Khantoke Dinner

As a welcome to our TESOL program, 16 of us were taken to the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center for an exotic Khantoke dinner, stage performances and hilltribes show known as Lanna Thai.

We are given Jasmine flower necklaces

We took off our shoes as we entered this spacious hall built of teak. Then we were comfortably seated on the floor. Minutes later, all us Westerners were in serious pain from sitting crossed legged for that long. Then the khantoke was brought to us. The Khantoke is a circular wooden tray set on pedestal that serves as a table.

The food in detail taken from their website:

Why not start with the fried pumpkin as hors d’oeuvres and then alternate as you like between the mildly spicy red chilli, tomato and minced pork dip, the succulent fried chicken and a mouth-watering Burmese pork curry that is so gentle, so soft That you will gladly accept a second helping

The chilli dip is called Nam Prik Awng and is teased from its bowl with pieces of deep-fried crispy pork skin or freshly sliced cucumber as you prefer. The chicken and Hangleh,as the porkcurry is called,go well with the stir-fried cabbage and either the sticky rice that is served in little woven bamboo baskets or plain cooked rice. The Khantoke also contains a bowl of crispy fried noodles to complement the rice. Dessert, served separately, consists of fried rice crispies and, if you dare to break the spell of tradition, either coffee or tea.

Dancing

Justin and I volunteered to go on stage and show off our Northern Thai style dancing. We finished the indoor activities and headed out to see the tribal dances of the 4 main tribes in Thailand –  Lahu Na (black Lahu), Lahu Nyi (Red Lahu, an offshoot of Lahu Na), Lahu Sheh Leh, and Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu).

Helping his parents with the dance

Taking a break, and I'm loving his crocs

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A TESOL Class Activity

We attend class every day from 9am to around 4pm. We get two coffee breaks and an hour for lunch. We have gotten a bit antsy from sitting in a class all day so when we get to act in class, we get a bit devious 🙂

Su-wat-tee kah

Outside our Window

The chickens wake me up at around 6 am. I wake up, and since Jodes is usually still sleeping, I go for walks around the neighborhood. The monks are up and around. They carry with them a bowl which people then place food in to feed them. They eat everything that is given to them. It is nice in the early morning, quieter and not as many motorbikes almost killing you. Plus it is a lot cooler…and by cooler I mean it just takes a bit longer to have that layer of sweat on you that is so typical here.

There are too many people on bikes

Typical Scene

There is such a mix of urbanization and nature here. We are at the edge of the city, apparently done so that we wouldn’t party so hard. The air smells like exhaust all the time, too many bikes being driven. You can see the tops of the golden temples up in the mountain. And there are massive amounts of 7Elevens here. I guess Starbucks hasn’t taken over yet.

Outside our resort

We took a Thai language class for a whole day and a half. I only really remember hello, which is “Sa-wat – tee kah”. And chicken, “guy”. This will get me far 🙂

The problem is I am trying to retain the very little Korean I know and thus it is making it harder to remember this new and so very different language.

Arriving

We arrived safe and sound at the Chiang Mai airport. But like they say, it is about the journey and not necessarily the destination. I realized how much more patient I was during the trip. My tolerance for flying and dealing with airports was greatly changed during my 5 day expedition to Mozambique back in 07′. You just got to roll with the punches and pray for that moment you get out of the airport with all your luggage intact.

La familia waits

Our Battle Wounds: Allergic reaction to my bracelets

Our Battle Wounds: Jodi's bag put up a fight

Loving my window seat