We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Asia. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
Foodies’ guide to Asia
From the aromatic and fresh flavours of Vietnam to the contrasting spices of Sri Lanka, Asia is famous for its delicious and extremely diverse cuisine. To help with your understanding of the multiplicity of flavours and culinary specialities in Asia, we have put together a short summary of our favourite Asian cuisines along with some exciting foodie experiences that are available, to help you explore the fabulous tastes and aromas on a tailor-made trip.
Call our specialists on 020 3141 2850 for help planning a tailor-made trip.
Like India itself, the food is mind bogglingly diverse. From the Portuguese inspired flavours of Goa and the delicious biryanis of Hyderabad, no two regions are the same. In the north, Central Asian influences pervade Indian cooking, and the flavoursome tandooris and creamy gravies are prepared using almonds, sultanas and saffron. Further south, rice-based dishes are the order of the day. Steamed, spiced and soaked in coconut milk, the tasty curries of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are deliciously fresh and primarily vegetable or seafood based. Arguably, the best examples of Indian cooking are found in the home, and for a truly authentic experience, staying in a rural, family run property is the best way to sample the flavours of the region.
A trip to the island of Sri Lanka is an opportunity to feast on its rich, melting-pot cuisine. Sri Lanka boasts a fascinatingly distinctive culinary heritage, the result of a unique fusion of local produce with recipes and spices brought to the island by countries such as India, Malaysia, Portugal and England. Its staple dish is a fiery curry and rice dish whose contrasting flavours bear witness to Sri Lanka’s status as one of the original spice islands. Curry aside, there are plenty of other unique specialities to explore and enjoy such as Kottu Roti, egg hoppers and watalappan. Learn about the flavours of Sri Lanka and how to combine different spices in a cooking lesson with a local cook.
Japanese cuisine has taken the world by storm. And whilst sushi bars revolve their way around eateries in cities across the globe, the original home of this deliciously fresh and seasonal delicacy is a culinary force to be reckoned with. With its humble beginnings in street food, sushi has earned its stripes in haute cuisine and now claims many a Michelin star in decadent restaurants across Japan and further afield. You only have to watch a sushi master chef in action in Japan to see why. Yet, Japanese food is not all nigiri and sashimi. Ramen holds the top spot as a late-night Japanese meal and soba noodles are a staple of this nationality’s cuisine.
For many visitors, food is one of the primary reasons for choosing Thailand as a holiday destination. And we are not surprised from the sheer pleasure the locals take in their cuisine. This shameless passion for eating, as well as an abundance of fascinating ingredients and influences, has produced one of the most fun and diverse food scenes anywhere in the world. Southern Thailand is undoubtedly the spiciest region in the country whilst the North relies on bitter flavours and dried spices, and sticky rice is the traditional accompaniment. Stroll around the sizzling streets of Bangkok with a local guide and experience the true essence of Thai cuisine.
Vietnamese cuisine is world-famous for its bold, aromatic and fresh flavours. Simple in design yet complex in taste, there are so many wonderful dishes to try on your travels through Vietnam. Pho is perhaps the most famous and most loved of any Vietnamese dish, with its name being thought to originate from the French term ‘pot au feu’ or ‘hotpot’. The delicate yet punchy broth is the secret behind a delicious pho, which acts as a base for your choice of meat, tender noodles and fresh herbs. Learn about the local cuisine and test your Vietnamese cooking skills in this half-day cookery experience with a local chef in Hoi An.
Indonesia is a startingly diverse country and so is its cuisine. With 6,000 islands, there are many regional specialities. From high-end restaurants to the bustling street vendors, Indonesian cuisine will leave your tongues salivating for more. ‘Nasi goreng’ or ‘fried rice’ is considered the national dish and can be found everywhere from street hawker carts to dinner parties or restaurants. Pisang goreng is another national favourite. These banana fritters are simple, yet delicious and are the perfect sweet snack after a busy day of exploring. Learn the techniques and flavours required to produce a range of mouth-watering dishes at a rural Balinese cooking class, and finish off the lesson enjoying the feast you’ve prepared surrounded by glistening rice fields.
Malaysia’s richly woven history and melting pot of cultures have transformed it into one of Asia’s foremost gastronomic destinations. Whether you choose to dine at an expensive restaurant in Kuala Lumpur or eat from a simple street stall in Penang, there is always an abundance of places to eat delicious authentic food wherever you are. One of our favourite Malaysian dishes, and probably the most famous dish in Penang, is the ‘assam laksa’. This delicious stew comes highly recommended by both locals and visitors alike and is one of the most popular foods in the world. Sample the tradition of the local cuisine and its diverse flavours whilst wandering the streets of Kuala Lumpur on this heritage food walk.
Speak to our specialists to plan your holiday to Asia
Call us on 020 3141 2850 for more information