Friday, 10th April 2015
Foodie experiences not to miss
For some people, one of the most important elements of travelling is trying new food and when it comes to visiting South East Asia you are spoilt for choice. This corner of the world is home to some incredible national and regional cuisines, but what are the food experiences that really should not be missed when travelling to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos?
Eat your way through Hoi An, Vietnam
In the past ten years, the port town of Hoi An in Vietnam has really come into its own. Not only is it a world-class place for sightseeing and tailoring, it is also a foodie heaven. A collection of good quality restaurants has shot the destination to fame, with celebrities such as the Hairy Bikers and Gordon Ramsay stopping by to learn a thing or two from Hoi An's chefs.
Among those that should be visited on a trip to this part of Vietnam are Morning Glory, Cargo and Market Restaurant. The latter of these options is a clever reinvention of the street food culture, with individual stalls serving up everything from everyday staples cooked beautifully to succulent seafood grilled to perfection.
Take a cookery class in Siem Reap, Cambodia
The best souvenir to take home from a trip to South East Asia, apart from wonderful memories is a new set of skills, so cookery lessons are a must. There are several places that you can learn to whip up authentic food, but some of the best can be found in Siem Reap.
Firstly, decide how long you want to spend learning the art, as this can range from a morning or afternoon class allowing you to cook a few dishes to whole week courses. If you spend five or seven days in a Cambodia kitchen, you will have a whole new repertoire when you return home.
Tigre de Papier has been running its classes for a long time and has earned a good reputation for half-day options. In terms of location, RiverGarden is fun, as participants cook up dishes surrounded by a jungle-style setting of tropical plants. Head out of town to the Hariharalyaya Retreat Centre to combine vegetarian cooking with yoga.
Meander in the market in Luang Prabang, Laos
People who love food will not mind the early start to head to the morning product market in Luang Prabang. This daily occurrence pops up in the network of alleys surrounding Sisavangvong Road, with many locals spreading out their wares on canvas in the street. The produce could not be fresher and the colours are enough to excite any foodie with a talent for cooking.
Arrive early enough and you will see the monks walking through the streets collecting alms. After they have moved on, it is a sea of small Laos aubergines, chilli peppers, rice flour crisps, spices and sausages. Even the most well travelled of palates will find something they have never tasted before.