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Asia cooking tours

Austinsherry Feb 18, 2013 12:05 PM

Any suggestions for a tour group to join for a cooking vacation to go on. I will be traveling by myself. The ones I am seeing get very bad reviews. The discussion that has already been done here was from 2007... hoping for some more up to date responses.

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  1. alliegator RE: Austinsherry Feb 19, 2013 12:23 PM

    A friend of mine did this one, and enjoyed it tremendously. He was traveling alone. The itinerary looks quite nice, but I notice that the level is beginner-intermediate. Maybe you are at a higher level? Here's a link:
    If Thailand is for you, 9 days is a little short, you may want to check out the beaches. It's not a tour, but I've taken classes at the place below on Koh Lanta. The instruction was thorough and friendly, and I still make many of the recipes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: alliegator
      Austinsherry RE: alliegator Feb 20, 2013 07:58 AM

      Thanks --I will check those out. I am having a problem with the single supplements on trips. It just makes me mad that I would have to pay more just because I am traveling by myself. ( sometimes up to 50%).

      1. re: Austinsherry
        alliegator RE: Austinsherry Feb 20, 2013 08:47 AM

        The single supplement is such a killjoy. I often travel solo as well, and it just really sucks to lay out so mch more $.
        I lived in Thailand for a year (hubby's work), and traveled around for fun a lot. It's very safe and hospitable for the solo woman, so don't be afraid to strike out a bit on your own. Food and socializing go hand in hand, so you'll always feel welcome.

        1. re: Austinsherry
          jenniferpalter RE: Austinsherry Feb 22, 2013 09:32 AM

          Hi Austinsherry--My name is Jen Palter and I am the customer service manager for Access Trips. Please let me know if you'd like any more information on our Thailand Culinary Tour. As far as single supplements go, we completely understand your frustration. We have lots of solo travelers on our trips and make every effort to keep their costs down! Our private room upgrade on this trip is not mandatory and less than 30% of the trip price. If you would like a roommate and we are unable to match you, the single supplement fee is deeply discounted- just enough to basically cover the cost the room. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any additional questions- jen.palter@accesstrips.com. Good luck with planning your adventure!

      2. x
        xanadude RE: Austinsherry Feb 19, 2013 04:20 PM

        Haven't been, but check out http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/trip...

        1 Reply
        1. re: xanadude
          Austinsherry RE: xanadude Feb 20, 2013 07:53 AM

          Thank you. I did see that site but they warnings that if you do not like SPICY this is not for you. I like some spicy but not everything.

        2. ninrn RE: Austinsherry Feb 19, 2013 05:32 PM

          Where in Asia would you most like to go?

          5 Replies
          1. re: ninrn
            Austinsherry RE: ninrn Feb 20, 2013 07:52 AM

            I would love to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, and/or Thailand. I was looking at Indochina travel but they have very bad reviews. I want to combine the cooking and touring. Cooking seems to give us all something in common as we travel. ( Who can cook and not talk?) I am not a Chef by any means. I think you just get a better feel for a country if you embrace how they prepare their food and then eat instead of just eating.

            1. re: Austinsherry
              ninrn RE: Austinsherry Feb 20, 2013 09:58 AM

              My uncle lives in Bangkok and at one point I had hopes of going there and doing some travel around SE Asia on my own. Here are some online resources I found that might help with your planning:

              There's a cool food and travel writer named Catherine Bodry who writes a lot about traveling solo as a woman in Thailand, and about culinary travel in general. Her website is http://catherinebodry.com/ . I'd email her at the address published there and ask her for recommendations.

              http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/ - all kinds of info on SE Asian travel and helpful boards.

              http://www.eatingthaifood.com/ - two food geeks in Bangkok, Mark and Dwight, blog about Thai street food. They are clearly super-informed and passionate. They also offer what looks like a great food cart tour. I'd contact them directly too and ask for cooking tour suggestions.

              http://www.journeywoman.com/ - a site dedicated to women travelers. Lots of solo travel tips. Some of this site is cheesy, but they have some good articles specifically on travel in Thailand and food travel, and I think they have boards where you'd probably get tons of responses to your query.

              Last, there are two corporate travel sites that might be worth a look:

              http://www.tripology.com/ - kind of an travel information broker - you enter your travel specifications, and they hook you up with three travel agents who specialize in organizing the kind of travel you want to do. It's free, but make a temporary email account to log in here or your mailbox will be flooded with travel spam forever.

              http://www.exotissimo.com/ - Sounds like a strip club in Little Italy, but is really a tour/travel co. specializing in setting up tour groups in SE Asia. They have several food-related day tours in Viet Nam, Thaland, Cambodia and Laos and can weave together a number of such tours to make one muti-country food/cooking class tour. Most of their tours are reviewed online pretty positively but, of course, you should check them out carefully for yourself.

              1. re: ninrn
                hilltowner RE: ninrn Feb 20, 2013 11:50 AM

                Wow, wow! Thank you so much for all of this information. I am not the OP but, coincidentally, I am right now planning a trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam for April, (of this year), and I will be solo for much of it. These are great resources! Thank you!

                1. re: ninrn
                  Austinsherry RE: ninrn Feb 20, 2013 12:46 PM

                  Thank you for all of these starting places. IT is appreciated!

                  1. re: Austinsherry
                    ninrn RE: Austinsherry Feb 21, 2013 09:47 AM

                    Glad you think this might help, Hilltowner and Austinberry. Hope you both have wonderful trips.

            2. s
              sr44 RE: Austinsherry Feb 22, 2013 09:50 AM

              I hope this isn't among those with bad reviews:


              I can't vouch for it personally.

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