Foodie Walking Tours and Cooking Classes Make Thailand Travel Come Alive

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Whether it’s street food or a sit-down dinner with an award-winning chef, part of Thailand travel is about making your taste buds smile.

If you haven’t been to Bangkok, you might see it as an exciting, almost overwhelming metropolis, known more for glittering rooftop bars and a stunning Asian skyline than its street-side pleasures. But Bangkok is also down-to-earth, relaxed, and full of traditions that date back centuries. A big one of these is its penchant for street food.

A great way to access the city’s less “touristy” aspects is to join a knowledgeable guide on an evening street food tour, or on an off-the-beaten-track bike tour. You can even explore some of the intricacies of Thai cuisine with a local cooking class.

Suggested Day Tours in Bangkok:
Bangkok: Evening Street Food Tour
Bangkok: Off the Beaten Track Bike Full Day Tour
Bangkok: Half Day Cooking Class at Blue Elephant

Various Thai Curries sold in street markets, Bangkok, Thailand
Various Thai curries sold in street markets, Bangkok

On the evening street food walking tour, passengers follow their noses to try freshly-prepared items like grilled jumbo prawns with chili sauce, black sesame dumplings, and pan-fried taro cake. After a couple of stops, even the most skeptical Thailand visitor has built up the confidence to try these dishes that keep Bangkok running day and night.

The full day bike trip takes travellers through markets, old city defense walls, small factories, scenic parks, and along a canal – with lots of snacking along the way. Finally, there’s no better way to unlock the secrets of Thai cooking than at a top-notch cooking school, with an expert chef guiding guests on how to prepare some of Thailand’s most important dishes.

Heading north to Chiang Mai, globetrotters can skip the touristy places and instead head to the Chang Phuak Gate Market with their guide, meeting local vendors and tasting delicious grilled meats, seafood, curries, soups, noodles, and rice dishes. Travellers might also wish to spend a day in the Thai countryside visiting the gorgeous scenery and pagodas of Doi Inthanon, later enjoying lunch at a local restaurant.

Suggested Day Tours in Chiang Mai:
Chiang Mai: Chang Phuak Gate Market Evening Street Food Fair
Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full Day Tour

Royal Twin Pagodas on top of Doi Inthanon Mountain, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Royal Twin Pagodas on top of Doi Inthanon Mountain, Chiang Mai

Classic Thailand for Foodies

These day tours on Thailand travel can be easily combined or mixed and matched to create just the right balance of adventure, ease, and authenticity on your next trip to Asia. You can also opt for a ready-made itinerary that combines several of these experiences with stays in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, plus a comfortable flight on Cathay Pacific Airways.

Goway’s 11-Day Classic Thailand for Foodies trip is ideal for Thailand first-timers, starting with a half-day Bangkok sightseeing tour that includes the Temple of the Golden Buddha, Wat Pho, which holds the incredible Reclining Buddha as well as a famous massage school, and the striking Wat Benchamabophit. Then, it’s an evening street food tour of Bangkok, which invites globetrotters to enjoy both local Thai dishes, alongside specialties brought from China and other neighbouring countries that have worked their way into Thai cuisine. The following day is open to enjoy at leisure, though includes a special treat for those in Bangkok on October 30 or November 2 this year.

Serene Wat Benchamabophit Temple in Bangkok, Thailand
The serene Wat Benchamabophit Temple in Bangkok

Celebrity chef and two time James Beard Award winner, Andy Ricker first fell in love with Thai cuisine on a backpacking tour in 1987. Since then, he has returned time and again to explore, eat, cook, and study the country’s (and region’s) food culture, bringing his passion for it back to the United States. Now, with seven restaurants spread across Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City, including Michelin starred Pok Pok Ny in Brooklyn, Andy is returning once more to Thailand, this time to share his love of the local cuisine with globetrotters first hand. Andy will personally host dinner in Bangkok on October 30 and November 2, and will be inviting Goway globetrotters on the Classic Thailand for Foodies trip to join him for expert insights, and a culinary evening they’ll never forget.

Street Food in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Street Food in Chiang Mai, Thailand

That’s not to forget Chiang Mai! Northern Thailand’s cultural heart welcomes travellers on this itinerary with a private half-day guided tour, followed by an evening at one of Chiang Mai’s best street food markets. Northern Thai cuisine bears some distinctive differences to the street food of Bangkok, so foodies will get a real sense of contrast between the two cities – besides the immediate slowdown in pace. A cooking class in Chiang Mai completes the experience.

Thailand is almost as well known for its beaches as its cuisine (let’s be honest, it’s hard to export the beaches!). That’s why the trip ends with three nights at Koh Samui, one of the most popular resorts in Thailand’s south, before flying home.

Suggested Itinerary:
11-Day Classic Thailand for Foodies Incl. Airfare

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand
Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

Any country as multifaceted as Thailand can’t all be covered in one visit. Just ask Andy, who has spent months at a time in the country. But that first experience of Thailand travel is all it takes to tantilize the senses and stomach. Don’t be surprised if it inspires a love affair that lasts a lifetime.

Amazing Thailand (smile) Logo - Sep2015

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Christian Baines
Christian Baines

Globetrotting Contributing Editor -
Christian’s first globetrotting adventure saw him get lost exploring the streets of Saigon. Following his nose to Asia’s best coffee, two lifelong addictions were born. A freelance writer and novelist, Christian’s travels have since taken him around his native Australia, Asia, Europe, and much of North America. His favourite trips have been through Japan, Spain, and Brazil, though with a love of off-beat, artsy cities, he’ll seize any opportunity to return to Paris, New York, or Berlin.

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