The vivid array of colour steals your eyes in every direction as you question which dish will lure you first. Relishing the intoxicating scent of chilli and garlic, your senses are heightened - for your appetite is about to be satiated in the most exquisite fashion.
For all round efficient, safe touring, all well organised to interesting, and inaccessible or difficult places - Captain's Choice can't be bettered.
Joan Lawrence - Ancient & Holy Lands, 2016
As guests of Hyatt for the duration of our trip, you will receive not only the VIP treatment you’d expect from one of the world’s most prestigious hotel chains, but also behind the scenes access and insider secrets that money simply can’t buy – prepare to take your tastebuds on a journey.
Grand Hyatt Singapore
In pride of place on Orchard Road, The Grand Hyatt Singapore is your oasis in the heart of the shopping district.
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Take in glittering views of the Siamese skyline from your delightful room at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Stay right in the thick of the action close to Central and Causeway Bay enjoying the plush modern comforts of The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
Departing Australia this morning on a Qantas flight bound for Singapore, our mouths are watering at the prospect of the culinary wonders that are to come.
A late afternoon arrival in Singapore means this evening’s dinner is an understated affair before we settle in for our first of three nights at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.
As guests of Grand Hyatt for the duration of our journey, we can expect to receive the VIP treatment from one of the world’s most prestigious hotel chains, enjoying behind the scenes access and insider secrets that money simply can’t buy.
This morning we whet our appetites with a cross cultural heritage tour. With Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu temples, a Sultan’s Palace and a beautiful mosque, not to mention the colour of Little India’s flower and spice markets, it’s easy to see why a myriad of flavours emerge from Singapore.
No doubt all that exploring has made you hungry. We start as we mean to go on with a sumptuous seafood Welcome Dinner, hosted by the hotel’s Executive Chef.
At Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay, the neon and glass ecosystem will ignite your botanical dreams. Take the sky walk between the Super Trees and breathe organic bliss in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
We eat within the Dome at Pollen, where culinary flowers bloom at one of Singapore’s most sought after lunching spots.
To sweeten the day, enjoy a Progressive Dessert Degustation Tea back at the Grand Hyatt, created by the award winning pastry and bakery master chef Gottfried Schuetzenberger. Watch as he performs his culinary art, with eight ingenious dessert creations paired with Champagne, wines and digestives.
Join Eastern & Oriental Express
After a glorious morning at leisure, this afternoon our carriage awaits aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express.
As we settle in, we’ll be transported back to the colonial days of rail travel when it was all about the glamour.
Evening veils and the train snakes its path northwards through Southeast Asia. Dinner is served in the dining car with a range of Eastern and Western specialties to rival fare from the world’s best restaurants.
While we slept, our train crossed Malaysia. As breakfast is served, we chug into Kuala Kangsar, the first Malay foothold of the British in the colonial era. Basking in the crossroad of cultures, we step off the train to admire the Ubudiah Mosque, the Royal Museum of Perak and the Sultan Shah Gallery.
All aboard for lunch as the journey stretches to Thailand. Exclusive to Captain’s Choice, a tour of the train’s gourmet kitchen sheds light on how they manage to produce such fine offerings in such a small space.
Having crossed into the Land of Smiles, we step off our train for the final time today. Alive with stories from World War II, it’s a moving walk across the Bridge over the River Kwai as we prepare for a cruise along the picturesque river hosted by a local historian.
Enjoy free time to relax or perhaps visit the evocative war museum and cemetery.
The Thai capital may be famous for its bustle, but the Grand Hyatt Bangkok is a tranquil oasis. The hotel’s Head Chef will introduce us to the flavours of Thai cuisine, all the way from galangal to lemongrass, before we tuck into an al fresco feast.
The gilded pagodas of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are icons of Bangkok, one the lodgings of the Kings of Siam for centuries, the other the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.
We put everything into context at the Bangkok National Museum before returning to the hotel for lunch and a free afternoon to wander at leisure or join an activity.
From Negroni to Lychee Martini, why not get the skills to go with a cocktail making class? Or perhaps a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art will be more to your liking.
Our heads are in the clouds for evening drinks and dinner at an exclusive rooftop location with unparalleled city views.
For those that want to rise early, we set off to prepare food for the monks at Sra Pratum Temple. Tiptoeing through the grounds, we offer the fruits of our labours to the holy men.
A long tail boat takes us to the Temple of Dawn, before we soak up the delightful ambience of the Chaopraya River over lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, we visit the house of entrepreneur Jim Thompson to learn about the legacy of the Legendary American of Thailand.
Pad Thai, red curry, green papaya salad... what will take your fancy during tonight’s dine-around evening.
We are ready to say khaawp khoon ka to Thailand as we board an afternoon flight to Hong Kong, Asia’s city that never sleeps. In its very heart is the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, where we’ll spend the next three nights nestled amid the comfort of a Grand Deluxe Harbour Room.
Siu mai, steamed pork buns and crispy wontons. We learn how to cook these delicious morsels at a Dim Sum cooking Class hosted by the chef at Grand Hyatt’s One Harbour Road, with lunch to follow.
It’s rare that anybody is granted access to the kitchen of one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious hotels. Our exclusive kitchen tour allows you to see the masters at work!
No doubt your appetite will be inspired by all you have seen - so get your chopsticks ready for tonight’s dine-around evening.
This morning it’s time to go up in the world as the funicular shunts us almost vertically to the summit of Victoria Peak.
Surveying the kingdom below over lunch at Cafe Deco, we may wonder how so much ever found its home on such a small island.
Down the hill and around the bay, we escape the metropolitan haze to enjoy an afternoon retreat to Stanley Market, Aberdeen and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
As our last sunset falls over Hong Kong, we step aboard Aqua Luna, one of the authentic Chinese junk boats in the bay. With scarlet sails billowing, we wind our way across Hong Kong Harbour as fishing boats and ferries buck past on the tide.
The tiny morsels of ‘xiao chi’ street food you can expect to nibble in Taiwan are likely to become your new obsession.
A short flight will take us over the South China Sea to Taipei today, an emerging city that’s a melting pot of cultures reflected in a bravely diverse cuisine. Our dinner tonight is hosted by the Grand Hyatt Taipei’s General Manager in the open show kitchen, the perfect introduction to our three night stay.
We forage for the freshest tips in a Taiwanese mountain tea tasting at a plantation, relishing the unique scent that lingers in the morning air. Legends written in gold then unravel in the tea houses of Jiu Fen, before we stroll up the whitewashed steps of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to take a step back through history.
Such a peek into Taiwanese society must be rounded off with a celebratory dinner. There are few places than The Residence, with a perfect view of Taipei 101, the capital’s tallest viewing tower.
Leave your cereal and toast at the door and join us at the Grand Hyatt for a cooking class with a twist. Enjoy breakfast the Taiwanese way as you learn to cook morning treats including Chinese fritters and delicious sticky rice wraps.
Walk off the indulgences with an afternoon tour of Taipei’s great icons including the Confucius & Baoan Temples, the National Palace Museum and National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, before one last dinner awaits.
We’ve just one last destination remaining on our Asian Degustation - the Land of the Rising Sun. Boarding a lunchtime flight, we arrive in Tokyo by late afternoon. And what a welcome awaits at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, where Grand Club rooms are reserved for us for the next three nights.
Harbouring a sumo sized appetite? You’re sure to find what you want on a dine-around evening at the hotel.
In search of Zen harmony, we get our bearings in Tokyo, strolling through the peaceful Hama Rikyu Garden, cruising down the Sumida River and finding tranquillity in the Sensoji and Asakusa Kannon temples. Not to mention invoking the healing powers of retail therapy through the alleys and megamalls.
Alongside chattering tables of businessmen and workers, we lunch at a restaurant in the Ginza district, savouring the washoku style of cooking before being left to follow our own path during an afternoon at leisure.
Why not lose yourself in centuries of Japanese history at the Edo Museum?
On the 51st floor of the Mori Tower, a ‘Rising Dinner’ awaits tonight, as do the lights of Roppongi. Be tantalised by the highest quality seafood and Japanese wagyu beef.
We’re up with the birds this morning for good reason - the freshest catch at Tsukiji market is harvested before dawn. So it’s off to the market we go, fortunate to have the Grand Hyatt’s Executive Chef as our guide to talk us through the delights of a fresh sushi breakfast.
From one exporter of Japanese culinary genius to another, we look forward to an A-list lunch at Nobu Tokyo.
We revive more traditional roots at a Japanese Tea Ceremony followed by an Origami lesson, before a Farewell Dinner transports us to Old World Japan. At a Kaiseki dinner in a Shinto shrine, cuisine and sake will be elegantly presented - even the earthenware is hand crafted by a local ceramicist. But the piece de resistance comes in the form of a bewitching geisha performance held exclusively for us.
Will you spend your last free morning shopping for ‘kawaii’ souvenirs in Harajuku? Or get lost in designer brand heaven in the Ginza district? Either way, there’s no doubt you will be ready for a fusion lunch at La Rochelle, Hiroyuki Sakai’s restaurant. You may recognise his culinary expertise from the Iron Chef cooking show.
Replete from our gourmet journey across the length and breadth of Southeast Asia, we’re ready to meet our Qantas flight home later this evening.
Over the last two and a half weeks we have indulged to our heart’s content. But we’ve taken our fill of the feast and will arrive back into Australia today.
Imagine a trip where you won’t have to lift a finger, or worry about bringing your wallet.
Sightseeing in each destination is included. Select Options even allow you to tailor aspects of the touring to your individual tastes when there are multiple touring options.
Based on per person, twin share in a Pullman Cabin aboard the Belmond Eastern & Oriental Express. Per Person, Twin Share.
Land Only Guests join in Singapore for dinner on Day 1 and depart Tokyo after lunch on Day 18.