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(Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
(Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City)
Pamper your palate with this exotic gourmet culinary tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. A fascinating blend of diverse cultures, explore the historical highlights and hotspots of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong River and Kuala Lumpur with the comfort of expert private guide. Learn about the cultural significance and time-honoured traditions behind the diverse cuisines of each delicious destination. Participate in a variety of cooking lessons, bicycle through rice paddies, fish in Hoi An - then cook your catch, shop South East Asia’s largest weekend market, pilgrimage ancient temples, safari through a coconut forest and much more. This appetizing adventure features tasty cafes, fabulous restaurants, award winning chefs, inspiring art and stunning tropical beaches. Enjoy the city, countryside and all the delicious culinary and cultural highlights of South East Asia – Active and appetizing, this adventure is sure to please!
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Welcome to the Ariyasom Villa located in the heart of Bangkok – step back in time to a more leisurely lifestyle. The villa was built in 1942 and is still in the hands of the original family who built it. With 25 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, Na Aroon Restaurant, room service, swimming pool, spa, library, and meditation hall makes them well equipped to look after guests while they stay in the "City of Angels".
The Blue Elephant Cooking School has fully equipped facilities offering you the chance to put your hand to practicing Thai cuisine.
Today’s tour will take you to the Royal Grand Palace, the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand. The former royal residence of the Chakri Kings, the palace is the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Built in 1782 by King Rama I, it was the centre of power for more than 150 years. Today, the palace is Bangkok's major landmark and most popular tourist attraction. Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is located right next to the Grand Palace together form perhaps the greatest spectacle for visitors to Bangkok. It consists of over 100 brightly coloured buildings, golden spires, and glittering mosaics, and dates back to 1782, when Bangkok was founded.
Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Please dress respectfully (no bare shoulders, knees or strapless-heel shoes). Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings as a matter of respect. The Palace may be closed without prior notice during Royal ceremonies and when officials or head of state visit.
Spend half of the day visiting Southeast Asia's largest open-air market, Chatuchak. Open only on Saturday and Sunday, this market spans many miles, and is the perfect place to barter for souvenirs, eat some truly authentic Thai street food, or simply sit back, grab a drink, and watch the excitement. Your guide will accompany you through the maze of stalls and help you with your haggling skills.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Tamarind Village is set in the heart of Chiang Mai, just 15 minutes from the airport, and close to the local bus and train links. The world famous night bazaar is a short stroll away, along with various temples and cultural points of interest. This boutique property boasts 42 guest rooms and 3 suites reflecting a range of styles accustomed only to northern Thailand. All rooms are decorated with contemporary elegance. On-site facilities include a spa, travel desk and car rental service.
This morning’s tour will take you on one of the most unique experiences in Thailand, a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand. In return people receive the monk’s blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms; a brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting, including seeing the monks pray in the early morning.
The Elephant is Thailand’s working pride and one of this country’s national symbols. Current estimates of wild elephants left in Thailand are between 3000-4000. Although logging is being banned in this Kingdom, they remain a very important mode of jungle transport as it beats any other animal or machine for its ability to move through a forest with minimum damage. For centuries these animals were trained to use their skills by moving lumber and served as a mode of transport within the jungle area. Over the past decade, with the reduction in lumbering, these giants of the forest have been protected in various conservation camps. An interesting journey through the scenic countryside brings you to Chiang Dao Elephant Conservation Camp. Here you will get to see elephants at work during a half-hour presentation. There is also an opportunity to watch the elephants as they take their morning bath. During your visit to the camp, you will have an opportunity to ride an elephant back during a one hour trek into the surrounding forest. After a Thai set lunch at the camp, the afternoon is reserved for a leisurely cruise on board a bamboo raft.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Hanoi, Vietnam via Bangkok.
Welcome to Vietnam! Please be sure that your visa has been pre-arranged, or that your visa-on-arrival letter is in your carry on luggage. These documents will be presented to customs at your first point of entry into the country.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
You will be taken into the kitchen for your very own cooking class. Start the morning with a delightful wander around a local produce market with your chef. They will help to give you a very "real" shopping experience, providing you with local knowledge of how to select the freshest ingredients. You will then go back to the restaurant with bags full of seasonal vegetables, meat, tropical fruits and all the exotic herbs where the chef will share his or her cooking secrets with you. Try your hands at cooking typical main dishes, desserts and drinks. After finishing, sit down and take pleasure enjoying the meal that you just prepared. A private car with an English speaking guide will be provided to you.
Today, you will take a walking tour that explores the French Quarter through the ideas of its architects and the shape of its stones with your own English speaking guide. It is set in the time from the unraveling of all the threads of civilization, which have left their mark on the area, beginning with recent reminders of Soviet style. Just around the corner, discover a different world altogether as we visit the Buddhist pagoda of Quan Su, the center of Vietnamese Buddhism and Tran Hung Dao streets. You will learn about the French approach to justice and punishment and hear tales of daring Vietnamese resistance to the repressive regime. Enjoy the end of your tour with a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee. Entrance fee, coffee and mineral water is included in this tour. Lunch is not provided.
Fly from Hanoi to Danang.
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang with with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide.
Enjoy this private guided tour to CamKim Fishing Village. Here you will see the sights along the river and learn how to fish with the traditional methods of the Mekong. You will be instructed how to row a boat, spread a net, and catch fish. Afterwards head to a local restaurant and prepare your catch. Return to Cua Dai to take photographs and watch the sunset, or to go to the Bay Mau coconut forest in the Thuan Tinh eco- tourism zone.
At Anantara Hoi An Resort experience an idyllic blend of riverside relaxation in Anantara luxury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on your doorstep, and beautiful beach life just a short bicycle or boat ride away. Scenically positioned on the banks of the Thu Bon River, Anantara Hoi An Resort is a charming boutique retreat in the historic port town of Hoi An. Designed with French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese influences that reveal Hoi An’s fascinating cultural diversity, split level rooms and suites open onto porches with comfortable daybeds, overlooking the river or a garden courtyard. Delve into Vietnamese culture with language, savour authentic local dishes and popular world flavours in elegant and casual settings beside the river. Meet up at the heritage inspired wine bar for an atmospheric view of Hoi An’s street life or laze by the pool and let the staff bring an exotic cocktail to your sun bed.
You will be picked up by mini-bus today along with other travellers for a trip to a local cooking school. Pick out your ingredients at the local market and take a boat 25-minutes up the river to the school. Watch the fishermen cast their nets on the water and watch the life along the river. We arrive at a small town and walk to the cooking school. The lesson is in an open-air pavilion next to the river. Chef Thanh of the Red Bridge Cooking School will teach you how to cook a traditional Vietnamese meals. After lunch, return to your hotel where you will be picked up by a private guide for a tour of Hoi An. Discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries. Visit Hoi An's colourful local market, Tan Ky old house, Fukien Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.Travelers can also see local residents raise silkworms and produce silk for Hoi An's burgeoning textile industry.
Fly from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City.
The Renaissance Riverside is located in the heart of Saigon's business district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers first-class hospitality, comfortable rooms and modern amenities. After a long day, relax at the poolside terrace or enjoy a leisurely dinner at Kabin, known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and visit the Health Club for an invigorating workout with the latest gym equipment. Otherwise, simply enjoy the incredible views of the Saigon River and stroll to museums, galleries and other area attractions. You’ll find that the hotel’s central location, panoramic views and impeccable service makes this the ideal place to stay while visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
Today, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide escorted to My Tho. You will be traveling past miles of flat rice fields, along a bustling High Way. On arrival at My Tho, you will board a private Mekong cruise boat to Thoi Son Island where you will be entertained with traditional music. Next, you will change to a paddle boat to cruise through the narrow canals and visit home grown industries like coconut candy and rice-wine making. Travel by motorized boat to another Mekong island to visit a bee farm and try tea with fresh honey from the beehives and enjoy fresh seasonal fruits. On your return to My Tho there will be a visit to the Vinh Trang Pagoda. Enjoy a lovely lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant. At the end of the tour, you will return back to Ho Chi Minh.
Fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
Meet your English speaking driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
This evening tour takes you to the open air bazaar of Chinatown, a Hindu temple and a sumptuous Malay cuisine accompanied with a cultural show. At the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, enjoy the smell of burning jasmine, incessant chantings of Hindu priests, intricate carved deities, and the mystical aura give you lasting impression of this religion. Take a stroll through the Open Air Bazaar of the Chinatown night market, where the locals engage in hectic bargaining for merchandises spread across the streets. Later, proceed to a Malay Restaurant for buffet dinner and cultural show. Help yourself to a buffet dinner where a sumptuous variety of local dishes and delicacies await you.
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, is perfectly situated within the Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It offers direct access to the world-class Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Suria KLCC and the famous Petronas Twin Towers, all of which are surrounded by restaurants, bars, clubs, and cafés. There are 571 well-appointed rooms and suites that feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the cityscape.
Spend half a day starting with a tour of the market followed by some cooking. Spend some time at the market covering all the shops and stores gathering ingredients for the cooking class. At each stall, a brief explanation will be given to some items. At the end of the visit, you may wish to try some local breakfast (not included). For the cooking class, you will have a fully equipped cooking station. Take the hands-on experience of cooking in a Malaysian home environment using traditional stone and wooden utensils in a modern kitchen. All the necessities will be provided from the cooking utensils, stove, and aprons. You can learn to cook a variety of traditional and special festive Malay, Chinese, Indian, and some Thai dishes (selected days only). Pointers will be given on Malaysian cooking etiquette as well as some valuable tips and tricks of authentic Malaysian dishes.
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
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