Indulging in local flavours.
esides natural beauty, architecture, entertainment and other things, people nowadays look for local flavours of food in a vacation. Gone are the days when people used to carry thepalas, puri, pickles etc along with them on vacations. Travellers now want not only to indulge their taste buds with local flavours but also to learn to cook them.
Cooking had broken the age-old stereotype of being associated with housewives and evolved as a fashionable trend of creativity. It has emerged as a popular stressfree technique for all the agegroups blurring the gender gaps. Cooking vacations are elbowing aside all its counterparts and gaining popularity, slowly but steadily. The success story of celebrity chefs, cooking competitions on television and food channels are the basic motivating force behind this trend.
These vacations bring the best hands-on cooking classes and cultural tours. Travellers can learn local cuisine with excellent chefs and local experts. Both domestic as well as international operators offer a huge selection of handpicked vacations, to suit every pocket, with the friendliest customer care. A week-long vacation in the Tuscan countryside, offering to cook the Tuscan way from a friendly and enthusiastic chef or a cooking trip to Spain which offers you a rainbow of vibrant local cusine and culture there are thousands of options to choose from. Other than Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Egypt, our own country is full of delicious platters. Its multilingual and multi-ethnic life style is replicated in its cusine.
They can be either weekend vacations or a week-long vacation. The size of the group varies from two to 15 depending upon the size of the kitchen where classes are to be held.
The food can be vegan, veg, or non-veg. A detailed description of the various options of the accommodation, itinerary and cooking classes is provided to choose from. Some custom-made cooking vacations are also available to suit the ethnic and cultural taste of the travellers.
But, before zeroing in on any destination, make sure it goes along with your ethnic and cultural values. Reviews of other travellers are often helpful. The focus of foreign travellers is on cusine of the country they are visiting and the local ones are keen to learn cusine new to them.
So, this time after a cooking vacation from, say, Egypt, get ready to surprise your mother-in-law, with crispy, delicious falafel as a souvenir.
Temple at Angkor Wat
It is the largest religious monument in the world built by the King Suryavarman. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, seen on its national flag, and the country's prime attraction for visitors. It is dedicated to Vishnu. We must be prepared to walk a lot in the ruins of the temple and one can see sculptures relating to Indian mythology, that of Narsimha and Hiranyakashapu, Vishnu etc. Even though Hinduism was practised during the reign of the Varman kings, the present trend is to practise Buddhism and we also get to see large statues of Buddha and temple of Buddha etc. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Indian Archaeological Department and UNESCO together have taken up restoring this temple.
The temple at Angkor Wat is so vast that it will take at least two days to see it if you are looking for details. Tall and majestic, these ruins look magnificent.
Siem Reap has numerous hotels and spas. Foot and back massage is so cheap here and they charge only $2 for a half-hour massage. We spent at least an hour every day at the massage place. We tipped them perhaps more than their charges since many students earn their college fees doing this job. Cambodians charge only in US dollars for everything. It is as though their official currency is US dollars!
One can take a hot air balloon flight over the Angkor complex at sunrise or sunset. It is much slower and less scary than a helicopter ride and an awesome experience. Angkor National park houses many temples and is a wonder to watch.
The best way to travel in Cambodia is by tuk-tuk. It is a two wheeled carriage pulled behind a moto. The drivers are not very familiar with the hotels but locate the hotels by the nearest market and hence it is the best way to make them understand the route. It is also advisable to used tuk-tuk parked near your hotels. The fare is rather cheap and negotiable. Make it a point to negotiate the fare before hiring them. Most of the drive costs anywhere between $1 and $ 4 US dollars. One needs to take care of smart phones since they are very much in demand and get stolen at the wink of the eye.
Angkor night market are open only in the evenings. They sell interesting bags, shawls, handicrafts and Cambodian souvenirs. We need to make hard bargains to bring down the prices.
Go to Pub Street to experience this. The Fish Spa is a very novel and Phnom penh
It is Cambodia’s busy capital. On its walkable riverfront, stands the ornate Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, displaying artefacts from around the country.
The structures are beautiful and unique, a mixture of Khmer and French architecture. At the city’s heart is the massive art deco Central Market. Other structures include Hor Samran Phirun, Hor Samrith Phimean, Damnak Chan, Phochani Pavilion (dance hall), Serey Monkol Pavilion (royal conference hall), King Jayavarman VII Pavilion, Vihear Suor (royal chapel), Villa Kantha Bopha, Villa Chumpou and Villa Sahametrei.
The people are kind and friendly and every hotel provides you with rice preparations since rice is the main produce of Cambodia. Rice and fish are an essential part of Cambodian cuisine.
We need at least four-five days to see Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The advantage is since it’s visa on arrival, you can decide to leave without any prior planning. All one needs to do is, buy tickets in Air Asia and book your hotels either way.
At the end of our trip, we leave with our hearts full of fond memories of those wonderful sculptures, the beautiful architecture, the hot air balloon ride, the pedicure by the fish and the magnificent giant statues of Buddha.
IT IS THE LARGEST RELIGIOUS MONUMENT IN THE WORLD BUILT BY THE KING SURYAVARMAN. IT HAS BECOME A SYMBOL OF CAMBODIA, SEEN ON ITS NATIONAL FLAG, AND THE COUNTRY'S PRIME ATTRACTION FOR VISITORS. IT IS DEDICATED TO VISHNU.