How Cuisine Influenced My Thailand and Vietnam Travels

By Stacey Schultz, Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Marketing Director

Much of my original fascination with Thailand and Vietnam travel started when living in San Francisco with such great access to a variety of Asian cuisines, most notably Thai, Vietnamese and Indian.

Within walking distance from my house in Noe Valley was Swatdee Thai. Swatdee translates to “hello” and the proprietor of the restaurant was one of the most welcoming restaurateurs you will ever meet.  During my visits there he taught me the basics of Thai culture, so when the time came to plan a Thailand and Vietnam vacation, I took my love of Asian food and canvassed the country in search of the best curry, pad thai, and pho.

Here is one of my favorite Thai recipes:
2 cups. coconut milk
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 tbsp. red curry paste
1/4 cup nampla (fish sauce)
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
8 oz. raw shrimp

Combine all but shrimp and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

Do you love learning about and trying new cuisines? Have you always dreamed of an exotic tour through Southeast Asia? We’ve designed our Cuisine and Culture of Thailand and Vietnam tour for travelers like you.

This trip features an in-depth cultural immersion liberally spiced with culinary adventures such as cooking demonstrations, meetings with chefs, market shopping, preparing and sampling your own creations, and delectable cuisine at some of Asia’s best restaurants. To talk to a Thailand and Vietnam Travel Specialist, call us at 800-642-2742.

Mekong River Trip

One of the most majestic waterways in the world is the Mekong River. It begins on the Tibetan Plateau in China and flows to the coast of Vietnam, where its estuaries, the “nine dragons,” fan out to form a fertile delta that meets the South China Sea. The Mekong River is over 2,600 miles long, and supports an expansive river basin comparable to the Amazon River in its biological diversity. The beauty of the basin’s mysterious jungles, soaring mountain peaks, and countless species of wildlife will captivate you as you visit the Mekong River delta for your next travel destination.

As you explore the Mekong River, evidence of the alluring Southeast Asian culture abounds in the form of floating villages and markets, thriving shoreline cities, and stunning coastal architecture, such as the royal Four Rivers Palace in Phnom Penh. Journey by longboat as the river winds through the Laotian jungle, take a river cruise on the Mekong Delta, or opt for a longer, leisurely cruise between coastal cities of your choice, including the bustling capital cities of Vientiane, Laos, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Your group and custom travel options are limitless, and our expertise is unmatched.

Travel along the Mekong River is most enjoyable between November and February, when the river is full and navigable, the weather is mostly dry, and the temperatures are moderate. The Mekong River is a worthy destination for part of your journey or for an entire getaway.

Southeast Asia, Off the Beaten Path

An article in Forbes Traveler by Don Willmott.

“Where can you experience authentic Southeast Asia without sharing it with busloads of other travelers?

The answer is simple: Find the places that fewer people know about. Throughout Southeast Asia, it’s easy to find viable alternatives to the wonderful but overcrowded destinations to which throngs of travelers typically flock.”

To read the entire Forbes Traveler article, visit ForbesTraveler.com


To learn more about travel to Southeast Asia, visit our site.

In Laos and Vietnam, Tracing the Path of a Colonial Ancestor

The New York Times showcases Laos and Vietnam in their ‘Personal Journeys’ feature, by Thomas Fuller.

“The spring water that drips from massive slabs of rock on a hillside in southern Laos, high above the flood plains of the Mekong River, is a rarity in Asia today, so pristine and welcoming that you don’t hesitate to cup your hands and gulp it down.”

To read the entire New York Times article, visit NYTimes.com


To learn more about travel to Laos and Vietnam, we’re happy to answer any questions. We can customize a trip for two or suggest small group trips to Indochina, including Laos and Vietnam.