Thailand food adventure holiday

“This 10-day tour of northern Thailand gets you haggling at floating markets, following family recipes and meeting the producers and cooks at the heart of Thai cuisine.”

Highlights

Tha Kha Floating Market | Mae Klong Railway Market | Kanchanaburi Night Market and cooking class | Temples of Ayutthaya | Street food demonstration | Chiang Mai Night Bazaar | Elephant Nature Park | Hmong Hilltribe Lodge | Mae On village homestay | Doi Suthep temple complex | Walking tour of Bangkok’s Chinatown | Chao Phraya River boat trip | Wat Pho | Grand Palace

Description of Thailand food adventure holiday

Khantoke platters, quick-cook street food, mountain barbecues and floating markets take a starring role on this Thailand food tour.

Journey from the source of the ingredients, meeting rural mushroom farmers and coconut palm sugar tappers along the way. You’ll see where Thai-born ingredients are sold, from the Mae Klong Railway Market (where stallholders up sticks every time a train rolls through) to the neon Bangkok night markets. A mix of cooking classes and street food demonstrations show you how locals cook up the ingredients.

Of course, it’s impossible to separate the food from the scenery and people. Homestays, mountain drives and boat trips along the temple-lined Chao Phraya River add the context of how northern Thai cuisine came to be – and where it’s headed.

Travel Team

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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand food adventure holiday

Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend most nights in hotels and a night in a Hmong Hilltribe lodge, which have been awarded the best community award for 2 years due to its efforts to preserve the hilltribe culture through their architecture and interior design and also ensuring that they employ locals. We also try to choose hotels that demonstrates environmental, social or cultural achievements. For example, one of the hotels used was certified by EarthCheck, the world’s leading sustainable environmental benchmarking and certification, clearly proving their environmental and social efforts.

This trip is predominantly focused on food hence, there are plenty of opportunities for clients to try local delicacies in both locally owned restaurants and street food vendors. There will be several visits to local markets such as the floating market and the Kanchanaburi market where clients can sample authentic thai desserts and snacks. In Ayutthaya, we will stop by a street food stall for roti sai mai demonstrations, a thin pancake wrapped around delicious, fine strands of thin-spun cotton candy. Clients are also encouraged to try Kaho Soi, a yellow wheat noodle dish in curry broth, a northern Thai signature dish.

We also have several cooking classes and meals in Kanchanburi, Bangkok and in a local village home, Mae On, where the group will do authentic Northern Thai cooking and prepare a Khantoke dinner. Through this cooking class, we benefit the local farms and plantations around it as the group will visit and buy ingredients needed for the cooking class, thereby creating employment opportunities in the village.

Local Craft & Culture:
We are dedicated to supporting local communities and the continuation of the craftmanship and traditional ways of life that make Thailand’s culture so rich and exciting. For example, we visit a local Hmong village where locals from nearby hill tribe villages are employed to perform traditional songs and dance. This provides these communities with an avenue to share their long and proud history of culture with younger members of the community and outsiders whilst stabilising income generation. Here travellers can also see demonstrations of how crafts have been handmade for centuries and have the opportunity to purchase gifts and clothing. Our local guides will be able to advise clients on what they can buy and what should be avoided as it is illegal to buy any goods made from elephant bone or food from endangered species such as shark fin.

We also visit the historic city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage site founded in 1350, which was said to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan areas during that time. We get to appreciate the archaelogical ruin and immerse ourselves in the rich history and culture of the once prosperous kingdom.

Conservation:
On this trip, we visit the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai to help provide some awareness of work being done with Asian elephants in Thailand. The park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre in Northern Thailand where you can volunteer and visit to help. We have been involved in dozens of rescues which have allowed a herd of elephants to thrive. The park provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals under their care and engages with local communities, educating them on animal welfare. Purchasing souvenirs here, making a donation or by merely learning about this issue, our business is very beneficial for these gentle giants.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can help reduce their impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from our visit.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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