Cooking Class We will organize a series of hands-on cooking classes with well-selected recipes using local specialty ingredients, featuring the different styles of colorful Chinese cuisine.
Village and Farmer Markets Join a guided excursion to the bustling local daily market of Xizhou and the weekly regional market nearby where we learn about all different kinds of local produce, from fresh greens to local home-made pickles.
Artisan Food Producer Visit a local rice noodle shop to learn how “er kuai” or rice cakes and rice noodles are made. Participate in the making of ‘ru shan,’ a distinctive local cheese that is produced in thin sheets in a local home.
Tea Tour Learn to pick and process tea and get to know everything about tea in a beautiful tea plantation.
Specially Designed Local Restaurant Tour Every evening we will take you to one of our favorite local restaurants sampling different style of Yunnan cuisine. After tasting the fresh local food such as pine needles, local mushrooms and wind-dried meats from a Bai tribal restaurant, then the mouthwatering grilled fish with lemongrass from a Dai restaurant, we can enjoy an incredible Muslim beef-broth-based hotpot. It will be a memorable journey of Yunnan flavors for you.
Day 1: Flavor of Yunnan Cooking Class and “Dai”-Style Dinner
On our first day we meet and have an authentic local breakfast together in our favorite dumpling restaurant, during which we have time to mingle and get to know each other.
Following breakfast, we will go to the bustling Dali morning market to buy all the ingredients we need for our cooking class. We will lead you through the stalls and introduce the large variety of the local produce. Along the way we will stop in a local rice noodle shop and see how they make rice noodles and one kind of local specialty “er kuai” or rice cakes. Then we will enjoy our first cooking class-flavor of Yunnan cooking class. First we will introduce you to the basics and background of Chinese cuisine. Then the teacher will demonstrate some cooking techniques for you. Finally it’s time for us to guide your own individual hands-on preparation of the day’s menu. We will learn to make a unique selection of mouthwatering local Yunnan dishes. We will enjoy the fruit of our labor as lunch.
In the afternoon, you will be free on your own to enjoy some leisure time to stroll around the streets in Dali to look in the shops, enjoy a massage, walk on the old city wall or just relax in a cozy coffee shop. If you want we can take you to an excellent tea shop to get the perfect introduction to local tea.
In the evening, we will dine in a “Dai” style restaurant. Dai people, one of the minority ethnic groups in China who are related to Thai and Laotian people, mainly live in Xishuangbanna, a tropical region in southern Yunnan province that borders Myanmar and Laos. The Dai style cuisine, is renowned for its wide reputation for having a wide selection of local tropical fruits, vegetables, meats and grains as the ingredients used in cooking. It is similar in some ways to Thai cuisine as it is also rich in aroma, variety and beauty, but it has its own distinctive identity and style. We will go to an authentic Dai restaurant from Xishuangbanna and experience the unforgettable taste sensations from this least-known but most-flavorful culinary tradition in China.
Day 2: Xizhou Village, Home-Style Dumpling Class and “Bai”-Style Dinner
In the morning we will drive 18 kilometers north to a village located around the Er Hai lake called Xizhou. We will first go to try a taste of the famous “Xizhou Baba” or Xizhou Pizza. There are salty and sweet pizzas topped with savory pork or filled with rose petal jam. You will have a chance to learn and make your own pizza. We will sit in a coffee shop nearby and enjoy these delicious pizza with a cup of Yunnan’s indigenous coffee or tea for breakfast.
Then we will visit a local home who is living in a well-preserved traditional Bai house with a history of nearly 100 years to see how “ru shan”, a local distinctive cheese that is produced in thin sheets is made. It is a local specialty which is eaten deep fried and garnished with sugar or sweet rose petal jam or placed into the local tea with nuts. You will practice to make your own cheese and take the cheese back to our cooking course later.
Then we will visit a weekly regional market which is close to Xizhou village. It is an interesting and colorful market with all different kinds of goods. You will see many hill tribe people with their own traditional clothes shopping their fresh foods, clothes, farmer’s tools, and local tobacco. We will tour the market and introduce the large variety of goods as well as local culture.
On the way back to Dali old town, we will visit an old family workshop in the village of Zhoucheng to see how the locals make the renowned tie-dye fabric. Local Bai families have been creating this traditional handicraft for centuries, and we can learn the process behind this creative tradition.
In the late morning we will go back to our cooking school to have our second cooking class: Home-style Dumplings. Dumplings are one of the major dishes eaten during the Chinese new year when families get together. We will make dumplings from scratch with different fillings including the fresh cheese filling we made earlier this morning for our noontime meal. We take you step-by-step through the process, from kneading the dough to making the accompanying dipping sauce.
After our dumpling lunch, you will have free time for a few hours for resting for the rest of the afternoon. You can take a bike and cycle around the lake, exploring the lakeside villages and enjoying the beautiful landscape.
In the evening, we will have dinner in a local Bai restaurant featuring fresh local foods and try the local specialties. Everything becomes even better with the accompanying homemade plum wine.
Day 3: Chinese Classics Cooking Class, Tea Farm and Muslim-Style Hotpot
This morning we will make a few classic Chinese dishes which appear on many overseas menus. We will learn how it is supposed to taste.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit a tea farm nestled in the Cang mountains to see where they grow their own teas. We will have the chance to pick our own tea, process it and pack it. Then we sit down together, learn about different kinds of tea in China and enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the beautiful surroundings.
Our last dinner will be at our favorite local Muslim hotpot restaurant.
What: 3 day culinary adventure in Yunnan, China
When: Available all year around, upon your request
Cost: RMB 1500 per person including all the cooking classes, activities, meals (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners), and ground transportation as stated in the itinerary.
Group Size: Minimum group size is 2 people; We also take private tours.
Customizations: We can create a tailor-made culinary adventure trip for you based on this sample 3-day itinerary. If you don’t have the whole three days to join our trip, you are also welcome to join us for one of these days. Or if you have in mind another program which is not stated in our itinerary, please feel free to let us know about your special requirements.
Call at: +86-151-252-64065
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Payment can be made by bank transfer.
A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to confirm booking. Remaining balance of full payment price is issued one day before the trip.