South East Asia has become a tourist hot spot, offering something for everyone, luxury resorts, boutique accommodation, stunning beaches and a range of western cuisine. When your away on your south east Asia group holidays it could be possible to forget that you are in a region with rich culture and heritage. This is something that should not be forgotten and to enhance the experience of local culture it is worth setting aside half a day to visit some of the amazing food markets in South East Asia.
In Laos the excellent night market in Luang Prabang offers not only traditional silk scarves and souvenirs but also local cuisine that you can try. One great example is Khao Tom a Laotian desert. It is made with the traditional sticky rice that you will often see the local villagers boiling in the morning. Adding coconut gives the Khao Tom its sweet flavour. It is easy to make and additional fruit and flavours can be added to give the delicious desert. Its served it an original and clever presentation wrapped in banana leaves. A must try when you are in Laos. Vietnam holiday packages take a half day trip through the food markets in Hanoi.
The best time to visit is dinner time!! Eat a light lunch and around 4pm head through the bustling old quarter to the night market. Your guide will explain about the different cuisines being sold by the local street vendors and try away. Sample various cuisines before stopping at a “Bia hoi” store, here you can sit and enjoy a relaxing moment with the local. One of the favourites delicacies to try here is Banh Cuon. This is a traditional rice dish rolled up with pork and herbs. There are also many types of noodles to try.
Stop to have some excellent Vietnamese coffee before returning through the bustling market. To top of the day and a highlight of Vietnam holiday packages is returning to your hotel with a short cyclo ride through the French quarter of Hanoi. In fact for those who want to indulge in local cuisine on south east Asia group holidays an excellent way is to combine the culinary delights of a few countries sampling traditional cuisine as you go.
In Vietnam Pho soup is a must to try for breakfast a mix of noodles and fresh beef. Laos grilled barbecued fish is always on the menu and served with herbs and vegetables along the Mekong in most towns and villages. A similar dish is Amok, fish served in banana leaves again often found along the Mekong. There are lots of choices so try not to fall into the trap of not experiencing the local culture and cuisine. After all that’s what makes the region so special.