Travel 2 Touring 18/19

NIGHTS STAYED

1

ASIA

Chiang Mai

Homestay

1

3

LAND RAIL NIGHTS STAYED

1

THAILAND

RAIL NIGHTS STAYED

1

LAND AIR RAIL NIGHTS STAYED

Ayuthaya

1

Kanchanaburi

1

1

Bangkok

1

TOUR DETAILS INCLUDED TOUR 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 see 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 track! • 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 LAND CRUISE NIGHTS STAYED 1 PRICES INCLUDE • 7 nights’ accommodation in selected hotels • Meals as specified: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners • Transportation throughout tour, private vehicle, Tuk-Tuk, songthaew (overland truck), overnight sleeper train • Services of a qualified English-speaking guide throughout • Transfer and sightseeing as per itinerary (excludes ‘optional’ items) DEPARTURES 2019: Jan 12, 26, Feb 9, 16; Mar 16; Apr 27; May 18; Jul 13; Sep 14; Oct 12, 26; Nov 23; Dec 21, 28 £869 per person PRICES FROM:

SMALL GROUP TOUR

PRICES FROM £869pp

8 day Real Food Adventure Bangkok • Kanchanaburi • Ayutthaya • Chiang Mai

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. 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 a Thai massage. (D) Day 2: Kanchanaburi Head to the Mae Glong Railway Market for a breakfast of khnom krok or khnom gui chai. 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. 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. (B) Day 3: Kanchanaburi Get ready for a hands-on masterclass in Central Thai cuisine. 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. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. (L) Day 4: Ayutthaya Wake early and travel to Ayutthaya, 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. 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. (L) 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 will be khao soi, a delicious curry noodle dish that is synonymous with the region. The rest of the day is free. (L) 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, and be treated to a noodle-making demonstration. 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. (BLD) 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. 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 (Chiang Mai Sausage). Bamboo worms are for the more intrepid foodies... There will also be time for some final shopping, eating, and perhaps another massage. (B) Day 8: Chiang Mai Your delicious Real Food Adventure will end in the morning and you are free to leave at any time as there are no activities planned for the day. (B)

TOUR STYLE: Small Group

GROUP SIZE: 12 max

PHYSICAL DEMAND:

ACCOMMODATION LEVEL: 3 stars

Overnight hotels are subject to change. Should they vary from those shown in the itinerary, the alternative accommodation provided will always be of a similar standard.

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