Authentic Thai Pad See Ew Recipe

Take a Thai cooking class with Asia Transpacific Journey’s friend and professional chef.
To learn more, click here. We hope you enjoy this delicious dish flavored with a pork marinade.

thai-padStir-Fried Noodles with Soy Sauce, Pork and Egg

200 grams thick noodles
2 cups kale (slice the stem about ½ inch think and 1 inch long, cut the leaves 1 inch long)
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp black sweet soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp pepper
1 eggs
Pork marinade
100 grams pork tenderloin (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp baking soda

1. Marinate pork with sugar, soy sauce, and baking soda for 10 minutes
2. Add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a hot wok on medium heat, then add garlic and fry until soft. Add pork and kale’s stem, cook until it is done.
3. Add noodles, black sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, vinegar and pepper and stir together. Make space in the middle of the wok, spread eggs over the noodles and wait until egg is semi-cooked. Add kale’s leaves. Cook until the vegetables are done.

Contact a Thailand Travel Specialist or call 1-800-642-2742 to begin creating your unique Thailand journey.

Asia’s Best Markets, Bazaars and Shopping Destinations

Unique Shopping in Asia’s Markets and Bazaars

In Asia’s street markets and casual shops, good-natured haggling is often the norm. While it can feel intimidating at first, try your hand at bartering and you may find it’s quite fun! As a rule, start by offering about 50% less than the asking price for an item you intend to buy. With some back and forth, you can expect to pay 75-80% of the initial asking price. However, a word of caution, caveat emptor applies to every purchase—only purchase antiques or jewelry from a high-quality dealer.

India MarketIndia – Exchange your dollars for Indian Rupees, begin your shopping adventures in the colorful markets of Delhi & Cochin.

  • Dilli Haat (Delhi): Venture through one of the Indian capital city’s hidden treasures, an outdoor marketplace made up ofIndian Women heading to Marketdistinct areas representing the different states of India and the crafts indigenous to each. Skilled regional artisans eagerly negotiate and sell everything from textile purses to beaded slippers. This is truly a bargain shopper’s paradise.
  • Spice Market (Cochin): One of the best food and spice market in all of India, this trading center reflects the myriad cultures that have occupied Cochin—British, Dutch, Portuguese and Arab traders. Troll for cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper and cinnamon of legendary fragrance and quality.

Myanmar ­– Fill your pockets with the Burmese Kyat for your shopping extravaganza in Myanmar.

  • Pomelo (Yangon): This artisans’ consortium features a stunning collection of high-quality clothing, Burmese folk art and other local products for sale. Pomelo’s mission is to work with marginalized producers, small family businesses, RosesInBananaLeavescommunity groups and local individuals seeking to improve their economic situations. Rather than creating dependency on aid, their fair-trade, market-based approach enables local people to ethically benefit from their own labor.
  • Shan States Tribal Market (Inle Lake): This local market rotates location each day, setting up shop in one of the charming towns that hem iconic Inle Lake. A hodgepodge of bright flowers, flopping fish, exotic spices and authentic local arts and crafts, shoppers and photographers will find a visit delightful.

Thailand – Dealing in artful, colorful Thai Baht makes shopping in Thailand’s numerous local markets even more enjoyable.

  • Damneon Saduak (near Bangkok): Located 50 miles southwest of the city, Damneon Saduak is Thailand’s largest floating market. Vendors pack their traditional longtail boats with everything from finely-woven sunhats to household products to spicy noodle soup and paddle about searching for customers. From aboard your own boat, flag down interesting proprietors to bargain for a unique souvenir or just savor a snack.

Vietnam – Vietnam offers countless opportunities to exchange your Dong for stunning, high-quality souvenirs.

Vietnamese Dong

Vietnamese Dong

  • Old French Quarter (Hoi An): The colonial core of Hoi An is a charming jumble of cafes, art galleries and handicraft shops. Among the shops you’ll find a plethora of tailors, experts as constructing high-quality clothing in the style and fabrics of your choice—a specialty of Hoi An. Asia Transpacific Journeys has scouted out a handful of the city’s best tailors to ensure our traveler’s receive the best service and top-quality products.

Asia Transpacific Journeys provides shopping and bargaining tips specific to each country in their comprehensive Travel Guide provided to all of their travelers. Asia Transpacific Journeys’ expert local guides are also always available to help you navigate Asia’s markets and ensure you find the perfect keepsake to remind you of your amazing journey for years to come. Give Asia Transpacific Journeys a call to discuss your dream Asian shopping trip or to begin planning another unique Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.

Harvard Alumni Association Private Group Trip: Exploring Vietnam & Cambodia – Including a Week Experiencing Life on the Mekong River

The Harvard Alumni Association recently returned from their 17-day trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. Beginning in Vietnam, they explored the contrast of peaceful rural and frenetic urban scenes that form the backdrop for this dynamic nation as it ekes out a balance between communism, capitalism, Confucianism, bygone colonialism and feudalism. A hopeful current is buzzing throughout much of the country, and it’s a thrill to watch the chaos and order play out their yin and yang amidst honking horns, noodle stands, tranquil rice fields, colonial remnants and glass high-rises.

The alumni embarked aboard their luxury river vessel in My Tho, a port on the mighty Mekong River, to begin a memorable, week-long adventure sailing through the Mekong Delta into Cambodia. The Mekong’s sleepy canals and backwaters house authentic, local markets; Cham tribal villages; picturesque monasteries and quaint fishermen’s hamlets—offering a unique view of the region.

The group’s final stop, and a must on any traveler’s wish list, were the Khmer ruins at Angkor.

The visible central portion of this ruined city extends across an area the size of Manhattan, but recent satellite images reveal the actual extent of the one-time capital to be comparable to present-day Los Angeles, making it the largest pre-industrial city ever discovered. The 9th-to-14th century temples that dot the city represent one of humankind’s most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements, rivaling Machu Picchu or the Great Pyramids in grandeur and scope.

Of course, like any travel experience, a fantastic itinerary is only the beginning—it is the people who make every Asia Transpacific Journeys trip a Journey Beyond the Ordinary™. The Harvard Alumni Association was led by veteran Tour Leader Dr. John Freedman. John has decades of experience leading tours and lecturing on Asian history and culture, and recently retired from his busy medical practice to devote himself full-time to following his passion for all things Asian. When he’s not crafting new lectures on Asia or leading tours, John keeps his dedication to medicine alive by running Medical Exchange International, a non-profit charity dedicated to supporting healthcare practitioners in the developing world. His wife, Tina also accompanied the group, lending her fine attention to detail and extensive knowledge of wine to elevate group meals and ensure logistics ran smoothly.HAA Group in Hoi An Vietnam

As always, no one can speak to John and Tina’s expertise as eloquently as those travelers who voyaged alongside them:

John and Tina,

Your sense of adventure is inspiring! Thanks so much for your many kindnesses and going way out to give us a truly memorable experience.

- Barbara & Peter C.

John and Tina,

You brought so many memorable moments and enhanced our enjoyment of this extraordinary trip and left us excited about where you may lead us next! Thank you for your leadership and friendship.

- Fay & Bill S.


I am so grateful for your vast local knowledge, deft stewardship and grace under pressure!

- Perry H.

John and Tina,

With many thanks for being such wonderful guides to the fascinating worlds of Vietnam & Cambodia. We lucked out to get leaders so knowledgeable and fun!

- Lizabeth C.


I’ve learned so much and had so much fun under your watchful supervision. It’s been a wonderful trip!

- Melanie N.


We are so grateful to you for a job well done. Your lectures were so informative and articulate. As group leader you were so sensitive to everyone’s needs. Your lectures and site commentary were immeasurably valuable for our learning on the trip. We very much enjoyed traveling with you. 

- Lynn & Robert G.


Great trip! You were an important reason for its success and memorability. Hope we catch you again.

- Ed & Jay O.

John and Tina,

You are the finest tour guides and hosts we have ever encountered and we value your wisdom and friendship.

- Hilary R. & Ron F.

John and Tina,

Thanks for a great introduction to Indochina and life on the Mekong.

- David & Marina O.

John and Tina, 

Thanks for an unforgettable adventure. Looking forward to many more with you both!

- Ellen H. & Richard P.

John and Tina,

Thank you for a memorable trip! You guys are awesome and we hope to see you in the future.

- Ted M. & Niv P.

When You Think Honeymoon, Think Exotic and Exclusive

Every bride and groom dreams of the perfect honeymoon: romantic, secluded, unique—the list goes on and on. Song Saa Champagne Picnic on neighbouring Koh Rong islandOver their decades of planning honeymoons in all corners of Asia and the Pacific, Asia Transpacific Journeys has found that the perfect honeymoon is often a mix of active exploration and relaxation—an ideal way to begin your new life together as a married couple. Combine spa treatments at handpicked boutique properties with first-hand explorations of remote villages and towns, visits to lush wilderness areas and the chance to cycle, kayak, snorkel or simply explore together. Whatever your honeymoon desires, Asia Transpacific Journeys has the expertise and experience to craft a unique, dream honeymoon that’s as unique as your relationship.

Nothing says romance like Cambodia’s exclusive, luxurious and pristine Koh Rong Archipelago. This secluded location is home to two remote islands known locally as Song Saa—Khmer for “The Sweethearts.” They are deserted oases of virgin rain forests, tropical reefs Song Saa Honeymoon Coupleand glistening white beaches. The Song Saa Private Island Resort is located on one of these romantic islets, 35 minutes by boat from the port of Sihanoukville. Enjoy ultimate intimacy and luxury as you savor the view from the edge of your private infinity pool with your new life partner. Snorkel or kayak in the pristine waters surrounding Song Saa, or take a personalized yoga lesson on the immaculate private beach. Celebrate your marriage with culinary experiences at the pool or on the private beach.

The perfect location for an active yet relaxing honeymoon, the Anantara Golden Triangle (where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet) welcomes guests with a top-notch package of accommodations, daily meals, round-trip airport transfers, beverages (including house wine, beer and spirits), in-house internet and mini-bar access. Stay in rooms that beautifully meld contemporary design with the rustic charm of Northern Thai architecture—guestrooms are finished in silks, regional cottons, wooden accents and Thai artwork and set along the riverside, amidst two hundred acres of tropical gardens. The on-site spa offers delightful Thai-style treatments, many specifically designed for couples.

"VFMLID=51908557"During the day, tour the nearby Opium Museum (the Golden Triangle was a hotbed of opium production and trade well into the 18th-century), trek through local tribal villages that dot the misty hills or visit the nearby historic city of Chiang Saen, with its ancient walls, interesting museum and numerous picturesque temples. Or spend the day at the Anantara’s world-class elephant camp. Learn to care for these magnificent, intelligent and emotional gentle giants. Elephant health, happiness and welfare are the primary concerns of this conservation center, which also acts as a refuge for orphaned and rescued baby elephants. Your day will include an elephant ride through the jungle."VFMLID=51945613"

To satisfy your appetite, you and your loved one can take a traditional Lanna-style cooking class that includes a guided visit to the local market. Shop for for commonly-used northern Thai vegetables, spices and herbs. Then turn your provisions into a delicious feast through an informal demonstration of traditional cooking techniques.

Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Custom Journeys are a perfect for designing a unique and meaningful honeymoon that perfectly suits your travel style. From Australia to Tibet to Bali and beyond, Asia Transpacific Journeys excels at planning honeymoons to all parts of Asia and the Pacific. Contact us today to turn your honeymoon into a Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.

Travel Trends for 2015 – Asia Transpacific Journeys Stays Ahead of the Trends

Whether it’s traveling to an off-the-beaten path locale, seeing an iconic sight from a new perspective or traveling in a whole new style, staying one step ahead of the travel trends keeps your journey fresh and fun. Asia Transpacific Journeys’ staff regularly visits Asia to stay abreast of most interesting new destinations, experiences and travel tips to pass along to our adventuresome travelers. For 2015, we’ve identified the following emerging trends—book your trip now before everyone else catches on!

Trend # 1: Off-the-beaten-path Myanmar     home-bagan2

Myanmar (Burma) has been a very popular destination for the past few years, since travel restrictions for westerners were relaxed, and its allure shows no signs of fading. However, most travelers stick to the tourist triangle of Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan, all iconic destinations but firmly “discovered.” To get a taste of traditional, authentic Myanmar, travel deep into the countryside to visit villages that have stayed true to their ancient culture, relax on hidden beaches and discover jungle-shrouded ancient ruins. Visit a local school, take a cooking class in a family home or snorkel among vibrant coral and tropical fish—the possibilities for exploring Myanmar in depth are as diverse as they are compelling.

Trend # 2: Paradoxical Japan

Due to the most favorable exchange rate in years and successful rebuilding efforts since the tragic 20sushi11 tsunami, Japan is shaping up to be a hot destination for travelers in 2015. A visit to Japan immediately reveals the frenetic interplay between Japan’s ultra-modern contemporary culture and its mysterious, ancient traditions—a fascinating web of colorful contradictions. While the main island of Honshu is home to most of Japan’s iconic destinations, venturing farther afield yields great returns. For a completely different Japanese experience, visit the sub-tropical Okinawa Islands, located on the southern end of the Japanese archipelago, to discover a lush, laid-back side of the country—a whole different world from the bustle and neon of Tokyo.

Trend # 3: Quality Over Quantity

As international travel becomes increasingly more accessible, visiting a destination’s major tourist sites feels less and less exotic. Instead, travelers are increasingly seeking out authentic, culturally-immersive experiences that capture their destinations’ unique sense of place. Rather than trying to see and do it all, many travelers are carefully curating their travel experiences center on hands-on local interactions—home cooking lessons, music lessons from native artists, visits to village English classes, locally-led street food tours. Invariably it is these moments of meaningful human interaction that connect people across geographic and cultural barriers and create the sort of travel memories that last a lifetime.


Trend # 4: Different Companions, Different Experiences

Experienced travelers know that whom they travel with can influence a trip just as much as the destination. Increasingly, travelers are thinking outside the box when it comes to their international travel companions. That could mean turning that next family reunion into a trip to Southeast Asia for the entire clan, designing a luxurious Bali beach and spa retreat for a group of girlfriends or savoring a solo journey based on your interested alone. Or, for experienced private travelers, that could mean trying out one of our signature Small Group Trips for the first time. Our intimate groups offer the chance to travel with a handful of other like-minded adventures and make some new friends along the way.

Trend # 5: Great Guides make Great Trips

Asia’s cultural diversity is staggering. The languages, religions, customs and cuisines of every region are unique, convoluted and sometimes baffling—precisely why traveling with an expert local guide is so important to making the most of your travel experience. Asia Transpacific Journey’s highly-educated and well-connected, on-site guides are true aficionados of their areas of expertise. Akin to travelling with a brainy local friend, our guides open our travelers’ eyes to the nuance of their destination and open doors to unique experiences inaccessible to the unaccompanied visitor.

Now that 2015 is here, your year of trendsetting jet setting awaits. Give Asia Transpacific Journeys a call to talk with us in more detail about these trends, other emerging destinations or to begin planning your unique Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.


Sundance Film Festival 2015

Exploring New Horizons

Sundance Film FestivalWe are always thrilled to find new opportunities to share our passion for exploration and appreciation of global diversity. This year, we are delighted to have been invited to share our expertise at the Sundance Film Festival, a mecca of inspired storytelling from around the world.

Between film screenings, attendees are invited to visit our “Taste of Asia” experience at Rand Luxury’s exclusive Luxury Lounge at the St. Regis Deer Valley. Amid silk lanterns and bamboo fronds, we will briefly transport guests to Asia as they sample traditional green tea, sip sake and relax with a brief Thai massage.

Of course, why savor just a taste of Asia, when you can fully immerse yourself in its wonder? Experience the thrill of discovery for yourself as you write your own story across continents  and cultures. We look forward to seeing you!

The Experience Speaks for Itself

Asia Transpacific Journeys values our travelers to the Nth Degree. As fellow travelers, we understand first-hand that when traveling abroad your experiences and safety are top priority. We work tirelessly to ensure every voyage with Asia Transpacific Journeys not only lives up to our travelers’ expectations, but surpasses them. It is a matter of great pride when a returning traveler shares their glowing feedback with us. And it with that same pride that we share the following testimonial from two of our travelers who just returned from an extensive trip throughout Asia.

The trip that you arranged for us was an incredible, awesome experience without compare.  From our arrival in Singapore up to that last leg of our trip out of Beijing, every single day went without complication or error (other than the two minor hotel mix-ups in Singapore). Enough cannot be said for the value of the ease of travel that was accomplished by working with Asia Transpacific Journeys. 

GUIDES: Hands down, what made this trip so outstanding and memorable were the guides. Each one gave us their full effort. We always felt that we were being well cared for and safety never crossed our minds.

Joe in Singapore had to roll with the “punches” of torrential rains in the morning and backed-up traffic in the afternoon.  Nevertheless, he gave us a full, very informative day highlighted by a visit to the orchid gardens.

Angela in Bangkok gave us her all while dealing with us two travelers finally feeling the effects of jet lag and heat that we were unaccustomed to. She kept the water and cold rags coming and didn’t waiver in giving us an extraordinary day in Bangkok. The lunch provided overlooking the Chao Phraya River was the best meal of the entire trip (among many outstanding ones).Chiang Mai 2

Kai in Bangkok gave us a truly special foodie tour. It would take finger and toes to count all the tastes, the variety, the “unusuals” (ducks’ cheeks) that we enjoyed. He even added a couple of extras when we expressed an interest. He was conscientious in finding us seating where appropriate, which was not an easy task.

Ruchi in Chang Rai was a rare personality. We particularly appreciated her familiarity with the hill tribes and giving us the opportunity to see mountain life up close. 

Pom in Luang Prabang and Ponsovan was the one guide with whom we spent the most Elephanttime. Many of the most memorable events of our trip were spent with him—the elephant camp, the trip over the mountains, the Bacci and Alms ceremonies, the Lone Buffalo Foundation, the insights into the “silent war,” a walk through the rice fields, to mention only a few. He was part of some of the longest and best days of our trip and he never cut short on his effort. He was always conscientious about our comfort and wellbeing.

Ley in Vientiane was such a happy personality and gave us an outstanding whirlwind tour. When we met him, we realized that this was going to be a much too brief of a visit.

Huang in Hanoi and Halong Bay was a lot of fun to tour with. He had a great sense of humor and was generous with the small touches—offering us sticky rice ice cream, tiny pineapples, a taste of rice “happy water,” a stop at a pearl factory—those things made a special day an outstanding one.

Tuan in Hoi An was a stand out in his command of the English language. We were so grateful for all the guides knowledge of English, however, Tuan was certainly the most easy to understand and gave our ears a welcome rest. We particularly appreciated him sharing his thoughtful insights into Vietnam, its history and its people.

Chuong in Saigon provided an appropriate conclusion to our trip. He was willing to share some time to just visit and help us pull together the many pieces of information that we had accumulated while touring Vietnam and so we could understand the “big picture.” His knowledge of history gave us a good general overview of Vietnam’s story. He was an expert at timing, arranging things perfectly to give us a full experience for our day trip outside of Saigon. Chuong had a knack for making us feel very special.

DRIVERS: These gentlemen were as outstanding as the guides they accompanied! Some performed under particularly difficult conditions such as winding mountain roads and rough unfinished roads or what we viewed as the madness of city driving. The cars/vans were roomy and immaculate and we never once felt unsafe with them behind the wheel. And, again, one of those “big” small touches, they were always quick to open doors for us.

HIGHLIGHTS: There was not a tour or a day that disappointed us. But those times that we will talk most about are our two-day trip down the Mekong River, our visit to the elephant camp complete with elephant ride which included a walk up the river, the forever winding road over the mountains of Laos from Luang Prabang to Ponsovan, the trek through the rice fields to the Mekong RiverPlain of Jars site #3, the visit to the Lone Buffalo Foundation class, the visits to the hill tribes of Laos and Thailand, the cooking class in Hoi An, and the night we sat on steps at a corner in Hanoi watching the unbelievably wild and crazy traffic. The most touching moment for me was the film on the “silent war” waged on Laos whose effects are still being felt today. I am so glad that I got to see this eye-opening film.

We also absolutely loved our two-day, overnight cruise on Halong Bay—it was exceptional, magnificent and luxurious! Our room was spacious, with a balcony and a lovely, roomy bathroom, and it was well air-conditioned. The lunch and dinner equaled two dinners, the activities were fun; the staff provided excellent service and were a true pleasure. With so many groups offering cruises on the bay, this was one more instance where the expertise of ATJ shone.

PROBLEMS: I have to dig deep to come up with anything significant. Of course, not surprisingly, we could have used at least just a few more travel days. The late change in hotel arrangements in Bangkok was a bit frustrating but the end solution worked well for us. We were very satisfied with our choice of countries to tour, however, by our choice, it sometimes seemed to be a whirlwind trip that just flew by. Ultimately, we would not change any decision.

IN CONCLUSION: This was an extraordinarily well-planned trip, executed with delightful precision. The exceptional variety of sites, tours and events was amazing. The people we met became friends. We offer a round of applause, a “wave” of appreciation and endless “bravos!” to Asia Transpacific Journeys. With immense appreciation for a job well done!

If there is anything better than reading a glowing review like the one above, it’s writing one. We’d love to hear how your experience with Asia Transpacific Journey speaks for itself after your travels. Visit our website to begin planning your next Journey Beyond the Ordinary™!

Practice Yoga with a View in Asia and the Pacific

Customize your yoga experience with Asia Transpacific Journeys. Deepen your practice with in-depth yoga lessons from local teachers in various Asian destinations. Practicing yoga in an awe-inspiring setting takes the experience to a whole new level and is a wonderful way to authentically immerse yourself in the gorgeous natural landscapes of Asia. Below are a few of our favorite spots for yoga with a view:

India is a natural choice for yoga in Asia—and for good reason—the ancient practice of yoga originated high in the Indian Himalayas. For a different side of Indian yoga, we love the Leela Kovalam Beach in Kerala, India: The Divya Spa at The Leela Kovalam is situated atop a cliff with a stunning yoga and meditation pavilion on the roof for optimal views of the serene coastline as you practice your asanas. Ayurveda treatments and holistic programs are a highlight of the hotel, perfectly complimenting the yoga experience.

pathways spa-gallery-52 The Sarojin, Khao Lak, Thailand, an exclusive resort on southern Thailand’s pristine coast, features private yoga lessons on a seven-mile stretch of secluded white-sand beach along the shimmering Andaman Sea. The Sarojin’s private yoga teacher, Canadian born Melanie Schorr, was trained in India under Yogi Vijay Amar and teaches in the traditional hatha style. Hatha Yoga practice focuses on finding balance between opposing forces through physical postures.

To acquaint yourself with the roots of yoga, book a Custom Journey to Ananda in the Himalayas, near Rishikesh, India. This authentic, Ayurveda-based resort in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas offers a full spectrum of private and group lessons in both asana and other yogic disciplines such as pranayama (conscious breath) and ajapajapa (mantra mediation) in a gorgeous open-air amphitheater with alpine vistas. Customized Ayurvedic menus are devised and prepared for each guest and complimentary lectures on Vendata (the Indian philosophy of combing physical, mental and spiritual wellness) make this ancient system of health approachable to the visitor. Warrior 2

The yoga and meditation practices offered at Ananda are numerous. Upon arrival, you will have a consultation with a yoga instructor who will personally tailor your yoga and meditation experience to suit your level of experience and desires. The menu of classes and individual lessons is extensive—here are a few of our favorite offerings:

Hatha Yoga: A personal lesson can take your practice to the next level with the focused attention and physical adjustments of an expert instructor. To develop a deeper understanding of how your body responds to each posture, the instructor will guide your awareness to specific muscle groups provide tips for tapping into your body’s natural intuition.

Gatyatmak Yoga: Offering a challenge to intermediate and advanced yogis, Gatyatmak sessions elaborate on the traditional Hatha yogic postures by adding an additional level of dynamism. The sessions revolves around two traditional, rhythmic sequences of postures known as Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) and Chandra Namaskara (Moon salutation) designed to revitalize the entire body-mind system.

Kriya Yoga: Delve deeper into the energetic side of yoga with instruction in kriya, the movement of awareness in the energetic body as physical postures are performed. Perfect for advanced practitioners looking to elevate their yoga. Back bend

Pranayama: Lessons in breathing may seem a bit simplistic, but learning how to breath properly, from a place of deep relaxation, can profoundly affect both your yoga practice and your general quality of life. Various techniques are taught to engage deep breathing, remove energetic blockages and embrace prana (vitality) from the inside out. Experienced yogis will be taught to incorporate bandhas (specific moves that restrict or activate breath) into their existing asana practice.

Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra means “psychic sleep,” a state of conscious between wakefulness and sleep. An experienced teacher will guide you into this state, quieting the agitations of your conscious mind and awakening the awareness and immense
healing potential of the subconscious.

Chakra Shuddhi: One of primary practices of Kundalini Yoga, Chakra Shudddi refers to the cleansing of ones chakras, can be added to any existing yoga practice or practiced on its own. As the chakra energy centers are purified through guided mediation, it is common to experience deep transformation in personality and consciousness.                            forward bend

Ajapajapa: While it is common to chant sacred mantras in Indian mediation and yoga practices, the concept of ajapajapa moves beyond the physical repetition of these phrases and instead focuses on aligning the mantra with the movement of your breath and thought. This is an effective technique to quiet the mind and explore the meditative state.

­­­­These are just three of the yoga-inspired vacations offered from the knowledgeable Asia Travel Specialists at Asia Transpacific Journeys. Contact Asia Transpacific Journeys today to learn more about these and other unforgettable yoga adventures.

Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Clients Publish Tribute to World Travel, Wildlife & Photography

Asia Transpacific Journeys’ travelers Richard and Amy Lynn have circumnavigated the globe collecting candid photos of some of the world’s most beautiful, strange and interesting animals. Having cuddled baby wombats and sought out fearsome Komodo Dragons in the bush, the Lynns truly exemplify the Asia Transpacific Journeys motto: Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.

The Lynns’ Asia Transpacific Journeys expert Travel Specialist, Chris Dunham, offered the following perspective:

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Richard and Amy on four trips to our region of the world so far. I knew they were avid photographers and was pleased to learn that they had taken their talents and developed them into a book to share with the world. Their book is a testament to their passion and love for wildlife and for traveling the world. I’m flattered and honored to have helped facilitate the travel that lead to the creation of their book.”

sarcasticlensRichard and Amy Lynn’s large-format photography book, The Sarcastic Lens, is available on Amazon. Get ready to be inspired and start planning your next Journey Beyond the Ordinary™!

Farm to table culinary experiences, not a nouveau concept in Thailand and Vietnam

Fresh food straight from the farm, no preservatives, no GMOs—it’s the new way of eating in America.  But the concept isn’t new in Asia, where centuries-old recipes and fresh, farm to table culinary traditions are a way of life. Asia Transpacific Journeys offers a number of mouth-watering, culinary expeditions throughout Asia. Travelers accompany local chefs to vibrant markets then prepare their fresh produce into delectable local-style dishes. In this blog, we are focusing on culinary opportunities in Thailand and Vietnam.


In Thailand, try your hand at creating iconic, fiery, Thai cuisine with hands-on cooking classes, visits to local markets and unique dining experiences. In Chiang Mai, meet your local host, Nid, and visit a nearby market to select the freshest ingredients for your afternoon cooking lesson. Nid will encourage you to taste some of the more exotic items and discuss substitutes that can be used back home. A 40-minute drive through the lush countryside outside of Chiang Mai will bring you to the village of Lamphun and to Nid’s family home, where your hands-on, private cooking class with Nid and her mother will take place. Dishes may include traditional Northern Thai favorites, such as Catfish Mince or Green Papaya Salad. You’ll also get tutorials on how to combine traditional Thai flavors and how to stir-fry in a wok. Enjoy the fruits of your labors with a cold Thai beer for lunch. Before departing, stop in at a beautiful, nearby temple that overlooks the Lamphun valley.    Thailand

End the day at Chiang Mai’s most discerning boutique hotel, 137 Pillars House. Located in a colonial teak mansion amid lush, private gardens, the spacious suites, delicious on-site dining and winning location in the charming Wat Gate neighborhood are truly without compare. The in-house restaurant serves organic, seasonal, contemporary Thai food and the Parlor Lounge is a delightful spot for a traditional high tea.

From Chiang Mai, head to the capital city of Bangkok, and check into one of the city’s many luxurious hotels. The Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental, much-lauded properties situated right on the river, are both favorites of ours. Both properties feature highly-rated restaurants where you can continue your culinary adventures.

The following day, ride Bangkok’s clean and contemporary Skytain monorail to the suburban stop of your local cooking instructor, Angsana. Angsana is a Bangkok native who grew up visiting the market and cooking with her mother and is passionate about sharing her comprehensive knowledge of Thai cuisine with curious visitors. Accompany her to a favorite neighborhood market to pick up the freshest ingredients for the Thai dishes of your choosing. Then settle into her modern home kitchen for a crash course in authentic Thai cuisine. Armed with recipes and a plethora of new knowledge, you’ll leave confident enough to make your own curry paste from scratch back home.

End your Thai voyage with a memorable night aboard a restored Teak rice barge on Bangkok’s Chao Phrya River. If your timing is right, catch one of Thailand’s most colorful festivals, Loy Krathong, which falls on the first full moon of November. For the festival, the river will be alive with decorative canoes and barges and iconic krathong offerings set adrift by the thousands. Each krathong contains a flower, a candle and three incense sticks, which are lit before being placed on the water. It is believed that if the candle remains lit until the krathong is out of sight, then the sender’s wish will come true. Savor the scene as you enjoy a 10-course traditional Thai seafood menu, paired with wine and cocktails.


Vietnam is another perennial favorite for those interested in cuisine. Saigon’s Benthanh market, one of the city’s most famous landmarks and a food lover’s paradise, is a bucket list sojourn. Accompanied by a local chef, you will gain in-depth insight into the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine while shopping for a mind-boggling variety of fresh and exotic local ingredients.

VietnamAlso not to be missed is an informal cooking class at the wildly successful The Mermaid restaurant in Hoi An. The owner, celebrated cooking expert Ms. Vy, has appeared on national television many times. Her classes introduce travelers to Vietnamese cooking and exotic local dishes, such as steamed fish in banana leaf with vegetables and spices, in a fun, light-hearted and hands-on setting. And, of course, the best thing is sampling your delicious, self-cooked meals at the end of class!

Culinary enthusiasts should not miss visiting the village market in Tra Que. This authentic country market offers the freshest local ingredients—star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach, banana flowers—and an unbeatable chance to interact with the locals and sample some unusual delicacies. After exploring the market, visit a local village home and work with the family chef to prepare a typical Vietnamese meal, using the freshest ingredients and traditional utensils. Afterwards, sample your dishes in the company of the rest of the family.

With your newfound knowledge of Vietnamese cuisine, you’ll be well-prepared to savor a seven-course tasting menu of traditional imperial cuisine in dynastic-era Hué. As much thought is given to the presentation of these Vietnamese delicacies as to their preparation—making for a stunning meal all around. As you savor a final few days in the country, don’t miss sampling a steaming bowl of pho (beef noodle soup) or a banh mi (a typical Vietnamese sandwich). Just look for cafés crammed with locals to know which versions are the local favorites.

Asia Transpacific Journeys offers culinary excursions throughout Asia—the locations featured above are just two of the countless possibilities. Contact Asia Transpacific Journeys to begin planning your own epicurean exploration of Asia. And be sure to check out our future blogs, which will highlight additional culinary destinations.