Myanmar and Thailand for Foodies Fully Escorted Voyage of Discovery

I’m a passionate traveler - I find almost childish excitement from every new place I visit even if it isn’t too far from home. I delight in the new discovery, the hidden restaurant or a new item I find handmade by a local vendor. As a travel agency owner I often get invited to places that seem even out of my comfort zone and Myanmar earlier this year was exactly one of those invitations.I happened to be visiting a travel trade event in Thailand and the person who owns the Strand Cruise asked if I had time for last minute adventure to go to Myanmar. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is one of the least known countries in Asia. So, feeling a little trepidation although not one to pass up an adventure, I said yes I would love to. I then embarked on one of my most surprising and uplifting travel experiences of my life.

Step back in time as we begin our journey in Myanmar. After our international flight we will sit back and enjoy the stunning Strand Hotel. An old Colonial hotel with service that makes you wonder if they would be tying your shoes next.

"The finest hostelry East of Suez" Author John Murray in his 1911 ‘Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon’ declared The Strand as “the finest hostelry East of Suez”, a title it has enjoyed for more than 100 years.Built in 1901 and acquired soon after by the Sarkies brothers, famed for the likes of Raffles in Singapore and The E&O in Penang, The Strand Hotel remains one of Asia’s most enduring and awe-inspiring Colonial landmarks.

Spend 2 nights in the Capital of Myanmar, Yangon. Yangon originated as a small town called Dagon on the outskirts of the ancient kingdom of Okkalapa. In 1755 the founder of the Third Myanmar Empire, King Alaungpaya – who reigned from upper Myanmar – conquered the southern parts of the country and renamed the town Yangon, meaning End of Strife. After the British colonised the south they turned the town it into a busy port. The British have long since departed but they left a legacy of beautiful colonial architecture and tradition.

The welcome was warm but this became a trend throughout this fascinating country. Besides being a land of spectacular landscapes and buildings, Myanmar boasts a fierce, proud, and kind population who will go to almost any lengths to make you feel welcome.

This country is as you would imagine most South East Asian countries to have been like hundreds of years ago before tourism became the currency of choice. It has the look of old Asia that has been preserved by its harshly imposed self-isolation.

Todays Yangon appears lost in time and you almost feel like you have been given an early entry pass to an amazing place that will soon be overrun with tourists. Here life seems to have gone on largely unchanged for the past 2,500 years: peasants, oxcarts, the same kinds of food and clothes yet they are surrounded by beautiful gold pagodas and shrines everywhere you look.

A country that has defied time and commercialization.

After two days in Yangon we take a short flight to Bagan where our four night /5 day cruise begins on the Irrawaddy River. We were picked up by the butler from the cruise and driven to have an surprisingly wonderful breakfast near our first visit of the day which was a Lacquer Factory. I was so surprised and interested to see how Lacquer Wear is made and how long it takes. After our action packed day we joined the boat waiting for us at the banks of the river.

Having seen the poverty along the drive during the day my expectations were low for my cruise but oh how wrong I was. Its cabins are elegant, the food is divine, and the crew are so coddling that you’re surprised that they don’t tie your shoes. The top deck is a teak platform with straw chairs and a small swimming pool and elegant bar; there is enough space so that you can have reasonable privacy even when many other passengers are up there.

Each day we were greeted with grateful thanks from the people for coming to visit their country and we were made to feel very welcome and special. The area of Bagan to Mandalay has over 230,000 ancient pagodas. These vary in size from just a few feet tall to towering Gold and marble structures housing giant Buddha sculptures.

On one morning many of my fellow passengers chose to take a hot air balloon ride over the temples and pagodas for one of the most spectacular sights. Looking down from the matching red balloons as you float gently along at dawn will be forever burned into my memory as one of my life highlights!

For many years Myanmar disappeared behind a wall of self-isolation, and only recently did it reopen its doors to the outside world, revealing the country’s unique culture and stunning scenery to new generations of visitors. With a diversity of terrain that ranges from ice-capped mountains in the north, to pagoda-filled plains in the centre, to miles of pristine beaches along the coast, Myanmar has something to offer at all times of the year.

Just one of the thousands of Pagodas and Stupas in Myanmar
"Elegantly dancing her way along the Ayeyarwady River, Strand explores thousands of years of culture and riveting scenic beauty while offering sophisticated elegance on board. From ship to shore, The Strand experience best showcases this magical country."


The ship casts off on day two for a relaxing cruise upstream towards Mandalay to enjoy the passing landscapes and villages along the river bank, with scenes reminiscent of the days of Rudyard Kipling and other intrepid explorers who have visited this rugged landscape over the centuries.

After a leisurely breakfast, day three brings a visit to Ava, the ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese Kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse carts await the ship to transport guests for a delightful ride through the naturally preserved Ava landscape and key landmarks.

After Our week in Myanmar we will then be going to one of my favourite cities Bangkok. There we meet up with Canadian Celebrity Chef Massimo Capra who will be our host for the three nights of our gastro tour of Bangkok. Massimo will accompany us as we eat our way around the flavours at the best restaurants in Thailand plus a fabulous walking street food tour by Tuk Tuk. Chef Massimo will also pitch his culinary talent against famous Thai Chef Naroor who will be teaching us a hands on cooking class where we not only get to see these two chefs battle it out but we also get to cook too! After our class of course we will have a delicious Lunch at the Blue Elephant.

Another Evening is spent on the River in Bangkok as we enjoy an evening culinary tour with 7 course dinner.

Spend some time exploring this metropolis and melting pot of cultures where the people will greet you every time with a smile. One of the safest large cities in the world and very interesting. We will have one half day cultural excursion where you can choose to visit the Summer Palace of the King and of course the famous reclining Buddha or visit the famous floating market by long tail boat.

Our Journey starts on March 21st 2019 from North America

  • Fully escorted by our owners
  • 2 nights in 5* Hotel in Yangon
  • 4 nights Luxury Strand Cruise from Bagan to Mandalay including all meals and excursions, wine and beer with meals
  • 1 special dinner in Yangon
  • 1 excursion in Yangon
  • 3 nights Bangkok at Anantara 5* hotel or similar
  • Breakfast daily
  • 2 Dinners in Bangkok with Celebrity Chef Massimo Capra
  • One evening Food Tour with many options of food sampling
  • Full Bangkok Itinerary hosted by Chef Massimo
  • 1 excursion in Yangon
  • 1 half day excursions in Bangkok
  • Luxury Cooking Class in Bangkok with lunch
  • Transportation
Price per person on a double occupancy basis for Myanmar and Bangkok Culinary $3499 US$
Optional add on 7 night Mekong AMA Waterways cruise From Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap.$2999 US$ in a Double Balcony Cabin Category B including city tour of Hi Chi Minh and Flight from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh All fully Hosted by Celebrity Chef

AMA Waterways Charms of The Mekong Cruise

Exclusions International Flights Transportation to and from your home to the airport meals where they are not listed.

This fabulous journey will also include a few extras from the Tourism Authority of Myanmar to thank you personally for coming an visiting this wonderful country and will be a very special treat.


Created with images by takeshiiiit - "bangkok thailand temple landscape old sun sky" • Max Bender - "Take the tuk tuk"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.