Taiwan Real Food Adventure
9 Days / 8 Nights

Taste the many flavours of Taiwan, from Tapei and Tainan, to Yilan and beyonfd Journey to the heart of one the most exciting culinary scenes in Asia on this Real Food Adventure in Taiwan. From the fresh oyster omelette, mouth-watering sesame chicken and golden-brown fried taro balls served up in the night markets, to the many delicious incarnations of beloved beef noodle soup found all over the island, the Taiwanese approach to food is one of both modern flair and deep tradition. Join in street-level social enterprise in Taipei, roll your own xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings), and sample a great spread of local produce straight from the source in Yilan – from spring onion to organic tea to boutique whisky. With must-see sights such as Sun Moon Lake, Tainan and Taipei 101 included along the way, this Intrepid Real Food Adventure delivers the perfect balance of flavours in an often overlooked foodie paradise.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Dine at some legendary Taipei institutions, including the Ding Fung Restaurant and long-running Shin Yeh
• Stroll the ancient winding narrows of Anping Old Street, the must-do foodie pilgrimage in the South
• Spend a couple of hours helping local ‘Sweet Potato Mamas’ ply their daily yam trade, a unique experience which also benefits single mothers through the Genesis Social • Welfare Foundation
• Take in the beauty of Sun Moon Lake from two wheels on an unforgettable bike ride around Taiwan’s stunning lagoon circuit
• Enjoy several hands-on, behind-the-scenes food experiences in Yilan – visits to tea fields, a spring onion farm and a whisky distillery
• Join a cooking class with the experts behind Make My Day Cooking Lab, with a local market tour included

INCLUDES
• 7 nights in hotel accommodation and 1 night in a guesthouse
• Transport - Private Bus, High Speed Rail, Metro, Public Bus, Bike
• 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
• Activities
Ningxia Night Market - Welcome Dinner
Old Anping Street Tasting Walk
Anping Fort
Anping Tree House
Chikan Lou Fort
Hayashi Department Store
Cigu Lagoon Bamboo Raft
Taichang Confucian Temple
Puli - Traditional Home Cooked Meal with Family
Sun Moon Lake - Bike Ride
Sun Moon Lake - Picnic
Taichung - Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden
Taoyuan - Xiao Long Bao Cooking Demonstration & Lunch
Yilan - Tea Picking and Tasting
Yilan - Spring onion farm & cooking demostration
Yilan - Whisky distillery
Taipei - Market Tour & Cooking Class
Taipei - Sweet Potato Mama Urban Adventure
Jiufen - Old Town Street Food Crawl

ITINERARY
DAY 1 TAPEI
Welcome to Taipei! Upbeat, profoundly livable and superbly located, Taiwan's capital is a thrill to explore on foot. If you arrive early, be sure to get out and about. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm in the hotel lobby where you’ll meet your tour leader and fellow travelers. Afterwards, if off to the Ningxia Night Market for dinner. Here you can eat like a local, sampling world-class street food – perhaps some fried yam, oyster omelette or Hakka-style mochi balls. Bitter tea (not for the faint hearted) and papaya milk are also known to be available here. Whatever's on the menu, the market is great way to kick off your food adventure, allowing you to sample a multitude of dishes. This excursion is also a chance to experience the city's impeccable metro system, which could give Tokyo a run for its money in efficiency and cleanliness.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Ningxia Night Market - Welcome Dinner
Meals included: None

DAY 2 TAINAN
Travel by high-speed rail to Tainan. It’s a two-hour journey to the island’s oldest city, widely regarded as the food capital of the South. Begin your day with a tasting walk along the ancient and famed Anping Old Street. This narrow and winding adventure will lead you to food vendors serving up a variety of streetside delicacies, from fresh fruit and Taiwanese meatballs to the ubiquitous sweet or savory ‘coffin bread’ (fried toast) creations. 
From there, get a dose of history and culture at Anping Fort. Built in 1624 by the Dutch, the edifice – which was originally called Fort Zeelandia – served as a Dutch trading hub. After the Dutch were ousted in 1661, the sprawling grounds were renamed Anping Fort. Afterwards, discover the unusual Anping Tree House. Once an old storage warehouse, the structure has since been taken over by a far-reaching Banyan tree, whose branches and roots now completely engulfed it. The result is a strange marriage of history, architecture and the power of nature. 
Dinner tonight is a truly special experience – a menuless meal served at a 100-year-old built during the Qing dynasty. The current owner is an antique-lover who has filled the home with fascinating pieces that surround you as you enjoy whatever Taiwanese delicacies are on offer that night, which could include braised pork belly, homemade sausages, steamed milkfish and all manner of seasonal vegetables, not to mention a host of fried snacks accompanied by endless pots of tea. 
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Old Anping Street Tasting Walk, Anping Fort and Anping Tree House
Meals included: Breakfast; Dinner

DAY 3 NANTOU
Your day begins with a visit to Chikan Lou. Also known as Chikan Tower or Fort Provintia, it is one of the most important historic sites in Taiwan. Chinese-style towers sit atop a foundation initially built by Dutch colonials, creating a unique hybrid structure surrounded by elegant lawns and the koi ponds. After this peaceful and contemplative visit, change gears as you enter the Hayashi Department Store – a beloved multi-story shopping centre. Opened in 1932 during Japanese rule, it was bombed by the U.S. in World War II. Beautifully restored and reopened in 2013, it now features museum-style exhibitions on local farming and handicrafts, as well as cutting-edge fashion, tech, a traditional tea shop, food court and observation deck. Having accomplished some sightseeing, it’s time to get active on a bamboo raft excursion on Cigu Lagoon. Sample freshly harvested grilled oysters lagoon-side and perhaps get the opportunity to harvest some yourself! After lunch, hit the road and travel about one-and-a-half hours north to Taichung. Here, you'll pay a visit to the Confucian Temple complex to gain some insight into Confucian philosophy. 
In the evening, join the owner of Spring Land Villa and her family for a home-cooked repast in a family-run guesthouse; this is bound to be a memorable local experience. The meal will likely include a traditional communal hot pot where freshly harvested local ingredients can be cooked to your liking in various flavorful broths with accompanying sauces. 
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Activities included: Chikan Lou Fort, Hayashi Department Store, Cigu Lagoon Bamboo Raft, Taichang Confucian Temple and Puli - Traditional Home Cooked Meal with Family
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 TAICHUNG & SUN MOON LAKE
After breakfast at the guesthouse, make tracks for Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's only natural lagoon. It’s an excellent backdrop for some cycling, so today you’ll set out on a 1.5-hour bike ride around Sun Moon Lake, taking in the full beauty of the lake and its surrounding green hills, followed by a picnic lunch made with quality, local produce. After lunch, continue to the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden, Taiwan's finest traditional compound (approximately 2 hours). Enjoy plenty of time to explore the stately mansion and gardens, before a free evening to explore on your own. Dinner is free tonight so be sure to ask your leader for recommendations at Fengchia night market!
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Sun Moon Lake - Bike Ride, Sun Moon Lake - Picnic and Taichung - Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5 YILAN
Head out of town this morning to a restaurant in Taoyuan. Here, you’ll learn to make xiao long bao (steam soup dumplings) in a DIY class. Originating in the Jiangnan region of China, these little flavor bombs can be tricky to create but are well-worth the effort. Under the guidance an expert cook, create the filling (usually gelantinsed ground pork) and learn the delicate art of shaping their thin shells, before steaming these small morsels in bamboo baskets. Then sit down and enjoy your creations for a satisfying lunch. Back in Yilan, you’ll get the chance to try their renowned jar-roasted chicken for dinner. In a legendary but unassuming eatery, 130 to 150-day-old free range hens are marinated in herbs, garlic, cumin and a medley of other spices, and then cooked in earthen jar ovens until smoky and beautifully tender. Depending on when you arrive back in Yilan, there may also be time to enjoy a relaxing soak the hot springs at the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Taoyuan - Xiao Long Bao Cooking Demonstration & Lunch
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 YILAN & TAIPEI
Get ready for a full day of behind-the-scenes food experiences in and around Yilan and Taipei. Begin in Yilan with a tea picking and tasting experience. Head to a nearby restaurant for a seasonal lunch, then continue to a spring onion farm. Here, you’ll learn the important role this ingredient plays in Taiwanese cuisine as you do some picking and help to make spring onion cake. Finally, wrap up an illuminating day with a tour and taste at a local whisky distillery. Though Taiwan may not be the first place you associate with whisky, it’s actually among the world’s top up-and-coming whisky producers alongside Tasmania (Australia), Japan and Sweden. In fact, it made a single malt that was rated as the world’s best a couple of years back.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Yilan - Tea Picking and Tasting, Yilan - Spring onion farm & cooking demostration and Yilan - Whisky distillery
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 TAIPEI
Today you’ll experience Taipei's 'Make My Day Cooking Lab', an amazing local cooking class operation that attracts people from all over the world. Join a master local chef and try your hand at some classic Taiwanese dishes in this fun, yet homely setting. The excursion includes a market tour and wraps up in the early afternoon. The remainder of your day is free for you to spend as you please. Consider a trip to some nearby hot springs for a soothing soak after all your culinary adventures. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a group dinner at Shin Yeh, a Taipei institution since the '70s, that specialises in traditional Taiwanese cuisine.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Market Tour & Cooking Class
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 TAIPEI
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before learning about the local Sweet Potato Mama project in the late morning. As you’ll discover, the sweet potato is an important symbol in Taiwanese culture and a dietary staple. That’s why these women, or local mamas, roast them daily and serve them to a lunchtime crowd in order to support their families. You’ll get to taste some of the sweet potato, and roll up your sleeves and lend a hand, serving potatoes to locals. All proceeds from the excursion going to the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation’s Sweet Potato Mama Program to support single mothers. Afterwards, set out on street food crawl through Jiufen Village, tasting local dishes such as tea eggs, taro balls peanut ice cream balls, 14-year-old aged tea and grilled snails (if you haven’t tried grilled snails before, you’ll find the texture is more agreeable than you might expect). When it's all over, return to Taipei and enjoy a free evening.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Taipei - Sweet Potato Mama Urban Adventure and Jiufen - Old Town Street Food Craw
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 9 TAIPEI
Your Real Food Adventure comes to an end after breakfast. There are no planned activities today.
Meals included: Breakfast

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
25 March
15 April
14 October
11 November

PRICE
From $2,850* per person

Japan Real Food Adventure
12 Days / 11 Nights

Spoil the senses on a culinary tour from Tokyo to Kyoto. Pack your chopsticks and celebrate thousands of years of food artistry by diving into one of the world’s most elegant, eclectic and harmonious cuisines. Spend your time spent seeing the sights and scouting out prized eating and drinking spots. Watch yakitori sizzling in front of you in Shinjuku's Memory Lane, eat fresh-off-the-boat sashimi at the incredible Tsukiji Fish Market and learn to make soba noodles in a hands-on cooking class. Glimpse a geisha drifting through the alleyways of Gion while in Kyoto and experience a charming obanzai dinner of Kyoto-style home-cooked dishes. Stay in a traditional ryokan in Takayama and eat vegetarian shojin ryori (monastic fare) with monks in Koyasan. If you're looking for a trip that tantalises the tastebuds as well as sates a sense of adventure, this Japan Real Food Adventure ticks all the boxes.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Food is taken seriously in Japan. From the station tonkatsu restaurant to the highest end sushi, Japanese people take pride in the cooking and presentation, and any bad meal is incredibly rare
• Tasting the succulent Hida beef in Takayama is the definition of a melt-in-your-mouth moment
• Exploring the unexpected underground foodie treasure trove that is a depachika (department store food court)
• Staying alongside the brothers of a monastery in Koya-san and discovering shojin ryori – vegetarian buddhist food that seeks enlightenment through perfection in cooking
• Experiencing the simple pleasures of obanzai ryori – the traditional home cuisine of Kyoto – in a cooking class
• Snacking on awesome and adventurous street food in the unofficial culinary capital of Osaka

INCLUDES
• 6 nights in hotel accommodation, 4 nights in Ryokan and 1 night in a monastery
• Transport - Bus, Train, Bullet train
• 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
• Activities
Tokyo - Memory Lane Yakitori Dinner
Tokyo - Metropolitan Government Building
Tokyo - Asakusa Guided Walk
Tokyo - Soba-noodle Class
Tokyo - Sensoji Temple
Tokyo - Seafood Market & Sushi Breakfast
Takayama - Sake Brewery Tasting
Takayama - Hida Folk Village
Kanazawa - Orientation Walk
Kanazawa - Wagashi (sweets) cooking demonstration
Kanazawa - Omicho Market
Osaka - Street Food Tour
Kyoto - Gion District walk
Kyoto - Obanzai Cooking Class
Kyoto - Tea Farm Visit

ITINERARY
DAY 1 TOKYO
Konnichiwa! Welcome to Japan. Bursting with contemporary urban culture, there are many sides of Tokyo to explore, from fascinating museums and world-class shopping, to neighbourhood backstreets lined with restaurants and karaoke bars. Before the trip starts, we recommend you take a walk around some of Tokyo's most well-known districts, including Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku and Ginza – variously known as the fashion centre, the skyscraper district, the home of quirky youth pop culture, and the upscale shopping area. Please be aware that there won't be much free time in Tokyo once the trip begins, so consider booking additional accommodation if you wish to cover anything not included in the trip itinerary. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day, as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for where and when the meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Have your insurance and next of kin details on hand as we'll be collecting them at this meeting. Afterwards, get an introduction to Japanese culture on a walk down Shinjuku’s Memory Lane. This crowded alley of busy restaurants and bar stalls started in the 1940s and quickly gained infamy as a black market drinking quarter. Today, it is still one of the best spots to try some of Tokyo’s famed ‘fast food’ dishes, including yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) as well as some of the city’s more daring fare. Then head up the observation deck of the Metropolitan Government Building for a stunning night view of the city’s skyline.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Memory Lane Yakitori Dinner and Metropolitan Government Building
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 TOKYO
Today, learn the art of creating soba, Japan’s famed buckwheat noodle, in a hands-on cooking class. Slurp up your creations for lunch. This afternoon you’ll take some time sightseeing in the historic Asakusa area. This is one of the older and more traditional parts of Tokyo, and is often called the temple district. Here you’ll stop by Senso-ji, the city’s oldest temple – founded almost 1,400 years ago when Tokyo was nothing more than a fishing village. If you’ve got a sweet tooth then Asakusa is also a great place to satisfy a sugar craving – try fried sweet potatoes tossed in sugar, soy sauce and mirin, or sweet read bean paste sandwiched between baked pancake batter. Afterwards, consider heading to Tsukishima to enjoy one of Tokyo's most popular dishes that you've probably never heard of – monjayaki. It's a type of savoury pancake that tastes a million times better than it looks!
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Asakusa Guided Walk, Soba-noodle Class and Sensoji Temple
Optional activities: Izakaya Dinner - JPY2500
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3 TAKAYAMA
Rise early for an eye-opening experience at Tokyo Fish Market – the world’s biggest – where you’ll dodge bargain hunters, fishmongers, and market trolleys piled high with crates of stock as you wander the narrow aisles of spectacular creatures. Afterwards, pop in to one of the restaurants at the market for a fresh sushi breakfast. After your market tour, wave goodbye to Tokyo at super speed as you ride the rails on a bullet train to the Edo period town of Takayama. Travelling by Shinkansen is an absolute buzz, as you’ll reach speeds of up to 270 kmh. Arrive in Takayama within approximately 5 hours (one stop). Takayama is a charming Edo period town located in the Japan alps. It’s famous for its traditional inns, sake breweries and Hida-gyu (Hida beef) – the beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed that has been raised in Gifu Prefecture for at least 14 months. On arrival you’ll stop into one of the region's prized sake breweries for a tasting. The alpine climate and crystal clear mountain waters are perfect for creating this signature drop. For the next two evenings you will stay in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). Rooms are equipped with thin futon mattresses that are spread on tatami mats for a comfortable night's sleep. Over the next two evenings you will dine on regional Takayama delicacies, including hida beef.
Note: The Tokyo Fish Market is scheduled to close and relocate to new premises at Toyosu sometime in 2017, however the timing of the move is still uncertain and has been postponed several times. Visitors will be permitted at the new site.
Special information: Due to the high number of travellers seeking to view the Tsukiji Fish Market tuna auctions, it is now necessary to arrive at the market just after 2am and queue up to 3-4 hours in advance to be one of the 120 viewers permitted entry. Even then, this does not automatically ensure entry. While we endeavor to assist travellers seeking this experience, unfortunately there are no guarantees. 
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Tokyo - Seafood Market & Sushi Breakfast and Takayama - Sake Brewery Tasting
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 TAKAYAMA
The Gifu prefecture is known to produce excellent high altitude vegetables. Explore the morning markets that date back 600 years and browse the stalls of seasonal produce brought in from the surrounding countryside. Stalls are set up by local farm women from 6am every morning. Look out for the unique local style of pickles, the bags of miso wrapped in leaves, Genkotsu ame (soy bean candy), preserved fish, spices, and the delicious marshmallow treat of owara tamaten. Later, visit the nearby Hida Folk Village, an outdoor museum where the traditional thatched-roof architecture unique to the area has been recreated in a delightful mountain setting. Discover the techniques used to build farmhouses that could withstand fierce winters and long periods of isolation due to snow-closed roads. The thick thatching kept in warmth and the roofs were angled so as to minimise snow build-up. Each house is like it’s own self-contained museum, with displays of personal items and traditional tools. While in Takayama, keep an eye out for some of these popular regional dishes – mitarashi dango (rice dumplings roasted in soy sauce), houba miso (miso vegetables cooked in magnolia leaf) and chuka soba (Hida's favourite noodle dish). Tonight you'll samplpe some more of Takayama's signature dishes at a local restaurant.
Special information: Please note that the chef at our family-owned ryokan is no longer able to prepare meals due to ill health. Instead, dinners in Takayama will be taken in atmospheric local restaurants focussing on regional ingredients and specialty dishes.
Accommodation: Ryokan
Activities included: Hida Folk Village
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 KANAZAWA
Take the train from Takayama to the delightful seaside town of Kanazawa (approximately 2 hours), which is sometimes known as the hidden pearl of the Japan Sea. Having avoided bombing in WWII, it's a place where both modern and traditional Japan are found. The city is full of historic sights like Kanazawa castle, Korakuen gardens, Bukeyashiki (Samurai House), the very traditional Chaya gai (tea house district), geisha and samurai districts, but also home to the world class, ultra-modern 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk and the rest of the day is free for your own exploration. In the evening, your leader can assist you to make a booking at one of the city's renowned seafood restaurants for a truly memorable meal.
Accommodation: Ryokan
Activities included: Orientation Walk
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 6 KANAZAWA
Wake early and head over to the Omicho market, where the city's quality foods and producers gather. Fish from Ishikawa prefecture is brought in from the port every morning and, as well as on sale fresh, there are also a number of restaurants in the market whip it up into special seafood rice bowls or sushi. There are almost 200 different stalls to get lost in. Later, you'll go out for dinner with the group and explore the city's unique food scene. Later on you may wish to visit the 17th-century Korakuen Gardens – highly landscaped acres of bridges, ponds, waterfalls and fountains that are beautiful no matter what the season. Alternatively, make your way to the 'Samurai House' in the Nagamachi district, where Maeda samurai lords provided their vassals with grand estates. Be transported back in time, with the house giving a good idea of the life-style of samurai during the Edo period, when Japan was secluded from the outside world. Later in the day, take part in the city's living cultural heritage with a Japanese sweet making class. Wagashi sweets are classically used to accompany tea ceremonies, and they are a tasty to look at as they are to eat.
Special information: In Kanazawa, you have the option to send your main luggage to Kyoto (at own cost), and pack a smaller bag for your two nights in Osaka and Koyasan. This option is recommended for travellers with larger and/or more cumbersome baggage. Please speak with your leader if you wish to take up this option.
Accommodation: Ryokan
Activities included: Wagashi (sweets) cooking demonstration and Omicho Market
Optional activities: Kenrokuen Garden - JPY310, Nomura Samurai House - JPY550 and Seafood Dinner - JPY2000
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 OSAKA
Hop on the train (approximately 1 hour) to arrive in Japan’s third-largest city and unofficial culinary capital, where the motto is 'Kuidaore' ('eat until you drop'). This is where some of Japan’s best street food is on offer. There are sprawling shopping hubs and tiny backstreets overflowing with restaurants and bars, serving up local delicacies as well as Japan's answer to fast food. Osaka is credited with the first kaiten-zushi (conveyer belt sushi) restaurants, after its inventor – the owner of a sushi restaurant with staffing issues – watched beer bottles on a conveyer belt at the nearby Asahi brewery and thought it might be a good way to solve this problem. The city is also renowned for its brand of okonomiyaki (a delicious savoury pancake) and kushikatsu (seasoned, deep fried meat on skewers). Take in some of the city's landmarks, including the wonderful Kuromon covered food market, and maybe pick up some final kitchen gadgets (or plastic food!) at the quirky Doguyasuji Arcade. Then embark on a delicious street food tour to sample some of the best morsels that Osaka has to offer. Even try your hand at making a local specialty, takoyaki (a hot snack of shredded octopus, pickled ginger, spring onion, covered in batter).
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Street Food Tour
Optional activities: Osaka Castle - JPY600 and Bunraku Puppet performance - JPY2500
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 KOYA-SAN
Take the train (approximately 2 hours) into an important region for Shingon Buddhism. Founded in the 8th century by the Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi, Koya-san has been a centre for religious activities for over 1,200 years. You’ll visit Okuno-in, the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism and one of the most revered people in the religious history of Japan. Your unique accommodation tonight is in one of the hundreds of temples still operating here. You’ll live alongside Buddhist monks and follow their routine of evening meditation and morning prayers. Temple lodgings, known as shukubo, have facilities similar to Japanese ryokans. Rooms are equipped with thin futon mattresses that are spread on tatami mats for a comfortable night's sleep. Tonight you’ll enjoy an introduction to shojin ryori, or monastic cuisine, lovingly prepared and presented by novice monks. Shojin ryori was popularised in Japan in the 13th century by Zen monks from China. Shojin ryori is vegetarian, and prohibits inclusion of meat and fish, following the teaching that it is wrong to kill living animals. Instead meals are prepared with seasonable vegetables and wild plants from the mountains.
Note: There are no western bathing facilities at the monastery. Instead, bathing is done in a traditional public bath. This is a two-step process. The first step is to thoroughly clean yourself, followed by a cleansing soak in a hot bath. Onsen are communal bathing areas and it is not permitted to wear bathing suits. While this can seem intimidating at first, it is a quintessential Japanese experience and often a highlight for travellers in Japan. For those who are more sensitive about public bathing, you leader can suggest times of day when you are likely to have more privacy.
Accommodation: Monastery
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 KYOTO
Get acquainted with the beautiful city of Kyoto, home to numerous imperial sights and arguably the source of Japanese culinary tradition. The train from Koya-san to Kyoto takes approximately 3.5 hours. The beautiful city was originally founded as Heian-kyo (literally “tranquillity and peace capital”) by Emperor Kammu in 794 and had its golden age during the imperial court's heyday from 794 to 1185. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years (the name means “Capital City”) but the emperor and government are now located in Tokyo. With its many cultural landmarks and historical sites, and the abundance of traditional arts and literature, Kyoto is regarded as the cultural heart of Japan. When you arrive you’ll stroll through the glass-covered walkway of Nishiki Market, a seemingly never-ending wonderland for food lovers and shoppers. This is the perfect introduction to Kyoto's regional specialties – from pickled vegetables hidden beneath layers of fermented rice to delicious and ornate Kyo-wagashi (Kyoto sweets), not to mention incredible local produce, silken tofu and a renowned hand-crafted knife shop. In the late afternoon, take a step back in time on a walk through the narrow streets of Kyoto's charming Gion district and learn about the city’s geisha culture. If you’re lucky you might spot geikos (geishas) or maikos (apprentice geishas) with their elaborate dress and make up. The evening is free for your own food adventure, although your leader will have plenty of suggestions.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Gion District walk
Optional activities: Sanjusangendo Temple - JPY600, Kiyomizu Temple - JPY500 and Bike hire (per day) - JPY800
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 10 KYOTO
As the millennium-long home of the imperial kitchen, Kyoto is known as the centre of Japanese culinary tradition. From the aristocratic kaiseki ryori (Japan's haute cuisine), to the simple yet refined dishes of obanzai ryori (home-cooked cuisine), Kyoto is a city that takes food seriously. Today, you’ll experience the simple pleasures of obanzai ryori in a cooking class. Perhaps less well-known than kaiseki in the West, the ancient style of obanzai ryori also has strict rules that must be adhered to. It follows a strictly seasonal approach, and at least half of the ingredients must be Kyo-yasai (kyoto vegetables) and other locally sourced produce. It should also embody the spiritual elements of genuine things, balance, encounter, hospitality and not creating waste. Ingredients are prepared simply, often simmered in dashi with traditional flavouring. Obanzai is down-to-earth, unpretentious and increasingly gaining popularity in Kyoto as people seek to ensure that this culinary tradition is preserved. You’ll then get to enjoy the dishes you have cooked for lunch. This evening is free for your own rest or exploration. Perhaps find a theatre putting on shows of Noh – music, traditional dancing, kabuki and banraku puppetry or splash out on a kaiseki meal in a ryotei (small restaurants serving traditional multi-course cuisine).
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Obanzai Cooking Class
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11 KYOTO
After breakfast today, venture out of Kyoto to explore the traditions, culture and history behind tea, which plays an important part in traditional Japanese society. Go behind the scenes of a local tea farm to learn about the long-lived customs surrounding this brew, which is more than simply a drink. Walk several beautiful tea fields in the surrounding mountains and learn about the farming process, then taste a variety of locally-grown brews: from everyday houjicha and genmaicha to premium sencha and matcha. The careful symbolism of Japanese society reaches its height in the tea ceremony, and here you might ask about the importance of the cleaning of tea utensils, the bow on receiving a cup and the three clockwise turns before a sip is taken. Return to Kyoto in the afternoon and spend some free time pursuing your culinary passions. An unknown chef in Kyoto transformed the eel (hamo) from inedible to star ingredient with the invention of a heavy knife that cut the flesh away from the many bones. Perhaps try this quintessential Kyoto taste of summer for yourself. Otherwise maybe try some of Kyoto’s famed smooth flavour tofu, perfected over centuries by Buddhist monks.
Perhaps meet up with your group for one final dinner to celebrate the end of this Real Food Adventure.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Tea Farm Visit
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12 KYOTO
Your delicious Real Food Adventure Japan concludes after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals included: Breakfast

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
From March to November

PRICE
From $5,935* per person

China Real Food Adventure
12 Days / 11 Nights

Visit China for a culinary tour of Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. Welcome to enigmatic China, where culture, history and cuisine all combine to create a truly mesmerising travel experience. Taste the peppery treats of Sichuan in Chengdu, then enjoy a visit to a small tea-farming village to discover the secrets of this most famous of Chinese beverages. Stay in a monastery in the lofty heights of Emei Shan. Travel to Xi’an to be awed by the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and learn the art of noodle-making. Explore Beijing’s ancient hutongs to search out some of the city’s best street food. Discover Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before seeing another side of China's gastronomy at the Donghuamen Night Market. Wander along the Great Wall of China, then board a train to Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, where this Food Adventure comes to an end.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Embrace the tastes of four of China's most important food regions – from the imperial cuisine of Beijing, to the Muslim-influenced food of Xi'An, the spicy Sichuan flavours of Chengdu (a UNESCO City of Gastronomy) and the international melting pot of Shanghai
• Nothing beats the flavour of Peking Duck in the city where this iconic dish was bornSavour the spicy flavours of Sichuan, like the fiery, tingling, tongue-numbing sensation of the famous Sichuan Pepper at Chengu’s spice market
• Get a hands-on experience with everyone’s favourite Chinese specialties – dumplings – as you learn to make them in Shanghai, China's unofficial dumpling capital

INCLUDES
• 1 night in a guesthouse, 8 nights in hotel accommodation and 2 nights in an overnight sleeper train
• Transport - Train, Private vehicle, Public Bus, Subway, Overnight Sleeper Train
• 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
• Activities
Chengdu - Market Visit and Sichuan Cooking Class
Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base
Emei - Tea Farm Visit
Xi'an - Muslim Quarter walking tour
Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors
Xi'an - Noodle-making demonstration
Beijing - Tian'anmen Square & Forbidden City
Beijing - Mutianyu Great Wall
Shanghai - Walking tour
Shanghai - Dumpling cooking class

ITINERARY
DAY 1 CHENGDU
Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. Chengdu, an officially recognised UNESCO City of Gastronomy, is the capital of the Sichuan province and where we begin this Real Food Adventure. It might be one of China's biggest cities, but Chengdu has preserved plenty of its traditional flavour and visitors can still find famous teahouses, numerous markets and some of the most interesting food in China. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm this evening. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. After the meeting enjoy your first dinner in China with one of the country's most renowned dishes - an authentic Sichuan hotpot. Known in Sichuan as 'huo guo' (which roughly translates to 'fire pot'), huo guo is thought to date back more than 1000 years, originating from a meal enjoyed by boatmen working on the Yangtze River in the nearby city of Chongqing. Consisting of a communal pot of spiced broth, everyone can select their own ingredients to be cooked up in this delicious hot liquid.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 CHENGDU
Sichuan province is a must-visit for those interested in getting to the heart of Chinese cuisine. It is perhaps best recognised for its fiery quality and the tingling, tongue-numbing sensation produced by its most famous ingredient, Sichuan pepper. Although only introduced to the region in the past few centuries, Sichuan pepper quickly gained a stronghold in local dishes. Start you adventure with a visit to the markets with a local chef to learn about the building blocks of Sichuan cuisine and to collect ingredients. Next, learn to whip up some classic Sichuan dishes in a cooking class. After feasting on your creations over lunch, take a walking tour through the centre of Chengdu. Visit Tianfu Square, where a giant statue of Chairman Mao stands tall. Relax in one of the most popular parks in Chengdu, People's Park, where you can experience the amazing Chengdu tea culture, an essential part of people's daily life. Sit on a bamboo chair in the park, sip some tea and enjoy casual chitchat alongside the locals. Also try your hand at mahjong, badminton, or even join in singing and dancing. Don't be surprised if somebody comes up to you with an offer of cleaning your ears! In the evening, if you're still hungry, why not taste more Chengdu specialities on Jinli Street. This street is famous for its historic atmosphere, bustling businesses and most of all its local snacks. Enjoy sticky rice cakes with sesame sauce, spicy chicken on a stick, sweet rice jelly, fried beef pancakes and, for the more adventurous, spicy rabbits heads.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Market Visit and Sichuan Cooking Class
Optional activities: Walking Tour - CNY35
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3 EMEISHAN
Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you're able to witness the conservation efforts being made to save this endearing endangered species. There are only around 1,000 pandas left in the world and 80% of them are found in the mountains in Sichuan. The facility was set up 30 years ago to help conserve this animal, and there are more than 80 giant and red pandas living at the base. The pandas have over 600 acres of parkland to live in, and you can get up close and learn more about these majestic creatures. Watch them play, eat bamboo and climb the trees. If you’re lucky enough you might even get to see newborns taking their first steps in the nursery (July-September). Drive to a family owned tea plantation near Emei mountain this morning (approximately 3 hours). There, one of the skilled workers will teach you how to pick tea leaves (depending on the season). Afterwards, visit the small factory near the house to experience the complete process from picking to drying to drinking. Your host will also use the freshly picked tea leaves to create some delicious dishes for lunch. Reach Emei Shan by late afternoon. This mountain of thick forest, just over 3,000 metres high, has been a centre of pilgrimage for over 1,800 years, with over a hundred temples and monasteries hidden in its peaks. The area is stunning at any time of year, from the lush greens of the summer, to the golden reds and yellows of autumn, and the clear, mystical whites of winter. Here you will visit and overnight at a peaceful monastery, where you’ll experience sharing accommodation with monks and waking up to the sounds of drums and prayers.
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Activities included: Chengdu - Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and Emei - Tea Farm Visit
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 4 OVERNIGHT TRAIN
In the morning, you will have an option to visit the nearby Leshan Buddha, a 71-metre tall stone statue carved from the cliff-face, built during the Tang Dynasty. Leave for Chengdu in the late afternoon, then board an overnight train bound for Xi'an (approximately 16 hours).  
Accommodation: Overnight train
Optional activities: Leshan - Giant Buddha - CNY90
Meals included: None

DAY 5 Xi’AN
Arrive in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the largest city in northwest China. Once the imperial centre of China for 2,000 years, Xi'an is now a vibrant, modern city dotted with many interesting historical sites and noted for its distinctive food culture. The food in Xi'an is marked by the strong salty flavours of Shaanxi cuisine, and has been influenced by the significant Muslim population, which is evident in the city's nut and pastry shops and the prevalence of snacks such as kebabs and flatbreads. Serving portions are notably generous and every dish has a story – from 'Old Ma Family's mutton' to 'Old Liu Family's Hulutou'. Other hallmarks of Xi'an cuisine are the prominence of noodles and dumplings as accompaniments to many classic dishes, as well as snacks and soups served at numerous food stalls that line the city streets. One thing is certain about any trip to Xi'an: you won't leave hungry. After you arrive (approximately midday) you’ll have a brief orientation walk then some free time to explore. For dinner you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Muslim Quarter to discover why Xi'an in considered the 'snack capital' of China. Go on a unique food crawl that will have you tasting some of the city's best: beef or lamb kebabs, cold noodles, a sumptuous lamb soup and steaming dumplings.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Muslim Quarter walking tour
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 6 Xi’AN
Wake early to try local Xi'an breakfast specialties such as ba bao zhou (eight treasure rice porridge) and hula soup (pancakes and pepper soup with meatballs and vegetables). Then, journey out into the countryside surrounding Xi’an (approximately 2 hours) and visit what is undoubtedly one of the man-made wonders of the world – the Terracotta Warriors. You’ll learn all about this incredible archaeological find, discovered in 1976 by farmers digging a well, after being buried for 2,000 years. These clay statues of soldiers, horses and chariots (originally all painted) were commissioned by the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi as part of his mausoleum after he ascended to the throne in 264 BC. Three main pits are open for you to view, where over 6,000 warriors – each individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, and even facial expressions – stand in battle formation. The scale is incredibly impressive. For lunch you will have the opportunity to visit a local farmer-owned restaurant. With free time in Xi'an, maybe walk the city walls (the most complete in China) or explore the Drum and Bell Towers.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Terracotta Warriors
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 OVERNIGHT TRAIN
Get ready for a truly unique insight into one of China's most revered culinary arts today – noodle-making. With a hands-on demonstration you’ll learn a few tips about dough preparation, noodle making and sauce mixing, while gaining an insight into a modern Chinese life. Afterwards, perhaps head back into the Muslim Quarter to wander the narrow streets of quaint shops, lively markets, and groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes, and pick up some snacks for you overnight train tonight. You will travel from Xi’an to Beijing (approximately 14 hours), arriving in the capital the following morning.
Accommodation: Overnight train
Activities included: Xi'an - Noodle-making demonstration
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 8 BEIJING
Beijing is an intriguing modern city with an ancient heart. Numerous emperors brought accomplished chefs from around China to the Forbidden City in Beijing to prepare elaborate feasts for the imperial family and court officials, and today these regional flavours can still be found in many of Beijing’s celebrated dishes. After checking into your hotel, head to the narrow alleyways of Beijing’s historic hutong neighbourhoods. Explore one of the Hutong markets and see steaming fresh tofu and freshly made dumplings while learning about the key ingredients and spices used in Northern Chinese cooking. Make your way to the centre of the city – Tian'anmen Square.From here you will enter the enormous Forbidden City. Built more than 500 years ago and off-limits to commoners for almost all that time, it's a truly amazing place. As you explore the great halls and courtyards you’ll be able to appreciate the might and grandeur of the Imperial Chinese court during the height of its power in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Dinner tonight is a real crowd pleaser. You haven’t tasted real Peking duck until you’ve eaten it in a Beijing kaoyadian (roast duck restaurant). Often referred to as ‘capital city cuisine’, the food of Beijing has been strongly influenced by its imperial heritage and Peking duck has been a dish on the royal menu since the 1300s.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Tian'anmen Square & Forbidden City
Optional activities: Hutong Tour - Free
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 BEIJING
This morning you’ll drive out to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (approximately 2 hours drive from Beijing) and spend some time exploring, taking photos and learning the history of this mighty site (and sight). An incredible piece of engineering, the wall stretches 6,000 km westwards from the mountain ridges north of Beijing. It was originally constructed to protect Chinese empires from the 'barbarians' of the north and even though it failed in this purpose, it's still without a doubt one of the country's most remarkable achievements and an iconic destination. You’ll often feel like you have the place to yourself as you take your time strolling along the wall, which snakes through the hills almost endlessly into the distance. Please note that the wall is quite steep in places so make sure you have some appropriate footwear for this activity. It's up to you how far you walk once up on the wall. Return to Beijing by mid afternoon. For more intrepid foodies, join your leader for a walking tour of Wangfujing Night Market. Occasionally referred to as one of the world's wildest food markets, food here ranges from mouth-watering to a little confronting: from lamb kebabs to chòu dòufu (stinky tofu), and cicadas to centipedes. Or perhaps enjoy dinner at Ghost Street, home to over 150 food businesses representing flavours from around the country. 
Special information: To ascend to the Great Wall by foot takes approximately 1 hour from our arrival point. Alternatively, you can take a cable car. The cable car costs CNY80 one-way and CNY100 return.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Mutianyu Great Wall
Meals included: None

DAY 10 SHANGHAI
This morning take a fast train from Beijing to Shanghai (approximately 5 hours). As a cutting-edge global city, the food of Shanghai is an exciting blend of traditional and international flavours. Given Shanghai's location on the East China Sea, as well as the region's extensive network of rivers, lakes and canals, both seafood and freshwater produce are also common. Hairy crab is the city's most notable delicacy, though it’s only available in winter between the months of September and November. Join your leader for a walking tour that will take you to historical Shanghai. At the Bund you can get a taste of 1920s Shanghai; its spectacular array of art deco style buildings, formerly belonging to Western banks, line what was once the most important financial street in Asia. Wander the narrow winding lanes (nongtangs) of old Shanghai, where you can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life. Explore the European-influenced French Concession, the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, where tree-lined avenues and Tudor mansions still retain an air of the 'Paris of the East'. To celebrate your arrival, why not join your leader for a drink at a rooftop bar overlooking the bright lights of this exhilarating city (not included). This rest of the evening is free for your own Shanghai food adventure. There are endless options in Shanghai, with a restaurant scene bursting with international flavours as well as one of the most vibrant street food scenes in China. Your tour leader will have plenty of suggestions for the best places to suit any taste or budget.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Walking tour
Meals included: None

DAY 11 SHANGHAI
This morning is free for you to explore. Perhaps drop into Shanghai First Food, established in 1952 this is the largest comprehensive food store in the world and sells more than ten thousand brands of fresh and dried foods from all over the country and the world. Alternatively, visit the Propaganda Museum for a fascinating look at China's revolutionary past, get a bird's eye view of the city from the Pearl Tower's observation decks, wander the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, barter in markets, or stroll through modern Pudong. In the afternoon, try your hand at making Shanghai’s famous dumplings. Chomp on potstickers and slurp up the juice from Shanghai’s famous soup dumplings during a cooking class with a local chef, who will teach you how to create the perfect xiao long bao, which will be also your early dinner for the night. Tonight, maybe scope out the city’s buzzing nightlife at a local bar for your final night on this Chinese food adventure.
Accommodation: Hotel
Activities included: Dumpling cooking class
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12 SHANGHAI
Your Real Food Adventure China comes to an end this morning. There are no activities on the final day and you are free to leave your accommodation at any time.
Meals included: None

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
From April to September

PRICE
From $2,995* per person

Thailand Real Food Adventure
8 Days / 9 Nights

Take a culinary journey through Bangkok and Chiang Mai. An adventure in flavour, experience the fresh aromas and heavenly spices that make Thai food a worldwide phenomenon. Explore bustling markets spread out over land and water, and taste exotic fruits and aromatic dishes whipped up in front of your eyes. Learn the trick behind making palm sugar, experience the thrill of a passing train in the Mae Glong railway market, slurp noodles alongside the locals in Bangkok, whip up a jungle curry in Kanchanaburi, enjoy home cooking with a family in Chiang Mai, sit down to a Khantohk feast and tour all the must-see sights of Thailand in one incredible culinary journey through one of South-East Asia’s most seductive food cultures.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Discover a world of Thai food beyond the obvious (albeit delicious) dishes of Pad Thai and Thai Green curry – from ‘boat noodles’ in Ayutthaya to khao soi in Chiang Mai
• Whip up northern Thai khantohk specialties with Aoi outside of Chiang Mai, and live Thai life from a local's perspective with a stay in her home
• Experience the eye-opening and surprising world of Thai food markets, filled with unpredictable tastes and found in unexpected places – floating on a river or set up on a railway rack!
• Get ready for a hands-on masterclass in Central Thai cuisine in Kanchanaburi, browsing the market to pick fresh produce before feasting on your creations

INCLUDES
• 3 nights hotel accommodation, 2 nights in a guesthouse, 1 night in an overnight sleeper train and 1 night in a homestay
• Transport - Private Vehicle, Tuk-Tuk, Overnight Sleeper Train, Songthaew
• 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
• Activities
Bangkok - Food Crawl
Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market Visit
Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration
Bangkok - Mae Klong Railway Market Visit
Kanchanaburi - Market Tour and Central Thai Cooking Class
Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins Guided Tour
Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai Demonstration
Chiang Mai - Khao Soi Lunch
Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
Chiang Mai - Warorot Market Tasting Tour

ITINERARY
DAY 1 BANGKOK
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight, jump in a tuk tuk for a moveable feast. The first stop is for pork satay from a place that's been serving it up for more than 40 years. Next, take a short walk to dine at a restaurant that’s a favourite of the royal family. Finish up with a popular Thai dessert of toast topped with cream (don't knock it till you've tried it!).
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Food Crawl
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 KANCHANABURI
Head to the Mae Glong Railway Market (approximately 1.5 hours) for a breakfast of khnom krok (rice pudding) or khnom gui chai (fried Chinese chives rice cake). Prepare for stalls to be quickly pulled to one side when the train quite literally passes through the centre of the market. Continue by minivan to swap tracks for water at the Tha Kha Floating Markets. Walk past canals filled with sellers hawking their colourful fruits and wares at this authentic local market, then board a paddle boat to explore the waterways further. The area’s well known for coconut palm sugar production and along the way you’ll stop past a riverside operation to see how it is made. Travel on to Kanchanaburi (approximately 2 hours), stopping at Nakorn Pathom to witness the tallest stupa in the world – 120 metres high – while snacking on the popular regional dessert of khao lam, an enticing mixture of sweet sticky rice neatly wrapped in a bamboo tube. By mid afternoon, arrive in Kanchanaburi, famed as the location of the Bridge on the River Kwai and a beautiful town surrounded by verdant jungle, waterfalls and rivers. Choose to visit the Bridge on the River Kwai and the World War II Museum on a rickshaw tour, or relax at one of the floating restaurants along the river, watching the river traffic pass by. Tonight dine at the local night market, which is sure to get tastebuds singing.
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Included activities: Bangkok - Tha Kha Floating Market Visit, Bangkok - Palm Sugar Demonstration and Bangkok - Mae Klong Railway Market Visit
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 KANCHANABURI
Get ready for a hands-on masterclass in Central Thai cuisine today. Start at the markets to collect ingredients for the day's menu, then whip up some classic dishes including wing beans, banana flower cake, and jungle curry. Feast on your creations for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. You could continue your discovery of the area’s dark history with a moving visit to the Hellfire Pass Memorial, built to honour the Allied POWs and Asian conscripts who died while constructing some of the most difficult stretches of the Thai-Burma Death Railway. You can head out to a teak observation deck and look across to Myanmar just 25 miles away. You’ll also see the eponymous pass, cut through rock 18 metres deep, that got its name from the hellish fires used to light the work at night. Then you can board a train at Nam Tok station, the main terminal of the Death Railway, and take a ride along the historic tracks along the Kwai Noi River. This passes through magnificent scenery and you can spend a moment reflecting on those who were forced to give their lives in the process of bending this environment to man’s will. Perhaps meet up with your group in the evening for dinner at a restaurant specialising in E-saan flavours found in north-eastern Thailand.
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Included activities: Market Tour and Central Thai Cooking Class
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 4 AYUTTHAYA
Wake early and travel to Ayutthaya (approximately 3.5 hours), the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai, and once one of the most powerful in Asia with over 1 million residents by AD 1700. Stop past a street food stall for a demonstration and tasting of roti sai mai, a dish synonymous with the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. It consists of a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Also be sure to try a steaming bowl of guay-tieo-ruea, or 'boat noodles'. The combination of fragrant pork broth, roasted strips of meat, Thai-style pork balls and crackling skin, sliced morning glory stalks, fresh green onion and a choice of rice noodles served in Ayutthaya is thought of as the original and best. While no longer served from sampans on the river, these narrow rowboats adorn the roadside eateries as a marker of what's on the menu. See the remains and reminders of Ayutthaya’s golden age with a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The rows of headless Buddhas at Wat Phra Mahathat, sacked by the Burmese in the 18th century, are very atmospheric, and a Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in all of Ayutthaya. This evening you’ll head north to Chiang Mai on an overnight train journey, accommodated in soft sleeper class air-conditioned berths (approximately 13 hours). 
Note: Multishare compartments have bunk beds with sheets and a pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There's a food and drink service available on board.
Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train
Included activities: Temple Ruins Guided Tour and Ayutthaya - Roti Sai Mai Demonstration
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 5 CHIANG MAI
Arrive in Chiang Mai by mid-morning. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Most importantly, Chiang Mai is famous for its northern Thai cuisine and may just be home to many of your favourite Thai dishes. Lunch today is khao soi, a delicious curry noodle dish that is synonymous with the region. The rest of the day is free, and there are so many things to do – spectacular temples, an enormous night market, a picturesque river-front, and fantastic shopping. Join your leader on a walk through the old city, hire a bicycle, or simply loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage. Maybe take a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make for a memorable experience. In the evening, check out the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, full of local handicrafts and fabulous northern street food dishes.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Khao Soi Lunch
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 6 HOMESTAY
Wake early to offer alms to local monks before a breakfast of traditional congee. Later in the morning, meet Aoi, your gracious host for an incredible homestay experience in a small Thai village. Stop by a restaurant specialising in the local delicacy of fermented rice noodles for lunch. Next, head to the homestay via some producers, including a mushroom farm, where you'll pick up ingredients for a northern Thai cooking class. Journey on to Aoi’s home and get ready to cook up a feast – quite literally! Over the years, a khantohk dinner has become a traditional way to welcome guests. Khantohk technically refers to a raised tray used for serving food in northern Thailand. Eleven dishes are featured on this traditional Khantohk menu, so roll up the sleeves and spend a fun afternoon learning the ins and outs of this northern Thailand cuisine. Cut, chop and sizzle the day away, then tuck into dishes like northern style gai tod (fried chicken) and naam prig ong (minced pork & tomato chili paste) while listening to local musicians sing and dance traditional fare through dinner.
Note: You can leave your main luggage at the Chiang Mai hotel and pack an overnight bag for the homestay. As we will be staying in a traditional rural community, please be mindful to pack and wear conservative dress. The accommodation tonight is multi-share and basic, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Beds are fold-out mattresses on the floor and bathrooms are shared.
Accommodation: Homestay
Included activities: Homestay - Khantohk Cooking Class
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7 CHIANG MAI
Wake up and enjoy a sumptuous northern Thai breakfast of fried rice, sweet sticky rice and egg custard. Farewell your hosts then head back to Chiang Mai to check out the bustling Warorot Market (Kad Luang). One of Chiang Mai’s largest markets and a thriving social hub, this is the perfect place to get a glimpse of daily life in northern Thailand, as well as some of the ingredients and snacks unique to northern cuisine. Take a tasting tour through the stalls. Be sure to try sai ua (Chaing Mai sausage). Bamboo worms are for the more intrepid foodies... There will also be time for some final shopping, eating, and perhaps another massage. Perhaps meet up again in the evening for a final dinner at a restaurant along the Mae Ping River, and toast the end of this Real Food Adventure Thailand with a beautiful view over the water.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Warorot Market Tasting Tour
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 8 CHIANG MAI
Your delicious Real Food Adventure ends this morning and you are free to leave at any time as there are no activities planned for today.
Meals included: Breakfast

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
From January to December

PRICE
From $1,520* per person

Vietnam Real Food Adventure
12 Days / 11 Nights

Travel to Vietnam and savour its culture and cuisine from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Chop, slice and eat your way through Vietnam, experiencing one of the freshest and most fragrant cuisines on the planet. From pho and ancient buildings in Hanoi, banh khoai and imperial citadels in Hue, banh xeo and lantern-lit streets in Hoi An and banh canh and pulsating markets in Ho Chi Minh City, experience Vietnam’s cuisine and its tightly woven place within its culture. Drink in cafes and beer halls that sprawl out over city streets, buy fruit from wicker baskets draped over a vendor’s shoulders and sit at market stalls as aromatic noodle soups are whipped up in front of you. Experience all of Vietnam’s iconic sights, spend time cooking some of the country’s top dishes and get a true taste of Vietnam on this delectable Real Food Adventure.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Get the lowdown on north, central and southern Vietnamese cooking at the country's best cooking schools
• A street food tour of Hanoi takes you to the best spots in town to sample northern specialties like pho, bun cha and the golden-yellow xoi xeo (sticky rice with mung bean and fried onion)
• Get around the romantic riverside town of Hue in true local style – on the back of a motorcycle
• With two nights in Hoi An, there's plenty of time to take in magic of this standout destination. Take a cooking class, cycle through herb gardens and be dazzled by the Ancient Town
• The Vietnamese people are some of the most welcoming in the world. A homestay on the Mekong Delta allows you to experience their hospitality, learn their kitchen secrets and get an insight into rural life
• No trip to Vietnam is complete without some history lessons. Visit the Imperial Citadel in Hue and the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

INCLUDES
• 8 nights hotel accommodation, 1 night in a homestay, 1 night in an overnight boat and 1 night in an overnight sleeper train
• Transport - Plane, Private Vehicle, Taxi, Overnight sleeper train
• 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
• Activities
Hanoi - Cooking Class
Hanoi - Teahouse visit
Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Hue - Motorbike trip including lunch
Hue - Imperial Citadel
Hoi An - Herb Garden Bicycle Tour and Cooking Class
Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
HCMC - City tour
HCMC - Ben Thanh market

ITINERARY
DAY 1 HANOI
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Next head out for your first introduction to Vietnam’s lively culinary scene. Stop past a family-owned restaurant and  savour a bowl of noodles with an unexpected secret ingredient! After dinner, enjoy a bia hoi. This foamy, light beer is made fresh each day and served in basic, open-walled ‘brew halls’. Take up a brightly coloured plastic chair and sip your tasty brew.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 HANOI
Start the day with a traditional breakfast of pho, a dish that originates in Hanoi and is designed to awaken the senses and prepare you for the day. Then it's time for a guided tour of Chau Long Market, where you will learn all about the ingredients and flavours of northern Vietnamese cuisine. Be sure to sample the local coffee, typically served with condensed milk - or for the more adventurous - egg! Tuck into some of Hanoi's renowned street food specialties and finish at a hidden tea house, learning about Vietnamese tea traditions from a true master.
In the evening, get hands on learning to prepare northern Vietnamese dishes. Discover some old Hanoian favorites like caramel pork as well as some lesser known dishes from the highlands. Enjoy the fruits of your labour for dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Cooking Class and Teahouse visit
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 HALONG BAY
Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). Set sail on emerald-green waters, gliding between limestone karsts and soaking in the old-world tranquillity. Halong Bay is a secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands rising from the turquoise waters of Bac Bo Gulf. It spans an area of about 1,500 square kilometres and is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos that were created over thousands of years by waves and wind. Visit one of the lesser known caves, then join a family on their boat to learn about the fishing culture which has been the way of life here for many, many generations. This activity is exclusive to Real Food Adventure Vietnam. Return to your vessel late in the afternoon and enjoy a delicious feast exquisitely prepared by an onboard chef.
Special information: It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.
Swimming in the bay from the boats is banned by the local authority. Kayaking is restricted to designated zones within the bay. 
There are increasing restrictions on the number of boats permitted to stay overnight in Halong Bay, which can sometimes result in a shortage of available vessels. To ensure all Intrepid travellers continue to enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. In this instance, the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Accommodation: Overnight boat
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 OVERNIGHT TRAIN
Take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 3.5 hours), then board an overnight train bound for Hue (approximately 12 hours). Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a rewarding experience. It's an efficient way to travel long distances and a great way to get a sense of the country. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers take the opportunity to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.
Special information: Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth, depending on seasonal variations and group configuration) with bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Passengers of different genders may sometimes be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group.
Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 5 HUE
Hue is Vietnam’s former royal capital and its cuisine is considered by many Vietnamese as the best in the country. The food is influenced by its imperial heritage (small dishes and a focus on aesthetic presentation) and its strong Buddhist heritage, reflected in the high proportion of vegetarian restaurants in the area. On arrival, enjoy a classic breakfast of bun bo Hue, a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bun) and beef (bo). After checking in at your hotel, embark on a tour of the city’s imperial monuments on the back of a motorbike (or in a car if you would rather). Stop past Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery since 1601. Here you'll see a car that belonged to one of the self-immolating monks of the 1963 protests. A dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River (approximately 40 minutes) will be followed by a special lunch stop for a vegetarian Buddhist meal at a pagoda, finishing with a visit to the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. The evening is free for your own food adventure. Perhaps ask your leader for the best place to try imperial street specialties like banh hue (rice flour cakes stuffed with shrimp, pork and spices).
Special information: The Dragon Boat cruise may not be available during festival periods. In this case you will travel by land. The lunch at the pagoda gives an insight into the unique traditions and food of Vietnamese Buddhism and also provides important economic benefits to these institutions, which rely on donations to survive. Due to the high number of travellers visiting Hue, six different monasteries and nunneries provide this lunch, to share the wealth and minimise impact.
Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train
Included activities: Motorbike trip including lunch
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6 HOI AN
Start your day with a visit to the Imperial Citadel, which includes the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war. Head south by bus through coastal rice paddies and traverse the mountainous Hai Van Pass, to Hoi An (approximately 4 hours). The beautifully restored Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it. Take the chance to indulge in some shopping and perhaps have some clothes tailored. There's a great array of original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery, lanterns and fabrics on display. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk around the Ancient Town. In the evening check out one of Hoi An's fabulous restaurants or pull up a plastic chair at a communal table alongside locals and learn how to make one of central Vietnam’s most celebrated dishes, banh xeo.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Hue - Imperial Citadel
Optional activities: Hoi An Fish Market - Free
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 HOI AN
Start your day with a guided bicycle tour of the extensive herb gardens that lie on the outskirts of town, followed by a trip to a rustic food market. This is a great place to pick up knives and other Vietnamese cooking gadgets. Head back to Hoi An for a hands-on cooking class in classic central Vietnamese dishes, followed by lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration.
Special information: If you would rather not ride a bike today, please inform your leader. Instead, you will be taken on a walk around Hoi An Central Market.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Herb Garden Bicycle Tour and Cooking Class
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 HOI AN
For early risers, take the opportunity to visit the Hoi An fish markets They are at their most vibrant in the mornings. In the later afternoon, be welcomed into the home of a local family to learn to prepare My Quang (Quang noodle), a specialty of this city, followed by lunch. Afterwards, if the weather's fine, perhaps hit the local beach for a swim (a great way to get there is by bicycle, which you can hire in town). In the evening, perhaps enjoy some seafood by the water, or jump on a boat for a barbecue feast on a nearby island.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9 HO CHI MINH CITY
Take the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Take a guided tour to get a feel for the city's frenetic, fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. You will notice a strong French influence in Ho Chi Minh City, which means excellent coffee and baguettes. Stop past the War Museum, GPO and Notre Dame Cathedral, finishing up at one of Vietnam’s most pulsing markets, Ben Thanh. This is the perfect place to pick up any last-minute snacks, cooking utensils, ingredients, or presents for friends and family. Tonight take part in a cooking class where you'll learn some contemporary twists on traditional Vietnamese dishes with a passionate chef. Sit down and enjoy the delicious feast you've prepared over dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum, HCMC - City tour and HCMC - Ben Thanh market
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 MEKONG DELTA
Take a private bus out to the Mekong Delta (approximately 2–3 hours), then cruise up this mighty river on a sampan (traditional boat), one of the most common forms of transportation in these parts. Glide past farms and orchards, to your guesthouse, set alongside a family home. Meet your hosts and take some time to wander the garden, relax or lend a hand with dinner preparations. Enjoy a southern Vietnamese feast on the wide verandah overlooking the garden as the sun goes down.
Special information: At this guesthouse, you'll sleep on a simple camp bed in a dorm-style arrangement. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities are basic, with cold water only.
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 HO CHI MINH CITY
For those who fancy an early morning cycle, join your hosts on a ride to the nearby village market, then return to Ho Chi Minh City by bus. The rest of your day is at your leisure. Perhaps sample some of the delights on offer at KOTO cafe. This is an inspiring initiative that helps support the area’s street kids by offering them training in hospitality. If you've got energy left in the evening, head out to enjoy a final Vietnamese meal with your new friends.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 HO CHI MINH CITY
Your trip comes to an end this morning. You're free to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals included: Breakfast

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
From January to December

PRICE
From $2,250* per person

Cambodia Real Food Adventure
9 Days / 8 Nights

Visit Cambodia on a food tour from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Forget any resemblance to the cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand and Laos; Cambodia has a unique and ancient food culture that is truly exotic. Using pepper rather than chilli to add spice, Cambodian cuisine is laden with fresh herbs, spices, rice, freshwater fish and condiments. And while there are influences from French and Thai cooking, Cambodian food has a style and flavour all its own. While travelling from Phnom Penh through to Siem Reap, discover the sights, sounds and flavours of Kampot, Battambang, Banteay Chhmar and Angkor Wat, and marvel at a cuisine, culture and population so special that you will very quickly be won over for life.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Get an insight into Cambodian cuisine with a visit to famous pepper plantations outside of Kampot, and taste the best pepper in the world
• A homestay in the village of Banteay Chhmar puts you right in the heart of rural life in Cambodia
• ‘Eat for a cause’ with dinner at a Phnom Penh restaurant that not only serves delicious modern Cambodian cooking, but helps the local youth too
• Select your own crab and have it cooked up fresh while you look out across the Gulf of Thailand at the Kep Crab market

INCLUDES
• 8 nights hotel accommodation and 1 night in a homestay
• Transport - Private Vehicle, Bus, Cyclo, Remork, Bicycle
• 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
• Activities
Phnom Penh - Welcome Dinner
Phnom Penh - Cyclo Food and City Tour
Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
Kampot - Orientation walk with local tipples
Kampot - Phnom Chhngork
Kampot - Food tour and lunch
Kampot - pepper plantation visit & salt field tour
Phnom Penh - Khmer Cooking Class and Market Tour
Battambang - Rural Food and Cycle Tour
Banteay Chhmar - Temple Visit
Siem Reap - Angkor Silk Farm
Banteay Chhmar - Village Market Tour and Cooking Demonstration
Siem Reap - Street Food Tour
Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass

ITINERARY
DAY 1 PHNOM PENH
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia. The sensational Angkor ruins may be the main attraction, but Cambodia’s exquisite temples, charming villages and unique cuisine deserve attention too. Phnom Penh is set at the meeting point of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, and life centres around the lively river-front area where the locals come to take in the air, snack on the street hawkers food and enjoy impromptu waterside entertainment. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Check with hotel reception for the location of this meeting, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for verification. The Cambodian cooking pot combines an eclectic mix of local and international influences and has a flavour all its own. Kick off this food adventure ‘eating for a cause’ at an inspirational hospitality school that provides vocational training for former street youths in Phnom Penh. It’s a great opportunity to sample some tasty modern Cambodian cooking. After dinner will be free time to choose between having a relaxing sunset drink at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, or stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a cocktail or coffee at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Welcome Dinner
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 2 KAMPOT
Take a morning cycle-rickshaw (cyclo) tour around Phnom Penh, discovering some of the interesting sights, sounds and smells of the capital, including the wonderful art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market). Along the way, taste some of the best street food in the city – fried cricket snack anyone? 
Back to the hotel to freshen up, and check out. Before you leave Phnom Penh, confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, located in a former high school that served as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) for the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979.
You will also stop past the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek which represent the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Afterwards, drive south by private vehicle, along National Road 2 through the town of Takeo towards Kampot, one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns (approximately 2.5 hours). Arrive in Kampot by late afternoon. 
Famous for its pepper, Kampot supplied most French restaurants for many years during colonial rule. Today, the region is also renowned for its durian, a spiky, pungent fruit that either incites adoration or sheer loathing. Try it if you dare! In some free time, you might stroll along the riverside's French colonial architecture, or enjoy a coffee on the veranda of a riverside restaurant and admire the Bokor Mountain Range.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Phnom Penh - Cyclo Food and City Tour, Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21), Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) and Kampot - Orientation walk with local tipple
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 KAMPOT
After breakfast take a tour of the countryside, tasting locally-grown, seasonal produce. Depending on the season, you'll be treated to durian, or rambutan, lychee, pineapples, mangos or bananas. Next, visit the Kampot Pepper Project. Grown in Cambodia for centuries, Kampot pepper is considered among the world’s finest. Today pepper is also seen as an important symbol of Cambodian regeneration – the province’s pepper was almost completely wiped out by rice production during the Khmer Rouge period. Continue on to Kep, and it's lively Kep Crab markets, where crabs are kept fresh in pots that float in the Gulf of Thailand's warm waters. Enjoy a lunch of fresh crab cooked to perfection, eaten on a pier overlooking the ocean. After lunch, walk along the Kep beach and explore the old oceanfront buildings. Kep was once Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town, but the Khmer Rouge destroyed many of Kep's mansions and villas. The ghostly remains now stand as a silent reminder. Alternatively, relax in a hammock or swim in the warm South China Sea.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Phnom Chhngork, Food tour and lunch and pepper plantation visit & salt field tour
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 4 PHNOM PENH
Rise early to see the fishing boats arrive at the port with their daily catch. For breakfast, perhaps partake in a meal of crab, prawns or squid cooked up with Kampot green pepper corns and served with rice is a Cambodian favourite. Alternatively try some of Kampot's tastiest baguettes on a visit with the owner of a small wood fired oven. This legacy of French colonization is ubiquitous – many roadside carts sell baguettes with meat, sauces and salad as a snack for workers. After breakfast you’ll return to Phnom Penh (approximately 3 hours).  Meet a passionate chef for a guided tour of the markets, learning about the building blocks of Khmer cuisine. Enjoy a hands-on cooking class and master Khmer staples such as Samlor Machou Yuon (sour "Vietnamese" soup with fresh fish and tamarind) or Bok Svay (pounded green mango salad, usually served with dried fish or prawn). Feast on your creations over dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Khmer Cooking Class and Market Tour
Meals included: Dinner

DAY 5 BATTAMBANG
Travel by private bus to Battambang (approximately 6-7 hours including several stops). Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang (pronounced Battambong), is a pretty riverside town with beautifully preserved colonial architecture. The city is famous for its many statues of animals and divinities that decorate the streets and buildings. It also lacks the traffic of Phnom Penh and the visitor numbers of Siem Reap, so it’s a great place to get a real slice of Cambodia. There are a number of activities on offer for your free afternoon. Perhaps take a ride on the famous bamboo train. Previously used for transporting agricultural products and people, the train is made of a wooden and bamboo carriage powered by a small engine. Maximum speed is around 15 kilometres per hour and it can easily be disassembled when carriages come in the opposite direction. There’s also the chance to join a local Battambang foodie for a home-cooked meal, perhaps tasting local dishes such as amok, Khmer curry, and fried spicy chicken.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 6 BANTEAY CHHMAR
Take a bicycle ride into the countryside. The ride is easy and follows mostly shady roads through local villages. Along the way, stop and experience rice paper-making, fruit drying and preparation, production of the famous prahok (fish paste) and rice wine-making. Finish up at the best kralan (sticky rice in bamboo) stall in the district. Then travel by private bus to the temple city of Banteay Chhmar, sometimes referred to as the Citadel of the Cat (approximately 3-4 hours). Some of the road is unsealed which slows down the journey, but it is worth it to visit this remote small community. The 9th-century temple here is a top candidate for World Heritage status, and the ruins here share similarities with the famous temples of Bayon with their numerous carved faces. As the day draws to a close, enjoy a memorable traditional Khmer dinner by torch-light in the grounds of the temple. Experience true Cambodian hospitality by staying with a local family in a traditional Khmer wooden-stilted house.
Special information: A motor-remork – a reticulated tuk tuk – is available if you are not comfortable cycling.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Battambang - Rural Food and Cycle Tour
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 SIEM REAP / ANGKOR WAT
Rise early for a morning temple visit. After a traditional Khmer breakfast, take a turn around the village food market. Collect some ingredients and help prepare lunch with your community hosts, picking up a cooking tip or two! Enjoy a lunchtime feast before farewelling your hosts and departing for Siem Reap by private vehicle (approximately 4 hours). The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. You'll probably notice a change of pace here, so take a short introductory walk around the centre of town and enjoy the atmosphere. With its cafes, bars, restaurants, food and drinks stands, Siem Reap caters for foodies of all persuasions. A visit to the Old Market is a must, even if you're not looking for souvenirs; wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops, the silks, cottons, sarongs, silver and statues are a riot of colour and a feast for the eyes. In the evening, take a motor remork around the hidden local street food treasures of Siem Reap: barbecued corn and meat on skewers; Khmer fried chicken; green mango served with chilli and salt; ducks eggs and more. Continue on to a local restaurant for more tasty treats, before finishing at a dessert stall where fruit shakes, fruit with sweetened condensed milk and baked puddings are the specialty.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: Banteay Chhmar - Temple Visit, Siem Reap - Angkor Silk Farm, Banteay Chhmar - Village Market Tour and Cooking Demonstration and Siem Reap - Street Food Tour
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 SIEM REAP
Spend a full day temple-hopping with your local guide to make the most of your visit to the world-famous Angkor complex, built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South East Asia. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so you'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites. These include Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day. In the evening, enjoy a final dinner at a restaurant celebrating contemporary Khmer flavours.
Special information: While we include a full day sight-seeing at the Angkor Wat temple complex, some travellers choose to spend more time exploring here after the end of the trip. A 3-day Angkor Wat entry pass may be purchased at time of booking. Additional accommodation can also be arranged, if you wish to extend your trip.
Accommodation: Hotel
Included activities: 1 day Angkor Pass
Optional activities: Landmine Museum - USD5
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 SIEM REAP
Your Real Food Adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no activities on your final day and you are free to leave at any time. If you are keen to continue your exploration of the Angkor complex, please speak with your leader about extending the length of your access pass.
Meals included: Breakfast

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
From January to December

PRICE
From $1,495* per person

*Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share, land only and subject to availability at time of booking. Valid for sale until sold out and for departures as specified. Itineraries may vary by departure dates, due to weather, seasonal changes and activities, including local festivals. Black out dates may apply. Offers are only available for new bookings and prices are subject to change without notice due to change in fees, taxes, surcharges or currency fluctuations. Further conditions apply, all your Bucket List Buddy team.