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Cooking Vacation in Vietnam

All members of your family will share unique experiences of street food and market tour in Hanoi, homestay in a house-on-stilts of the white Thai ethnic people, learn their culture, biking from village to village along the path, explore the Red River Delta while visiting the Dinh Le temple in Ninh Binh. Hue Citadel offers you more about the country's history and Hoi An gives you a biking experience to the countryside and being a real farmer. Experience southern Vietnamese folk music in the Mekong Delta and delight in delta's cuisine. Take a sampan cruising through the canals - just some of the many activities that make this tour an exciting experience.


  • Feast on Vietnamese cuisine
  • Savor tropical fruit on an island
  • Experience farmer life in Hoi An
  • Vietnamese cooking demonstration
  • Shop for local ingredients at Dong Ba market
  • Enjoy beach break in Phu Quoc Island
  • City walking tours of main sightseeing
  • 16 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 10.

  • 16 days with instruction
  • English
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You will be staying in a homestay and 4-star hotels during the holiday.

Garden Bay Cruises

From the ship ambiance, the wooden oriental design, the food served onboard to exotic isles, dramatic caves and untouched beaches, you will surely savor the great cultural, historical and natural diversity of the ancient Bay and its local life that we passion to share. The medium sized wooden junks give easy access to secluded areas within the bay and its surrounding.

Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa

This brand new 4-star is the preferred place of busy business travelers as it is just within walking minutes from Ben Thanh market and close to the opera house, metropolitan building and Saigon center. The hotel offers rooms with high class branded amenities and entertainment facilities, especially the rooftop swimming pool.

La Residencia Hotel & Spa Hoi An

La Residencia is created to provide world travelers with a luxurious and romantic place away from home. La Residencia Hotel & Spa is the luxury boutique hotel with suites of panoramic views over Hoi An river or ancient town of Hoi An, for added tranquility, the courtyard.

Nam Bo Boutique Hotel

Nam Bộ Boutique Hotel is an all-suite hotel located right in the center of the Ninh Kiều pier, in Cần Thơ, at a stone’s throw of every river transport, and which affords a panoramic view of the Mekong river. The Nam Bộ is your ideal port of call in the Mekong delta, for a stay or simply for a cocktail or a fine meal.

Pu Luong Eco Retreat

Laying 500 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 22-25 degrees Celcius, Pu Luong Retreat is truly a green and peaceful escape from noisy cities. Just 50 meters from well-paved and quiet roads, you reach the retreat by coming through a green oasis with traditional houses, panoramic views. A small road downhill along rice field terraces takes you to small villages of the Thai people who still maintain their pure culture.

Sunway Hotel Hanoi

Sunway Hotel Hanoi is an award winning international 4-star hotel, with easy access to Hanoi’s commercial and business districts. Located at the quiet end of the French Old Quarter, away from the hustle of the busy city and yet only 28 kilometers away from the airport, Sunway Hotel Hanoi is also an excellent choice to explore this beautiful city.

Day 1 - Welcome to Hanoi

  • Warm welcome upon your arrival in Hanoi. Your guide will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the Hanoi downtown.
  • After check-in you have free time to relax, then your guide see you again for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Your day will be completed by a water puppet show - a unique art performance in Vietnam.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2 - Hanoi food and city tour

  • In the morning you start the Hanoi street food and market tour with an introduction to the local food scene over a hearty bowl of pho - noodle soup, the quintessential Hanoi street food.
  • Then it is off to a bustling local market where your chef will demystify the local produce, and encourage you to taste some of its most exotic ingredients.
  • A further 5 venues are included in the tour and all travel between venues is by taxi or on foot.
  • The tour lasts for 4 hours and finishes with a typical Vietnamese ca phe, or che (Vietnamese tea) and local sweets.
  • Your chef and guide will also share some of their favorite eating and shopping secrets in Ha Noi for you to explore further.
  • In the afternoon you visit some Hanoi’s most interesting places including Temple of Literature, then have a walk through the Hanoi Old Quarter, visit Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub.
  • Tonight you enjoy a Hanoi special dish “Cha Ca” at one of the most unique restaurants located in the Hanoi Old Quarter.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3 - Hanoi-Mai Chau

  • Today, you leave Hanoi for Mai Chau valley, the capital of the White Thai ethnic people. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the superb panorama of Mai Chau, surrounded by a green valley and stilt houses.
  • Warmly welcome by the host.
  • In the afternoon, you have a walk wandering from village to village, learning and getting in touch with local people, trying some of the local handicrafts.
  • Back to your local house for dinner.
  • Spend your night in the house-on-stilts with a traditional matt, mosquito net, and blanket.
  • Overnight at homestay in Mai Chau.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4 - Mai Chau biking

  • Today you explore the Mai Chau area by cycling from village to village along small village paths and rice fields at the foot of the mountains. It is a good time to interact with local ethnic people and learn more about their customs and habits.
  • Back to your house and enjoy the village peaceful atmosphere.
  • Overnight at homestay in Mai Chau.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 5 - Mai Chau-Ninh Binh

  • In the morning you depart for Ninh Binh through the Red River Delta.
  • In the afternoon, you visit the king Dinh Temple and King Le Temple. These two temples are constructed by local residents near the center of the old capital in order to honor Dinh Bo Linh, the first emperor of Vietnam, and Le Dai Han, who founded the Le Dynasty in the 10th and 11th centuries.
  • From here, you take a bicycle riding through the village paths.
  • Then, you have a sampan rowing to explore the Tam Coc caves.
  • Dinner with Vietnamese rural cuisines at local restaurant.
  • Overnight in Ninh Binh.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 6 - Halong, Hanoi

  • Today you leave Ninh Binh for Halong Bay.
  • Welcome on board. You will set out on a junk cruise on the bay while seafood lunch is served.
  • After lunch, you take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck.
  • In the late afternoon, you take a bamboo row boat to visit an interesting fishing village with the opportunity to interact with fishermen, who have been living in the bay for almost three generations.
  • Back on board to enjoy watching the peaceful sunset and joining a Vietnamese cooking demonstration and later unwind at a restaurant.
  • Overnight in traditional junk.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7 - Halong Bay-Hanoi

  • Early birds will have a chance to join in the Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck and view the sunrise over the bay with a cup of coffee or tea.
  • You take a tender to visit one of the most beautiful limestone grottos Sung Sot cave.
  • Your junk set sail while cruising back to the dock, in the meantime you enjoy a final glimpse of Halong Bay.
  • On the journey back to Hanoi, you will have a stop at the Phu Lang ceramic village; one of the most famous ceramic brand dated from 17th to 19th century in the north of Vietnam.
  • Overnight in Hanoi.
  • Meal plan: brunch.

Day 8 - Fly to Hue

  • You have your free time until transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue located in the central Vietnam. Hue used to be the Citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945 and is recognized as world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
  • Hotel check-in.
  • At leisure.
  • In the evening, you enjoy a Hue Citadel Royal-style dinner, tasting some royal cuisines at local restaurant.
  • Overnight in Hue.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 9 - Hue

  • In the morning you have a Dragon boat cruising on the Perfume river to visit the Thien Mu pagoda, one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country.
  • From there you rejoin your car to visit the king Minh Mang’s tomb and king Tu Duc’s tomb.
  • Taste Hue cuisines at local restaurant.
  • Afternoon, you explore the Hue Citadel, a huge complex covering an area of 520 hectares, and comprising three circles of ramparts, Hue capital citadel, royal citadel, and forbidden citadel.
  • End of the day, you visit the local Dong Ba market built in 1899 on a bank of the Perfume River, a paradise for snapshots of daily activities.
  • Overnight in Hue.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 10 - Hue-Hoi An

  • Leave Hue Citadel for Hoi An ancient town, another world heritage site in the central Vietnam with a stop at the Hai Van pass for a panoramic view over the Lang Co beach before getting to your hotel in Hoi An.
  • Continue to visit Marble Mountains and flow stone steps carved into one of the mountains lead to a Buddhist Pagoda and other caves along the way.
  • Visit the Non Nuoc stone village in the foothills before continue to Hoi An for hotel check-in.
  • In the evening you enjoy dinner with some famous dishes of the town.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 11 - Hoi An cooking class

  • You begin the cooking class with a cup of coffee followed by a visit the Hoi An colorful market.
  • It is time to get in touch with local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients for your own cooking lesson.
  • Take the Red Bridge boat cruising along the Hoi An river to the cooking school.
  • On arrival, you explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden and learn about some of Hoi An and Vietnam’s well-known dishes.
  • The 2-hour cooking lesson includes a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving .
  • You also have a chance to try some dishes yourselves.
  • Lunch is served including what you have cooked.
  • Relax and go back to your hotel.
  • Rest of the day is at leisure.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 12 - Hoi An

  • In the morning you have a walking tour to explore the Hoi An ancient town with old houses, narrow streets, moss-grown walls, lantern makers and visit Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Halls, handicraft workshop and enjoy traditional arts performance.
  • In the afternoon you take a bike along country roads to experience Vietnamese rural life and get in touch with local farmers and enjoy a sampan sailing on the Thu Bon River to meet local fishermen, try their traditional net fishing, experience paddling the bamboo basket boat.
  • Biking back to the town to relax at a local pub, do some shopping or visit the local tailors who make quality clothes in a flash.
  • Overnight in Hoi An.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Days 13 - Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

  • Again, you take a one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Unlike most cities you have visited, Saigon is the most dynamic. Everyone seems busy riding, buying, selling, studying, and building. However, the city’s core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings.
  • In the afternoon, you will have a private tour visiting some of its famous attractions such as the reunification palace, the municipal theater, the city post office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.
  • You can also have a walk through the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house-wares, and end up at the Ben Thanh market, one of the city biggest markets.
  • Enjoy dinner on the Bonsai cruises on the Saigon River.
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 14 - Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels

  • In the morning you drive to visit Cao Dai temples in Tay Ninh and observe the midday service. This temple is the cathedral of the Cao Daism religion and home of the Divine Eye, the official symbol of this unique religion. Cao Dai followers worship Jesus Christ, Confucius, Taoism, and Buddha.
  • On the way back you stop to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, very famous in the wartime with its smart and complicated system including underground meeting room, kitchen, food, weapon caches, hospital. This underground complex is a must-see when you are in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • You are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system or try a shooting range where you can fire a number of assault rifles, such as the M16 rifle or AK-47, as well as a light machine gun like the M60.
  • Back to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Rest of the day is your free time.
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 15 - My Tho-Can Tho

  • Today you have am excursion to the Mekong Delta. Surrounded by thousands of crisscrossed canals, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, most of the villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road.
  • Upon arrival you take a motor-boat to explore the Thoi Son islet.
  • Following a village path passing local houses to visit some family-run coconut candy mills then you take a horse-cart from village to village.
  • Enjoy lunch with local special dishes followed by the “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, a very common art activity in the Mekong Delta performed by local people.
  • Rejoin your car for a drive to Can Tho.
  • Overnight in Can Tho.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 16 - Floating market and biking

  • Wake up early today to join in the Cai Rang floating market, one of the most exciting activities you should do when you are in this area.
  • Take a motorized boat to join the market and experience how people exchange goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels.
  • You also find floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations, and many other floating shops.
  • Back to the shore and take a bike cycling from village to village on path, over monkey bridges, get in touch with local people.
  • Lunch is at local restaurant before driving back to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 17 - Departure

  • Today is the last day of your trip.
  • Enjoy your free time at your hotel or you can do last minute souvenir shopping before meeting your guide for transfer to airport for your flight home.
  • Have a nice journey. Thanks for joining Insight Asia Travel.
  • Meal plan: breakfast.

Enjoy excursions in Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta.

This retreat will take place in Vietnam. Considered one of the most beautiful countries in Asia, Vietnam offers tourist the legendary world of Halong Bay, Red River Delta and the surprising Sapa in the north and the road of heritages sites in the central, the colorful charm of central highlands and the crisscross waterways of the Mekong Delta in the south.

Feast on Vietnam dishes. This package includes meals as stated in the program.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • 16 nights hotel accommodation in double room
  • 24/7 hotline support
  • All entrance fees
  • All in-tour flights
  • Complimentary Vietnam visa on arrival pre-approved letter
  • Guarantee 100% money back if not satisfied
  • Meals as stated in the program
  • Private airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Private boat trip as per tour program
  • Private sightseeing tour with English speaking guide
  • Water and tissues on coach
  • Beverages
  • Compulsory gala dinner on Christmas or New Year if any
  • International flights and taxes
  • Other services not mentioned above
  • Peak season or public holidays surcharge, if any
  • Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Vietnam visa stamp fee

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to Hanoi city is Noi Bai International Airport (HAN).

Hanoi, Vietnam

Insight Asia Travel offers unforgettable and thematic cultural holidays in Vietnam and to other parts of the world.

Speaks English

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17 days / 16 nights

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