11 Days Intensive Cooking Vacations in Vietnam

  • Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City

Overview

Cooking Vacations in Vietnam

Join a culinary tour that is a specially-designed for the intensive experience of Vietnamese cuisine. The cooking classes are held in the most authentic restaurants or schools in every destination. You will undergo in-depth learning to get the best knowledge of authentic local food with hand-on experiences. A balance-trip of culinary travel and visits the highlights of Vietnam, you will experience local identities where daily life activities integrate with hospitable people in each destination.

Highlights

  • Vietnamese cuisine
  • 3 cooking classes in restaurants
  • 3 market visits, noodle and bakery tours
  • Cycling trip, river tour, cave visit, cyclo tour
  • Boat trip and overnight in Halong Bay
  • 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 10 days with instruction
  • English
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Ancient House Resort, Hoi An - 3 nights

A unique fusion of traditional Vietnamese style and modern luxuries that's the Hoi An Ancient House Resort & Spa. Hoi An Ancient House Resort and Spa includes a 200 years-old ancient house that is recognized as a provincial level relic. Designed in Vietnamese style. This house is a family home since 5 generations and the present owners now, serving travelers the family traditional way.

Dragon Cruise, Halong Bay - 1 night

Choose Dragon Cruises for your trip in Halong Bay. Our fantastic selection of quality boat offers you a great travel experience the mythical way to islands. Designed with Asian traditional junk, with 10 cabins, Halong Dragon Cruise Superior has been launched in January 2011 for small small group tour or family groups. They have a detailed services and well-trained and friendly crew can bring you a feeling of comfort and safety.

Hong Ngoc Dynasty, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi - 3 nights

Established in 1994, Hong Ngoc Dynastie was the first hotel of the Hong Ngoc hotels group and has quickly become one of the veritable icons in the local hospitality industry. With an enchanting Indochina concept, you can enjoy an exclusive experience of the old Hanoian. Boasting some 50 lavish guest rooms, each a harmonious blend of Vietnamese traditional architecture and modern facilities, they are equipped with comprehensive amenities and a panoramic view of the city.

Kingston Hotel, Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City - 3 nights

Experience an upscale boutique suite hotel located in the heart of Saigon. The prestigious address places the hotel within a minute walking distance to all famous metropolitan business and tourist site like Saigon Central Business District, restaurants, theaters, museums, Benthanh market Reunification Palace and finest shopping complex. If you are looking for luxury boutique hotels in Saigon City then The Kingston Hotel is the perfect place for you.

Day 1 - Hanoi - Arrival

  • Arrival at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN).
  • Transfer to the hotel.
  • Balance of the day to rest or the orientation tour in Hanoi.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2 - Food tour, food tasting, noodle tour, excursion

  • In the morning, you will take a short walk to the local food market.
  • Next, enjoy a food tasting at Pho Bat Dan or Pho Bo Hang Dong Restaurant.
  • Noodle factory visit of Lo Banh pho Ba Ngoan.
  • Continue to walking tour to the Old Quarter.
  • Afternoon tour to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-pillared Pagoda, Temple of Literature.
  • Dinner at Anh Tuyet Restaurant.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 3 - Cooking class, excursion, entertainment

  • Have breakfast at hotel.
  • Next, enjoy another cooking class at La Verticale.
  • In the afternoon, take half-day city tour in Hanoi included Ethnology Museum and Water Puppet Show.
  • Dinner at Cha Ca La Vong (the most famous and authentic local food in Hanoi serving rice noodle with grilled fish on the charcoal kitchen).
  • Overnight in Hanoi.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 4 - Hanoi - Tay Phuong - Duong La

  • Today, you will take a day excursion to the Red River Delta.
  • Continue with a bike tour in the rural area.
  • Walking around the ancient area.
  • Back to Hanoi late afternoon.
  • Dinner at Indochine Restaurant.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5 - Hanoi - Halong Bay river boat cruise

  • In the morning, depart to Halong Bay through Red River Delta.
  • Have dinner on the boat.
  • Overnight in Halong Bay.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 6 - Halong Bay - Tho Ha - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An

  • Morning Tai Chi exercise.
  • Breakfast.
  • Cave visit.
  • Lunch.
  • Drive to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) for the flight to Danang.
  • Upon arrival, transfer and check in at your hotel in Hoi An.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 7 - Hoi An - Fish market tour, bread tour, market visit, cooking class

  • Visit the fish market near Hoi An.
  • Visit the herb village.
  • Back to Hoi An for breakfast at Cao Lau Restaurant the most authentic noodle in town.
  • Bread factory visit.
  • Visit a local made bread factory.
  • Market visit.
  • Cooking class at Morning Glory Restaurant.
  • In the afternoon, take a walking tour to Hoi An ancient town; Visit Phuc Kien congressional assembly hall, Japanese Cover Bridge, and Tan Ky ancient house
  • In the evening, you will have a chance to try to most famous and popular local food in Hoi An: Com Ga (Chicken Rice) and Cao Lau.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 8 - Hoi An - Cyclo tour, boat trip

  • The morning is free at leisure to discover Hoi An, shopping or relax in the hotel.
  • Hoi An is very famous about authentic local food, specially Cao Lau noodle and chicken rice that you may try for lunch.
  • Begin the cyclo trip and enjoy a boat trip.
  • Come back to Hoi An around sunset time.
  • Dinner at Cargo Restaurant.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 9 - Hoi An - Da Nang - Saigon

  • Morning transfer to Da Nang International Airport (DAD) for the flight to Saigon.
  • Visit historical places before lunch.
  • Lunch at Indochine Restaurant.
  • Visit a whole sales market and Pagoda in the afternoon.
  • Next, enjoy the tasting of authentic Vietnamese coffee.
  • Dinner at Ngon Restaurant with great collection of authentic local food in Saigon.
  • Overnight in Saigon.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 10 - Cooking class, market visit, free time

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Ben Thanh Market tour.
  • Back to Vietnam Cookery Center for another cooking class.
  • The afternoon is free at leisure for shopping or discover Saigon on your own.
  • Overnight in Saigon.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 11 - Saigon - Free time, departure

  • The morning is free at leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for your departure flight.
  • Tour concluded.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast.

Cultural tour and cycling trip in Tay Phuong and Duong La (day 4)

Drive to Tay Phuong, one of ten most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam. Located on the top of the hill, this pagoda is very famous about the collection of Buddha and Arhat statues from 17th century and great architecture.

Then, take 45-minute bike ride the rural area around Pagoda through green rice field, local villages. It will be the great chances for you to discover the daily life activities in the Red River Delta, interact to local people and feel the real atmosphere of rural area.

After that, back to the car for driving to the ancient village of Duong Lam, the place so called Hoi An of the Red River Delta as still preserve many hundred-year-old houses.

It will be your unique experience as you walk along tiny ancient alleys, visit Communal House in Mong Phu hamlet - the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact, dedicated to national heroes.

This is a typical Northern Vietnam village with its nice architecture. You can visit a local tofu making factory then enjoy the home hosted lunch at a local family (Mr Huyen home). The house owner will explain to you the process and see a specialty tuong (sauce made from soybean and special sticky rice) which Northern Vietnam rural family use often for the daily dishes.

River cruise tour in Halong Bay (day 5)

Upon arrival to Halong, embark to our junk.

Receive cruise briefing and check in to cabins and begin cruise. Passage into the picturesque Dragon descending to the sea Bay has 1,969 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes.

Enjoy lunch with deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu.

Cruise to Titop Island where you can take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with our Junk, go swimming on a quite beach or sunbathing on the sundeck.

Transfer back to the boat and sail for approximately 45 minutes to the second destination - the Bat Cave area.

Upon arrival, you can either take a 40-minute kayaking program to the nearby Bat Cave and lagoon and surrounding waters (kayaking is available unless already booked as part of your package) or visit the largest floating fishing village in Halong Bay with opportunity to interact with fish men who have been living in the bay for almost three generations.

We will travel to the village on the tender and tour the village for approximately 20 minutes.

Back on board, enjoy cocktails while watching sunset before dinner.

In the evening, you can watch the famous Indochina Movie in the dining room or join squid fishing from the boat with the crew.

Depending on weather conditions, we can travel by tender and you will be able to board the squid boat and see how the local fishermen catch squid and other fish.

Halong Ba River cruise trip and Tho Ha Village trip (day 6)

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries served in the dining room.

Cruise to surprise cave area then transfer to the cave by tender.

This is one of two most beautiful caves in Halong Bay with great collection of stalagmites and stalactites in the beautiful space. It is really a wonder of nature.

Back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock with set menu or buffet Brunch served in the dining room.

On the way back to Hanoi, visit Tho Ha the famous village of terracotta products before 20th century.

Discover village through narrow and zigzag alleys with the old houses had been constructed from broken part of terracotta from the past.

Walking over village cemetery to the dike, where you can see the village from distance over the beautiful lake.

Cyclo trip and boat tour in Hoi An (day 8)

Afternoon depart for the cyclo trip to Cam Nam Village (this is exclusive discovery feature of ICT). The cyclo will take you from the town to Cam Nam Bridge.

You will have the first stop for the photo opportunity of the activities and scenery on the Thu Bon River. Then the cyclo will take you along the Thu Bon River bank, where you can have another photo stop for panorama view of Hoi An from other side of river.

You will ride along the riverside and cycle through local villages of Cam Nam. This is untouched area by tourism with very friendly and hospitable local people. You can see their daily life activities or even viewing the interior of their house and their life through always opened doors.

The cyclo trip will be ended at green small canal covered by water coconut trees.

Embark on the boat and take a cruise to Thu Bon River where you can experience the local daily life along river, such as fishing, farming, and catching clam. etc.

This tour will take place in Vietnam.

Foodie tour in Hanoi (day 2)

  • Take a short walk to a typical market around the city that supply food for the regular meal of local people.
  • Then, take the walk through the Old Quarter of Hanoi, where you can feel the traditional atmosphere of the most attractive part in Hanoi and witness local people enjoy their breakfast on the pavement along the ride.
  • Experiences a bowl of Pho bo (noodle with beef) at Pho Bat Dan or Pho Bo Hang Dong (subject to the availability of the restaurant) - famous typical Northern Vietnam Pho. In that Pho local traditional restaurant, people should wait in line and pay and get their own bowl of Pho.
  • After that Pho breakfast, you can visit nearby Lo Banh pho Ba Ngoan (noodle factory Mrs. Ngoan) to see the process of noodle making (no additives).
  • Mrs. Ngoan had made noodle since 1954 at the same address and now her daughter in law inherit the factory. This noodle factory provide noodle to all of the famous Pho places around Hanoi. The Pho place and the visit to the factory are really special. All the chefs going with us loved it.
  • Then, you will continue waking tour around the Old Quarter, our guide will introduce to you some of the authentic local food like Banh Cuon (steam rice pancake rolled with mince perk and mushroom), Cha Ca La Vong (the most famous and authentic local food in Hanoi), enjoy some coffee in local coffee shop followed by Bun cha lunch (Vermicelli with grilled pork - another Hanoi famous street food - Bun Cha Dac Kim Duong Thanh).

Cooking class in Hanoi (day 3)

  • This morning, you will have the opportunity to take a cooking class at La Verticale with Mr.Didier Corlou. The first class will focus in traditional cooking starts from 09:30 and ends at 13:00.
  • From 09:30 to 10:00 you will be meeting with Chef at La Verticale and undergo market visit.
  • From 10:15 to 13:00, a demonstration will be presented to you and do food tasting with 5 dishes.

Vietnamese cuisine sample menu (day 3)

  • Bun cha
  • Grilled chicken with lemon leaves
  • Hanoi nems (deep fried spring rolls)
  • Sauted pumpkin branches
  • Vietnamese banana flower salad

Fish market and herb village tours (day 7)

  • In the morning, you will visit the very impressive and busy fish market near Hoi An. The market is for wholesales for the best fish in the area that have been caught at night on the sea and sill so fresh.
  • After that, visit to Tra Que herb village near Hoian. This village very famous for growing organic herb for supplying to Hoi An. You will interact with local farmer their and learn about different kind of herb and the way how they grow them.

Cooking class (day 7)

  • You will go to Morning Glory Restaurant for cooking class with Ms. Vy followed by lunch.
  • You will start with a 1-hour market tour to learn about Vietnamese ingredients and how to choose fresh foods.
  • Next is a short talk on the art of Vietnamese gastronomy, vegetables, and herbs and spices as well as how to prepare and use them.
  • The practical includes learning cooking and cutting techniques and how to use a Vietnamese vegetable grater and knife. You will get hands-on experience on the menu below.

Vietnamese cuisine sample menu (day 7)

  • Crispy pancake
  • Fresh spring rolls and shrimp
  • Green papaya salad
  • Grilled tuna in banana leave

Cultural and foodie tour in Saigon (day 9)

  • Take tour to Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Central Post office upon arrival in Saigon.
  • In the afternoon, you will take you to visit Cho Lon - the biggest whole sales market in Saigon then visit Thien Hau Pagoda - where you can see hundreds of local people come to worship for their health, luck and happiness.
  • Enjoy the authentic Vietnamese coffee in local coffee shop in the typical street of China Town where the famous French Movie The Lover had been filmed.

Cooking class in Saigon (day 10)

  • This morning, you have a cooking class with Vietnam Cookery Center.
  • An accompanied tour to the spectacular Ben Thanh market 1 hour before the class.
  • During the market visit, you will describe the classic Vietnamese produce, from fruit and vegetables, to meats and seafood. You will learn how to recognize the different Vietnamese ingredients and be guided in their application.
  • Continue with a hands-on initiation to the Vietnamese Cuisine Art, giving you the opportunity not only to learn how to cook them and reproduce them once you return to your home country, but also to taste our delicious dishes. Even inexperienced cook can create tasty dishes within a few hours. The menu would be salad, one local soup, braised fish or pork.
  • Enjoy the food you prepare for yourself and by the restaurant.
  • 3 cooking classes
  • 3 market visits
  • 5 dinners
  • 8 lunches
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Air ticket Hanoi - Danang - Saigon
  • Daily breakfast
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fee to indicated sights
  • Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
  • Water Puppet show
  • Airport tax
  • International flight tickets
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned above
  • Personal expenses
  • Single supplement
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Culinary Vietnam Travel an inquiry.
  • Review by Murielle Coue from Walvis Bay, Namibia

    "Reliable company, good city guides, good choice of hotels. I loved the various activities and visits made, the food was delicious, and the Vietnamese people are delightful. The country is developing fast and people are full of life and hope. It was an eye opener. Very educational and inspirational. Would recommend it also for young children. Safe country."

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  • Review by a traveler from Adelaide, Australia

    "They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but with the right tour guide, every picture becomes a a fascinating story. Dang Vu is that tour guide. In all our years of travel, we have never experienced the level of professionalism, knowledge, attention to detail, and friendliness displayed by Dang. He called us his "family" and that's exactly how we felt. From push bike riding along the Mekong Delta, sampling delicious street food, revitalizing mud baths, kayaking to our private beach, candlelight cave dining, visiting royal palaces, to a special home cooked meal in a local's home. Experiencing Vietnam through Indochina Charm Travel hosted by Dang Vu was journey beyond our wildest expectations. Place your trust in this company and they will provide you with a holiday you will never forget. Thank you Dang and Indochina Charm Travel."

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  • Review by Sharon P. from Adelaide, Australia

    "Was given glowing referral by a friend to our guide Dang Vu, and the Indochina Charm Travel company. Having just completed our holiday, I understand the glowing reference. Traveled with a group of 12 friends and were lucky enough to have a private tour with Dang accompanying us throughout the trip. Dang assisted from the very beginning, with planning our itinerary, through to delivery. As he stated on several occasions, his whole aim is to ensure his clients are satisfied, and as a result nothing was too much trouble. He was flexible, enabling us to change our itinerary on those occasions we wanted to, and also proactive in making small changes or additions based on his observation of the groups interests. Dang has an amazing knowledge of Vietnam and it's history, which he shared throughout the trip. Everything went smoothly, all accommodation and travel bookings going to plan. In Halong Bay, where we spent two nights on a junk, our group had dinner in a cave fully set up for dining, an amazing experience only available to clients of Indochina Charm. This was just one highlight of many. Have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Charm and Dang Vu to anyone considering a trip to Vietnam. Hint: There's a lot to see, it is hot, so try and build some free time in to your itinerary so you can recharge every now and then by the pool!"

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  • Review by a traveler from Adelaide, Australia

    "Indochina Charm provided us with the best guide one could hope for - Dang Vu. 12 friends travelling from Ho Chi Min, Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Mai Chau. Nothing was too much trouble for Dang - he embraced our culture and we embraced his. Just when you thought he couldn't raise the bar - he did! We were treated to some of the best service you will find anywhere. This tour company shows you the non-tourist side of Vietnam (you still see all the famous sites - but for most of them, it's not with 1000 other people). We ate some interesting local dishes and spent time with local families in their home - this truly is a different way to see Vietnam. Dang Vu was very informative and we learned a lot about Vietnam, its history and its people. A couple of highlights and must do's - Cu Chi Tunnels, Eating the best Pho in Vietnam in Ho Chi Min, Day boat trip from Nha Trang and you must do the mud baths there as well, shopping Hoi An was fantastic and our Halong Bay cruise (3 days / 2 nights) is a definite must. Indochina Charm took us to a limestone cave for dinner(you have to see it to believe it) and the crew enjoyed dancing with us on the boat for the rest of the evening. Mai Chau - eco-lodge gives you a completely different view of Vietnam and I would recommend spending 2 nights - 1 just wasn't enough. A couple of tips - please advise Dang or the company what you will and won't eat at the time of booking - they are happy to accommodate and its much easier to know in advance. Also, perhaps ask for a meal every now and again that isn't traditional. Overall, this was a truly amazing experience and I would highly recommend the company and our tour guide to anyone."

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  • Review by Adam S.

    "We have just returned from a 3-week honeymoon, travelling from south to north, Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hoian, Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh, and the Con Dao Islands; we had the best time. The tour company were exceptional, they were very accommodating making any changes we wanted throughout the trip. being on a honeymoon we wanted to see the country and relax at the same time, we would recommend using Indochina charm to anyone wanting a stress free holiday as they take car of everything! The tour guides stood out as the most memorable, they made the trip what it was with excellent knowledge and vital local insight. We will miss Hiep, Yang, Huong and Tam very much! I highly recommend it!"

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  • Review by Denise Shaw from Johannesburg, South Africa

    "My husband and I have just returned from a 10-day tour in Vietnam. We had a personalized tour covering Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. Throughout the tour, we were in the most professional and efficient services of these highly knowledgeable agents. Mr. Yang in Hanoi was particularly fantastic. We learnt so much from him and certainly felt very safe at all times. From the beginning, Phoung was extremely accommodating in organizing our tour and providing changes, nothing was ever too much trouble. We specifically chose a tour that provided exposure to the Vietnamese cuisine, and the food was absolutely fantastic, it was an absolute delight! The cruise on the Indochina Junk in Halong Bay will be an experience we will never forget. The crew (Kenny, Alex, Thomas, and Daniel) were fantastic, and the food and accommodation superb. The mystical ambiance of Halong Bay absolutely awesome. We certainly recommend Indochina Travel highly, they were extremely professional, courteous, efficient, knowledgeable, and will not hesitate to use them again!"

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  • Review by a traveler from Michigan, USA

    "My son's friends had used this tour company for their visits to Indochina and were very pleased with them. We were very satisfied with their service. They arranged all our transportation and accommodations within Vietnam and all meals except for dinner. They provided guides and activities based on our interests. Our guides were friendly, spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable. They were always on time, actually early. Would use them again if we return to this area."

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  • Review by a traveler from Melbourne, Australia

    "Planning a 2 weeks Vietnam holiday for a group of 29 people (family and friends), age range from 9 to 70 can be challenging. Never been to Vietnam, so I made my initial inquiry to Indochina Charm Travel, and Mr. Yang replied back promptly. I roughly told Mr. Yang that we want to visit north, center, and south Vietnam within 11 days. The next day, Mr. Yang came back with a professionally presented proposal. The detail itinerary with pictures of each city that we will cover was impressive. The price for tour, domestic airfare, hotels - all clearly listed separately. Our price ended up being very reasonable comparing with quotations of other travel companies."

    "One week before our departure for Vietnam, Mr. Yang emailed me to remind the group to bring some warmer cloth because the weather can be a little cold at night in north Vietnam. A 45-seater coach was arranged just for our group. And Mr. Yang accompanied us all the way from north to south. The whole tour organisation ended up to be perfect. We all had great fun. Highlights must be Halong Bay cruise and visit to the fruit farm by bicycles in Mekong Delta, it was a very unique experience. Mr Yang's dedication to his job as a tour leader, his honesty and attention to detail made our holiday a memorable one. I can honestly say Indochina Charm Travel is the best choice for you should you wish to travel to Vietnam."

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  • Review by Sue T. from Melbourne, Australia

    "Seeing the delta by boat was absolutely amazing. There wasn't one minute that wasn't interesting as the travel along the river was itself a fascinating glimpse of how local people live. Our guide was fantastic, taking us to out of the way places where we honestly didn't see another tourist. We visited a local village market, family farms, pagodas, and local "factories", as well as enjoying an authentic, beautifully prepared, and presented lunch at a village orphanage. He small group and amazing knowledge of our guide really added to the enjoyment of this tour. One of the best we've ever done, and I highly recommend it. Much better than being stuck in a minivan in the busy Saigon traffic. Very good value."

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Hanoi, Vietnam

Discover unique offers of Vietnam Culinary Tours and Vietnam Foodie Tours 2015. Travel to Hanoi, Hue, Hoian and Saigon to learn Vietnamese Cuisine.

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