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12 Days Throughout Vietnam Cooking Tour

Sonnet Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Culinary and Cooking Tour Vietnam

This 12-day Vietnam culinary tour will deliver fantastic opportunities for cooking classes, homestay experience, and great discovery of Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, and Hanoi. You will be much more interested in Vietnamese cuisine and cooking that use very fresh ingredients and perfect balance between Yin and Yang concepts. Also, the great time in the famous destinations might make you love the timeless charm of Vietnam more.

Highlights

  • Cooking class in Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi
  • Cycling tour in Ky Son and walking trip in the Old Town
  • Boat trips, water puppet show, and cruising on Halong Bay
  • English speaking guide and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fee to indicated sights
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals

Styles


11 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 14 participants
Airport transfer included: Tan Son Nhat International Airport
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Accommodation

First class (3-star hotels)

  • Saigon: Sonnet Saigon Hotel (deluxe room) or similar
  • Hoi An: Ancient House Resort (garden view ) or similar
  • Hue: Scarlett Hotel (Rhett room) or similar
  • Hanoi: Hong Ngoc Dynasty Hotel or similar
  • Mai Chau: Homestay
  • Halong: Grayline Cruise (deluxe cabin) or similar

Superior class (4-star hotels)

  • Saigon: Grand Hotel (premier deluxe city room) or similar
  • Hoi An: Hoi An Chic Hotel (double/twin chic room) or similar
  • Hue: Hue Riverside Boutique Resort (deluxe river view ) or similar
  • Hanoi: O’Gallery Premier Hotel (premium room) or similar
  • Mai Chau: Mai Chau Ecolodge (junior deluxe) or similar
  • Halong: Dragon Pearl Junk (deluxe cabin) or similar

Deluxe class (5-star hotels)

  • Saigon: Sofitel Plaza Hotel (superior) or similar
  • Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort (deluxe room) or similar
  • Hue: Imperial Hue Hotel (deluxe river view) or similar
  • Hanoi: Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel or similar
  • Mai Chau: Mai Chau Ecolodge (junior deluxe) or similar
  • Halong: Paradise Luxury Cruise (deluxe balcony cabin) or similar

Accommodation will be based on availability and confirmed upon booking.

Program

Day 1: Arrival at Saigon

Upon your arrival at Saigon, you’ll be met by your guide who transfers you to the hotel for check-in. Then, it’s free to enjoy the city tour at your pleasure. Dinner will be served at Ngon Restaurant that offers an authentic collection of Saigon food.

Overnight in Saigon.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

Day 2: Saigon cooking class and city tour

The itinerary today starts with a morning cooking class with Vietnam Cookery Center.

Prior to the class, tour to the well-known Ben Thanh Market. The market tour offers comprehensive descriptions of the Vietnamese ingredients. You will learn how to identify different ingredients on the spot and understand their usages. Then, return to Vietnam Cookery Center.

Cook appetizing dishes though you’re inexperienced. Enjoy hands-on cooking experiences in the Vietnamese cuisine art to process the food and get the recipe. The typical menu has salad, local soup, braised pork, or braised fish. Savor your self-cooked food as well as the meal prepared by the restaurant.

Begin an afternoon tour to China Town (Cho Lon). Expect a visit to Thien Hau Pagoda in which many pilgrims burn incenses every day. Next, the group will take a walk on the street filled with cafeterias where ‘The Lover’ movie was filmed. The walking will go on to the street selling colorfully paper-made decoration items. Reach the historical Binh Tay Market, the town’s largest wholesale market established by a rich Chinese man in 1930.

Overnight in Saigon.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 3: Saigon - Da Nang - Hoi An

You will be free to enjoy time at pleasure till the transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the departure flight to Da Nang City. Then, drive to Cham Museum. Lunch will be served in Apsara Restaurant. After lunchtime, you will have a transfer to Hoi An Old Town, where it used to be the major commercial center of Southeast Asia in the 16th century.

Be ready for a walking trip in the Old Town. Visit Thang Loi Handicraft workshop (Phan Chu Trinh Street) where you join the traditional handicraft world of Hoi An. The prominent businesses include wood carving, lantern making, mat weaving, silkworm raising, spinning and weaving, embroidery, and cloth making.

And, it’s a must to discover the ancient houses and relics in the town by walking from Phan Chu Trinh Street to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. The list of attractions includes Japanese Bridge (Chua Cau), Tan Ky Old House, Phu Kien Assembly Hall, lots of traditional tailor shops, etc.

Dinner will be served with Hoi An chicken rice and Vietnamese sandwich (of Banh My Phuong - the top address highly recommended by Anthony Bourdain).

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 4: Cooking class with Ms. Vi in Hoi An

Visit the bustling wholesale fish market to find the freshest fish. Then, attend Hoi An cooking class with the Market Restaurant. Get information about the noodles, fresh fish, herbs, spices, etc.

Enjoy street food stalls with great food and live cooking performances. Eat hot Vietnamese sandwich, rice flour crepes, “cao lau”, etc. The 2.5-hour cooking class will include live demonstrations and your practices. You will be more than happy to enjoy the self-cooked food. Get a recipe copy and Vietnamese cooking utensil.

A typical menu (replacement ingredients will be used for vegetarians):

  • Cabbage leaf parcels shrimp mousse in broth
  • BBQ chicken and lime leaves
  • Mango salad with prawn
  • Hoi An pancakes with pork, prawn, and bean sprout

Take a cyclo tour of Tra Que Herb Village where grows organic herbs and vegetables. Get to Cam Nam Bridge and Cam Nam Village. Photography opportunities over Thu Bon River, Hoi An Town from riversides, etc., are abundant.

When reaching a small canal, embark a boat for a Thu Bon River cruise and watch water-based life. Dinner will be prepared at Ba Le Well restaurant.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

Take a morning drive from Hoi An to Hue. Getting to Hue, check-in the hotel, and then have lunch in Y Thao Restaurant, a family-run address serving Hue food in a royal style.

You will tour Imperial Citadel where you can witness the reigns of the Nguyen Dynasty (from 1802 to 1945). Top sites include the Noon Gate, Flag Tower, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, The Forbidden Purple City, and Thai Hoa Palace.

The history tour will give some ideas about the UNESCO heritage, plus interesting stories of the kings and their royal families.

Dinner is about Hue street food. You will explore the street eateries on a bicycle. It must be a very delicious dinner with the Hue appetizers of cakes (banh beo, banh nam, banh loc, etc.), the main course of pancake or grilled pork, and the desserts of the mixed sweet soups.

The dynamic streets will please you with lots of food choices to savor, and you might wish to have a bigger stomach to eat more. Ride back to the hotel and have happy thoughts about the Hue street food tour.

Overnight in Hue.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 6: Hue City tour and cooking class

Come to the long-lasting Dong Ba Market, Hue’s largest wholesale market that has a variety of food, fruit, herb, vegetable, and spice. Things are all very fresh in the morning which is also the best time to watch the local activities. Return to the hotel to have breakfast.

After breakfast, be ready for a spiritual trip to the Thien Mu Pagoda and then walk to Kim Long Village. The next place is the Tu Duc Tomb located in a spectacular valley of Huong Ba Village. This place owns the gorgeous landscape while the architecture of the temple is unique and impressive. Stories about the king’s life are also interesting.

Arrive in Dong Thien Pagoda by noon when you’ll enjoy a vegetarian lunch. Your visit will make a contribution to the kindergarten educating kids from the poverty families. Take time getting information about the pagoda. Then, return to the hotel.

The next hours are for the 1-hour cooking class with Tha Om Restaurant. You’ll learn to cook a royal-style menu including “lantern-shaped meat rolls” and a local cake. Relish the food cooked by yourself and by the restaurant.

Overnight in Hue.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 7: Hue - Hanoi

Take a morning transfer to Phu Bai Airport for a departure flight to Hanoi. When you are in Hanoi, get ready to visit the Ethnology Museum. Lunch will be served in the Season of Hanoi Restaurant. The two next highlights of the Hanoi City tours are Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Temple of Literature.

Enjoy the city tours till the check-in time to take a rest in your hotel. After that, it is time to go for the water puppet show which tells you a different art in Hanoi that all foreigners enjoy the show from the beginning to the end. This offers the great chance to get to know the local art and somehow mingle with the Hanoians who also love watching this show.

Have dinner with Cha Ca La Vong, the grilled fish sausage which is an authentic Hanoi dish that can please your palate.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 8: Hanoi City tour and cooking class

Enjoy a walking distance to the local food market. Continue to the Old Quarter in which you savor the traditional ambiance and see the Hanoians having breakfast on the pavements. Have pho (noodle with beef or chicken) in the well-known Pho Bat Dan or Pho Bo Hang Dong. Hanoi is a cradle of this famous soup with the different and incomparable taste.

Eat more Hanoi street dishes such as banh cuon (rolls of steamed rice cakes), French-styled bakeries, Hanoi coffee, or bun cha (vermicelli served with grilled pork) for lunch.

Attend the cooking class in Anh Tuyet Restaurant where you’ll learn how to cook three authentic Hanoi dishes: nem (fried meat rolls), ca hap (steamed fish with dill), and nom (mixed salad).

The cooking begins with the 1-hour market tour to know some Vietnamese ingredients and how to pick up the fresh ones. Listen to Hanoi gastronomy, types of vegetables and herbs in use, spices, and how to use them in cooking.

The practitioners will learn the Hanoi’s cooking and cutting styles. Dinner will include your self-prepared food and the one made by the restaurant.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 9: Hanoi - Ky Son

After breakfast, drive to Moon Garden Homestay in Ky Son Village. You will be greeted with the welcome green tea. Discover destination highlights.

Around 11:00, attend a cooking class in Ky Son. After the class is a delicious lunch. Relax at Hanh Spa where offers the traditional hand massage, and you’ll have fingers dipped in an aromatic lime bowl. Discover the local culture, food, and customs.

Enjoy the outdoor biking of 6 kilometers or 1 kilometer. For the short ride, the biking trail includes Ky Son, Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh, and Cham farming communities. Stop at a local house for tea, visit kindergarten, and interact with villagers. Expect activities of plowing, harvesting rice according to the season.

For the long ride, the cycling tour covers Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh and Cham farming communities, Duong Lam Ancient Village, Mia Pagoda, Mong Phu Communal House, Thang Thac village, Ngo Quyen Tomb, and Phung Hung Temple.

Around 6 p.m., ride back to the Moon Garden Homestay. Have local drinks and food, desserts, and herbal steam bathing. Watch the night Buddha worshipping. Have dinner, and then foot bath in warm water before bedtime.

Homestay in Ky Son.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 10: Ky Son - Hanoi

This morning, you will do Yijin Jing exercise before having breakfast.

Next, it is time for a walking tour around the village to enjoy the countryside landscape and meet more locals. You can visit a bee house and help with some farming activities if you like. Other interesting sites to discover are the kindergarten and village market for a happy day of discovery.

Return to the homestay address to have lunch.

You will have more free time to do what you like amid the peaceful environment. Some recommended activities are to relax on the hammock in the verdant gardens, take pictures while wearing the Vietnamese garments, and chat with the villagers. Take your time further discovering the scenic village till the departure time back to Hanoi.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 11: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Depart from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Embark the Indochina Sails for an awesome cruising episode. Get the welcome drink, and then gather to listen to the safety and boat instructions, the itinerary details, in the dining room.

Enjoy your time at pleasure till lunch around 1:00 PM. The multi-course Vietnamese and Western set menu promises to fulfill your tummy, and if you have any dietary needs, they will be catered accordingly.

The cruise will sail to the captivating Bai Tu Long Bay, the quiet Cua Van Fishing Village, plus many beautiful islets. Choose kayaking or take a bamboo boat trip.

Take time sightseeing and relaxing. Then, the cooking session will be performed by professional chefs who guide you on how to cook some Vietnamese dishes. Practice the how-to and savor the food made by yourself. Enjoy the double happy hours (from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) that you “buy one get one free drink.”

Fulfill your stomach with a rich dinner buffet. After dinner is a refreshing time. The second happy hour is from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Nightlife will be exciting with board games, playing cards, massage, and squid fishing.

Overnight on the cruise.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 12: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Departure

Start a day of pleasure with morning coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries on the board. It will be awesome to enjoy Tai Chi practice around 7:00 a.m., amid the wonderful seascape, and breathe the cool breeze. This is definitely good for both physical and mental health of yours.

After that, you will get off the cruise for the discovery of the well-known Ti Top Beach Island. It will take around 1 hour to get around the island, cherish the wonders inside the grotto, and then climb the steps to reach the summit to get the fantastically 360-degree view of the majestic bay.

Make sure you don’t miss the time for swimming and playing on the beach with the various sports game. Of course, photography opportunities are boundless.

Return to the cruise to pack and relish the full buffet. After the meal, you will have your free time to take a good rest in the lounge or on the sundeck for the magnetic sightseeing of the legendary bay. Around noon time, you will disembark and transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for the next departure flight.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Location

This culinary tour will take place in Vietnam. You will be able to discover and explore Vietnamese cooking and culture in cities like Saigon, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Ky Son, and Halong Bay.

Food

This culinary tour offers 4 cooking sessions held from the north to the central and the south of Vietnam, which provide insights into the distinctive cooking styles. Gain more confidence to learn and carry out the cooking steps to cook Vietnamese food and receive the recipe at the end of the lessons. While cooking skills will be improved to the next level, you can also be pleased with the self-made food, plus lots of fun and joy.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 11 nights accommodation in hotels
  • Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
  • Air ticket Saigon - Da Nang and Hue - Hanoi
  • Cooking class in Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Service of an English speaking guide
  • Entrance fee to indicated sights
  • Water puppet show
  • Cyclo tour and boat trips
  • Join cruise on Halong Bay
  • Waters and cool towels on the van

What's not included

  • Other meals
  • Tip
  • Drinks
  • International flights
  • Airport tax
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). Transfer from the airport is included. Culinary Vietnam Travel will pick you up from the airport.

On departure day, you will be transferred to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) for your departure flight.

Airport: Tan Son Nhat International Airport Airport transfer included: Tan Son Nhat International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
12 days / 11 nights
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Pricing information

Other group price packages are available. For more information regarding your group size and the quotation, please send an inquiry. Please note that Tour prices are subject to change during Christmas, New Year Eve or other national holidays.

 

Deposit policy

The non-refundable deposit may be changed for each booking at each period, Culinary Vietnam Travel will inform the exactly when confirmed booking.

 

Solo travelers

This tour can accommodate solo travelers.

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For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.

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