Insider Experiences reveal authentic Asia
New Insider Experiences offer valuable insights into fascinating Asian destinations
With a focus on getting under the surface of a destination, InsideAsia Tours has launched a new range of Insider Experiences that reveal interesting elements of everyday life in their specialist destinations. Insider Experts create the best experiences across Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and Japan, ranging from cultural through to culinary and active ideas, using their on-the-ground knowledge to provide valuable insight and local knowledge.
Examples of the new Insider Experiences that get to the true heart of the destination and provide another perspective include:
Insider Experience: Khmer cooking, Cambodia
– from £120 pp (based on two people)
Renowned chef Kethana Dunnet, known for her traditional Cambodian dishes, unearths the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a special cookery class at her country home near Banteay Srei Temple in the area of Angkor, in northern Cambodia.
Having taught Gordon Ramsay how to prepare and cook a regional dish, as featured on ‘Gordon’s Great Escape’, Kethana is also the owner and founder of the Sugar Palm restaurants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Over the course of a morning, travellers learn to make various dishes served at her famed restaurants, whilst gaining an understanding of the differences between Khmer and other regional cuisines and, importantly, learning how to adapt the dishes for home cooking. The experience lasts approximately three hours, culminating in the chance to sit down and enjoy the four-course meal prepared during the class.
Insider Experience: Hsithe rural fishing village, Burma
– from £130 pp (based on two people), including return transfer, guide, lunch and community donation
Travel to a small village in the Burmese countryside, off the usual tourist map – about three hours by road and boat from Mandalay – to try traditional fishing alongside local people. Hsithe has a population of just 3,000, and relies heavily on fishing as its main industry, with the village home to four generations of fishermen and women, aged 18 to 70.
Upon arrival, meet villagers for a live demonstration of the characteristic net-throwing technique for which they’re known, before a chance to try it first-hand.
Following a picnic lunch, there is the opportunity to learn more about the other cottage industries in the village, including peanut and rice farming, cigar rolling, jam making, peanut oil production and the sewing of tailored clothes and fishing nets. With a local resident as an Insider guide, there are plenty of chances to ask questions and to find out more about life in the village. Guests also have the opportunity to see the local birdlife and perhaps even the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which still call these waters home.
A wonderful location from which to learn about rural life in Burma, this experience in Hsithe not only brings positive economic benefits to the regional community but also provides a unique window onto this traditional world.
Insider Experience: Laos’ ethnic minorities, Laos
– from £38 pp (based on two people)
Discover Luang Prabang’s Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) in this enlightening behind-the-scenes experience that delves even deeper into life in the countryside of Laos and the issues faced by the people living there.
The centre is a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minority cultures and this Insider Experience provides the chance to learn more about these important communities in a meeting with a very special Insider Expert. Ms Tara Gujahdhur and Ms Thongkhoun Soutthivilay are the directors behind the centre and experts in the ethnology and anthropology of Laos.
During a private meeting with either Tara or Thongkhoun, learn about the museum’s exhibitions, the challenges facing the ethnic communities and the way that TAEC’s sustainable tourism initiatives are tackling these issues and, in turn, preserving the customs, culture and crafts in Laos’ rural ethnic communities. This special experience will be combined with a tour of the museum.
Each of these Insider Experiences offers that valuable Inside insight into these fascinating Asian destinations and must be built into a full Indochina holiday package, to include accommodation and transport. Packages start at £1,995 pp for a 14-night trip (excluding international flights).
For more information, contact InsideAsia Tours on 0117 244 3380 or visit www.insideasiatours.com
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