Amazing Taste of Thai Cuisine
Can Cook ...
Bel-Aire Princess is proud to present
our valuable clients the unforgettable experience in Thai cuisine.
Why Thai cuisine has become one of the most popular cuisine in
the five continents
1 student as US$ 30++
2 student as US$ 20++ person
Inclusive in the price are the
lesson, a Thai cooking book, a certificate,
and other gifts. Of course, you can eat the food you cook!
Special Offer 10% Discount
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as now enjoyed all over the world is a blend of Asian and European influences
adopted through centuries of trade and diplomatic exchanges. Thais have
traditionally lived close to the land and the waters, and original Thai
cooking reflected that. Main ingredients were rice, fish, vegetable
and herbs. Very little meat was used, and traditionally beef or buffalo
meat was eschewed since the animals were the mainstays of farm life.
Thais grilled, baked and stewed their food, until the Chinese introduced
the techniques of cooking with hot oil. European merchants, diplomats
and missionaries also contributed a lot to the cuisine, starting right
after their arrivals in the 16th Century. And we all have the Portuguese
to thank for introducing chilies to Thai kitchens. Curries and spices,
on the other hand, were brought here by the Indians. Over the years
Thai cooks have added their own ingenuity, substituting hard-to-find
ingredients with what's available locally and adapting the recipes to
suit Thai palates.
Thai cooking has four regional variations plus the highly refined "Royal"
cuisine. Sometimes translated into English as Palace Cuisine, this is
a heritage from the days of absolute monarchy, when only the best was
served at the Royal table. Every dish must be pleasing to both the eye
and the palate. Not only must the ingredients be carefully selected
and the cooking techniques perfected, the presentation must also be
creative. Today Royal cuisine can be sampled at some restaurants whose
chefs are descended from, or were trained by, former palace chefs. Look
for the key word "Royal" or "Palace" in their names.
Some cooking schools offer classes on this refined art, but if you don't
have the time or the inclination, you can opt for just a vegetable and
fruit carving class. Most schools and restaurants offering cooking classes
can arrange such a course, which can take anywhere from an afternoon
to a whole week. After a few basic sessions and some practice at home,
you should be able to wow your dinner guests with your new skills.
A Thai Meal
A Thai meal is traditionally a communal affair, with two or more people
sharing several dishes, all served at the same time and eaten with steamed
rice. The dishes are:
Snacks and Hors d'oeuvres.These savory tidbits can be eaten alone or
as side dishes. Traditional favorites include stuffed dumpling, satay,
crisp-fried rice noodles topped with sweet-and-spicy sauce, and spring
rolls. Creative presentation is a big part of Thai snack-making, and
a professional cook worth his salt will strive to make them as much
as feast for the eye as for the palate.
Thai salads, called yam, are sour, sweet and salty. A simple dressing
works equally well for meat, seafood, vegetable and fruit salads. This
is made from fish sauce, lime juice and a dash of sugar. The heat comes
from fiery little bird chilies, but just how hot a salad should be depends
on the texture and flavor of the meat, vegetable or fruit used. Fresh
herbs such as marsh mint, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and cilantro
are usually used as garnish.
Usually served with vegetables, meat or fish, chili dips are very versatile.
A dip can be a main dish or side dish, added to a pan of fried rice
to flavor it, or drizzled on chips to jazz them up. A cook can whip
up a bowl of dip from chilies, garlic, onion and shrimp paste or whatever
ingredient is available-dried or fermented fish, sour tamarind, dried
Thai soups generally are very flavorful. Meat or vegetable is cooked
in broth or coconut cream with a "soup base," usually a blend
of spices and herbs, which gives the soup its flavor. A soup is served
not at first course but together with other dishes. This way you can
wash down the fiery heat of the more spicy dishes with it.
The heart of all Thai curries is the curry pastes, which, unlike Indian
curry, are made from fresh herbs and spices. The paste is cooked in
coconut cream before meat or vegetable is added. Main ingredients in
most curries are chili, garlic, shallot, galangal, coriander root and
krachai (a small brownish orange, indigenous root. Canned curry pastes
are available at markets and grocery stores, but freshly-made pastes
make more delicious curries.
Fried rice or noodle dishes make quick, satisfying meals. You can improvise
with different types of meat, vegetables and spices. When cooking the
rice, use a little less water so it won't become soggy when you fry
it. Separate the noodles before adding it to the oil. Add the meat and
sauce, then the rice or noodles, and stir frequently over high heat.
Ideal for washing down the spices, Thai desserts are sweet but not intensely
so. Banana or flour dumplings in sweetened coconut cream and season
fruit in sugar syrup topped with crushed ice are some of the easy-to-make
favorites. Thais also eat a lot of candied fruit-banana and breadfruit
being two of the most popular--alone or topped with coconut cream.
Setting Up a Thai Kitchen
You need a few utensils to start. A wooden chopping block, a set of
knives, a set of mortar and pestle (an electric blender will also do),
a Chinese-style frying pan or wok, a soup pot and a brass pan for desserts
should be enough for daily cooking and an occasional dinner party. Spoon
and fork are the only cutlery you need. Thai cooks always have at hands
dried chilies, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste, and a good bottle of fish
|A wealth of shopping opportunities
awaits the visitor, and bargains abound throughout our country in traditional
handicrafts, textiles, gems, jewellery
and antiques, as well as more contemporary items.
: Bangkok is the coloured gemstone capital
of the world. Rubies and sapphires are indigenous stones, but virtually
all coloured gems, as well as diamonds, are available. Shoppers should
exercise caution and buy from reputable dealers only.
Antiques : Thai, Chinese, Burmese and Khmer antiques
are excellent buys. There is an export ban on certain pieces, particularly
Buddha images. Other pieces may require an export license, but any reputable
dealer will be able to advise on restrictions and any necessary documentation.
Ceramics : Both traditional and contemporary styles
of pottery are available throughout our kingdom. Best known are the
distinctive sea-green celadons from the Sukothai area, and the central
provinces' colourful Benjarong (five color) porcelain, which are unique
to our country.
Nielloware : Practiced in the South for hundreds of
years, nielloware is the craft of decorating gold and silver objects
with delicate etched designs filled with a metal ware. Nielloware trays,
boxes, vases and other items are some of our best buys.
Lacquerware : A specialty of Chiang-Mai and the north,
this craft involves coating split bamboo or wood with lacquer, then
adding intricate hand-painted designs typically gold-on-black lacquer
or yellow and green on a red brown background. Look out for lacquerware
bowls, boxes, trays and other items for decoration or for souvenirs.
Thai Orchids : We're famous for our huge variety of
orchids and their magnificent colours and durable beauty make them a
popular purchase. Specially packaged flowers, complete with water supply,
are easily transported and can be conveniently purchased at Bangkok
Furniture : Rattan and rosewood furniture items are
available in many designs and styles and can also be made to order.
Shops in Bangkok and Chiang Mai have a wide selection and can arrange
Hilltribe Crafts : The tribal groups who live in the
hills of the north make a variety of beautifully embroidered textiles
and silver jewellery. Chiang Mai is the centre for such goods.
Clothing : We're one of the world's leading manufacturers
of ready-to-wear clothing. Fashion boutiques are found in every shopping
mall, while cheaper clothing such as T-shirts and jeans are available
at bargain prices from street vendors. Custom tailoring is also very
affordable and tailors can produce or copy most styles in just a few
Silk : Probably the most famous of all our kingdom's
handicrafts, silk is available in a range of colours, patterns and plys,
and is sold by the yard, or as ready-made clothing and souvenir items.
A unique style of Thai silk is Mat Mee, a tie-dye silk traditional to
the North-east. The best known outlet for Thai silk is undoubtedly Jim
Thompson's shop at the top of Surawong Road in Bangkok.
Cotton & Batik : Our Thai cottons have become increasingly
popular and are a good deal. Particularly notable are the hilltribe
cottons woven by the tribal people of the North, typically displaying
bold designs and often lavish embroidery. Equally distinctive are original
batiks crafted at several studios in Bangkok.
Pewterware : Pewter is fashioned with great skill by
Thai craftsmen, and the smooth, silky finish of this attractive alloy
is enhanced by delicate relief decoration. Pewterware items include
plates, boxes, vases and pocket flasks.
In Bangkok :
Shopping in Bangkok is not limited to one or two major
streets, and there are many areas throughout the city affording ample
choice and easy access. Here's just a selection of some of the places
to go shopping!
Chatuchak Park Weekend Market :
A famous Bangkok landmark where you can buy just about everything from
clothing to potted plants - a paradise for browsers and bargain- hunters
Silom-Mahesak-New Road :
Many gems and jewellery stores are found here, also the River City Shopping
Complex, known for its quality antique stores and regular auctions.
The commercial heart of Bangkok. Houses dozens of specialist shops,
boutiques and shopping plaza representing all the major buys. Street
stalls also abound, most notably Patpong's famous night market.
Many department stores and shopping malls are here, including the World
Trade Centre, with dozens of shops and restaurants, and the Siam Centre,
which contains many fashionable boutiques. Opposite the World Trade
Centre you will find the Narayaphand Pavilion, the official handicraft
centre selling items from all parts of the country.
Chitralada Shops: Outlets for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's SUPPORT Foundation,
which encourages the production of traditional Thai handicrafts. Chitralada
shops can be found in Bangkok and other major travel destinations such
as Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
Pratunam Market, one of Bangkok's garment districts, is the place to
go for low-priced clothing of all kinds.
Bang Lamphu :
Close to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bang Lamphu
has a lively market where clothing is a popular buy.
Beyond Bangkok :
The main city for shopping outside the capital is Chiang Mai, which
ranks as one of the world's largest centres for handicrafts and cottage
industries. The extensive range of local products includes cotton and
silk, hilltribe clothing, Burmese tapestries, hand-painted umbrellas
and lacquerware, and many such items can be found at its fascinating
Night Bazaar. Pattaya also offers plentiful shopping for Thai goods
virtually all other cities and resorts provide ample opportunity for
buying gifts and
souvenirs, as well as local specialties.
Fixed prices are the norm
in department stores and a number of shops in Bangkok, but at most other
places bargaining is acceptable and expected. Generally, shopping in
Thailand is easy, fun and very rewarding, but the following advice is
useful especially when making gem and jewellery purchases :
- Shop around to compare prices - this is especially
important with gems and jewellery
- Obtain a receipt for goods bought and check if is
correct before leaving the shop
- Never let a tout or new found friend take you shopping.
Stores give commission to these people, and the cost is reflected
in the price you pay.
- In general, jewellery items cannot be returned. If
refunds are allowed, then often 25-30% of the selling price will be
deducted as "costs of damages". More reputable companies
may offer a full refund although usually only within a certain time
limit, such as 30 days. Do not believe any claims by shop owners that
purchases can be refunded at Thai embassies, consulates or other government
- Reputable shops will give a written agreement to
a full refund on any goods returned within 90 days. If a shop refuses
to do this, go elsewhere.
- Shops in hotel arcades pay high rents and accordingly
prices tend to be higher than at street shops. On the other hand,
hotel arcades are very convenient if you have little time for shopping
|If you are a newcomer to this
country. A brief introduction to the nighttime entertainments may be needed
for your relaxation and enjoyment, no matter whether you are in Bangkok
or other cities of Thailand, like Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai.
the many nighttime activities, the most important is eating. Thailand
is famous for its eating places with a great choice of delicious dishes
at reasonable prices.
Indeed, the places for dining in this country are unlimited.
Apart from the ordinary indoor restaurants, there are also outdoor restaurants
and restaurants-on-boat. Some riverside restaurants also provide boats
for their customers to view the night scenes along the river. They usually
sail at about 7 p.m. and spend at least one hour cruising.
Many restaurants, especially those in the first-class
hotels, provide music for entertainment. As in night-clubs, there are
singers singing Thai and Western songs or musicians playing various
kinds of musical instruments. But if you want to experience something
Thai, why don't you go to a high-class Thai restaurant where you can
enjoy Thai dishes, Thai music, and maybe Thai classical dances, too,
all at the same time.
If you are still full of energy after dining, you may
go to such places as : discotheques, bars, pubs, nightclubs and karaokes.
There are plenty of them in Bangkok and other tourist cities. Some karaokes
even offer private and VIP rooms.
If you don't like any of these, perhaps seeing movies
may suite your interest. In the first-class cinemas, the last show of
film starts variedly from about 10 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.
visit shopping centers and department stores is another kind of entertainment
which you can have until 9 p.m. which is the closing time for most department
By the way, watching Thai-style boxing is also popular.
Two best-known boxing stadiums in Bangkok are Lumpini Stadium on Rama
IV Road and Ratchadamnoen Stadium on Ratchadamnoen Road. Boxing matches
are staged at the former on Sundays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays,
and at the latter on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The programmes
may include international-style boxing and usually begins early in the
evening. There are also boxing stadiums in tourist cities such as Chiang
Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.
Baht 7,000 nett at Grand China Princess
Package includes :
- 2 Nights accommodation with American Breakfast
- Round trip transfer from hotel - golf course ... More
Golf is one of the most popular sports in Thailand.
It arrived here a century ago and was quickly taken up by the elite
and fashionable.Among the first sponsors of the game were the Armed
Forces and government institutions, which built and continue to own
some of the finest courses in the country.
Golf's popularity rose dramatically after the country
hosted its first international tournament-the 1975 World Cup. The number
of courses rose sharply in the past decade, in step with the country's
economic boom. The world's top designers have come and left their marks,
so have many world-class players. Now there are at least a few courses
in or within easy reach of all major cities. Most courses built in the
last 10 years offer accommodations on site or nearby, plus recreational
facilities for the whole family. For the more adventurous, there are
older, natural courses in remote areas around the country owned by the
Royal Irrigation Department, the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand and the State Railway of Thailand, all offering good value.
The best time to come is the cool season, from November to March. From
April to October, it is very hot and wet. But even in the rainy months,
the heavy pour usually comes in the afternoon, and for only a few minutes.
And since most courses have good drainage systems, the rains should
not interrupt your game for long. At some facilities you may need to
book ahead, through your club or your hotels. Do book in advance for
the weekends, for attendance goes up sharply at most courses, and for
the peak travel season, from December to February.
The state of the economy not withstanding, greens fees continue to be
very reasonable. So are the fees for the well-trained, helpful caddies.
Service on green and at the clubhouse, as befitting the Land of Smiles,
is prompt and courteous.
Since the country is well connected by road, rail and air, you can take
day trips to the courses and return to stay in the city, or hire a car
and draw up your own itinerary. Lodging facilities in all major cities
run the full spectrum from the cozy to the luxurious, and in every town
there is at least one comfortable place to stay. For the family, or
to fill a break in your schedule, there is a diverse choice of culture,
adventure, dining and shopping available wherever you choose to tee-off.
A massage to restore balance among the elements. A
herbal sauna to cleanse and rejuvenate the body. A herbal pack to calm
nerves and redirect the energy. All this may sound very New Aged in
the West, but it has been part of daily life here for centuries.
Before the arrival of modern medicine, herbalists filled the dual role
of doctor-pharmacist. Originally, village doctors were monks or former
monks, since Buddhist temples were the center of learning, not only
of religion but of more worldly matters like astrology and medicine
Thai traditional medicine holds that the body has four elements: wind,
water, earth and fire, and ill health results from an imbalance between
them. To remedy an ailment, the village "doctor" would make
a herbal pack for the patient to ingest, rub onto the skin, or add to
a steam compress. Another major component of traditional medicine is
energy. When the energy lines are blocked, the individual will become
ill, physically or emotionally. A massage or sauna would be prescribed.
Experience Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massage is a proven physical therapy
that dates back to ancient India sometime before the lifetime of Buddha.
It has been practiced here for centuries, and many swear by it as effective
cure for common ailments such as aches and pains, fevers and
Traditional massage reached the peak of popularity in the early 18th
century. King Rama III, great-grandfather of the present monarch, had
all available knowledge on the subject gathered and inscribed on stone
slabs. These now stand on a corner of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
(Wat Pho), along with stone figures of rishis demonstrating various
massage postures. You can try this ancient therapy in its original form
at the temple; masseuses trained at Wat Pho massage school offer their
service seven days a week at very reasonable prices.
Most hotels rated three stars and above offer traditional massage as
part of their health and fitness services. All the spa resorts include
it in their therapy programs. Despite common misconceptions, clothes
stay on the whole time. If you are interested in learning the techniques,
Wat Pho's massage school offers a 10-day course that costs 6,000 baht.
Contact the school, in the temple's compounds, Chetupon Road, or call
Thai-Style Herbal Therapies
Herbal sauna is no newcomer to Thailand. For many centuries people with
just about any kind of affliction would visit a sauna, where herbal
packs formulated just for the ailment would be added to a water heater.
The resulting steam would be absorbed both through the nose and the
skin. The heat also sweated out toxins and cleansed the pores. As recently
as the beginning of this century, hundreds of these saunas existed in
Thailand, but with the arrival of modern medicine most of these went
out of business. But even today, home-made herbal sauna-along with a
diet regimen packed with herbs is the post-natal therapy Thai women,
especially those living in the countryside still swear by. Herbs also
dominated Thai women's beauty and skincare regimens. Sour tamarind worked
wonders as a body scrub, for example, while crushed turmeric would be
rubbed onto the skin to keep it soft and smooth. With the recent revival
in holistic therapies, indigenous herbs are being discovered anew for
their health and beauty benefits.
waters of the Andaman Sea especially its upper part have a good circulation
and their underwater surroundings are in a very pure and unspoilt condition.
That's why the area is the best and most valuable for diving in Thailand.
Numerous dive companies offering diving tour programmes, basic courses,
and modern equipment are located at seaside tourist attractions and
on islands with great diving opportunities like Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi,
Ranong and Trang. Some of the dive sites in the Andaman Sea are described
Similan Islands : Ranking among the
most beautiful dive sites of the world, are composed of nine islands
containing a great variety of dive spots with different characteristics,
such as :
Fantasy Reef is composed of three submerged rock formations
where you can find yellow corallines and soft corals, colourful angels,
bat fish, whale sharks and manta rays. Christmas Point
provides challenging swim-through among the rocks and is home of Christmas
tree worms. Orchid Nursery Rocks with a lot of corallines
and artistic rock formations have a coral reef sloping down into the
deeper sea. Skull Rocks offer plenty of colourful soft corals in different
shapes like cups, brains, and tables. The Lone Rock is a dive spot where
only one big rock is located with a dive scene ideal for taking photographs.
Tachai Island provides a large group
of rocks to the south of the island where whale sharks and manta rays,
barracudas, yellow backs, fusiliers, and green damsels can be seen.
Islands is a marine national park. It has diverse coral which
attracts exotic species of marine life. Ideal for divers and snorkellers
to catch sight of the ghost pipe fish and frog fish.
Richelieu Rocks is considered a world-class
dive site with the widest diversity of marine life including whale sharks
which are so tame as to let visitors take photographs of them easily.
Mu Sang Rocks can be reached from Phuket.
The rocks are covered by soft pink corals. They are known as Phuket
Shark Point because there are tame leopard sharks living there.
Koh Racha Yai & Koh Racha Noi are
twin islands. The larger Ko Racha Yai offers colonies of hard corals
and tropical marine life, especially octopi, cuttlefish and false barracudas.
Dive sites of the smaller Ko Racha Noi feature larger fish and mammals.
Phi Islands consisting of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le islands
have attracted divers from all over the world due to their spectacular
dive scenery featuring a wide assortment of marine life, numerous walls
caverns, caves, coral gardens, and sloping reefs.
Hin Daeng is one of the best dive spots
of the lower part of the Andaman Sea. It rises three metres out of water
with barracudas and needle fish around there. Divers may also encounter
whale sharks and manta rays. This is perhaps the only dive site in Thailand
where grey reef sharks are often sighted.
Hin Muang features a series of six
or more submerged pinnacles. It provides the deepest drop-off in Thailand.
Large pelagics including barracuda, tuna, whale sharks, and large stingrays
Ranong Islands in the sea off Ranong Province
offer favourite spots for snorkellers. Divers can enjoy viewing the coral
reefs around a boulder called Hin Khan Na, only 15 minutes from the coast.
Great snorkeling opportunities also lie in the sea of Laem Son, Phayam
and Kam Islands.
information about diving in Thailand