Cookin’ For a Reason in Inle Lake

Bamboo Delight Cooking Class

For those not familiar with our play on words here, the phrase “freezin’ for a reason” is used in some places for events such as a polar plunge to help raise money for a good cause. And for those not aware of what a ‘polar plunge’ is, it is basically a bunch of crazy people (me included) jumping into a hole cut in frozen water (such as a lake) to raise money for various causes. Maybe it’s an American thing, I have no idea. 🙂

For us, we found a great opportunity to support a cause and we didn’t have to jump in freezing water! Inle Lake, Myanmar is well known for its lake (of course), but there are plenty of other activities you can do when visiting this beautiful city. One activity in particular is taking part in a Burmese cooking class, specifically with Bamboo Delight.

Bamboo Delight Cooking School Owners

Sue and Lesley

Bamboo Delight is run by two wonderful humans named Sue and Lesley, a local couple from Myanmar. We read some good reviews about the cooking class, but it ended up being even better and more interesting than we imagined. Not only do you get to shop at the market for food and cook a great meal, but you get to talk to and find out more about the behind the scenes of Bamboo Delight.

Along with providing a great cooking experience and environment, we learned 15% of every class fee ($20 USD) goes toward the education of local children! The cooking school is located at the residence of Sue and Lesley, which is also where local kids come to read and learn throughout the year. Sue and Lesley have taken it upon themselves to help get books and other educational materials into the hands of children who otherwise would not have the opportunity. Their goal is to have the next generation understand the value of an education.

After listening to Sue speak so openly and proudly about what her father did before her, in terms of welcoming strangers into his home, it is no wonder Sue is following in his footsteps. Sue opens her home and her heart to people and the local kids are lucky to have her in their lives!

Bamboo Delight Cooking School Inle Lake

Prepping all of the fresh vegetables and herbs from the market.

Now, for the food – WOW! It was unbelievable and an absolute feast! There were five of us participating and we met Lesley at the market at 9am to pick out everything we would be cooking. It was a team effort from the market until mealtime, so it was fun being both sous chefs and also the chef of our assigned dish. Lesley made every effort to get us involved in the picking of the menu to the plating of the food, which we really enjoyed. A great experience and one we would not hesitate to do all over again!

Enjoy a few pictures from our day with Bamboo Delight!

Inle Lake Morning Market

Inle Lake morning market. Middle picture on the left is MSG – No, we didn’t buy any:)

Alana and Matt at a cooking class in Inle Lake

Tending to our main dishes

Curries simmering in Myanmar

Curries cooking over the fire

Cooking class fun in Myanmar

Customary pre-meal gin shot.

Lunch at Bamboo Delight Cooking School

We were all way too excited to eat to take the time to all look at the camera at once!

Bamboo Delight – Cooking Class


Facebook: Bamboo Delight

Phone: 09-41010433, 09-428345261

About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.


  1. Hi,
    Did you get pick up and return services after the cooking class?.

    • It did not include pick up and return. Our guesthouse provided us with bikes so we met up with everyone at the market and then biked back to our guesthouse after it was over. Biking around Inle is very easy as there is very little traffic.

  2. Hi Alana,
    My girlfriend and I also went to Bamboo Delight and had a great time with Sue; it was around April 2014. One of our highlights of our short Myanmar trip. I wanted to ask you, if by chance you have a copy of the recipe book. We got one on my memory card when we were there, but it broke before I had a chance to copy it to my computer. I also tried asking Sue for it, but somehow I think their internet connection is a bit of a challenge, as the file she tried sending me didn’t work. Let me know if you could help out.
    Also, which other places did you guys try local cooking classes? We are both working full time in Hong Kong at the moment, but would love to take a year off for travel in the future, maybe a couple of years down the road.
    Cheers, Martin

    • Hi Martin- Thanks for the comment! Yes, we do have the recipe book and would be happy to email it to you. Unfortunately, we are not sure when our internet connection will be strong enough to do as we are overlanding in Africa. Can you send us a message through our contact page? That way we can reply and attach it easily.

      We also took a class in Les, Bali which was also great.

      I hope you get the chance to travel for year, we’ve really enjoyed it.

      Anyway, shoot us a message and we’ll try and attach it via email. Thanks

  3. I love taking cooking classes when we travel, but one that gives back too is an amazing find. We took one with a local family in Thailand, and one with a group of local women in Mexico, who didn’t speak english. My Spanish is subpar to say the least, but it turned out to be a funny day anyway! I haven’t done a polar bear plunge, but I did a Tough Mudder, and they make you jump into a thing of ice water and then swim under a board to get out. Not my favorite thing in the world – haha! I’ll take the cooking class 🙂

    • Hi Katie! We’ve done 2 so far and they have been some of our favorite days. We love connecting with locals and learning their stories. I’ve done the polar plunge but not Tough Mudder. It’s on our to-do list though. It looks quite “tough!” 🙂

  4. Your cooking class looked awesome! I hope I can participate in such a fun event at some point!

    • You guys should definitely find a cooking class the next time you travel! I loved this one because it was fun and laid back and I didn’t feel as though my lack of cooking skills ended up hurting the outcome of the meal.

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