Have a little chef on your hands? Appeal to his culinary curiosity at one of these travel destinations across Asia.
Food should be fun. Food can be an adventure. And with the right approach, you can set your budding junior chef on the path of culinary exploration in a world of tasty delights. The travel experts at KAYAK.com.hk have delved into the foodie facts to find kid-friendly cooking classes, street snacks, and food market morsels. Here are our top picks for culinary exploration across Asia with your little one:
The bustling old quarter in Georgetown, Penang, can be a wondrous experience for families. Traditional trishaws, Chinese shophouses and engrossing hawker stalls make for an exciting day out. Be sure to sample the regional favourite, Penang Laksa, then take a stroll through Palau Tikus Wet Market to nab some fresh ingredients to recreate your own in a cooking class at the Tropical Spice Garden. You’ll feel like a local, and more importantly, your curiosity and bellies will be deliciously satisfied.
Taipei may be just a short hop away, but the city has much to offer, and food is at the centre of all things. If your kids are older, take them out for an evening at the Tonghua Jie Night Market, a hub of after-dark activity, immersed in the distinct sounds and smells of this city that never sleeps. Try the famous Teppanyaki street stalls or sniff out some stinky tofu. For those searing hot days, indulge in one of Taiwan’s specialties – icy desserts. Combine fruit and ice in the most delicious way at Ice Monster for an afternoon treat. If eating isn’t enough, Ivy’s Kitchen offers tailor-made and hands-on cooking classes, customised to fit the culinary skill level of your family.
Philippine cuisine has a colourful history which has evolved over many centuries to fuse Malay, Indian, Spanish, Chinese and American influences. In short, there is almost nothing you can’t find here. For an insider experience, start with the popular local dishes, like longganisa (sausage), lechón (roasted pig), torta (omelette) or tapa (cured beef). If the idea of finding the best version of each of these local delicacies is an overwhelming prospect, let the experts at Smokey Tours guide you on a Market Tour. While food focussed, the tour will also give you and your little one a taste of true Filipino culture in Old Manila. Your child will be fascinated by the local medicinal herbs, birds, flowers, statues and gadgets for sale and you’re sure to find something to suit even the most fussy appetite.
Singapore is a truly international city. A melting pot of cultures and a hot spot for local and regional cuisine. To get to the core of the city’s gastronomic style, in a bustling environment kids will love, join a tour with Singapore Food Trail Adventure. Far from an ordinary tour, the Food Trail Adventure is run by friends and food lovers, and comes complete with local knowledge to guide you through every bite of delectable street fare you can get your hands on. Throw in a dash of history, music, and a wide variety of local specialities, and you’ve got the perfect recipe to nurture those up-and-coming food enthusiasts.
Picturesque Hanoi, with its ancient pagodas and tree-lined lakes, is delectable in both atmosphere and culinary fare. You can find mouth-watering local dishes from street carts almost anywhere in the city, but head to the old quarter for the best banh mi sandwiches, super strong coffee or unpasteurised beer (for the adults of course). Taste something you want to try your hand at making? No problem. Stop by Hanoi Cooking School for their child-friendly, hands-on classes, then take in a show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Your little master chef will love it, and so will you!
Travelling with your family is always an adventure and delving into local cuisine and culture is the ultimate shared experience no matter how old your kids are. If they are into food, there is no better way to pique their interest than heading off on a culinary adventure. Adding some new skills via a cooking class or two is the perfect way to bring the experience home with you and for the whole family to recreate and the culinary memories at your own dinner table.
Top tip: If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel in close proximity to local eateries and the best sightseeing spots, get a glimpse of what each city has to offer with KAYAK’s Heat Map.
*Data provided by KAYAK.com.hk is based on flight and hotel prices found on 11 November 2015 for travel from 13-19 December 2015. Flight prices quoted are per person and are based on a return flight. Hotel room prices are per room per night. Prices are subject to change, availability may be limited or offers may no longer be available.