USTOA Programs Highlight Taste Sensations in Five Asian Countries

Tour companies are serving up a menu of Asian food adventures, from cooking classes to culinary feasts to suit varying tastes and palates.

On A Portrait of India (18 days/17 nights), foodies enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner at the home of a noted Indian chef on this Tauck trip, with visits to New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Cochin, Kumarakom, and Mumbai. Priced from $7,890 pp land only, the tour must be booked by December 1 for travel until December 21, 2011. According to Tauck, this virtually all-inclusive price reflects savings up to 40% over making the same arrangements on one’s own. 800-468-2825,

With Explorations’ Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam (16 days/15 nights), guests experience a half-day Vietnamese cooking class in Hoi An, including a visit to the market and preparation of five traditional dishes. The trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam is for a small group of twenty-eight passengers. Price begins from $2,999 pp, saving travelers up to 25% over independent booking, according to Collette Vacations. Booking must be made by March 1, 2012, for travel through April 12, 2012. International airfare is additional. 877-451-8687, www.explorationstouring

On International Expeditions’ Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia (16 days/15 nights), travelers sample the famous roast chicken at Anh Tuyet’s restaurant in Hanoi 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 can be booked at any time and costs from $4,298 pp land only, available until December 1, 2011. 800-633-4734,

China Impressions (10 days/9 nights) lets guests savor a Beijing duck dinner and local culinary lunches. Cost starts from $2,199 pp, 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. 800-221-7179,

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.


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