The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have turned us all into armchair travellers, but there’s no denying the magic of virtual travel experiences. Earlier in June, Airbnb debuted an all-new collection of online activities under its existing umbrella of Airbnb Experiences, which have allowed travelers to book experiences helmed by local experts and guides in various cities around the world since its 2016 launch.

The global home rental platform promises that these online experiences will be immersive and fun, as they offer a “new way for people to connect, travel virtually, and earn income during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Airbnb explained: “With communities around the world staying home to protect their own health and the health of others, people can’t pursue routine activities like going to work, exercising or pursuing a passion.”

Among the online experiences available are meditation classes with a Japanese Buddhist monk, Korean folktale sharing sessions, virtual tours with dogs in Chernobyl, and even a relaxing hangout with goats in Catskills.

In Singapore, a curated collection of cooking classes has just been launched and travelers can look forward to taking classes with award-winning chefs like David Chang, Marc Favier, and Christina Bowerman. Fancy whipping up some nyonya dishes? Try a class with chef Malcom Lee of Candlenut, also the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. Students can look forward to understanding more about Straits Asian cuisine, as they learn to cook rich and spicy Malay curries, along with flavourful Chinese dishes.

Highlights include masterclasses led by Chef Rishi Naleendra of Singapore’s Cheek Bistro and a classic cocktail crafting session with Jekyll & Hyde.

The initiative is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, with the aim to help the F&B industry locally to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond Asian shores, there’s also a Southern Italian cooking class with chef Paolo Gramaglia and a modern Mexican cuisine class with chef Roberto Ruiz in Spain.

More information here.

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