Food is an integral component of your international travel experience. Don’t settle for cheap tourist food!
|Food Photo Album||Touring China Deliciously!|
We attempt to portray the meals included in the tour prices as accurately as possible. However, the reviews and testimonials may lead new customers to unrealistic expectations. Travellers expecting fine dining should book with companies like Tauck and Abercrombie & Kent. We do not offer their level of luxury because our tours cost far less. What we do guarantee is a quality that’s far superior to what you get from our competitors in the same price category. Do some research on the other companies you are comparing us with and you’ll find lots of consumer reviews full of “ifs” and “buts” on their group meals. They take you to tourist restaurants where the food can be bland, watery, heavy on carbohydrates and cheap vegetables but light on protein. The restaurants we patronize are quality ones catering to local middle and upper-middle classes where you generally don’t find any tour group other than your own. Our customers frequently tell us how much they enjoy the food and how appreciative they are of our efforts in creating them a delightful and eye-opening epicurean experience.
Margaret H from Calgary, Alberta wrote:
“The food was outstanding!!! This was the biggest surprise!! We loved that the guides would let us know what each dish was and warn us if it was too spicy although I love a little spice!! We had the opportunity to try a couple of new restaurants that hadn’t been used before and they were great. Good job of asking our opinion and whether we would recommend a particular new restaurant. Smart!! I tried everything which I had decided before the trip and although there of course were things that were not my favourite, 99% of the food was delicious. Well done!!”
Professor Olga S posted this review on Tripadvisor:
“Touring China deliciously!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 29 April 2014
Just back from a fabulous 17 day China tour organized by Laurus Travel. Found them after exhaustive year long search – and, mirabile dictu, all was as advertised. The sites spectacular (Hong Kong – aka Vancouver with laundry drying outside windows, Beijing which felt like Moscow on steroids, high speed train to Xian, the most amazing museums of the Emperor Quin’s army and Shaanxi Provincial Museums, cruise down the achingly beautiful Li river, etc.). All this, plus, as promised, good food that at times was truly excellent – with nary a steam table or other tour groups in sight. In addition – glorious absence of “shopping stops”, intelligent knowledgeable local guides who knew when to leave you alone, heroic drivers who delivered us safely and soundly through harrowing traffic. All this in context of small sized group of mostly Canadian amiable travelers – a WIN-WIN all around! In short, highly recommended.
Your daily breakfast is a feast enjoyed in the hotel where you stay. There is a wide selection of local and Western dishes to choose from. Coffee and tea will be brought to your table. Omelettes and noodles are cooked to order. Vegetarians will be pleasantly surprised by the huge variety of vegetarian dishes, fresh fruit and dairy products.
Lunch and Dinner
Lunches and dinners when included would be local cuisine served in restaurants outside the hotels. As gastronomes ourselves, we feel strongly that we should introduce to our travelers the best of the local cuisines of the destination countries. Tasting authentic local cuisine is an integral component of our tour programs and we want you to experience that to the fullest. We avoid tourist restaurants whenever possible. We choose restaurants catering to middle class locals, not tourists. In many of the restaurants where we eat, we are often the only non-locals except in certain developing countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar where middle class has not reached a critical consumer mass.
Meals Not Included
We leave some lunches and dinners to keep the tour prices competitive as well as to offer guests, especially couples, flexibility. If you need advice or recommendations, please feel free to ask your local guide who will recommend restaurants according to your preference and budget. Don’t feel embarrassed if your budget is small. In China and Southeast Asia, a couple with $30 to spend can have a decent meal in a mid-level restaurant. In Japan, this amount won’t go that far.
Some guests may have a list of restaurants to look into based on what they read on the Internet or in guidebooks. As a rule of thumb, you should stay away from fancy restaurants recommended in popular online travel forums because restaurants overrun with tourists rarely get you good value for your money.
Language shouldn’t be a barrier because the menus in the restaurants either come with pictures and prices beside them or the menus have English translations.
People in China have expensive taste for tea and high-end Chinese restaurants certainly know how to take advantage of that. You shouldn’t assume the tea is free as often is the case back home. If you are not careful, one pot of tea could gobble up your entire budget for the meal!
Laurus Travel does not allow its tour leaders to eat street food while on duty. Customers who choose to eat street food should use extreme caution.
Craving for Western Food?
After a few days away from home, you probably would crave for a “Western” meal. Unless it is in your plan to eat in the hotel or visit those pricey restaurants run by Western expatriates (there’s no shortage of them in major cities across Asia), you should check with your local guide for best advice. You may be surprised when your Chinese guide recommends Pizza Hut, but you’ll realize the moment you step into one of their locations that the Chinese version of Pizza Hut is indeed a casual fine dining chain. The cost for one individual sized pizza or lasagna plus a tasty seafood salad and a soda or a small bottle of local beer should be less than 100 yuan or 15 US dollars. Tipping is not customary in Asian restaurants unless they are very high-end.
There are vegetarians on many of our tours. Whether they are vegetarians due to health concern or out of conscience, we have no difficulty to satisfy them. However, due to cultural differences, Chinese restaurants always serve meat and seafood dishes first. Vegetarians should display some patience while the guide communicates your needs to the staff. We generally don’t go to tourist restaurants and we are unable to arrange the order of the dishes to be brought out ahead of arrival.
Customers allergic to certain food items such as nuts, MSG or sesame oil should disclose this information at the time of reservation and also remind the guides once on the tour. Every effort will be made to satisfy the customer’s needs, but for legal reason we do not guarantee the dishes served contain absolutely no such ingredients.
Dietary Restrictions due to Medical or Religious Reasons
Customers with strict dietary needs due to medical or religious reasons must disclose their requirement at the time of reservation and be prepared to pay extra if we are able to accommodate them.