The Best Upscale Restaurants in Luang Prabang

Nestled in the heart of the former French colony of Laos, Luang Prabang has its own blend of culinary traditions featuring everything from Southeast Asian-French fusion to more exotic local dishes.

Set at the intersection of two rivers, full of beautiful Wats (temples) and surrounded by both natural and man-made beauty, Luang Prabang’s one of Southeast Asia’s culinary centers. The historical capital of Laos would be well worth visiting even if it weren’t for the many exquisite restaurants which await you there. Featuring traditional Laotian, South East Asian and French fare, the city boasts many of the top places to eat in the region. Here are some of the best places to eat in Luang Prabang.

Ock Pop Tock – Silk Road Cafe

Silk Road Cafe

Source: http://ockpoptok.com/eat/

From the dining terrace which floats about the Mekong, you can enjoy a casual dining experience suitable for the whole family. Famous dishes include their chicken stuffed with lemongrass, and goy gai, chicken salad infused with herbs, chillies and lime. If you’re feeling brave, try the tea made from Silkworm droppings! After dinner wander the Ock Pop Tock gardens, which are filled with traditional art works made by Laotion artisans.

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Myanmar’s 7 Most Luxurious Retreat Hotels

A little far off the typical Asian tour, Myanmar still hosts a variety of luxurious hotels for the discerning traveler. Step into this faraway land, previously unopened to the West.

‘It is quite unlike any place you know about’, wrote Rudyard Kipling when he landed in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, more than a century ago. Incredibly, the statement still holds true today, even for the most seasoned travelers. This is the gilded land of mystical pagodas, undiscovered tropical beaches and lost Asian charm. Accommodation here is not as abundant as that in Thailand or Vietnam, but there’s still a convenient selection of excellent hotels. We handpicked some of the best from around the country.

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Source: Belmond Governor’s Residence

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What is Bhutan’s Food Like?

A tiny nation bordering East and South Asia, Bhutan has an unexpected flair for unique food. This ancient culture only recently opened its doors in 1974, so its cuisine has evolved almost completely isolated from its neighbors. Here’s a peak into the region’s eclectic gastronomy.

Landlocked in the Eastern Himalayas between China and Bangladesh, you might not expect to find interesting culinary culture in this tiny country. However, Bhutan has an exciting array of dishes ready to sample that are both surprising and satisfying.

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A typical Bhutanese family’s food

The most important aspect of food and dining in Bhutan is etiquette. The country has an interesting list of customary rules to remember when eating. For example, when offered food, you are supposed to say meshu meshu while covering your mouth as if refusing the offer. On the second or third offer, you can accept.

Unlike China and Japan, food is eaten with your hands across the country and you are usually sitting cross legged on the floor. Women usually serve the meal. Before eating, a short prayer is said and a small piece of food is placed on the floor as an offering to spirits.

However, as the country modernizes, some families use cutlery and sit at tables. But as always in Asia, dining is always a family style buffet where you can sample a bit of everything.

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Win these Amazing Prizes at Beshan Gāi

Beshan Gāi is coming up quickly on our (and hopefully your) calendar. Over 60 carefully selected artisans, from Xinjiang to Yunnan, are already on their way to Beijing to celebrate artisanal culture and in the lead up to the event series, you have the chance to win some amazing prizes. There are prizes ranging from a WildChina weekend stay in Dali and Brunch for 2 at The Opposite House’s Sureño to 1000RMB to spend at Rosewood Beijing’s Bistrot B. The treasure hunt has already begun so read on to find out how to win!

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11 Jaw-dropping Performances to Watch Across China

Nearly every region of China has developed its own stunning variety of performance art. We’ve compiled the coolest shows worth buying a ticket for.

China’s rich history has allowed for the development of nuanced, artistic performances. With shows that employ nature as the backdrop to the myths and legends of ethnic minorities to the discipline of Kung Fu and the dazzle of Sichuan Opera, China’s full of entertaining and enthralling performances.

Here’s a curated selection of some of the most amazing performances you can watch across China today:

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Congrats to WildChina Education: 2016 Global Youth Travel Awards Nominee

We’d love to celebrate our education team for their exceptional accomplishment!

Every year, the Global Youth Travel Awards are presented at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference.This year, WildChina Education was short listed for an award for Best Education Abroad Provider! This award goes to an outstanding provider of abroad education programs.

We’re excited and proud of our team for our dedication to excellence in educational travel within China. Our team proves to be a role model for companies around the world. We’ve never wavered on our commitment to exceptional travel experiences for youth and young adults. As a company, we’re grateful to receive this well-deserved praise.

GYTA FINALIST-01

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WildChina founder and Dali-native Mei Zhang’s Insider Tips to Dali

Dali is the perfect backdrop for a truly authentic Chinese travel experience. From stunning mountains to decadent gastronomic delights, the city of Dali and its surrounding areas provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind immersion into a China both old and new. Experience Dali like an insider with my six tips only a native would know about 

Fighting through the crowds and rushing between tourist attractions in Dali can make for miserable trip. But Dali doesn’t have to make for a stress-inducing vacation.

I was born and raised in Dali, and I’ve made it my mission in life to help tourists experience the authentic and “wild” side of China through my company, WildChina. I’ve quite literally written the book on experiencing the side of Dali that most tourists can’t access by themselves or on a typical tour.

I want to help you learn to enjoy the sunshine, sit around the fire, and experience the relaxing lifestyle of Dali with my exclusive, insider tips:

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Chozle via flickr – Chenghuang Temple

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Book Spotlight: Travels Through Dali with a Leg of Ham

WildChina reading lists give travelers our top picks for books that will open up a destination to them before they even set foot on the ground. Our newest addition to the China reading list is Travels Through Dali with a Leg of Ham, the story of Yunnan’s centuries old culinary traditions told through the eyes of our founder, Mei Zhang.


 Photo: Liz Phung

Growing up in Dali prefecture in the Yunnan region of China, Mei Zhang was convinced that ham in the nearby village of Duofeng was the best in the world. After moving to the USA for school, Zhang continued to long for the culinary delight of her hometown ham. Yunnan is one of China’s most ethnically diverse regions, and its unique customs and traditions are a precious draw for millions of tourists each year. Their ham, according to Zhang, is the best in the world.

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Photo: Liz Phung

Along with the wealth it has brought to the region, tourism has also brought lots of questions on how to keep hold of traditions. In Travels through Dali with a Leg of Ham, the founder of WildChina discusses the ways in which China’s 5,000 years of history intersect with growing urbanization, the tourism industry, and prominence of China on the global level.

eating-leg-of-ham

Photo: Liz Phung

After leaving China for several years, Zhang decides to set out on a journey with her hometown ham. She uses Dali and its ham to talk about broader issues of travel: how experiencing new places enriches us as humans and global citizens, how food and cooking brings us together to share a meal, stories, companionship, love and family.

Zhang and her local guides provide a richly-detailed, highly poetic, and often humorous view of Dali and its history. Twinged with nostalgia and a knack for noticing the little things, Zhang provides readers with a travelogue and cookbook.

She travels to a local village where salt from wells is processed by artisan’s in a centuries old fashion. She visits with a busy homemaker who makes delicious Shaxi cheese all the while making shoes from old car tires. Zhang even crashes a Bai minority wedding.

The text of the book is excellently complemented by beautiful photographs that almost let you taste the ham and experience the riches of Dali along with Zhang.

China is a country amidst monumental change where the history being made in the present is just as compelling as the 5000 years that have passed. Zhang clearly has a love for sharing the traditions and cultures of China with the rest of the world, as her company, WildChina, continues to do each and every day.

If you want to hear Mei Zhang’s passion for Yunnan and its delicacies first hand, you must watch this lovely YouTube video. You can hear the enthusiasm and nostalgia in Zhang’s every word. You might not expect someone to talk about ham the same way a poet talks about his beloved, but Zhang sounds exactly like a love-struck poet:

 

The book will be available for purchase from www.travelsthroughdali.com and selected bookstores around the Australia and Asia-Pacific from September 13, 2016

Purchase your copy of “Travels through Dali, with a leg of ham

Want to get a taste of a juicy leg of ham? Explore Dali’s delicious heritage on the Travels through Dali with a Leg of Ham tour.

A Foodie’s Yunnan Voyage

Yunnan’s status as a gastronomic paradise is unwavering: between far-flung lands of idyllic villages and snow-capped mountains, the southwestern province offers unparalleled diversity when it comes to Chinese cuisine.

dali-feastSavory Yunnan Feast

Also known as Dian cuisine, Yunnan cuisine features fresh local produce (thanks to the favorable geographic location and mild climate) as well as the varied cooking styles of the numerous ethnic minority groups across the region. In the north you have Mongolian-inspired dried meat, cheese and yoghurt wafers; Eastern Yunnan’s is closer to traditional Han (Chinese) cuisine, while the south is heavily influenced by the citrus and spice of Southeast Asia. Read on to find out about the colorful world of Dian cuisine.

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