13 Days Family Culinary Vacation in Hanoi, Vietnam

13 Days Family Culinary Vacation in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Hanoi - Phong Nha - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Cooking Holiday Vietnam and Family Tour

Come and visit Vietnam, a destination that offers points of interest for moms, dads, and kids alike. In this tour, which is specifically tailored to families, you will discover the country’s beauty through trips to famous islands, beach towns, and urban landmarks. The kids will love the caving, snorkeling, and cooking classes mixed with just enough of the cultural stuff to keep everyone happy!

Highlights

  • 1 cooking class in Hoi An
  • All culinary and cultural visits in Hanoi
  • 1 motorbike tour and one-night party cruise
  • Airport transfers and tourist bus transportation
  • Daily delicious meals as per itinerary
  • Homestay in Sapa and Hoi An
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • 12 days with instruction
  • English
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During the vacation, you will be accommodated at the hotels in Hanoi, Phong Nha, and Ho Chi Minh. You will be also staying in a family dorm for one night on an island in Ha Long Bay and homestay in Sapa and Hoi An as part of the program.

Day 1 - Arrival in Hanoi

Arriving at Hanoi Noi Bai Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, you will be met and driven to your hotel, the capital city of Vietnam. You will have time to relax before enjoying a water puppet show. In the evening, you will have a welcome dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in a restored French colonial building. You will spend the night in Hanoi.

Day 2 - Hanoi orientation

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be taken to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and historical presidential relics and then the Temple of Literature nearby. Afterward, you will head to Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. You will take lunch in the afternoon and time to relax and rest at the hotel in the evening.

Day 3 - Hanoi cooking class

After a breakfast, you will join a cooking class at a hospitality school for underprivileged children. Many of them were living on the streets of Hanoi and other cities and their training will eventually help them work in some of Vietnam’s best hotels and restaurants. When you return to the restaurant, your Vietnamese teacher will assist you to prepare and cook your lunch. In the afternoon, your time will be your own.

Day 4 - Hanoi and Halong Bay

After a 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 through Bai Tu Long Bay. You will continue your cruise to an island beach. If the weather permits, you will be able to swim or climb a hill for an overview of the bay’s remarkable seascape.

You will then continue your cruise to visit Cua Van floating fishing village where you will have an opportunity to explore the village by rowing bamboo boat. The cruise route is designed to avoid busy areas and includes a very quiet location for your overnight stay. The activities will include your lunch in the afternoon and dinner in the evening.

Day 5 - Ha Long Bay

The Indochina Sails’ route is for two days only, starting from noon of the first day to noon of following day. If you book a three-day cruise on the bay, you will be transferred after breakfast to your day-trip boat with a private crew to cruise to the bay’s most deserted areas with opportunities to swim from quiet beaches or kayak to visit water tunnels, fishing villages, or your choice of other locations.

A personal chef will prepare and serve your lunch on board. In the late afternoon, you will return to the Indochina Sails boat for dinner and your overnight stay.

Day 6 - Ha Long, Hanoi, and Hue

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. After a light breakfast of pastries and tea or coffee, you will dock to visit one of the most famous caves in the bay. You will return to the junk for brunch while cruising back to the main dock and around noon you will leave for Hanoi airport to catch the flight to Hue.

Upon arrival, your guide will pick you up then take you to your hotel to check in. In the evening, you will make your own exploration to see Hue city by night. Overnight at hotel in Hue

Day 6 - Arrival in Hue

Your morning will begin with a cruise along the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda which also gives you a taste of the tranquil countryside. From there, you will drive to the Royal Tombs of Emperor Minh Mang. In the afternoon, your guide will take you to visit the Emperor Khai Dinh. After that, you will return to Hue to visit one of city’s ‘garden houses’ and then return to your hotel for refreshment.

In the evening, you will sit down for dinner in the pleasant surroundings and a comfortable atmosphere of another of the garden houses. The owner will prepare and serve a traditional meal based on the distinctive characteristics of classic Hue cuisine. You will spend the night in Hue.

Day 6 - Cycling to get closer to Hue’s lifestyle

In the morning, your bicycles will be at your hotel ready for you to ride through Hue’s rural villages towards the Thanh Toan Bridge. Nearby, a local market will provide you with views of daily life and local products. You will then return to Hue’s city center with en-route visit the Ngoc Son Princess garden house. The house has an attractive family altar and the owner is an expert on Hue’s culture and history. He will be pleased to explain the geomantic principles underpinning the building and garden’s construction.

After lunch, your route will take you past the Imperial Citadel to visit some of the garden houses in Phu Mong Kim Long village, then ride toward one of the handicraft villages in Hue’s hinterland that specializes in a single product range of traditional cakes before looping back to your hotel for overnight accommodation.

Day 7 - Hue, Danang, and Hoi An

After breakfast, you will drive to Hoi An, crossing Hai Van Pass where you will have a magnificent view of the stunning long sandy beaches and stop at Lang Co to have a short break. When you arrive in Danang city, you will visit the fascinating Cham Museum and the Marble Mountains en route to charming Hoi An. You will stay overnight in Hoi An.

Day 8 - Hoi An and from farmer to fisherman tour

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. Following an insightful visit to a local fishing village, you will be free to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your hotel.

Day 9 - Free time in Hoi An

The day will be free for strolling in the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy. You will spend the night in Hoi An.

Day 10 - Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City

After a breakfast, you will be free until the driver arrives to drive back to Danang and take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrive, you will be taken to your hotel to check in before discovering the story of Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the War Remnants Museum, where you will hear about the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War.

Next, the guide will take you to visit the Reunification Palace once a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government. You will then take a short stroll along Dong Khoi street to the Opera House. You will end the day with a speedboat trip along the city’s ancient canals where life carries on unchanged before returning to your hotel as the sun sets on this fascinating city. You will spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh Long, and Can Tho

After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you will travel to Vinh Long where a Mekong River cruise will take you to visit the fruit orchards, a traditional family-run brick kiln, and some long established cottage industries. You will drive further into the Mekong Delta to Can Tho. Upon arrival, you will call in at the Munir Anaya. You will then drive to your hotel in Can Tho where you will spend the night.

Day 12 - Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast and a boat cruise, you will arrive at Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta. Both the journey and the market provide insights into the rural Mekong Delta lifestyle. On your return to Ho Chi Minh City, you will call in at the beautiful and ancient Vinh Trang pagoda. You will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon with time to freshen up in the hotel.

Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh City departure

Your time will be your own until your private car and driver arrive to take you to Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight.

Enjoy a walking tour and cycling through the Old Quarters

See the town’s landmarks of Japanese covered bridge, ancient Assembly Hall, Phuc Kien Temple, and then you will take a river trip to enjoy the scenery along the Thu Bon River and the general view of Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the ceramic village of Thanh Ha, carpentry village of Kim Bong, and Dai Chiem Estuary. Hoi An is also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to have a new wardrobe made up, this is the time to do it. Then, you will take an hour bicycle ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarters to experience a daily life of people who are living in the oldest parts of the city.

Enjoy the puppet show

The puppet show is an art form in which puppets are suspended over water, directed by puppet masters and submerged for hours at a time. The tradition of water puppetry is at least 1,000 years old, originating with peasants in the Red River Delta of the north. The puppets, which the French used to call “the souls of the Vietnamese rice fields,” are made of the water-resistant wood of the fig tree and depict villagers, farm animals, dragons, and more.

Learn how to cook Vietnamese cuisine

You will learn to cook some typical Vietnamese dishes representative of the North of Vietnam. Accompanied by a skilled chef, you will be driven to the market to try your skills in bargaining and buying among the locals at a local market.

Visit the temples and local museums

The temples are set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake and dates back to the 13th century. The lake itself is a picturesque focal point of Hanoi, frequented by tourists and locals alike. You will also visit Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country which houses a display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples.

The retreat will take place in Hanoi, Sapa, Phong Nha, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Lat, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Da Lat

Dalat is a mid-sized city that looks like a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps. Outside of the city center, it is surrounded by a series of pine-covered hills, lakes, and higher peaks, making for some lovely scenery quite different from the rest of Vietnam. Dalat is also surrounded by some of the best mountain biking, hiking, and canyoning opportunities in Vietnam, with hills of coffee and tea plantations, which evoke images of the colonial hill stations of the north of India.

Hanoi

Hanoi is an elegant city located on the banks of the Red River with tranquil Restored Sword Lake at its heart. North of the lake are the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, each street named after the trade that used to take place there. The city was transformed by the French when it became a French protectorate in the 1880s and there are wide boulevards and large colonial buildings which are now home to government departments and foreign embassies.

Hue

This quiet city is widely known for the magnificent architecture of its citadels, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples built under the Nguyen Dynasty.

Hoi An

This city is known as Faifo to early western traders and was one of South-East Asia’s major international ports and today it still retains that special old-world feel. Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam, just south of Da Nang. The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's bustling largest city which sets the cultural and economic pace for the country. Do not miss the impressive Jade Emperor Pagoda. Go to the frenetic Ben Thanh Market for food, flowers, or frogs. Take a tour through the Mekong Delta, past rice paddies, and houseboats.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most famous seaside resort-town. It is more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It is also the scuba diving center of Vietnam.

Phong Nha

Phong Nha has now become well-known as one of the most beautiful and interesting areas of Vietnam. Tourism in the area is booming and the choice of the transports, eateries, and tours improves all the time. Coming to Phong Nha really does provide a chance to get out in the real Vietnam on a bicycle or walking and soak it up.

Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful, mountainous town in northern Vietnam along the border with China. Sapa is an incredibly picturesque town that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in northwestern Vietnam, known as "the Tonkinese Alps". Sapa and its surrounding region is host to many hill tribes, as well as rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam.

All meals consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served accordingly as per the itinerary. Enjoy the marvelous taste of Vietnamese food and cooking class upon your culinary tour in Hanoi!

Menu of cooking class in Hanoi

  • Banana blossom salad with chicken
  • Hanoi char - grilled pork balls with vermicelli
  • Hanoi deep fried spring rolls
  • Food decoration - pineapple boat, three colored flowers and Vietnamese hand fan
  • Fresh rice paper shrimp rolls, including making rice paper
  • Grilled Eggplant stuffed with market vegetables
  • Hoi An pancakes or Banh Xeo
  • Warm squid salad served in half a pineapple

During your vacation, there will be several options given on your tour. The options include a cooking class, lantern-making, ostrich riding, and crocodile fishing.

Cooking class

In the morning, you can join a cooking class at the Red Bridge Restaurant. After visiting a market to purchase ingredients, a boat will take you along Hoi An River to the restaurant where you can investigate its herb and vegetable garden before learning how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes. After lunch at the restaurant, your time will be free. You will spend the night in Hoi An.

Crocodile fishing

It is not what it appears to be. Twenty or so crocodiles lay quietly in a narrow, a rather grubby channel full of algae. You are given your ‘fishing rod’ which is really a strong stick with a length of nylon line attached and a dead fish tied to the end. You then plonk the bait into the water and wait. Depending on you and the crocodiles, the next step happens fast or slow. You will be wondering if the creatures are asleep when the water suddenly erupts, a jaw-full of yellow teeth wrenches the fish from the line, and the crocodile sinks back into the water. Nearby, there will be a few caged monkeys and monitor lizards.

These activities are optional because Vietnamese culture in relation to animal welfare is very different to that of the most developed country and may be distasteful to some customers. However, neither the ostriches nor the crocodiles are harmed since the ostriches seem to enjoy the exercise and the crocodiles seem satisfied by the regular tit-bits.

Lantern-making

In the morning, you will be met at your hotel and driven to the edge of the Ancient Town. From there, a short stroll will take you to a lantern maker’s house. After a welcome cup of green tea, you can observe some of the complex stages of creating the attractive paper lanterns for which Hoi An is justly famous. Next is instruction and training in the art of building lanterns.

Ostrich riding

This is a very popular attraction for Vietnamese holiday makers. Ostrich riding takes place in a sandy arena. You opt to ride more or less bareback or in sort of wooden rickshaw with room for one or two people. If you choose the hang on and hope option, the ostrich keeper helps you to climb up the ostrich. From then on, you will hang on to your ostrich’s neck as tightly as you can. Depending on the speed of the ostrich, the ride takes from two to four minutes.

It is a bit scary at first because the height of ostriches means you are about a meter off the ground. Also, the ostriches are not as obliging as horses and may decide to stop dead or turn round if they feel like it. It is for anyone with an adventurous streak, including adults and teenagers.

  • 1 motorbike tour
  • 1 night on party cruise
  • 1 night family dorm on an island in Ha Long Bay
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers from and to Hanoi Noi Bai Airport (HAN)
  • Cooking class in Hoi An
  • Daily delicious meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Homestay in Sapa and Hoi An
  • Tourist bus transportation
  • Vietnam visa on arrival with approval letter
  • 25 USD visa stamp per person
  • Beverages and extra meals
  • Flight tickets and airport transfers
  • International insurance
  • Tips and personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Hanoi Noi Bai Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Halong Promotion Tours will pick you up from the airport.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Halong Promotion Tours is one of the best tour operators in Vietnam offering personal travel services and private tours in Vietnam.

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13 days / 12 nights

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