Unveiling the essence of Asia

Secret Retreats’ Top Destinations for Vegan and Vegetarian Travellers


A Little Guide to Rock Veganism in Asia!

With the new year comes fresh perspectives, new experiences for a bucket list, unexpected opportunities, hopes for a ‘new you’ and twelve new months to fill with exploration. For our vegetarian and vegan friends and fellow foodies, we would like to share some of our must-dine foodie destinations around Asia. Everyone knows traditional Asian food is world-renowned for its irresistible aromas, flavours and presentation, and the vegetarian and vegan experience in Asia is no exception. Asia has long been one of the more popular vegan travel vacation destinations with many cultures in Asia having vegetarianism or veganism as a core principle to their lifestyle or belief system. To help you make the most of your travel plans for the year ahead, here are our top Vegan travel destinations sure to bring you adventure, lifelong memories, and delicious vegan food to your tables.

BrijRama Palace
Varanasi, India

The beauty of Indian food is that, undeniably delicious and an enormous variety of flavours, nearly half of it is vegan or vegetarian from the start! BrijRama provides a cascade of experiences for our esteemed guests, and this especially includes gourmet dining at the best restaurant in Varanasi. The Darbhanga restaurant is crafted to meet this purpose as the whole hotel is a vegetarian hotel. One can find a luscious spread of the most decadent vegetarian dishes from our own Indian cuisines and from all around the world, prepared with the utmost care and precision by our highly trained chefs. Adhering to the aesthetic of our heritage palace hotel, the Darbhanga Restaurant is also blessed with beautiful architecture that only enhances and elevates any dining experiences here.

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Chakrabongse Villas
Bangkok, Thailand

Savor a truly authentic taste of Royal Thai Cuisine at our riverside terrace restaurant with its magical views of the Temple of Dawn and the River of Kings. Our Thai Dining restaurant serves authentic Royal Thai Cuisine using original recipes direct from the Chakrabongse family’s own kitchen and crafted from the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Be enchanted by the million-dollar view of Wat Arun by night from the riverside terrace while you dine, or enjoy private dining with a romantic table for two set within the villa’s gardens. We suggest the daily menu de degustation dinner as a perfect introduction to the complexities and exquisite taste sensations at the heart of Thai cuisine. The Chakrabongse kitchen team provide an amazing vegan set menu showcasing flavours and styles from across Thailand including dishes like Nam Prik Num a Northern Thai green chili relish served with crunchy raw veggies fresh from the garden, rich curries from Central and Southern Thailand such as our tofu and mushroom coconut curry, and the hard-to-find Ma Haw (Galloping Horses), a dish that was created to honour King Rama the 7th who was a renowned horseman, a delicious mix of sweet minced pickles and peanuts combined into bite size balls and served with fresh fruit.

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Kerala, India

Just 19 thatched cottages sit amongst 12 acres of lush gardens filled with frangipani and banana trees, coconut groves and glorious hibiscus flowers. The Hermitage, set just a few metres back from a beautiful beach on the edge of the Indian Ocean, was built according to traditional Keralan Vastu principles. Enjoy the beach life watching the dolphins as you sunbathe, promote your wellness in the Hermitage’s Ayurvedic spa, practice yoga, and enjoy heavenly vegetarian and vegan meals at the Hermitage’s restaurant, Annapurna.

The Annapurna restaurant, dedicated to the Goddess of Nourishment, is the centre of the resort. The kitchen team here specializes in creating and serving vegetarian dishes from local and regional cuisines that are not usually seen in hotel restaurants. The kitchen team at Neeleshwar have honed their cooking skills through ayurvedic teachings, basing recipes on the importance of attending to the appearance, balance, flavour, enjoyment, and nutritional effects of every dish. The ayurvedic clinic on site will also create a diet for you to enjoy during your stay, prescribed after a consultation, that will promote health and well being just for you.

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Tugu Lombok
Lombok, Indonesia

With native tropical fruits like mango, papaya, pineapple, and coconut in abundance on the Indonesian island of Lombok, you’ll never be short of fresh and fruity snacks, but the island also has a range of plant-based eateries sure to impress.

Tugu Lombok, Indonesia offers a unique dining concept for guests. Guests are offered a variety of dining themes to choose from and of course with vegan and vegetarian friendly choices. Guests can dine anywhere – in the gardens, at a private hut or even on the beach. Authentic Indonesian and vegetarian dishes made from quality ingredients sourced from local farmers and growers. At Hotel Tugu Lombok, their mission is to share, sincerely, the art, culture, and romance of old Lombok with all their guests.

How you dine is not only about food, but it also involves many other aspects such as the theme, setting, the ritual of service, atmosphere, presentation, traditions and history. The dining possibilities with Tugu are unlimited, certainly reflecting the rich and varied Indonesian culture of their home.

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Koh Jum Beach Villas
Krabi, Thailand

This luxury eco-chic beach hideaway is a hidden gem where pristine nature meets luxurious beachside relaxation. The boutique resort offers 19 individually designed villas, from 1 bedroom to 5 bedrooms with private pools, on the resort’s 700-metre long beach. Set amongst tropical gardens the resort is perfectly located to enjoy beautiful sunset views overlooking the Phi Phi National Park. It is centrally located in the Thai province of Krabi, just an hour away from Krabi’s International Airport (30mn drive+30mn boat), making it an ideal home from home for exploring Krabi’s wondrous natural beauty, iconic islands in the marine park, and the lovely island of Koh Jum itself. The restaurant at Koh Jum Beach Villas shares both a la carte and daily special with vegan and vegetarian dishes, all crafted from locally sourced ingredients and menus inspired both by Thai and international cuisines.

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Banllé Vegetarian Restaurant
Siem Reap, Cambodia

We can’t complete this list without mentioning our beloved Secret Table in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the not to be missed Banllé Vegetarian Restaurant. Banllé is a vegan restaurant that also offers vegetarian dishes. The chef and kitchen team here serve a fresh and creative menu that mixes traditional Khmer dishes and western flavours. Chef Pola uses a mix of seasonal vegetables, edible flora, roots, beans and herbs, grown organically in the garden that surrounds the restaurant. They also source some ingredients from a few select local organic artisan growers. Set on 1,200sqm of land within a traditional Cambodian wooden house with two floors, the restaurant is located in the heart of Siem Reap, just 5 minutes’ walk from the old market. Downstairs, the modern air-conditioned dining room, which also features a cocktail and juice bar, is housed within glass walls allowing diners to see through to the kitchen team at work within the kitchen, busy crafting the soon to be served delicious plates of vegan and vegetarian food. The open-air upstairs area is fan-cooled and overlooks the herb and vegetable garden. There is also seating within the grounds of the restaurant surrounded by the sights and aromas of the lush tropical vegetable and herb garden.

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Enjoy your vegan and vegetarian dining experiences more intimately with the guidance of your fine Secrets retreats hosts. Secret Retreats offers truly authentic and sincere travel experiences that go beyond the typical travel industry offerings, to unveil the essence of Asia to our guests and travellers. For more information and the latest offers please contact the Secret Retreats Concierge at dream@secret-retreats.com.

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