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14 Days of Vietnam Culinary and Wellness

  • Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Hoi An - Quy Nhon - Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Tra - Vinh Long

Authentic Vietnamese Culinary Vacation

Taking cooking classes in Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, relaxing in a spa and massage treatment, cruising Ha Long Bay, relaxing in a wellness beach resort, cruising on a Vespa scooter in the crowded Saigon streets, spending the night on boat among the Mekong delta. Is that all you wish for a culinary and wellness vacation? Join us in this Vietnam adventure!

Highlights

  • Street food tour
  • Spa and massage treatment in Hanoi
  • Cooking classes in Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Crusing on a vespa scooter in the crowded Saigon streets
  • Overnight cruises in Ha Long Bay and Mekong Delta
  • Relaxing in a wellness beach resort in Quy Nhon
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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Hotel list for superior standard:

  • Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel (4-star hotel conveniently located in Hanoi’s "Old Quarter," about a ten-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake at Silk deluxe room)
  • Ha Long Bay: Indochine Sails Traditional Junk (Deluxe quality wooden junks modeled on Imperial Court vessels at superior cabin)
  • Hoi An: Almanity (4-star central location, step away from Hoi An Ancient Town with daily complimentary spa in My Mind Town view room)
  • Quy Nhon: Life Wellness Resort (4-star featured resort located on a secluded bay about a 20-minute drive from the town center with an eco-friendly Vietnam hotel/resort at deluxe room)
  • Mekong: Mango Cruise (4-star hotel, one of the best wooden boats in the Mekong Delta at twin/double cabin)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Eden Saigon hotel (4-star city center location with nice rooftop swimming pool at premium deluxe room)

Hotel list for deluxe standard:

  • Hanoi: Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi (4-star hotel conveniently located in the city center, just a step away from Hanoi's Opera House, the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake at L’Opera grand deluxe)
  • Ha Long Bay: Indochine Sails Traditional Junk (Deluxe quality wooden junks modeled on Imperial Court vessels at deluxe cabin)
  • Hoi An: Almanity (4-star hotel with central location, step away from Hoi An Ancient Town, daily complimentary spa at My Energy Courtyard View room)
  • Quy Nhon: Life Wellness Resort (4-star featured resort located on a secluded bay about a 20-minute drive from the town center, an eco-friendly Vietnam hotel/resort at junior suite room)
  • Mekong: Mango Cruise (4-star hotel, one of the best wooden boats in the Mekong Delta at twin/double cabin)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Sofitel Plaza Hotel (5-star high-rise building in the city center, well located in the Le Duan Boulevard at superior room)

Day 1: Hanoi arrival

  • Meal plan: dinner.
  • Pick-up with English speaking guide
  • Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
  • In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and an interesting, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture).
  • You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a welcome dinner at a good restaurant housed in the pleasant atmosphere of a colonial building. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.

Day 2: Cooking class/massage in Hanoi

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch
  • With English speaking guide for the day tour
  • In the morning, you’ll walk to a family restaurant where the owner, a skilled chef, will invite you to a cup of Vietnamese green tea. She’ll take you to a local market to learn about Vietnamese ingredients and try your skills in bargaining and buying among the locals. Upon returning to the restaurant, you’ll learn how to cook some typical Vietnamese dishes representative of the North of Vietnam. After the class, you’ll sample the results of your efforts before returning to the city centre after which your time will be your own.
  • After lunch, your driver will take you to a spa center for a relaxing holistic body treatment. If you fancy shopping, Silk Street in the Old Quarter is a good place for art galleries, embroidery, lacquer ware, silver articles, and jewelry. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi/Ha Long

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

No English speaking guide, only pick-up with driver

After an early breakfast, you’ll leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone "karst" landscape. There you’ll board a wooden junk to take you to the busy World Heritage area and then to an island beach. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to swim, fish, and climb a hill (not a mountain!) for an overview of the Bay’s remarkable seascape. From there, you’ll continue your cruise to visit a fishing village - you’ll also have an opportunity investigate one of the bay’s sea level caves in a small sampan or a kayak. The route is designed to avoid the busy areas and includes a very quiet location for your overnight stay.

For your two-day Ha Long excursion, you'll board the Indochina Sails, one of the best wooden boats on the Bay. It’s a wooden junk based on the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with two barge sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure. The boat has 15 cabins in total, 11 superior cabins in the lower floor and 4 deluxe cabins in the upper floor which can accommodate a maximum of 30 people, so you're likely to be joining other travelers for the cruise.

All cabins are air-conditioned and have windows overlooking the bay. The floor area of each of the deluxe cabin is 14.5 meter square and superior cabins is 13 meter square. Each cabin is furnished with two twin beds or a double queen size bed. The interior paneling, floor and furniture are of hard wood. 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, usually based on fresh seafood, will be provided on board. Kayaking is available upon request and at surcharge.

Day 4: Ha Long/Hanoi/Danang/Hoi An

  • Meal plan: brunch
  • No English speaking guide, only pick-up with driver
  • You’ll wake in fresh air of the bay with a swim and/or a yoga session on the large sundeck (beginners welcome!). After a light breakfast pastry and tea or coffee, you’ll dock to visit one of the most famous caves in the Bay. You’ll return to the junk for a brunch while cruising back to dock around noon whereupon you’ll leave for Hanoi airport to catch a late afternoon flight to Danang. Upon arriving at Danang airport, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An for accommodation.

Day 5: Hoi An tour

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch
  • With English speaking guide for the day tour or excursion
  • After breakfast, your guide will meet you to show you the Ancient Town and explain its considerable significance in the history of Vietnam. You’ll be free after lunch. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.
  • 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 reasonable cost.

Day 6: Hoi An Cooking Class at Green Bamboo Cooking School

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch
  • With English speaking guide for the day tour or excursion
  • In the morning, you’ll be picked up at 08:30 at your hotel to travel to the local market to purchase ingredients. You’ll then be greeted by a local restaurateur Mrs. Van, owner of Green Bamboo Cooking School, who will teach you how to cook some of Hoi An’s traditional cuisine. Each customer will select one dish from her menu in advance and you will learn to prepare and cook your dish as a group in class so you will have chance to learn about 10 dishes today. The class will end around 15:30 at your hotel.
  • In the afternoon, you’ll be free to stroll around the Ancient Town or travel to Cua Dai Beach. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.

Day 7: Hoi An/Quy Nhon

  • Meal plan: breakfast
  • With English speaking guide for the day tour or excursion
  • In the morning, your car will arrive to drive you to Qui Nhon. On the way, you’ll stop for photos or enjoy the nature beauty of Vietnam countryside. Arriving at Life Wellness Resort Qui Nhon at early evening where you’ll receive a warm welcome.

Day 8 to Day 9: Quy Nhon

  • Meal plan: breakfast
  • Your time will be your own at Life Wellness Resort & Spa.
  • The four star resort is located upon a thirty-three acres (13.5 hectare) site overlooking a wide sweep of pale soft sand (usually empty) set an extensive bay with two uninhabited islands also belong to the resort. The surrounding landscape is dramatic, with rocky promontories and mountains. To the north of the resort behind a craggy cape, there's a small fishing village. The accommodation is in a string of three three-storey blocks linked with walkways and stairs to the rear. All sixty-three rooms have folding glazed doors extending across most of the width of large balconies with excellent sea views. All building materials were sourced locally where feasible. There is extensive use of sustainable natural materials and an obvious concern for environmental husbandry.
  • The Quy Nhon ‘Life Wellness Resort’ is one of the many Six Senses Spa’s spread mostly across Southeast Asia, China and the Middle East. The company has an excellent record of spa management and focuses upon utilizing local treatments and therapies.
  • The location is ideal for promoting well-being and the spa and fitness area is designed to harmonize with nature and the principle of ancient wisdom, notably Feng Shui. The emphasis is on natural body and mind treatments and, apart from fresh local and international cuisine, your menu can be adjusted to fuse with your particular treatments.
  • However, you’re free to use the spa’s facilities to modify the three-day program or design a personal schedule.

Day 10: Quy Nhon/Ho Chi Minh City/street food and nightlife by Vespa

  • Meal plan: breakfast
  • No English speaking guide, only pick-up with driver
  • Pick-up with English speaking guide
  • In the morning, you’ll be free until your car arrives to take you to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrive, a private car will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the city center. After checking in, you’ll be free for a preliminary wander around District 1.
  • In the evening at 18:00, you’ll then be picked up at hotel for Vespa tour. Your first stop is to Café zoom to "watch the world goes by" (quoted by The Lonely Planet) and enjoy cocktail and appetizer (inclusive) before adventuring into favorite local eating spot. You’ll experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese music (live) as a local. Your overnight stay will be in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • The tour will start with a ride to part Chinatown and then heading to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the night life of locals and enjoy street sea- food and cold drinks, places that foreigner won't be found. Leaving District 4 to District 3 the tour pass through downtown District 1 to take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, specialty of Saigon, and southern food with the locals.

Day 11: Cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch
  • No English speaking guide, only pick-up with driver
  • Today you’ll join a morning cooking class at Saigon Culinary Art Centre. After visiting a local market to purchase fresh ingredients, there follows an introduction to Vietnamese culinary culture, after which you will get busy in the kitchen under the careful supervision of a Vietnamese cook. Each course has been specially developed to give an all-round flavor of Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll have lunch with the dishes that you’ve cooked. In the afternoon, your time will be your own. *You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City/Sa Dec/Cai Be

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

With English speaking guide for the day tour or excursion

After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you’ll be driven to Sa Dec town. Upon arriving Sa Dec, you will explore this charming town before boarding your private boat. Sa Dec is is the backdrop for the film ‘The Lover’, based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. The story is about a teenage French girl who falls in love with a wealthy Chinese man, Huynh Thuy Le, their romance ended when his father arranged marriage for him with another Chinese girl and Marguerite Duras left Vietnam to go back to France with her broken heart. She became a famous writer and her own true story soon became well known.

Upon checking in your private Mango Cruise, you will enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail on the deck and meet your crew members, then head to Cai Be enjoying the scenery and fresh air from the water. Arrival in Cai Be, you will be explore the lively floating Market and its bustling township and enjoy the houses on stilts along the River bank and local businesses. Later, the cruise continue to cruise to An Hoa and stop at Ngu Hiep Village begin cycling, enjoying the peaceful scenery and quiet road pathways. Then you will get back to your boat, relax and enjoy your cruise then prepare for your cooking demonstration while enjoying your dinner. You will spend the night on board on the Upper river.

Day 13: My Tho/Ben Tre/Ho Chi Minh City

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch
  • Pick-up with English-speaking guide
  • During your breakfast, the boat will start cruising to Phong Nam village. The cruise will stop at the coconut processing, then stop at a brick making shop, where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. Here, you will start a cycling tour around Phong Nam village of 4 kilometers, enjoy a casual cycling trip that will take you to visit a local rice noodle factory which produces Hu Tieu noodles, one of the most popular dishes in the region. Continue taking a short walk to Mrs. Huong’s house, who lives with her 3 children and grandson - they live on fishing, shrimp and fruit orchards. Enjoy fresh fruits and tea in her garden and then board a rowing sampan, taking you through a lush narrow canal, displaying the tranquil nature of the region. Later, you will return to your boat and cruise to Hung Vuong Pier in Bentre town where you will check out at Mango Cruiser’s pier and disembark for lunch at a local restaurant on shore.
  • After lunch, you’ll return to Ho Chi Minh City for overnight accommodation.

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City departure

  • Meal plan: breakfast
  • No English-speaking guide, only pick-up with driver
  • Your time will be your own until your private car and driver arrives to take you to Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight. Tour ends.

Hoi An city tour

Overnight cruise in Ben Tre, Mekong Delta

Overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay

Quy Nhon Free and Easy

Saigon street food and nightlife by Vespa

This retreat will take place over some of the most thrilling Vietnamese cities: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Quy Nhon, Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tra and Vinh Long.

Massage package in Hanoi and spa and massage in your wellness resort in Quy Nhon are included in the price.

  • *13 nights accommodation sharing a twin or double room
  • *90 minutes massage in Hanoi
  • *All the cooking classes mentioned in the itinerary
  • *Breakfast
  • *Cooking course as mentioned in program
  • *Domestic flight tickets: Hanoi - Danang, Qui Nhon - Ho Chi Minh City, including domestic airport taxes
  • *Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants
  • *Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
  • *The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
  • *Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
  • *VAT and other taxes
  • *Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the program
  • *Camera fees (if any)
  • *Compulsory dinner (if any)
  • *Dinners, except as specified above
  • *Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
  • *Insurance
  • *International flight tickets and airport tax
  • *Spa and massage in Life Wellness Resort, Qui Nhon
  • *Surcharges for peak seasons (if any)
  • *Tips for guides and drivers
  • *Visas

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport ti the location is Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN).

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 15% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 45 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.