India: Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj
I took the overnight train from New Delhi to Chakki Bank, then cabbed it to the amazing towns of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj. A meal consisting of six different dishes - dhal, chickpeas, potato curry and rice - was delivered to my sleeper bunk for the princely sum of $1.50. Young lads plied the corridors with thermoses full of hot, steaming, fragrant sweet tea. Simple, but simply divine. McLeod Ganj sits in the majestic Himalayan foothills and is home to the Tibetans who live in exile. Food here is culturally rich and diverse with "momos" Tibetan dumplings; "drang-thuk", which are stunning noodles with a garlic dressing eaten cold in summer or hot in winter; and "aloo chaat dilli style", a crispy fried potato with spicy masala.
The next OMG must-visit place for culinary and cultural food journeys, especially Lake Inle with its massive floating vegetable gardens harvested from longboats paddled by oarsmen. Eat young bamboo shoots stuffed with pork, crispy spring onion fritters, mini chickpea fritters, king prawn and tomato curry.
Laos - Luang Prabang
The World Heritage-listed ancient capital of Luang Prabang is a foodies' paradise with many varieties of fish caught and cooked daily from the mighty Mekong River. Must-eat foods are green papaw and river prawn salad, black sticky rice sweet treats, duck and yellow rice, all washed down with lemongrass and ginger iced tea.