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Culinary Vacations for Families: Asia and Beyond

Le Quartier Français, South Africa

Love to broaden your horizons and understanding of global cultures through food and travel? You can still do it with kids, and make some great meals and memories along the way. We’ve already visited Spain, Italy, France and the US on our last Culinary Vacations for Families roundup. Now we’re packing our bags and heading East to Asia for some educational and exciting culinary experiences for kids and parents, making a quick detour to South African Wine Country. See you there!

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Image © Mandarin Oriental

Kids and adults can spend a day learning to cook traditional and modern Thai dishes with Executive Chef Dominique Bugnand at the culinary academy in this beautiful hotel. Guided market tours are also available . We highly recommend a stay at the luxurious private villas in this remarkable five star hotel, designed in the style of traditional Lanna architecture and set in 60 acres of landscape gardens, exotic plantations and paddy fields. Their extensive programs for kids include Elephant Keeping, Mini Safaris and Rice Planting in the paddy fields.

Le Quartier Français, Franschhoek, South Africa

In the Kitchen Garden © Le Quartier Français

This exclusive and child-friendly Relais & Chateaux hotel is situated in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley in the Cape Winelands, the biggest wine producing region of South Africa. Their Culinary Concierge program offers classes for the whole familiy, ranging from traditional South African cuisine to charcuterie, chocolate and cheese making.

Guests can also join the Mrs Ndaba Friday program, and help bake nutritious muffins for a local daycare serving underprivileged children. Afterwards, guests hand deliver the baked goods to the children at the school, which is bound to be one of the more special vacation experiences your family ever has. We recommend staying at this hotel, located less than an hour from Cape Town, before or after heading out on Safari! Their Auberge Suites are designed just for families with children under 12, and include a sleeping loft, Wii, and their own private pool!

Black Sesame Kitchen, Bejing, China

Cooking Demo at Black Sesame Kitchen, Bejing

Jen Lin-Liu, a journalist and author of “Serve the People”, a book about cooking and modern-day China, started this charming school and private dining facility in a hutong courtyard residence in central Bejing. Customized, private classes teach the art of handmade noodles, dumplings and Sichuanese cuisine. Parents will also want to try their weekly Wine & Dine dinners on Fridays, featuring a ten course gourmet Chinese dinner prepared before your eyes and served at a communal table!

Connections Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Image © Connections Vietnam

Custom programs for families and children, including walking tours with visits to Ben Thanh market, the best street food stands, cooking and eating in the home of a local family, and all with a focus on a personalized and authentic experience. We recommend staying at the new Park Hyatt Saigon, which also offers in-house cooking classes.

Where would you like to take your family on a culinary vacation? Leave us a comment, we’d love to know!

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Image © Mandarin Oriental
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Le Quartier Français, South Africa
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In the garden © Le Quartier Français
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