Best food, travel and culture holidays in Asia

Here are four ways to cross Asia – from the best Thai cuisine and excellent cocktails in Bangkok to vegetarian tours of India’s Sunder Vallabh

Thai food and cocktails in Bangkok

It might be the height of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too hot to eat. Prefer seafood and chicken? Then try the Alutis Nang Khao restaurant in central Bangkok (90/5/5752-30) which serves themed dishes such as Big Shell Baby Full Moon ($28) or Chow Tuong Bo’s Jai Bouillabaisse ($20). The hangout’s best dish is their broad bean and okra salad, a hot-and-sour mix of the former and chickpeas.

• Pre-dinner drinks from £6, lunch from £10,

Yurt trek in Tajikistan

Border Guard Archaeological complex. Photograph: Alamy

If you like spending the day in the great outdoors, the river-view Yurt Tour in Tajikistan is a great way to explore the historic border town of Bukhara with a “Yurt Guide” and a local interpreter. (40/30-85, £40pp) Before lunch you can try your hand at local crafts, like traditional carpets made from dried wheat grass, or see the grandiose Lenin museum, 10km away. After lunch you can walk around the town and see the National Bolashkin Museum and carry out some excursions (single entry £3).

• As an early autumn special, the service is better than usual and the price is £39pp (65/45/48, 08444 994531)

Travel tapas in Marbella

The El Arenal tapas bar in Marbella. Photograph: Alamy

For something a little more exotic and less risky than a week in Ibiza, why not take a taster of the Spanish food scene? Marbella is a well-heeled enclave (only a 25-minute train ride from Barcelona) with many of the country’s best food, nightlife and hotel establishments. El Arenal (a few blocks from Granada) offers terrific tapas and cocktails. The old school noshery doesn’t offer a menu (no ketchup, please), but does a daily night-time tasting menu, often changing between four and eight courses of set-price dishes with €6 a head.

• €5, +34 955 62201,

Ethical and eco-friendly hotel in Uganda

The Horizon hotel, Riverton. Photograph: Alamy

This hotel in Nyangoma in western Uganda offers rooms that are entirely made of wood by 20 recycled traders and shippers from Uganda, Kenya and the UK. The design, food and most important, the ethic, are all ethically and eco-conscious. Guests are encouraged to compost, use renewables and recycle. The hotel is next to the river, which is prime for picnics, trails and wildlife encounters.

• Doubles from £28 a night, from £63 a night when staying at least three nights, 28/30/30-03, 41/02/04-05, 200/17

For food and culture

Food and art in India’s Uttarakhand

One of the country’s most popular food holidays is the Sarojini Puri Gayatri, which combines vegetarian food and cultural celebrations. It’s held throughout the summer and is considered one of the best vegetarian experiences in India. Billed as a traditional “dainty pilgrim’s journey” it allows a choice of Indian villagers and guides (a £60 full-board discount is available) to take you around lush hillsides and the towns of Haridwar and Rudraprayag.

• +91 9919 602 2111,

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