Sam's Asian Culinary Adventure
Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam make up a region of beautiful landscapes, incredible culture and delicious food. Best known for charming, historic cities, impressive, sacred temples and tantalizing cuisine, these countries are a delight for foodies. While here, you’ll savor the smells and tastes of authentic street food, take a cooking class with a local chef and dine in some of the best restaurants Asia has to offer. Led by celebrity chef Sam the “Cooking Guy” Zien, this 10 day itinerary includes Michelin star dining in Bangkok, explorations of Angkor Wat away from the crowds and floats down the Tonle Sap in Siem Reap, as well as Vespa city tours of markets, artisan workshops and food stalls in Hoi An. Add to this private, authentic cooking classes with local chefs, and you have a completely immersive culinary experience. Southeast Asia is your oyster on this unbelievable journey.
March 4 - 13, 2019
US$8650 per person (in double occupancy rooms)
First Come, First Serve
This program has a maximum of 16 paying participants.
To register your interest in this trip or to find out more, please email our Asia Expert at InfoUSA@scottdunn.com or call us on 858 345 1762
Sam Zien - The Cooking Guy
Sam the Cooking Guy is a celebrity chef based out of San Diego, California. He has won 15 Emmys, written 3 cookbooks and opened a taco restaurant with a twist, all while making cooking casually understandable. With no fancy equipment and by speaking English instead of ‘chef-speak'. He currently has two shows, the TV show SAM THE COOKING GUY, and an online show, SAM THE COOKING GUY ONLINE. There’s no foie gras and no white truffle oil, he makes food as delicious as it is accessible, food that’s ‘big in taste and small in effort’. It’s a handful of ingredients and a few steps – that’s it.
Day 1 - March 4th
Today you'll arrive in glittering Bangkok. You will be whisked through security and immigration with VIP airport assistance. You will then be privately transferred to your hotel, in the heart of Bangkok. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure - simply relax by the pool or begin your exploration of the bustling city at your own pace. In the evening you’ll be treated to a welcome dinner at Issaya.
Day 2 - March 5th
This morning, as a group, discover some of Bangkok’s most magnificent sights with your private guide. You’ll walk alongside of the Grand Palace to discover Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha. Then, explore Bangkok’s oldest market, Tha Tien Market, this is a great place to try some local snack specialties. A short ferry ride across the river will bring you to one of Bangkok’s most recognizable landmarks, Wat Arun. In the evening, set off to experience the city's vibrant nightlife and street food culture. Walk through old neighborhoods, graze on some great local food, enjoy a cocktail in a unique place, drop by Jae Fai, Bangkok’s only Michelin star street side eatery and visit some markets and historical districts.
Day 3 - March 6th
Spend the day exploring by private longtail boat, visiting Bangkok’s highlights as well as the hidden backstreets and ethnic villages along the river and canals. You will be joined by a local foodie expert as you visit ancient hand-hammered bronze bowl workshops, original Portuguese settlements baking cakes from a 250 year old recipe, royal temples without the crowds, the grand flower and spice markets, colonial heritage buildings, mazes of narrow alleys with 200 year old Chinese mansions and shrines, artist communities and more. End your last night in Bangkok in style, with dinner at Gaggan, the perfect choice for those who love a truly gastronomic adventure and unforgettable experience.
Day 4 - march 7th
This morning you'll arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Later this afternoon, enjoy sunset drinks with a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom and view hidden elements of the ancient Khmer water systems. Relax with a gin and tonic in hand, accompanied by the sound of bird song. This evening, enjoy fine dining at Cuisine Wat Dam Nak, serving Khmer cuisine with a modern interpretation by French chef Joannes Riviere. Two degustation menus change weekly and are based on seasonably available produce and fish. The restaurant is set in a traditional Khmer wooden house with both indoor and outdoor dining options.
Day 5 - March 8th
Wake up early to begin a fantastic tour, which is geared around avoiding the crowds, getting you to Ta Prohm, Ta Nei and Ta Keo at the quietest time of day. Ensconced in jungle, these temples are ideal for adventurers wanting an Indiana Jones experience! This afternoon enjoy the magnificent temples of Angkor Thom with your private guide. Start at the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom and take a walk along the 26ft high laterite city wall to the Death Gate. Then take a walk through the shaded parkland to finally reach Jayavarman’s state temple of Bayon, at the center of the city. This evening, take a tour by private tuk-tuk to discover the best of the best Khmer fine dining in Siem Reap’s top restaurants, whose kitchens are headed up by some of the country’s leading chefs.
Day 6 - March 9th
Wake early to visit Angkor Wat at sunrise, the best time to visit this ancient monument and one of Southeast Asia’s most important archaeological sites. This afternoon head out into the countryside to explore untouched rural landscapes. This experience reaches authentic villages and leads you between rice paddies, through woodland and back gardens. You will reach Villa Chandara by late afternoon, which is a wonderful spot to relax in the quiet of the countryside and enjoy sunset drinks. At the end of the day you will likely see ox-carts returning from the fields, children washing their water buffalos, or playing and laughing as they jump into the stream. While the chef prepares your meal you can wander across the rice paddies, look for fish traps, or walk to the viewpoint over the ancient reservoir, while listening to the elegance of traditional Khmer music played by local musicians, before being seated for your gourmet meal.
Day 7 - March 10th
This morning you will be driven to Tonle Sap, home to colorful floating villages and luminous mangroves. Spend time cruising the lake by boat, a perfect way to explore. Find out how communities live and work on the lake; see the floating schools, markets, and police stations as well as observing the locals go about their daily lives. Most of the inhabitants are ethnic Vietnamese and thus live slightly differently from the native Khmer communities. This provides an interesting comparison and insight into one of Cambodia’s most important sub communities. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the Four Season’s Vietnamese restaurant
Day 8 - March 11th
Begin today with a walking tour in charming Hoi An, a fantastic way to see and experience this beguiling and enchanting destination. With an emphasis on food you’ll explore the backstreets and colorful markets, learning about the city’s history. The experience continues to Hoi An market where you are free to roam around the food stalls, brimming with local delicacies. Here expect to find truly authentic Cao Lau noodles, famous in Hoi An, along with silk. In the evening, discover Hoi An’s mysterious nightlife from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. From here, you'll head to An Hoi Islet; where you’ll get on a local boat for a slow cruise alongside the ancient town to Cam Nam Island, where you'll join the locals for seafood, enjoy a hotpot and learn the art of Vietnamese wrap 'n' roll. Continue on riding through the busy streets to the last destination - a modern Vietnamese restaurant nestled in the rice paddy fields. If you still have room enjoy incredible BBQ specialties, charcoal grilled at your table! Wrap up your food tour with Banh Flan, a light version of crème caramel.
Day 9 - March 12th
This morning, meet local chef and proprietor Duc Tran from Mango Mango restaurant. He is well known in Vietnam and is extremely talented with an in-depth knowledge of the unique Hoi An food scene. Explore the join Duc in a hands-on cooking class at his boutique restaurant and reward yourself with a wonderful meal at the end. Hoi An is famous for its unique and tantalizing cuisine, from Cao Lau to Hoi An Chicken Rice. There are many famous, signature dishes to try. This is a fantastic experience for those interested in modern Vietnamese cuisine. This evening you will be driven to Hoi An for dinner at Morning Glory.
Day 10 - March 13th
This morning you will say goodbye to Vietnam and everyone you met on the trip and be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok
The minimalist Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok is a haven for those who love contemporary, slick city escapes. It combines an urban edge with Asian flair and the result is the coolest hotel in Bangkok, located along the vibrant Sathorn Road. The infamous Met Bar is a great place for evening cocktails and one of the coolest hangouts in the city.
Shinta Mani Angkor - Siem Reap
Shinta Mani Angkor is arguably Siem Reap’s most contemporary boutique hotel. With just 39 rooms and a 15-minute drive from Angkor Wat, it’s a fantastic option for those wanting a super slick and stylish boutique hotel in a great location. The property feels intimate, yet there is a good range of facilities with a soothing spa and cool pool located within a gorgeous tropical courtyard.
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai - Hoi An
A stylish and chic beach retreat on the deserted sands of Ha My Beach, the luxury Four Seasons Hoi An is just a short distance from the historic town of Hoi An, offering a great combination of relaxation and cultural opportunities. During your stay enjoy the resort’s complimentary activities – work up an appetite with a morning cycle round the rice paddy fields or meet Mr Dung who has climbed coconut trees for 35 years, he will climb up one of the 4,500 coconut trees and serve one straight to you.