Journeys Rediscovered - Culinary Journey of Laos & Thailand


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Inclusions

Culinary Immersion Tour Unique to Journeys Rediscovered

"Culinary Journey of  Thailand & Laos"

Small Group Tour of no more than 12

Bangkok – Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang

12 days/11 nights

  • 4 nights accommodation in Bangkok - Riva Surya
  • 1 night accommodation in Chiang Rai - Le Meridien
  • 2 nights accommodation in Chiang Mai - Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort
  • 4 nights accommodation in Luang Prabang - Satri House
  • Breakfast daily at hotels
  • Many lunches and dinners included at specially selected restaurants and culinary experiences
  • All private transfers 
  • All Activities included as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Sightseeing and touring with a local English speaking guide  

Contact Journeys Rediscovered on 0477002235 for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary or REGISTER for our 2021 Small Group Journeys (no more the 12 passengers).

Boutique 4 -5 star accommodation twin share. Single supplements available.

More Information

Day 1 - Bangkok: Upon arrival, you will be welcomed at the airport by our local guide and transferred to your hotel. Hotel Check in time: 14.00. This evening, our local guide will transfer you to one of the Michelin Star Award Winning Restaurants for a welcome Exclusive Dinner - Thai Cuisine 

Meals included: D

Day 2 - Bangkok: Morning Street Food Tour to sample many delicious local delights. Meet your specialist foodie guide this morning at your hotel lobby for a private transfer to Bangrak, the cultural and famous local neighborhood renowned among local foodies. Visit a local market while tasting authentic Thai breakfast snacks from street vendors, sample varieties of local dishes at nearby small eateries including pancake, green curry, roasted duck, spicy papaya Salad, custard bun, famous Thai iced tea, .. to name a few.  It’s a guarantee no one leaves the tour feeling hungry! 

This afternoon, you will visit the most iconic sights in Bangkok, the Grand Palace with the Emerald Buddha, the famous Wat Po Temple and a fun tuk tuk ride.Please note the Dress code for Wat Po and the Grand Palace: please ensure your knees and shoulders are coveredThen take a short Tuk Tuk  (motorized rickshaw) ride around the old town past some iconic sights. Final stop is the Golden Mount, known locally as Wat Saket Temple. Rest of the day is free at leisure to explore Bangkok nightlife on your own.  

Meals included:  B plus snacks during street food tour

Day 3 - Bangkok: Thai Cooking Class This morning, your guide will transfer you to one of the famous Thai Cooking Schools - Blue Elephant, they will be welcomed with a short orientation then take a short skytrain ride to the local fresh market to discover Thai fruits and vegetables, also learn more about Thai herbs and spices used in local cuisine. Return to the cooking school, the cookery demonstration will be presented with time for everyone to prepare their own dishes from the recipe prepared. Put their hands on the cooking utensils in the practice room (each one of them will have their own cooking station) and experience this amazing cooking class with the help and support from the professional instructor.  (Note : Scheduled Group activity - there might be other students in the same class). Enjoy your fruits of labour afterwards. 

Afternoon, return to the hotel and free time to relax or explore the city at your own pace.  Evening Bar Crawl (7pm to 11pm). Evening at 7pm, explore the vibrant nightlife of Bangkok with this special bar crawl with a local tuk tuk! You will explore 4 very different bars with your local expert guide and enjoy settings that are wildly unique. Your final fourth stop is likely the only one in the world where you see a nightclub transform into a Muay Thai boxing ring! You can continue the party from here on your own or the Tuk Tuk driver will take you back to your hotel. (Special note: No shorts and flip flops are permitted in these bars. Your tour price does not include drinks and you are required to purchase at least one drink by cash at each bar, prepare at least 300 Thai Baht ($10) for an alcoholic beverage)

Meals included: B L

Day 4 - Bangkok: Walking Tour in Chinatown. This morning start your visit to vibrant wholesale markets at Yaowarat, a historic district with over 200 years of Thai-Chinese heritage. Explore the narrow alleys dotted with street vendors and shops selling a huge range of items from fresh produce, clothing, household items, Chinese medicine and delicious street snacks. Stop by a famous old-style coffee shop for a break, a favourite hangout among local residents.

Private Buddhist Blessing - Continue to a local Buddhist temple to perform a private blessing ritual known as Sangkatarn. Here you will distribute daily necessities and food items with some cash donation to the Buddhist Monks. This is a popular local ritual to obtain blessings for good luck, good health, safe travel and longevity. Your final stop is a famous small local shop for coconut ice cream. 

Afternoon Klong River Boat Cruise with Lunch Travel by long tail boat to discover traditional neighbourhoods hidden along the banks of Bangkok’s winding river canals. Along the cruise, you will do short walks to discover centuries old communities. Lunch will be served at Baan Sakulthong, a special home-taurant where the owner’s family can be traced back to the Portuguese settlers who migrated here from Ayutthaya in the 18th century. You will feast on snacks made from Thai Royal recipes and unique dishes made with Portuguese influences passed down from generations. After your exclusive lunch, Thai Dessert cooking demonstration will be performed for the feast of your eyes.

Stroll through the backstreets to explore the “Kudeejeen” neighbourhood, a 200-year-old community of mixed Thai-Portuguese ancestry. Stop by a Catholic Church, a Chinese Shrine and a small folk museum that showcases the ties between the Kingdom of Siam and Portugal. Stop for a short break at an old house to sample the famous “Kanom Farang Kudeejeen”, Portuguese style cupcakes. Next stop is Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. Transfer back to your hotel after the tour at around 5pm. 

Meals included: B L

Day 5 - Bangkok/Chiang Rai: Transfer to airport for morning flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival at Chiang Rai Airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and proceed to the Golden Triangle, about an hour's drive from town.

Arrive first at Mae Sai, the border town at the furthermost northern border between Thailand and Burma. See the bustling market place where shoppers from both sides cross daily to trade. Then drive to the Golden Triangle area where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet at Sob Ruak, forming the “Triangle” between the three countries. After lunch, visit the Opium Museum to know a little more about the opium trade which once made the Golden Triangle infamous. If you are not too tired, continue to old capital city of Chiang Saen (A.D.1260) to visit its ancient, magnificent ruins and temples. See Wat Pa Sak Ngarm, the main mid-14th century stupa combines element of the Hariphunchai and Sukhothai styles with a possible Burmese Bagan influence and Wat Phra Thad Jom Kitti overlooking the Mae Khong River. From here, it is about an hour's drive to your hotel in Chiang Rai. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore the area on your own.

Meals included: B L

Day 6 - Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai: This morning, meet your guide for the drive via Wiang Pa Pao to Chiang Mai, the Rose of the North. On the way, stop over at the unique Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple. White TempleWat Rong Khun is a spectacular architecture is designed by famous local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and it’s one of its kind in the entire country. There is also a small art gallery where you can see the works of this artist. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before checking in at your hotel. 

Evening Doi Suthep Temple: At sundown when the crowd leaves, head up to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the temple located on Doi Suthep where you will receive a short blessing from a monk. You can walk up the 300 steps or take an elevator up to the temple. After admiring the surrounding views, you will enjoy a very special artisan dinner at a famous local restaurant that is often booked up in advance.

Artisan Dinner + One Cocktail at a local barUsing fresh local ingredients, the Chef delivers an innovative set menu highlighting traditional northern Thai flavors with artistry presentation. For nightcaps, we will take you to our secret local bar serving unique cocktails with fresh local ingredients and tropical fruits. (One unit of Cocktail per person is included, additional drink will be at own expense).

Meals included: B L D

Day 7 - Chiang Mai: Hill Tribe Tea Plantation - Meet your guide this morning and drive about an hour out to Mae Tang district to visit one of Thailand’s oldest tea plantation managed by the Lisu Hilltribe people. Learn the art of tea plucking and tea making with a Lisu guide. See lush gardens, organic crops and learn about sustainable projects helping the Lisu tribe. Experience the tea Sensory workshop, sample their three best tea grown and processed in the farm. Then enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the restaurant in the garden. Afternoon, transfer back to Chiang Mai city.

Village Cooking Class with Dinner: Afternoon about 3:30pm, drive about 20 minutes out of the city to meet a local Raunkaew-Yanon family who arrived in the area possibly on the back of an elephant, almost 150 years ago. See their traditional homes with teak wood and maintaining the natural surroundings in a way now rarely seen in Chiang Mai. You will learn more about their traditional culture, way of living and the architecture of a traditional Thai house. The family orchard has many types of fruits such as banana, mango and coconut. Together with your hosts, you will learn to cook authentic Northern Thailand dishes using traditional recipes unknown to most commercial cooking schools. After your hard work in the kitchen, enjoy a delicious dinner you prepared.

Meals included: B L D

Day 8 - Chiang Mai/Luang Prabang: City and Market Tour -This morning,  you will visit markets selling fresh produce, handicrafts and other goods.  Take a rickshaw through the back streets of Chiang mai. Explore parts of the old city, including local workshops making lacquerware and silversmithing using traditional methods, a coffee break at a local café serving fresh brews from local hill tribe coffee farms. For lunch, proceed to a local restaurant serving the iconic "Khao Soy", a classic Chiang Mai local dish, a curry-based noodle soup served with chicken and pickled cabbage. 

This afternoon, transfer to the airport for a short direct flight to Luang Prabang. Welcomed by your Lao English-speaking tour guide in the arrival hall and then transfered to your hotel for check-in. Dinner at hotel.

Meals included: B L D

Day 9 - Luang Prabang: Early morning start, head by Tuk-Tuk to the peninsula to witness and attend alms giving. Long lines of monks and novices stroll the street of the town centre to collect their daily food subsistence from the worshippers. This ancient ritual is locally known as “tak bat”. 

Continue with a visit to the open-air food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace. Lao people still like buying fresh food. While fridges are widely spread in households, people prefer going to local markets and returning home with fresh ingredients. Then, visit to Phou Si hill. The hill commands great views over the town, the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers and the mountainous ranges. It takes you 328 steps to reach the top, and at sunrise, the changing colors of the sky are particularly spectacular. The light reflecting on the golden spire of the temple at the top is also beautiful. The stairs are lined up with flamboyant and frangipani trees providing a deserved shade as you walk up and down.Return to hotel for your breakfast.

Meet your guide at hotel and transfer to Tamarind restaurant to join a Lao Cooking class in the morning. You will start with a visit to the major food market of Talat Phosy; spot and learn about local products.  Then, you will be driven to ‘Tamarind Gardens’ to start food preps. Some of the items you will prepare yourself may include:

Varieties of jeow: the fundamental Lao spicy dipping sauces Mok Pa, fragrant fish steamed with herbs in banana leavesTamarind’s specialty

Lemongrass stuffed with chicken & herbs

Koy or laap, a tasty minced meat and herb ‘salad’

Dessert course: a surprise! And of course you’ll learn the art of perfecting sticky rice and its eating etiquette. Lunch what you cook! And return home with new skills to impress your invitees during your next home party! 

After lunch, return to town and visit The National Museum that used to be the former Royal Palace. Inside the complex of the National Museum, you will see the “Prabang” sacred golden statue, giving its name to the town. Then visit Vat Mai, adjacent to the national museum. TAEC, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Depicts Laos ‘rich ethnic diversity with themed rotating exhibits. It is hosted in a former French colonial times judge’s mansion. End with the Heritage House being a perfect example of Luang Prabang traditional building, made of wood on poles, at the back of Vat Xieng Muane. Return to hotel for your refreshing, Pak Ou Dinner Cruise from 17:00pm to 19:30pm 

Meals included: B L D

Day 10 - Luang Prabang: Breakfast at hotel.Transfer to LEE 7 farm. LEE Farm offers tours to our organic vegetable farm and rice fields, with an educational and participatory content, presented by our farmers in Ban THINXOM. The visit consists of a half day “Rice NOODLE Experience” how to process noodle Use Rice flour and finishing with enjoy your own noodle.

Afternoon, visit Kuang Si waterfall, 32 km south-west of Luang Prabang. En-route you will make stops to visit ethnic minority villages. Kuang Si is a good place to get more familiar with endemic and endangered Asian Black Bear at the Rescue Center. It is also possible to hike to the top of the falls via a steep trail, and if the weather is good, you might enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear water ponds at the foot of the falls. 15h30 back to town and en-route visit Lao Buffalo dairy farm.

Return to hotel for your refreshing Dinner at Dyen Sabai with “sinhdat” BBQ. Lao people love sharing experiences including dining ones. The concept of “sinhdat” (literally “seared meats”) is a variation of the renowned Japanese “ShabuShabu”. It consists of grilling meat cuts on top of metallic dome that is placed above a clay pot with ardent ashes. All this is set in the middle of your table and everyone grilled at his own pace. The dome is also recipient of a delicious broth that makes a soup with herbs, vegetables, eggs, and other condiments. Everything is dipped in a sweet red beans and soy pasta. That you can complement at discretion of lime juice, grated garlic and crushed fresh hot chili.  

Meals included: B L D

Day 11 - Luang Prabang: Breakfast at hotel. Meet your guide at the lobby of hotel, and transfer to visit Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. It is located at the top of the peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet. Then, continue to the pier to board your long-boat for a highly scenic 2.5 hour boat ride up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human. Luang at local floating restaurant in from of Pak ou caves.

Afternoon back to town - Enroute stop at Ban Xang Hai, a village famous for its rice liquor locally called “Lao-Lao”. Villagers distillate rice in a very old fashion way. The bravest will dare sampling the local specialties! Return to hotel for your refreshing and 17h00 meet your guide at hotel and we will join 1.5 hours with street food powerhouses like Vietnam and Thailand neighbouring all along the eastern and western borders, it’s no wonder some of that alluring street food charm has rubbed off on Laotian street food culture. While you will not see the variety of Hanoi or the spices of Bangkok, Luang Prabang isn’t without it’s hidden street food wonders. And like many other countries in the region, the cuisine of Laos is varied with the familiar and strange. Familiar because most of the ingredients are the usual suspects of Southeast Asian cuisine, but strange because of the specific processing and sophistication that you will not find anywhere else in the world. This is a trip where you get to visit both street food stalls and local restaurants while walking through the boisterous streets of Luang Prabang to try out many Laos signature dishes, from the traditional dish to the best noodle soup which is local’s favorite. If you’re a foodie, this tour is a must in Luang Prabang.

Here are the items you will get to try on this tour:

1. Lao coconut cakes: It’s called Khaonom Krok and it’s a beloved street food tour in Luang Prabang. It’s served as a dessert for Lao meal. It’s made of sticky rice powder and coconut milk. They are light and yummy and taste very good.

2. Orlam: A thick stew made with dried buffalo or pork or chicken and many herbs native to Laos, it is meant to go with sticky rice due to its thick texture the rice will not so easily drop into the stew! It is usually cooked with wood chips for flavor and the wood chips taste a little bit spicy.

3. Khao Soi: This is a kind of noodle soup made with flat rice noodles. Sometimes it’s made with round noodles. The are made of chopped pork, tomatoes, fermented soy beans, chilies, shallots and garlic.

4. Seasonal fruit: There are a few different seasonal fruit in Laos such as papaya, pineapple, watermelon or jackfruit.

5. Sai Oua: Sai Oua or Lao sausage is made from chopped fatty pork with galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, salt and fish sauce. It’s great to eat with sticky rice. It’s a traditional Lao food. In the past we don’t fridge, so this is how we kept meat to eat the whole year.

6. Fried egg with pork: A commonly eats in local home especially in the countryside where bamboo shoot is easy to find. Visit Night Market.  It is held daily in the streets around the National Museum. Villagers come here to sell their handicrafts and back to hotel for your free at leisure.

Meals included: B L D

Day 12 - Luang Prabang: Breakfast at hotel and free time at leisure until transfer to airport for your flight.

Meals included: B

Travel Dates

Valid for travel 01 Oct 2020 - until 31 Dec 2021.

Terms & Conditions

Contact Journeys Rediscovered to register for our 2021 Small Group Journey (no more than 12 passengers.) Journeys Rediscovered Small Group - Culinary Journey of Laos & Thailand, will run with a minimum of 6 passengers.

Alternatively, contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary, which is guaranteed with a minimum of one person.

Land-based itinerary is based per person on twin/double share basis (unless otherwise stated), single supplement is available, contact Journey Rediscovered for this surcharge.

International & domestic airfares are additional, please contact Journeys Rediscovered for international flight options and prices.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended and can be arranged for you for an additional cost.

For full pricing, terms and conditions, contact your MTA Travel Expert, Journeys Rediscovered on 0477002235 or journeysrediscovered@mtatravel.com.au

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