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Culinary Immersion

Asia is possibly best known for it's food. From the spice of Thai food to the exotic textures of Laos cuisine and the sour mixes found in Cambodia, this tour will take you through these amazing countries exciting your tastebuds along the way. In each city we have tried to include a cooking class focusing on local cuisine, a meal with a local family to get the flavour of authentic cooking and of course one night out at the must-visit restaurant.

Of course food doesn’t tell the whole story so in between these amazing meals we have included the highlights of each country: from the Grand Palace in Bangkok, riding elephants in Chiang Mai, visiting waterfalls in Laos and seeing the amazing Angkor Wat in Cambodia your eyes and ears are going to have as much fun as your tastebuds!


Day 1 Bangkok - Arrival

Catch your flight. Arrive in Bangkok where you will be met by your Guide and transferred to your hotel.

Meals Included: None

Overnight at Sofitel Silom Hotel - Luxury Room

Day 2 Bangkok - Public Transport Tour with Klong trip

You will be met by your guide at your hotel at 9am before transferring to the Skytrain. Enjoy an elevated view of central Bangkok before boarding a river express boat to the Flower Market. Enjoy the sights and smells before taking an exciting tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho to see the famous Reclining Buddha. Enjoy a thirty minute massage from the temple’s near by traditional Thai massage school.

Break for lunch at a local restaurant, and then head to the pride of Thailand, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew housing the Emerald Buddha. Take a stroll down the street to a local Buddhist amulet market before heading off along the klongs (canals) finally boarding a river express boat to the Skytrain station and returning to your hotel.

In the evening you will be transferred to have dinner at Blue Elephant

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Sofitel Silom Hotel - Luxury Room

Day 3 Bangkok - Amita Thai Cooking Class

In the morning you will be picked up by a representative from the Amita Cooking school and you will be taken to the Maharaj Pier, which is located just behind the Royal Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple. From here take about a half an hour boat ride on the Chao Phraya River passing the Temple of Dawn and moving through the smaller canals for a better view of local life on the river.

Arrive at the Amita Thai Cooking school where you will be greeted with a refreshing welcome beverage and a cool towel. Get to know your fellow class members and cooking instructor while enjoying a Cooking demonstration from the local chef. From here start your hands on cooking! Be sure to arrive with an appetite because you will be enjoying each of the four dishes you learn to prepare later in the day. After the class in compete you will depart by boat and will be transferred back to your hotel.

You will be met by our Bangkok director Jeab and she will take you to Silom Road and to her favorite local restaurant for dinner. The main dish is papaya salad, but she will many different dishes for you to try. After dinner anyone interested can head to a local nightclub with Jeab for some drink and dancing.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Sofitel Silom Hotel - Luxury Room

Day 4 Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep and City Temple Tour

You will be transferred to Bangkok Airport for your flight. You will be met at Chiang Mai Airport and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon visit Doi Suthep, the most important Wat in Chiang Mai. Perched high above the city, it offers wonderful views of the city and countryside below. 
Have lunch with your guide at a local restaurant.

Visit some of the more famous Wats, within the city walls of Chiang Mai, Your guide will discuss Buddhism and the role it plays in everyday life as well as showing you the many details of each temple.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at The Chedi Hotel - Deluxe Room

Day 5 Chiang Mai - Cooking Class

Wake up early and your guide will escort you into Chiang Mai. Visit the Tapae Gate and witness the traditional Buddhist food offering to monks. Take a rickshaw ride from here to the Chiang Mai Gate to visit the morning market and see the Chiang Mai people go about their daily lives. Finally, visit Wat Srisoda to see the local monks in Morning Prayer.

Take a full day Thai cooking class. You will be taken to the market to learn about many of the fruits and spices. After getting your ingredients you will be taught to make several Thai dishes before enjoying a huge feast together to celebrate your newly acquired skills!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at The Chedi Hotel - Deluxe Room

Day 6 Chiang Mai - Patara Mahout Traning at Patara Elephant Farm

You will be met in the lobby of your hotel at 730am and transferred to the Patara Elephant Farm outside of Chiang Mai. At the farm you will be given your Mahout outfit and a brief talk on working with elephants before heading into the bush to find them. You can learn about the elephant farm management and the breeding program taking place here. Meet the elephants and learn to approach them and work with them from the ground. You will take them to the river for their morning bath and then take a short ride to a local temple where you can learn about elephants in Buddhism and the Thai’s ancient relationship with these traditional beasts of burden.

Mid day you will set off for a ride through the jungle to some waterfalls where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and a swim with your elephant in the falls. Return to the camp in the afternoon and say goodbye to your new friends before being transferred back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at The Chedi Hotel - Deluxe Room

Day 7 Luang Prabang - Arrival + Orientation tour

Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for your onward flight. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

After your arrival in Luang Prabang you’ll be picked up from the airport and driven to the main part of town for a quick orientation tour. Your guide will give you an introduction to the city, showing you the main roads, some restaurants and the night market area, before dropping you off at your hotel to check in.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Three Nagas Hotel - Superior Room

Day 8 Luang Prabang - Tamarind Cooking Course

Spend your day learning about the secrets of Lao cuisine, including how to make the local staple-Lao sticky rice. You will be instructed by the owners of Tamarind Restaurant in the lush surroundings of their new cooking center just outside of town. After you learn about local ingredients and preparation methods, you'll cook your own version of these local dishes that you'll all enjoy as your well-deserved lunch.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Three Nagas Hotel - Superior Room

Day 9 Luang Prabang - Life on the Mekong

Today you’ll escape the tourist hubs in town and see Luang Prabang through local eyes. First, you will drive up the Mekong to the village of Pak Ou.  From here board a small boat and take a tour of the local fishing area, checking traps with the fisherman along the way and collecting any fish you might find. You will then cross the Mekong by small boat to visit the small village of Ban Mueng Keo, known for its production of Lao whiskey. Here you will receive a demonstration of the whiskey-making process by a local Lao Lao producer. And if you’re up for it, sample the finished product for an early morning punch!. Then travel downstream to visit the Pak Ou Caves, famous for the thousands of Buddha statues left inside by passerby.

Return to Ban Pak Ou, where the former village chief and his family will cook you a Lao-style lunch and you’ll learn about dining customs and etiquette. After lunch, board a long tail boat and travel along the Mekong for a scenic ride until you reach the small weaving village of Ban Phone Xay, where you’ll receive a weaving demonstration and have a chance to purchase handmade items directly from the source. Learn the story behind who really makes the beautiful textiles sold at the night market!  You’ll be the only tourist in town who knows the real story behind the bottles of Lao Lao, the grilled Mekong fish and the night market stalls.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Three Nagas Hotel - Superior Room

Day 10 Luang Prabang - Day to the Waterfall

Take a scenic drive to the gorgeous Kuang Si Waterfall, stopping along the way to visit local villages and see traditional Laos communities. Once at the waterfall have lunch before hiking up the waterfall or just a relaxing afternoon dip in the serene pool. Head back to town in the late afternoon.

In the evening you will be transferred to have dinner at Le Elephant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Three Nagas Hotel - Superior Room

Day 11 Siem Reap - Arrival and Village Tour

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport from your hotel in time for your flight. You will be met by a Journeys Within representative and taken to Journeys Within Boutique Hotel.

Set out for our Journeys Within Village Tour. Our village guide will take you to his village showing you rice paddies and typical homes along the way. At his village enjoy a fresh coconut drink and meet his family and neighbors. Walk from here to West Baray Lake where you can take a local boat to an island with some picturesque ancient Khmer ruins. Return to shore where your car will be waiting for you. From here head to Pua District and visit the Artisans de Angkor silk farm where many local women are trained in the art of silk weaving.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel

Day 12 Siem Reap - Angkor Wat

Wake up early and head out to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat, then grab a traditional breakfast of noodle soup like the locals do at local stall.

This morning head to Angkor Wat in an air conditioned car, or if you choose by bike, with your guide. Explore this majestic temple throughout the morning while it is still cool and has fewer tourists.

Return to Journeys Within for lunch and a nap or refresh with a swim. In the afternoon head to Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and see the many temples within its borders, including the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. There are several beautiful spots from which to watch the sunset. Discuss with your guide where you would like to be and then relax and enjoy a memorable end to your day at the temples.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel

Day 13 Siem Reap - Beng Mealea , Banteay Srei and the Ta Prohm

Enjoy breakfast at Journeys Within before leaving the crowds behind and heading to Beng Mealea, a temple only recently opened to the public; about one and a half hours drive from Journeys Within. After an hour you will leave the paved road and get onto a beaten track running through rice fields and villages of rural Cambodia. At the temple our guide will help you imagine how it once was as you pick your way through the rubble now surrounded by jungle.

In the afternoon head to Banteay Srei, an intricately carved temple known as the Lady Temple. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near Banteay Srei and then on the way back visit Ta Prohm, one of the prettiest temples in the complex.
In the evening, dine at Madame Butterfly, a French/Khmer restaurant with excellent food and a lovely atmosphere.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel

Day 14 Siem Reap - Cooking Class

Learn more about Khmer food at Le Tigre de Papier Cooking School. A three hour class that first takes you to the Old Market to buy fruits, vegetables and spices to help with lunch. After your market trip you will use the restaurant recipes to create traditional Khmer dishes as well as learning how to present a beautiful plate. At the end of the class enjoy what you made!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel

Day 15 Siem Reap - Departure

Transfer to the airport in time to catch your flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour Rate Starting at: $4,005 per person based on 2 people traveling

Price includes:

  • Air tickets Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang - Siem Reap - Bangkok
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver 
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary 
  • Tips