Blessed with a ravishing coastline, emerald-green mountains, breathtaking national parks, dynamic cities, outstanding cultural interest, and one of the world's best cuisines, Vietnam has it all. The unforgettable Vietnam culinary tour is a must in Vietnam with sensational inclusions like dinners with local families, specialty cooking classes, fishing with local fishermen, street food tours, and a unique working farm stay experience.
During this retreat, you will stay in various accommodations. You can choose whether to stay in a deluxe room or superior room.
On day one in Hanoi, you will stay at Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi. It is conveniently located in the city center, just a step away from Hanoi's Opera House, the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and L’Opera Deluxe. You will stay here for three nights.
On day four in Ha Long Bay, you will stay on Indochina Sails. It is a traditional junk with deluxe quality wooden junks modeled on imperial court vessels. You will stay in a deluxe cabin for one night.
On day five in Hue, you will stay at Best Western Premier Indochine Palace Hotel, formerly known as Celadon Palace Hotel. It is a high-rise building hotel in the heart of Hue, Palace Studio. You will stay here for two nights.
On day seven in Hoi An, you will stay at Hotel Royal Hoi An. It is located on the banks of the Thu Bon River, a refined design inspired by Art Nouveau with a delicate touch of Japanese and Vietnamese cultures, offering spectacular views of the river and ancient town. You will be staying in a deluxe room for three nights.
On day ten in Ho Chi Minh City, you will stay at Sofitel Plaza Hotel. It is a high-rise building in the city center. It is well located in the Le Duan Boulevard. You will stay in a superior room for three nights.
On day one in Hanoi, you will stay at Silk Path Hotel. It is conveniently located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, about a ten-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. You will stay in a silk deluxe room for three nights.
On day four in Ha Long Bay, you will stay on Indochina Sails. It is a traditional junk with deluxe quality wooden junks modeled on imperial court vessels. You will stay in a superior cabin for one night.
On day five in Hue, you will stay at Saigon Morin Hotel. It is a colonial building overlooking the Perfume River. You will stay in a colonial deluxe room for two nights.
On day seven in Hoi An, you will stay at Boutique Resort Hoi An. It is a beachfront boutique styled resort, ideally located on Hoi An Beach, only a five-minute drive from Hoi An Ancient Town. You will stay in a superior room for three nights.
On day ten in Ho Chi Minh City, you will stay at Eden Saigon Hotel. It is a city center location with a nice rooftop and swimming pool. You will stay in a premium deluxe room for three nights.
Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, you will be met and driven to your hotel. You will then have time to relax after your journey. Afterwards, you will have a welcome dinner at Club de L'Orientale, a deluxe Vietnamese restaurant offering authentic northern cuisine. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi. Today's meal plan includes dinner.
In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel to a private house where you will learn to cook some typical Vietnamese dishes representing the north of Vietnam. The cooking class begins with a market tour, then an introduction to Vietnamese culinary culture structured around the Vietnamese staple foods, rice and nuoc mam, or also known as fish sauce.
Following this cultural mise-en-bouche, guests get busy in the kitchen under the careful supervision of a Vietnamese, English-speaking cook. There’s a whole range of menus to choose from, one for each day of the week! Each has been developed specially to give an all-around flavor of Vietnamese cuisine. Once you have prepared your lunch, you can sit down then eat dishes that you have cooked.
In the afternoon, you will return to town for a quick city tour including a visit to the Temple of Literature, a cultural symbol and the first university for the sons of Mandarins, a cycle ride around the central lake, and a walking tour through the bustling old quarter for street food stalls. You will spend the night in Hanoi. As an alternative, you also have this option in the morning, which is to get a Hanoi culinary experience with an expert.
At 8:30 a.m., you will meet up with Mr. Dung, a key member of Hanoi Chef Association for a market tour. Having a decade-old experience working at a four-star hotel, he can show you how to choose fresh ingredients. Enjoy sight, sound, and flavor of the market. Then drive 40-minutes out of Hanoi to his beautiful private home for a private hands-on cooking class and stories of his participation in culinary festivals in France. Enjoy your own creations at lunch. Today's meal plan includes breakfast and lunch.
This morning, enjoy breakfast like a Hanoian at Pho Vuong Restaurant, a bubbling bowl of pho accompanied by coriander, bean sprouts, onion, and either beef or chicken. The rural outskirt of Hanoi is not only famous for its pagodas, temples, and communal houses but also for its varied handicraft villages. Head to Uoc Le Village, legendary for its pork paste or also known as Gio Lua, where the know-how is a strictly kept secret.
Get back to Hanoi for lunch at Koto Restaurant. After lunch, enjoy a street food tour with a gastronomy expert. Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city's unique culture. Street food is for everyone, be it rich, poor, old, young, tourist, and local alike. Start your street food tour with an overview of local ingredients by visiting a local food market with a gastronomy expert.
With some background knowledge, it is time to hit the streets and start your food adventure. Most street restaurants only serve one or two dishes and each is prepared right in front of you. Walk down some small alleys and bustling streets and savor some of Hanoi's specialties, which are recommended and explained by your gastronome. Finish the trip dining at Ngon Restaurant, which is set up like a local food market selling specialties from each region in Vietnam.
Your guide will join you for lunch. In the evening, visit the house of a musician couple. The husband is a flutist in the National Orchestra while the wife is a piano teacher. The home-cooked dinner can accommodate up to 15 guests.
Enjoy the meal hosted in the cozy dining room to understand the important role meals at home play in Vietnam. Chat and share with them life experiences. After the meal, you will enjoy a melodious performance of flute and piano. Come back to your hotel for the night. Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
After breakfast, you will leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the world’s largest marine limestone “karst” landscape. There, you will board a wooden junk that takes you first to Ha Long Bay; while you're on board, lunch is served. Arriving at Cua Van Fishing Village, you can kayak through the floating village or ride on sampans rowed by the villagers.
Returning to the boat, you will have some time to relax and later you can join a fruit and vegetable carving lesson to learn how the Vietnamese decorate and make some traditional food. Relax after dinner or try your luck at squid fishing with help from the crew. The cruise will anchor in a quiet location for your overnight stay. Cua Van Floating Fishing Village is the largest of four floating fishing villages on the bay.
Please note that kayaking is optional upon request and at an extra charge. For your two-day Ha Long excursion, you will board Indochina Sails, one of the best wooden boats on the bay. It is a wooden junk modeled after the old Vietnamese court vessels with two barge sails, a wide transom, and rectangular superstructure. The boat has up to 15 cabins in total, 11 superior cabins on the lower deck and four deluxe cabins on the upper deck, accommodating a maximum of 30 people.
So you are likely to be joining other travelers for the cruise. All cabins are air-conditioned and have windows overlooking the bay. The deluxe cabins are 14 square meters and superior cabins are 13 square meters. Each cabin is furnished with two twin beds or a double queen size bed.
The interior paneling, floor, and furniture are made of hardwood. Each cabin has a wardrobe, desk, pillows, white cotton sheets, and an en-suite toilet and shower with a good selection of high-quality toiletries. All meals are usually based on fresh seafood, which will be provided on board. Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You will awake to the fresh air of the bay and can take a swim or enjoy a Tai Chi session on the large sundeck. Beginners are welcome! After a light breakfast of pastries and tea or coffee, you will leave the boat for a walking tour on Titov Beach Island. If weather permits, you can swim or climb the hill, not a mountain, for a panoramic view of the bay’s remarkable seascape.
After that, you will return to the junk and enjoy brunch while cruising back to the main dock and around noon, you will leave for Noi Bai Airport (HAN) for an evening flight to Hue. When you arrive, you will be met by a guide and be driven to your hotel to check in. You will spend the night in Hue. Today's meal plan includes light breakfast and brunch.
Being a residence of kings, the cooking art of Hue is famous for its refinement and artistic quality. A Hue dish normally requires a dozen different ingredients and an elaborate presentation. In a Hue family meal, each dish has its own complementary sauce while people in other parts of the country normally make just of sauce for all types of food.
In the morning, stroll around Dong Ba market with a local chef. Vegetables and meat are on wholesale and you can learn about Hue recipes and ingredients. After the market tour, transfer to Ancient Hue Restaurant, a beautiful complex of ancient houses, for a cooking class and demonstration of Hue specialties. Try your own creations for lunch. Then, proceed to the home of a well-known historian, writer, and conservationist, Mr. Phan Thuan An.
Have an interaction with him to get an in-depth insight into the culture and history of this former royal land and how it affects to culinary tastes. Winder your way to the ancient Imperial Citadel surrounded by moats, which was home to the royal court of Vietnam in the 19th century. Transfer back to hotel for a rest.
This evening, have a meal in a restored royal house where you can learn from the family members how they bring the essence of the royal ambiance and culture into their home. The menu is inclusive of a local specialty of banh beo. The dish consists of tiny and round rice flour pancakes, each served in a small bowl. They are topped with minced shrimp and other smaller ingredients. Dipped in fish sauce. Let's enjoy! Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Mid-morning, you will visit the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, where architecture and atmosphere showcase influences from both eastern art and western designs. Hue is the center of Buddhism in Vietnam, let's get in a tea interaction with monks at an ancient pagoda to get a glimpse Vietnamese Buddhism, monks' life experiences, and their charitable activities for the community, just bring out any of your queries.
Followed by a pure vegetarian lunch from natural ingredients, learn what monks usually have at meal (your guide to join lunch). The scenic three hours and 30 minutes’ drive over Pass of the Ocean Clouds brings you to the ancient town Hoi An. Opt to stroll around the colorful market with stalls brimming with tropical specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day.
Dinner is at your hotel. Hoi An town is a UNESCO World Heritage area. An ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina, Hoi An was a meeting point for many cultures that left their mark in the different architectural features of its wooden buildings. The original traditional street pattern still exists, as does the quay that once welcomed ships from all over East Asia and beyond.
Many remained there for months at a time, waiting for favorable trade winds to carry them home. There are plenty of good restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and price levels. The town is also a good place for shopping for silk. You can have your clothes tailor-made within a day or two at a reasonable cost. Today's meal plan includes breakfast and lunch.
After breakfast, your guide will meet you to show you the ancient town and explain its considerable significance in the history of Vietnam. You will be free after lunch. You will spend the night in Hoi An. Today's meal plan includes breakfast and lunch.
The day starts with cycling the narrow roads through the countryside, passing by rice paddy fields, water buffalos, bamboo bridges, and local farmers on their daily work. You will then board a boat to the mouth of the Thu Bon Estuary, where the river meets the Cua Dai Sea, and cruise along the coastline observing the lives of the local fishermen.
After joining the fisherman to try your hand at catching fish in a traditional Thung Chai basket boat, you will meander through the water palm coconut canal. During the American War, Viet Cong soldiers made use of this area as a highly effective hiding place from enemy attacks through their long struggle. Following an insightful visit to a local fishing village, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your hotel.
Thung Chai Basket boats, similar in style to coracles in use throughout the ancient world, are widely used throughout Central Vietnam and are highly suited to the local terrain and lifestyles of local fishermen due to their relatively light weight and portability, often doubling as a carrier for various handy items.
Circular and constructed of bamboo and tarred for waterproofing, these small boats can typically carry up to five people and represent a fun-filled opportunity to touch the authentic rural soul of Vietnam. As a precaution, life jackets are provided for your safety during this excursion. Today's meal plan includes breakfast and lunch.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Danang for the morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, transfer to downtown. Embark on a walking tour to admire Saigon's historic landmarks including a stroll down Rue Catinat of Graham Greene's “The Quiet American” will reveal more colonial classics. The Opera House, a three-story classical theatre built to entertain the French colonists.
For this place, you will only able to visit it from the outside., the former Hotel de Ville constructed for the French bureaucrats of Indochina in 1901, now The People's Committee building with no public access, the Notre Dame Cathedral, a stunningly massive red-brick edifice with twin spires, a clear reminder that French once ruled this city. The building only opens from 3 to 4 p.m. every day, otherwise, you will just visit from the outside.
The Central Post Office is influenced by Renaissance architecture and the former Presidential Palace, headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American War. Lunch is at the small Wrap & Roll Restaurant, where you will experience various types of local food that can be wrapped and rolled.
This evening, at about 6 p.m., you will travel to Saigon Culinary Art Center for a private cooking class on typical southern Vietnamese dishes, followed by a dinner that you have cooked yourself. Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Today, you will venture beyond the thrum of the city to Vinh Long for a cruise to the colorful Cai Be floating market. You will then visit local handicraft villages to see the manufacturing of rice-net for spring rolls, fish and soya sauces, cooking salt, and the sewing of coconut leaves for use in weatherproofing cottages. You will then have lunch at a restaurant housed in one of the area’s oldest remaining traditional houses or in the shade of a local orchard on An Binh Island.
After lunch, you will stop by Vinh Long to browse the town market. Later, you’ll visit the Van Thanh Mieu Temple, a five-minute drive from the town, to see this Confucian structure built in 1866, a relic in the style of the Nguyen Dynasty. You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City, where you will spend the night. Today's meal plan includes breakfast and lunch.
At 7 a.m., you will be picked up to the pier in District 1 for an hour scenic speedboat trip joining a boat to Cu Chi Tunnel, which are 70 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, created since 1948 to assist the Viet Minh to combat the French. From 7:30 to 7:40 a.m., light breakfast will be served on board. This is an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon shops, field hospitals, command centers.
During the American War, the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a fire-free zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of the tunnels have been open for visitors. The excursion finished and boat back the city. Lunch will be served on board. The rest of day, you will be free for leisure. In the evening, at 6 p.m., you will then be picked up at the hotel for Vespa tour.
Your first stop is to Café Zoom to "watch the world goes by" as quoted by The Lonely Planet and enjoy a cocktail and appetizer, which are inclusive, before adventuring into a favorite local eating spot. You will experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter.
The tour will start with a ride to part Chinatown and then head to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the nightlife of locals and enjoy street seafood and cold drinks in places where a foreigner won't be found.
Leaving District 4 to District 3, the tour passes through downtown District 1 to take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, a specialty of Saigon, and southern food with the locals. Then, the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese live music as a local. After this the tour, you will go to a lively bar to enjoy the drinks with live music. Guests ride pillion behind the drivers. Your overnight stay will be in Ho Chi Minh City. Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Your time will be your own until your private car and driver arrive to take you to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for your departure flight. Today's meal plan includes breakfast.
During this holiday trip, you will get to explore some of the wonderful places in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Ha Long, Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh Long, and the Cu Chi Tunnel.
During this retreat, you will be served with daily meals as per itinerary. One vegetarian lunch is also included. You will also get the chance to enjoy your own cooking, food from the street markets, and food in other restaurants as specified, as well as taste Northern cuisine, Hue royal food, Hoi An food, and Southern cuisine.
Noi Bai International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Haivenu Tours will pick you up from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi and drop you off at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for your departure flight.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.