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Explore the Diverse Flavours of Asia with These Curated Cooking Classes

Going sightseeing and picking up some pretty souvenirs along the way are fine but modern travellers want to take away something more from their trip. Whether it’s getting down and dirty in the wild, getting exclusive access to some of the world’s rarest monuments, or a hands-on experience with local artisans, holidaymakers nowadays prefer to spend some quality time on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation rather than just ticking off items on their holiday checklist.

Time to Spend Less on Possession, and More on Experience!

Going experiential is the latest trend in travel, and it’s easy to see why. We all want to come back home with positive vibes, and most of all we just want to have fun! To make sure that you’ll get the best out of your holiday, it’s best to book your activity in advance.

If you’re looking for a fun and memorable activity for your next holiday, you’re in luck as we have the just right thing for you over at As you might already know, you can use BIG Points to fly to your favourite destination with AirAsia.

Choose from their carefully curated travel experiences and earn 2X BIG Points with any purchase when you book an activity from 24 June to 7 July 2019. So what are you waiting for?

Why Should You Take a Cooking Class When You Travel?

If you’re anything like us (total gluttons), the best part about traveling to a new country has always been the food. Aside from the novelty of learning something new, cooking classes also gives you a glimpse of a country’s history and culture. Why do people in northern China love their noodles, while in the southern part people prefer their rice? Why is there an abundance of vegetarian food in India? A country’s culture is closely linked to its cuisine, so you will definitely walk away from a cooking class with a whole new appreciation for the country you’re traveling in.

A cooking class is also a great way to meet people. We’ve always found ourselves among some of the coolest people from around the world during our cooking classes, and some of them have even become our friends. Then, there’s also that sense of accomplishment that comes from preparing your own meals from scratch, and there’s a big chance that it’s going to be the most memorable meal you’ll have on the trip. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll leave the class inspired to cook your own food at home!

Best Cooking Class Destinations Around Asia

It’s a big world out there and there’s no such thing as bad foodie destination, but we are staunch believers that Asia has the best food in the entire planet (we are totally being biased here). The diversity from country to country is amazing, and you can even find different food cultures within one country!

Sadly, there are places where the local culinary traditions play second fiddle to foreign fast food chains and we usually avoid these kinds of places. No, we don’t want your class on how to make mac and cheese at an Asian beachside town, thank you very much. Our favourite foodie destinations are usually the ones with pride of their cuisine, food-centric places where people like to eat out and be merry. Here are some of our recommendations:

1. Sushi Making Class in Tokyo

For most of us, sushi is the first thing that springs to mind whenever someone mentions Japanese food. One of the best exports of Japanese cuisine, it’s amazing how a dish that consists of vinegar rice and raw fish can be so complex. Being a sushi chef is not a walk in the park as there is a rigid centuries-old tradition involved in Japanese sushi apprenticeship. An apprentice needs to spend years of doing menial jobs like sweeping the floor or washing the dishes before he or she is even allowed to touch rice!

Lucky for us, we can skip all that and just sign up for a sushi making class for a hands-on experience on how to prepare the fish and make various kinds of sushi like as nigiri-sushi, gunkan-maki, inarizushi, and sushi rolls.  Savour your own handmade sushi and learn more about Japan while socialising with the chef and other guests. You can even try your hand at filleting fishes!

Grab your cooking class deal here and cook up a storm in Tokyo.

2. Bangkok Cooking Class in Local Neighbourhood with Market Tour

With its balance of sweet, sour, bitter and salty flavours, it’s no wonder that Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines worldwide. Anyone who has travelled to Thailand would agree that the food is a big part of the trip there. Thai food also offers a wide range of tastes to tantalise the palate, as different dishes can be categorised according to  the area or region it originates from: North (Lanna), Northeast (Isaan), Central and South.

Located in central Thailand, food in Bangkok is known to be hearty and well-balanced in terms of flavour. Being the capital city, Bangkok is where all the specialties from all over the country can be found. A cooking class here usually starts with a trip to a lively neighbourhood market to shop for the ingredients. After that, you’ll be guided to prepare and cook some of the most popular Thai dishes like tom yum kung (hot and sour prawn soup), tom kha gai (chicken coconut soup), pad thai (stir-fried noodles), green curry and mango sticky rice.

Grab your cooking class deal here and cook up a storm in Bangkok.

3. Traditional Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai with Local Market Tour

Chiang Mai is known as the Rose of the North, the second largest city in Thailand. The cuisine in the northern region is distinct, as people here prefer a little of bitterness in their dishes (which usually comes from raw bile).

Located among the highlands, the northern city is not particularly famous for seafood, but they love their meat here. There are also influences from neighboring countries like Laos, Myanmar, and China, as well as the local ethnic minorities.

Learning how to cook authentic Thai dishes here is a treat, as you will be presented with twists that are unique to the North. Aside from the usual chicken in coconut milk and mango sticky rice, you will also have the chance to try your hand at some rare recipes like sapi thong (tomato dipping sauce from the Akha tribe), Akha salad and Akha soup.

Grab your cooking class deal here and cook up a storm in Chiang Mai.

4. Cooking Class in Ubud with Market Tour

Thanks to its popularity as the art capital of Bali, Ubud is a veritable food heaven. You can find everything from gourmet dining to açaí bowls in every shade of the rainbow. But take the time to get to know the local cuisine, and you will feel more connected to the land than ever.

To add to your experience of visiting a local market, you will also be introduced to the traditional rice cultivation and its importance in Balinese society. Aside from Indonesian favourites like pepes tahu (tofu in banana leaf), tempe manis (tempeh in sweet soy sauce) and klepon (rice cake with liquid palm sugar filling), you will also learn how to make Bali-specific menu like basa gede (Balinese basic spice paste), sate lilit (minced meat satay) and lawar (mixed vegetables with herbs and spices).

Grab your cooking class deal here and cook up a storm in Ubud.

5. Cooking Class in Ho Chi Minh City

More than a chance to learn about Vietnamese cuisine, a cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City can be seen as an alternative way for you to get up close and personal with the country’s largest city. Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant city packed full of personality, just like the food.

The food in Ho Chi Minh City represents South Vietnam, where everything is sweeter and spicier compared to North Vietnamese food. Due to the South’s lush tropical setting, coconut milk and fish sauce are also more prominent in the cuisine here. You will learn how to make popular dishes like gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls), gỏi gà (chicken salad), cơm gói lá sen (fried rice in lotus leaf), canh chua tôm (sour prawn soup), gà kho gừng (stewed chicken in claypot) and a wide variety of chè (desserts).

Grab your cooking class deal here and cook up a storm in Ho Chi Minh City.. Purchase your preferred cooking classes & earn 2X BIG Points only till 7 July 2019!

EXPERIENCE ASIA: AirAsia offers the lowest fares to over 130 destinations. Book your seats, accommodation, holiday packages and activities now at

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Written by Ari Vanuaranu

Albeit claiming to be a vegetarian, this self-professed culture vulture says that he’s willing to make an exception every time he is in an exotic place, as trying the local food is essential to widening a traveller’s horizon. But then each and every single place in the world outside of his hometown in Indonesia’s South Borneo counts as an ‘exotic place’...

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