USTOA Tour Company Members Offer Culinary Adventures in Five Asian Countries

USTOA member companies offer culinary adventures to China and other Asian destinations highlighted with cooking classes and feasts © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tour companies are serving up a menu of Asian food adventures, from cooking classes to culinary feasts. Travelers can dine at the home of a noted chef in India, learn to cook five traditional dishes in Vietnam, or savor authentic Beijing duck in China.

Here are four representative tours from USTOA companies to suit varying tastes and palates.

India

“A Portrait of India”: 18 days/17 nights: Foodies can enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner at the home of a noted Indian chef on Tauck’s 18 day, 17 night “A Portrait of India”. Visit New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Cochin, Kumarakom, and Mumbai. Priced from $7,890 per person, land only, the tour must be booked by December 1, 2011 for travel available until December 21, 2011. According to Tauck, this virtually all-inclusive price reflects a savings of up to 40% over making the same arrangements on your own. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-468-2825 or visit www.tauck.com.

Southeast Asia

Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam: 16 days/15 nights:Experience a half day Vietnamese cooking class in Hoi An, including a visit to the market and preparation of five traditional dishes, with Explorations’ “Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam” from Collette Vacations. This 16 day/15 night tour to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam offers a small group of twenty-eight passengers. Price begins from $2,999 per person, saving travelers up to 25% over independent booking, according to Collette. Book by March 1, 2012 for travel valid until April 12, 2012. International airfare is additional. For reservations and more information, phone 1-877-451-8687 or visit www.explorationstouring.

Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia: 16 days/15 nights: On International Expeditions’ “Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia.” travelers sample the famous roast chicken at Anh Tuyet’s restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam, featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” In Laos, culinary offerings include lunch at Makphet Restaurant in Vientiane. and Italian cuisine at Xe Pian ecolodge. Also offered is an elephant fish lunch in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Activities include sightseeing by cyclo-rickshaw, tuk-tuk, long boat, sampan boat and elephant back. An overnight cruise on Halong Bay in Vietnam aboard a Chinese junk, plus visits to Luang Prabang in Laos and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are also included, as are excursions to local markets, villages, and sustainability projects, a private baci welcome ceremony, and a sacred tak bat ceremony. Hotel accommodations are for thirteen nights, with three nights in secluded Xe Pian National Protected Area. The tour, which can be booked at any time, is priced from $4,298 per person, land only, and is available until December 1, 2011. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-633-4734 or visit www.IEtravel.com/explore-laos.

China

China Impressions: 10 days/9 nights: Savor a Beijing duck dinner and local culinary lunches on Pacific Delight Tours’ 10 day, 9 night “China Impressions” tour. Cost starts from $2,199 per person, representing up to a 40% savings over booking independently, according to Pacific Delight Tours. The itinerary visits Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, and Shanghai, and includes international airfare from Los Angeles (add $200 for New York), deluxe hotels, meals, sightseeing, and transfers. This tour is available through March 2012. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.

“Today’s traveler to Asia wants a total experience, including tasting local cuisine and learning about a culture through its food,” says Terry Dale, president of the U.S. Tour Operators Association. “These tours, by introducing travelers to local cuisine, provide an immersion and greater understanding into Asian cultures.”

 

All tour prices are based on double occupancy. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date.

For more information on Asia vacations with culinary interest visit: www.USTOA.com, or www.USTOA.travel.

USTOA member companies have met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the association’s Travelers Assistance Program, which among other things protects consumer payments up to $1 million in case the company goes out of business. USTOA is the premier association of companies providing vacation packages, tours, and custom travel itineraries for more than 11 million people yearly.

For more travel features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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