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 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.
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).