July Newsletter 2017


WTM London 2017 Announcement

Saffron Travel will attend the WTM trade show in London this coming November, booth number AS465. We will be very happy to meet partners, clients and friends there. Please email us to make an appointment in advance at the following.


Heritage Line – Special Promotions

Heritage Line has a special promotion of up to 30% off running from July to December 2018. The promotion appliesto its three cruise ships: the Jayavarman, the Jahan (runningroutes along the Mekong River to and from Vietnam andCambodia), and the Anawrahta (on the Ayeyarwady inMyanmar). These cruises are wonderful experiences fortravelers who are interested in discovering the region’shistory and culture from a different perspective.


Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Is Closed For Renovation


The historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Saigon is closed for renovation and the work is expected to
continue until late 2019. The iconic landmark is 137 years old and was designed and built during the French colonial period.


Emirates Launch Direct Phnom Penh – Yangon Route

Emirates have launched a direct daily flight between
Phnom Penh and Rangoon starting from July 1st. Cambodia is the eighth country in Southeast Asia to become a destination for Emirates. This milestone will help increase travel via connecting flights between Cambodia and Europe, as well as outbound
trips from Cambodia to the rest of the world.


New Routes From Hanoi And Danang
To Osaka By Jetstar


Jetstar Pacific will add three new routes from Hanoi and Danang to Osaka in Japan flying four times a week
starting from September this year. A fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft capable of carrying up to 180 passengers each will service these routes.


New 4 And 5 Star Hotels To Open In Myanmar

Myanmar continues to attract investment from many international hotel chains. Lotte Hotel will open their first branch in the country beside Inya Lake in Yangon in September 2017. Another hotel chain establishing a presence in Myanmar is GCP Hospitality opening Hotel G in Yangon as well. And Yangon Excelsior Hotel, a five star hotel renovation project of a heritage building in downtown Yangon, is due to open before the end of 2017 with 74 rooms.
One of the main reasons visitors are drawn to South East Asia is because of the
richness, diversity and quality of its cuisine. In this newsletter, Saffron Travel
would like to showcase some of our favorite food journeys and destinations.


Saigon Mixology Tour On A Vintage Vespa


Saigon is a great centre for foodies in search of traditional and innovative tastes. A mixology tour is an interesting option for those who are really keen to get an insight into the city’s culture and history through its food and drink. The tour starts with a ride on a vintage Vespa through some of the busy streets and landmarks of the city. Weave your way down a quiet alley to a hidden cocktail spot dedicated to home-brewed gins with over 40 flavours. Enjoy a signature cocktail with some snacks, and discover the traditional techniques and ingredients from farm to tumbler. The tour enables you to discover some hidden treasures of the city with a final stop at a boutique cocktail bar and kitchen tucked away in an alley you’d be hard pushed to find on your own. A creative mixologist and a 5 star chef, who share the same interest in combining Vietnamese and Western cuisine, run the cosy bar. Together they have prepared a delicious menu with courses paired with some unique cocktails.


Follow The Food Trail Of Gordon Ramsay

Gordon’s Great Escape is a television series presented by Chef Gordon Ramsay. He travelled to many Asian countries such as India, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Saffron Travel can arrange a tour with a chef to escort you, as you follow in Gordon’s footsteps and enjoy your own feast for the senses in Cambodia. Along the journey, make stops at Tonle Sap lake, Kampot and some rural villages on the outskirts of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Learn what goes into traditional dishes such as Fish Amok and enjoy the food at the best local eateries in the country. Discover the history behind every single dish and savour the warm hospitality and Khmer spirit of survival that makes Cambodian cuisine so unique and delicious.
South East Asia is a region where travellers can savour some of the most evocative dishes in the world. Below is a collection of Saffron Travel’s favourite destinations where you can taste the most authentic versions of the local cuisine.

01 Vietnam

Hanoi The Capital And The Cradle Of Vietnamese Cuisine

Hanoi features some of the most sophisticated and complex cooking in Vietnam. To be truly complete, every meal needs to have a balance of bitter, sweet, sour, spicy and salty tastes. And from the preparation, cooking, serving and eating, each stage is considered an art.


Our recommended dishes for first-timers are:

– Pho – Vietnamese traditional noodle soup
– Fried spring rolls – Cha Cuon Chien
– Duck noodles soup – Bun Mang Vit
– Bun Cha – Grilled pork ball with dipping sauce
– Crab noodles soup – Bun / Mien Cua Be

Hue – The Origin Of Royal Cuisine

Hue’s old name was Thanh Hoa which means “peace” and “harmony”, and this spirit is preserved in its cuisine. Every ingredient in a dish must be in harmony with the others. Attention to detail is Hue cuisine’s signature. In the past the royal banquet consisted of a great number of small courses, each beautifully plated to be both pleasing to the palate and to the eye.

Our recommended dishes:

– Sticky rice steamed in lotus leaf – Com Hap La Sen
– Young jackfruit salad – Goi Mit Tron
– Hue noodle – Bun Bo Hue
– Lotus seeds and longan sweet soup – Che Nhan Long Sen

Hoi An – Village Cooking At Its Best

In contrast to the cuisine in Hue, Hoi An’s food is about simplicity. Hoi An is as local as it gets. Dishes are created based on what’s growing in the garden. Restaurants pride themselves on using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients including seafood from the nearby river and water – used for making the noodles of the town’s famous dish, cao lau – from the local wells.


Our recommended dishes:

– Cao Lau – noodles with braised spiced pork, and local greens
– Chicken rice – Com Ga
– Fresh rice paper – Banh Dap

Saigon – A Melting Pot

In terms of food, Saigon is the city where travellers can try a bit of every cuisine across Vietnam. But when it comes to Saigon, the food will be sweeter as people in the south are fond of sweet, easy-to-eat foods. Besides delicious local food, Saigon is considered as a mixed
hotpot with a perfect blend of Western and Eastern cuisine.

Our recommended dishes:

– Crispy seafood rice pancake – Banh Xeo
– Prawn on sugarcane – Chao Tom
– Tamarind crab – Cua Rang Me
– Green mango salad – Goi Xoai

02 Laos

Laotian Cuisine

Lao cuisine is often said at fist glance to be very similar to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. A deeper look reveals however, that it is distinct from other Southeast Asian cooking. Authentic Lao meals such as Khao Niew or Sticky Rice can be found in many restaurants across the country and traditional Lao food is dry, spicy and very delicious with a subtle use
of fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and local herbs.


Our recommended restaurants where you can enjoy the best Laotian
food are:

_ Coconut Garden, Luang Prabang
_ Manda De Laos, Luang Prabang
_ Tamarind, Luang Prabang

Fusion Cuisine

Few people know that Luang Prabang is a wonderful place to enjoy
world-class fusion cooking due to the development of tourism in this heritage city. Many restaurants combine Lao elements with aspects of Western cuisine.

Our recommended restaurants to enjoy fusion food:

_ Blue Lagoon, Lao and Swiss food
_ La Silapa Luang Prabang, Lao and Italian food
_ The House, Lao and Belgium food


Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is a 5-star hotel and a truly legendary hotel. Located right in the city’s centre of Hanoi and considered to be
one of the best in Vietnam and beyond. It won many awards including : Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for top 15 Hotels in Asia, 100 Best Hotels and Resorts in the World – International Traveller magazine, and 150 Best Bars outside the US by The Daily Mail. The hotel
is not only a luxury property but also a historic landmark dating back to 1901. 364 rooms are spread over the original hotel and the modern Opera Wing. Modern comforts such as separate shower and tub, wireless internet access, bathrobes and mini bar are standard but it’s the white stucco, green shutters, ceiling fans and polished hardwood throughout that are the hotel’s signatures. When it comes to gastronomy, The Sofitel Legend Metropole is a pioneer. Every dish has been created by world-class chefs. The ingredients are often rare and
its diverse wine cellar and tea collections all together make a dining experience at the hotel’s restaurants an exclusive one. Centrally located in the city you can also enjoy the day the relaxing by the outdoor pool, or in the fitness centre, and sauna.


Union Bar & Grill


Located within a landmark area in Yangon, Union Bar & Grill is prestigious address for dining and drinking. The restaurant serves International cuisine with a modern twist. The décor is lovely in boutique style providing the context for art and urban sophistication. It has an intriguing cocktail list highlighting the very best local ingredients.



Lok Lak is one of Cambodia’s most loved dishes. Its recipe is simple and the ingredients can be found in any market. The beef is tender and the
sauce has a subtle pepper flavour.
– 300 g beef steaks, diced
– 1⁄4 cup light soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
– 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 teaspoon fish sauce
– 2 sliced garlic cloves
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
To server:
– 2 small tomatoes, sliced
– 1 cucumber, peeled and finely sliced
– 1⁄2 small red onion, finely sliced
– Lettuce, iceberg or romaine leaf
Pepper sauce:
– Juice of a lime
– 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
– 1 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon water


– In a large bowl, mix beef with soy sauce, oyster sauce, tomato sauce sugar, fish sauce and ground black pepper and garlic. Marinate at least
20 minutes or up to one hour.
– Make dipping sauce, combine ingredients in a small bowl-set aside.
– Decorate two dinner plates with sliced tomatoes, cucumber and onion.
Set aside.
– Place the lettuce leaves on a separate platter.
– Heat oil in a wok over a high heat and stir-fry beef until cooked. Divide between the two dinner plates.
– Served with rice and pepper sauce.

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