst on-the-go is proving to be more a little more difficult than I had hoped! Next time I think i'll take my laptop so I can back up my photos and blog more frequently.

So, I am writing this 6 weeks into my trip, referring back to my travel journal to jog my memory (I  only ended up writing in it for about a week, then gave up because I was too busy having fun!) and wanted to share with you one of my favourite places i've been... Pai! Lovely lovely Pai. I fell completely in love with this picturesque sleepy hippie town set in the middle of the mountains in northern Thailand. So many people told me I must go here and i'm so glad I did! It takes about 3 and a half hours by minibus from Chiang Mai. If you get car sick definitely take some tablets before you leave - the drive is pretty crazy. Something like 650 turns round windy mountain roads - a few people threw up on the way there and back.

For such a tiny town, there is so much to do in Pai. I had initially booked 2 nights here but ended up staying for 6 days as I was so obsessed with exploring the town. I met up with my lovely friend from home Sheree (who I met through blogging 4/5 years ago) who has recently started an AMAZING travel blog - The Fashionable Backpacker - she blogs way more regularly than me, it's a must read for any budding travellers! After almost 20 hours of travelling to reach Pai, I was so happy to see a familiar face I burst into tears.. such an emotional little Lulu.

During my time in Pai, I tried out a scooter for the first time (something I had been warned not to do by many travellers pre-trip) but my gosh, it turned out to be one of the best decisions i've ever made! I have never felt as free as I have exploring Thailand by motorbike. I've not had one scuffle my whole trip so I can assure you that as long as you don't drive too fast, just stick to basic road rules and be very aware of your surroundings always, you'll be FINE. Don't let other people's silly mistakes put you off renting a bike, it's absolutely the best way to get out and explore. And in Pai, it cost just 100baht (£2) per day to hire, and 50baht (£1) for a full tank of petrol, which lasted days!

Where to stay?

I booked into Pai Circus School hostel without researching it, as Sheree and her friend Sinead were staying there, and it was absolutely incredible! I was really thrown into the deep end in terms of living outside my comfort zone - I was living in a wooden hut with communal toilets/showers, which cost just 320baht/£6.40 per night (I actually had a double hut which should have cost 450baht/£9 but the receptionist didn't realise hehe). You can also stay in a dorm here for 200baht/£4 per night if you're on a budget, but if there's two of you its worth getting your own hut. The bathrooms are pretty grim, and often made me feel dirtier after a shower since there were ants everywhere, but bareable. If you have a phobia of public toilet seats like me, you'll just have to squat and bare it - you'll soon get used to peeing and pooing in gross places.

You'll really embrace your inner hippie at this hostel - in the day you can take part in circus activities, free yoga classes, and by night they throw parties, family meals and open mic nights. It was the busiest place I stayed at during my time in Thailand, new people were constantly arriving, which means you'll meet tonnes of new friends!

My little home for 5 nights
The weed hut (with complimentary dog to cuddle)
The buzzing (green) pool area
Looking like a floating ghost pre-tan

Things to do in Pai

Pai is set in the middle of the nowhere, but it's almost impossible to get lost as there's just a few main roads which all lead to each other. By scooter you can easily reach all the local attractions within 20 minutes. Pai's walking street is absolutely lovely, we walked down most evenings and which takes about 10 minutes, or a couple of minutes by bike. Definitely go for a wander first because the walk down is absolutely beautiful - you'll cross the river over a questionably wobbly bamboo bridge to get into town.

the bridge was way more interesting at night (drunk)

Hot Springs

This place absolutely baffled me... natural pools of 80-100 degree water just bubbling away in the middle of the woods. You can swim in the pools at the bottom of the hill which are still up to 38 degrees, but they were almost too hot to bare in the already 30 degree heat! I wouldn't say they were worth the 300baht/£6 entry fee, but it was really interesting to see. Locals even go there to boil eggs - crazy!

Big Buddha

The steps up to this are a bit of a killer but i'm unfit and I moan a lot. So it's probably a simple hike for most people. The view of the sunset is amazing!

Pai Farm

This was my favourite attraction in Pai - I love me a farm! There were hundreds of rabbits and teeny tiny baby bunnies, alpacas, fluffy goats and more, set in the most beautiful location around a lake. You can stay here too in cute colourful bungalows. You can buy food to feed all the animals and cuddle the bunnies!

Pai Canyon

This place was insane! I will admit I didn't venture all the way in, I didn't trust the skinny walk ways and 1000ft drop either side, but it was a great spot to watch the sunset.

with my new Aussie friend Ben

Get a tattoo!

You're probably thinking drunk tattoos are never a good idea, but I couldn't go to Thailand and not get a new tattoo. There are tonnes of legit, safe and clean tattoo studios in Pai, and they're really cheap! Bamboo tattoos are a thing in Thailand and the most common technique, which is done by hand using needles and pieces of bamboo. It doesn't hurt at all, and heals in 24 hours so is much safer if you're swimming etc. I decided on a strawberry, because, well I just love strawberries. And we went to a strawberry farm, and strawberry daiquiris are my favourite cocktail. So why not get a strawberry on my ankle?! I will admit the guy was drinking red wine before he tatted us, but it was his friends birthday so we'll let him off... It's a little scrappy round the edges but that's what gives it character. I'll always remember my special time in Pai when I look at it!

There's much more to do in Pai, but some stuff is best to do in high season, not HOTHOTHOT season when the waterfalls and rivers are almost dried up. Apparently there's some good jungle hikes, and rafting activities down the road too.

Pai did not disappoint! A must visit.

Lucy xoxo

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


As I publish this post almost a month after writing it, I'm in a much happier place right now. So please excuse the bad vibes! And sorry for the delay on my travel blogging - I've been so busy and have hardly found a moment to sit down and write. So I'll be completely honest, I really didn't enjoy Bangkok. I'm used to, and I love big cities, but in 40 degree heat it really was unbearable. It made me not want to do anything, so the 4 days I spent there were a bit of a drag! I felt so emotional after such a long flight, I have never felt such a feeling before. I instantly felt so alone, missed my family and missed my boyfriend. It didn't really settle in that I wouldn't see them for so long until I checked in, got into my tiny little room and just burst out in tears. All I wanted to do was get on the next flight home. I spoke to some friends who said they'd felt the exact same, and that in a few days this feeling will pass. Looking back now, I wish I'd taken people's advice and stayed in a hostel from day 1. Having a private room in a hotel meant I was not only £58 down as soon as I arrived, but I didn't meet ANYONE where I was staying! I was pretty much just paying for the nice rooftop pool (which I didn't even use).
I know there is tonnes to do in Bangkok but I barely explored at all. The first day and night I was in such a sad mood that I didn't leave my room all day. The next day I finally plucked up the courage to go out for a drink on my own - I must have walked up and down Khao San Road (backpacker central) at least 4 times before finally deciding on a bar to go and sit in. I hadn't physically had a conversation with someone for at least 36 hours, and I knew I'd tear up as soon as someone started speaking to me! I was in the weirdest mood. Luckily I wasn't alone for long, a waiter put a guy on the table next to me and when he saw I was alone too we got chatting. When I first saw him I thought he was foreign so I was like "dammit' we won't be able to speak!" but turns out he lives about 40 minutes from my house back home! Small world. His name was Josh and he was super lovely, so easy to talk to - we had a really fun night bar crawling and ended up in a really cheesy little club drinking "sperm" shots (sounds gross, was gross.) I spent the next couple of days with him - thankfully he was eager to explore the city so it means I got out of my hotel a bit more than I would have on my own. He was the perfect person I could have bumped into!
We tuk-tuk'ed to China town, visited some temples, spent another night on crazy Khao San Road and ended up at a ping pong show! If you know, you know. A must see, crazy but actually pretty cool LOL.
By Friday I was more than ready to leave Bangkok. I regret booking 3 nights there as it wasn't really my kind of vibe - not how I imagined Thailand to be at all. I would recommend only staying a maximum of 1-2 nights in Bangkok, unless cheesy night life and bad pop music is your thang. I know there is much more to do in Bangkok I'm terms of good night life, but I really was too hot to bother looking. I was so eager to get up to North Thailand, meet some friends from home and chill out in Pai. The overnight train was interesting - I'm really glad I experienced it, I wanted to try it out and I did end up getting a good nights sleep. You get your own flat bed, with curtain for privacy, clean sheets and can even have dinner delivered to your seat. Now that I've done it, I probably wouldn't use the night train again unless I am really on a budget. The 15 hour journey compared to a 1 hour flight really doesn't make up for the £20ish saved on going by train. I arrived in Chiang Mai around 10am and hopped on a minibus to Pai straight away. I can officially say Pai is the cutest place I've ever been. I became so much happier here than I was in Bangkok. But I'll speak about that in my next post...
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