Sunday 29th – Inle cooking class
For our second day in Inle we wanted to do something completely different and had heard great things about the Bamboo Princess cooking course run by Sue and her husband Lesley so booked for the half day cooking course with a couple of the others in the group.
We met Lesley at the main market in Inle at 9am and worked our way round the packed market buying all of the ingredients we needed for the cooking class. The market was manic, with farmers from the surrounding hills coming down to the market to sell and buy, so we were in the way most of the time.
We visited the fruit and veg sections while Lesley explained some of the produce we’d never seen before, then the meat section and finally the fish market which surprisingly didn’t smell of fish as the produce was so fresh it was still alive.
The set up is really neat, with covered seating areas across the front of the property with room to prepare the food and then low concrete bars with charcoal burners to cook on. Our group decided to split the dishes up between us so we would have a range of dishes to try – so between us produced chicken, fish and veg curries, and then a selection of side dishes including chive dumplings, and a range of salads including lemon, tea and tomato – all really different.
For our evening entertainment, we all jumped in tuk tuks and drove up the hill to the Red Mountain Winery for a sun set tasting session. The winery produces both whites we tried a Sauvignon Blanc and muscadet and red wines – a Shiraz and Tempranillo. The setting is stunning, high on a hill overlooking the lake, with manicured vines and a lovely terrace, but the mosquitoes found us so we took the tuk tuks back down the hill to find food for dinner.
Having filled up in the local BBQ / beer hall we wandered into the local night entertainment which was a stage of various people performing both local and English songs – while the crowd sat on the motor bikes they had driven in on.