Ray McVinnie's South India Tour 2018
Embark on an experience of a lifetime!
Travel with former TVNZ Masterchef Judge Ray McVinnie to South India on an enchanting discovery of its food, culture, art and tradition. A kaleidoscope of delectable cuisines, South India offers the best in terms of sea food, flavourfully cooked to perfection. Local chefs spice up your travel with their cooking demonstrations and Ray McVinnie guides you through its intricacies, sharing his culinary expertise and personal interpretations. While Ray McVinnie accompanies you to fruit, vegetable and spice markets, experienced professional guides accompany you to thousand and more years old heritage sites of archaeological significance. Indulge in luxury, step back into history and explore engineering and architectural wonders of the glorious past, enjoy the traditional dances, taste the regional cuisine and savour all the experiences this enthralling journey into the heartland of Tamilnadu and Kerala brings forth. Purely a time to rejoice! Hop on with Ray and join him on this special tour!Book Now!
- International return economy flight tickets ex-Auckland included
- All accommodation at superb Hotels
- Road transport by deluxe A/C mini-bus
- Breakfasts every morning, 9 dinners and 7 lunches
- Cultural activities and performing art shows
- Guided sightseeing tours
- 5 cooking demos by local chefs,including 1 shopping expedition for ingredients
- Time with Ray McVinnie
- Complimentary Group Travel Insurance (conditions apply)
- 2 days Complimentary laundry (5 pieces / day per person)
- Complimentary Ayurveda Indulgence at Punnamada Resort (worth $100)
- Tour cost is only NZ$9,450 per person
Please note the following conditions
- Accommodations are twin/double sharing basis. Single supplement - NZ$1,100
- Visa fee is not included. We can apply for eVisa for NZ$120 per person
Chennai - Mahabalipuram
On arrival at Chennai International Airport by SQ528, you are warmly welcomed by Take Me 2 The World Tour Manager and transferred to your accommodation. Wake-up late and have a relaxed break-fast at the hotel. Today is pretty light, giving you the opportunity to recuperate from jetlag. Our tour begins with a visit to the traditional Kapaleeswar Temple in the busy Mylapore suburb, followed by a guided tour of Santhome St. Thomas Cathedral. After our lunch (Copper Chimney) we will explore one of oldest and longest commercial streets in Chennai – Mint Street. We will then spend our evening at Marina Beach, which is the second longest in the world. Finish the day with a vegetarian feast at Jalpan. Our first Cooking Demo. Your chef would demonstrate cooking of two Tamil Nadu vegetarian dishes. This is followed by a sit-in lunch.After our lunch, we visit DakshinaChitra a museum dedicated to South Indian heritage and culture. Our guide will regale you with stories of different styles of houses of South India.
Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry
After breakfast, explore the open-air legendary Pallava dynasty sculptures of Mahabalipuram aka Mamallapuram, which date as far back as to 700AD. Our experienced guide will walk you through the history. We will have our lunch at a seafood restaurant called Moonrakers (own expenses). We will continue our journey through this ancient marvel and conclude with a visit to the famous Shore Temple. We will then We have a great evening planned for you, complete with Tamil Nadu folk arts performance! You can have your dinner at the hotel restaurant (own expenses). Early morning start for us to Pondicherry aka Puducherry, the former French colony. We visit the market, a feast for all your senses! We will also visit Auroville. We have our lunch at a French Café called Bakers Street (own expense). We check in at our accommodation. Get ready for our next Cooking Demo. This time, the demonstration will include a coastal South Indian style seafood preparation. You can have your dinner at the hotel restaurant (own expenses).
Pondicherry - Tanjore - Kadiapatti
Check-out after breakfast. We hop on cycle rickshaws, accompanied by our friendly and knowledgeable guide. We will ride through the French Quarter. We then head to Tanjore, which was the most important cities a thousand years ago to the mighty Chola Emperors. Upon arrival, check in at our boutique hotel and get refreshed.The UNESCO heritage Bragadeeswara Temple beckons us. Our guide points out a number of aspects of Engineering marvel in the temple campus. We have our dinner at the hotel restaurant, which provides a vantage point to the street scene below. We journey to the Region of Chettinadu, which is famous for its Chettiar (trading community), their palatial mansions, intriguing culture and mouth-watering cuisine, especially chicken! We stay at one such mansions converted into a hotel. We enjoy our traditional lunch, served on banana leaves. We enjoy the afternoon by dipping into the swimming pool. The talented local chefs demonstrate the Chettinad cuisine, which is followed by dinner.
Kadiapatty - Madurai
Our indulgence continues! A leisurely South Indian traditional breakfast kick starts the day. We are taken for an exploratory walk through the village of Kadiapatti. We will walk through mansions in disrepair, the village school, shops… A light lunch and some relaxation. We visit the tile making factory and saree weaving facility. In the evening, the ladies of the house demonstrate cultural activities like Kolam, garland making and marudhani (traditional herbal mehandi). Yet another Chettinad dinner and you are ready to hit the bed! After an early breakfast, we drive to the city of Madurai, the capital of ancient Pandiya dynasty. We visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple (a UNESCO heritage monument) for a guided tour. We check in at our hotel and have lunch at the restaurant (own expenses). After lunch, we will take you into the local market, led by your chef to shop for ingredients for your cooking demo. The demo is followed by a dinner of the dishes cooked together by all of you.
Madurai - Munnar
We start our drive to Munnar, a hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, is set within rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the 19th century. Lunch en-route (own expenses). Check in at your accommodation. The rest of the day is free for you to relax. Dinner at the Estate and retire for the night.
Cooking Demo in Munnar
After a leisurely breakfast and a hot cup of chai, we will take you out on a soft trek through a variety of herbal & spice plantation. You can put your feet up and enjoy the serenity in the afternoon. Later in the day, there is a cooking demonstration at the Estate, followed by dinner.
Munnar - Kochi - Allappey
Today, you will have to leave Ambadi Estate and head to Kochi aka Cochin. Lunch at Kashi Art Gallery & Restaurant (own expense, European cuisine). We check in at the accommodation & refresh. Visit to the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations and walk around the local market. We then head to the Greenix village to watch the traditional arts performance show of Kerala State. You will return after your dinner at Dosas & Pancakes (own expenses). After your breakfast, we will first visit the Kerala Folklore museum, which is promoted by Mrs & Mr George Thaliath, aims to preserve culture, heritage and folk art education. It is a cultural hub to promote and preserve the culture & heritage of South India. We then take you on a road trip to the “Venice of the East” Alappuzha or simply Allappey. Check in at the Resort & have lunch. Enjoy our complimentary Ayurvedic indulgence package. Sip a cup of coffee or chai, overlooking the vast Backwaters (lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast). Enjoy the complimentary sunset cruise, followed by dinner. Today, post lunch we bid adieu to the gorgeous resort and head back to Kochi. En route, we stop at Revi Karunakaram Museum. The ivory and crystal collections are among the largest of its kind. Its special 'Kerala Room' has over 3800 unique pieces that chart the growth and evolution of our culture. It is an establishment that embodies a love for art and all that is relevant to the local culture. Finish your last minute shopping at Lulu Mall. You will be transferred to Kochi International Airport. We will bid farewell to you as you board flight SQ5463.