Following last weeks points and awards blog post, which certainly went full nerdy on y'all, I'm reverting to my other absolute passion which of course combines perfectly with travel...FOOD. Sticking with the theme for this week, below are 5 of my own personal and family favorite food experiences on our travels. I will never stop preaching that enjoying and sharing food (and drink) with locals is the number one way to begin to understand the multitude of different cultures out in the big wide world and to connect deeply and meaningfully.
Top 5 - Yes, I'll Fly For Food
1. Bangkok, Thailand Foodie Weekend - September 2018
As part of a mileage run (another points nerd thing) back in 2018, I literally had a long weekend in Bangkok on a purely food inspired trip and had the most amazing time immersed in the whole spectrum of Thai food, from Michelin Star restaurants to the best street food on the planet. I urge you to click the photo above for the short video montage.
2. Luang Prabang, Laos - August 2009 (above)
A long time before travel became my business, I took a short sabbatical from my previous financial career and the whole family explored SE Asia for 6 weeks. There were of course numerous highlights and I still reference many elements of this itinerary for current clients, though I now know what's needed to add those extra special touches that can make all the difference. All 4 of us agree to this day that Laos was our favorite country visited, and the cooking class below, where we stuffed lemongrass stalks with minced chicken, herbs and Thai chillies was a big hit.
3. Hoi An, Vietnam - July 2016
Fast forward 7 years, and we returned as a family to SE Asia to explore some of the countries we missed the first time around. Despite all suffering with some delicate stomach issues for a few days after a breakfast on an overnight train from Hanoi that we probably should have passed on, we recovered strongly and had our faith in food restored at Green Bamboo Cookery school in Hoi An.
Being situated close to the Ancient Town, the lively market visit that comes with the class also let us see the mix of eras and architectural styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings.
4. Delhi, India - September 2019 (above)
Indelibly etched into my memory forever, Delhi overloads the senses in many ways, food being just one of them. The main spice market I visited is so overpowering that it brings tears to your eyes just from the aromas. I was also treated to a homecooked meal by Sanjeeta and her mother, and gathered a fascinating insight into life in one of the most densely populated cities on earth. Every family home cooks almost every evening, and I was let in on the big secret of the 7 essential ingredients that are kept in the magic spice box (below): Salt, dry coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, cumin seeds, carom seeds and turmeric.
5. Tokyo, Japan - August 2016
My daughter Maisie, and I, extended our Asian trip in the summer of 2016 and visited Tokyo for a few days. We rode the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train (above), visited ancient temples and discovered a city and country with as much cultural difference between the traditional and the new as you will ever encounter. Now I'm not sure quite how our food tour makes the Top 5 as it involved a story that is just slightly too unnerving to fully tell here, but there's a reason the photo is a little out of focus...
Needless to say, we were both put off sushi for a while, but not that long. If you want to know the full story, drop me a line.
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