If you are in Bangkok and have had enough of shopping & massage then do yourself a favour and book a mornings adventure with Helping Hands Cooking School.
The tour includes a trip to the market to buy your ingredients before learning how to cook several Thai dishes (you choose from a variety of menus) in a genuine thai house in Klong Toey.
Khun Pooh runs the enterprise and is a wonderful guide & teacher - a great personality who will turn you into a budding Thai chef by the end of the day. This is not a posh sterile cooking school but a real home-cooking lesson in one of Bangkok's poorest neighbourhoods. Trust me when I say you will love the experience.
The half day program includes pick-up in airconditioned van, a trip round the fascinating Klong Toey market to pick up the ingredients you will need for your cooking (tip: don't wear your best dancing shoes as they will get dirty especially if it rains). You also get to see some fo the stranger products on offer at the market such as frogs, bugs, etc.
Then it's back to Poohs place (don't laugh !!) to turn them into a sumptious thai buffet.
Class sizes are kept small at 4-5 which ensures you get lots of individual supervision and the class is taught in an informal atmosphere which ensures you have a lot of fun.
After being shown how to cook each dish from scratch it's over to you to let your inner Jamie Oliver out - making the dishes and eating them. The biggest surprise......just how easy each dish is to make. You will leave thinking "why the heck have I never done this before".
Another tip: do not have a big breakfast before going on the tour. You will cook 4-5 courses and the portion sizes are huge....thus you get full very quickly. We left with bags of takeaway.
And the best bit........these guys are part of a charitable organisation who are helping some of Bangkoks poorest communities raise themselves out of poverty through supporting micro-business ventures.
It's not charity but teaching people at ground-level how to set up a business - and you will see exactly how successful they are if you take this tour.
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