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9 Day Classic Culture and Culinary Tour in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Spellbinding Vietnam Culinary Tour

Insight Asia Travels presents the Classic Vietnam tour to share with you the diverse natural and cultural beauty of Vietnam's stunning destinations and to savor its culinary delights. Get introduced to the local people and an opportunity to join in their daily living activities therefore making each day’s journey a memory to cherish forever. Join for an truly authentic and wonderful experience that you will never forget, one that you will want to live again!

Highlights

  • Hanoi street food and market tour
  • Explore Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hue, and Hoi An
  • Enjoy Hanoi's special dish “Cha Ca" and a royal-style dinner in Hue
  • Cruise through the Halong Bay and visit Vung Vieng fishing village
  • Watch the water puppet show, a unique art performance
  • Airport transfers and entrance to all places visited
  • 8 nights luxury accommodation
  • Daily delicious breakfast

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


8 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
00:00

During the Vietnam tour, you will have the option choosing to stay in either 4-star or 5-star hotels throughout the trip. You will spending 2 nights in Ho Chi Minh City, 1 night in Hue and Hoi An, 3 nights in Hanoi, and 1 night cruising on a traditional junk (Vietnamese boat) in the Haylong Bay. You will be staying the first night in Ho Chi Minh City and final night in Hanoi.

4-star hotels

Grand Silverland Hotel and Spa

This brand new 4-star is 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.

Muca Hoian Boutique Resort - Hoi An

Muca Hoi An Boutique Resort and Spa is an ideal choice for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway. This enchanting resort is ideally located alongside the romantic and tranquil Thu Bon River of Hoi An and surrounded by beautiful Nipa palm trees. It features a seamless fusion of traditional Hoi An and European arch interior design, creating a charming old world ambiance.

Hue Riverside Boutique Resort and Spa

Ideally located on the bank of the Perfume River with a unique view of the Van Thanh Temple just opposite the river, it is the best place for those who would like to experience a rich local Vietnamese village culture, surrounded by stunning organic rice fields and traditional garden houses from the very moment of your arrival.

Flower Garden Hotel

Located right at the heart of Hanoi, Flower Garden Hotel offers guests a relaxing, enjoyable stay within an elegant and cozy space. At Flower Garden Hotel, guests are offered with friendly, caring services provided by an enthusiastic and professional team of staffs.

Flamingo Cruise

It is one of few cruises line in Halong Bay with fully equipment, the highest safety standards with sonar and radars. Each cabin is provided with modern alarm devices linked to a central monitoring system, smoke sensor, fire extinguishers, hydrant and hoses, life jacket, and clear emergency instructions.

5-star hotels

Majestic Saigon Hotel

Situated on the corner of Dong Khoi and Ton Duc Thang Streets, Hotel Majestic Saigon is just a few minutes' walking distance from its doorstep to The Opera House, Notre Dame Catheral, Reunification Palace, and most of entertainment and popular shopping malls.

Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa

Overlooking the Cua Dai Beach, Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa is the best charming upscale beachfront retreat in Hoi An. The resort offers a touch of Hoi An’s traditional architectural design combined with a taste of modern luxury. It is 5 minutes far from the center of the World Heritage Hoi An ancient town and 30 minutes to Danang International Airport by car from the resort.

Imperial Hotel Hue

One of the best hotels in Hue, this is a 16-story building combined with the modern and classical elements, blends historical, architectural details and has a earthy decor. The hotel is designed to offer an atmosphere of royalty and luxury, traditional and unique style with excellent facilities for all travelers on leisure and business.

Sheraton Hanoi Hotel

The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens, sweeping lawns, and tranquil courtyards. This peaceful oasis features picturesque views of West Lake and is less than 10 minutes from downtown Hanoi. The hotel provides the perfect balance between tranquility and convenience. Complimentary shuttle bus with just a quick drive to historical Hanoi Old Quarter or dynamic shopping centers.

Alisa Cruise

The princess of the ocean, expect more than a cruise, Alisa Cruise is set out to be a different kind compared to other cruises. One that is not only celebrated cruise with the rich services, but one that also brings a feeling of connection among people. 5-star Alisa Cruises, named after a princess, expressing the luxury, is noble and exquisite!

Please note that in case the mentioned room type is not available, your room will be upgraded to the next higher category automatically. In case the mentioned hotel is fully booked, the travel expert will contact you via e-mail to inform and suggest you the best alternative hotel as the same category as the mentioned hotel for your trip. In case all the hotels by your tour type are not available, Insight Asia Travels will suggest you the next hotel category, inform you the surcharge if any or work together with you until we both have the best choice. All these changes will be reconfirmed in the Final Confirmation Voucher / Agreement.

Program

Insight Asia Travel would like to introduce you to this 9-day Classic Vietnam tour. Starting from the most dynamic Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon), you enjoy an interesting excursion visiting Cu Chi underground tunnels followed by a short fly to the Central Vietnam where these other two World Heritage Sites - Hue Citadel and Hoi An ancient town await. In the North Vietnam, you will visit Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and have a wonderful overnight in the World Natural Heritage Site Halong Bay on a deluxe traditional junk.

Experiencing the local culture is a huge part of traveling and trying traditional food is largely connected with that cultural experience. That is why you will get to taste famous local food with local people at local restaurants and also have opportunities to dine at some of the famous local restaurants serving some dishes which you cannot find in other places.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

Insight Asia Travel will meet you at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport for a transfer to your hotel. Check-in time is 2pm. Early check-in is not included and subject to availability. After check-in, you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome dinner at the Bonsai cruise on the Saigon river.

Bonsai dinner cruise is a unique experience. It was founded with a rebellious spirit and an urge to fulfill Insight Asia Travel's dream to offer an extraordinary and authentic river cruise. Step aboard and be introduced to a world that honors ancient Saigon, times long ago forgotten. From the moment you board this grand beauty of the river you will be swept away and amazed at their attention to detail and service.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi tunnels, street food tasting

In the morning, after breakfast you will visit some famous attractions in Ho Chi Minh City such as Reunification Palace, Municipal Theatre, City Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and War Remnants Museum. Experience and sample local food with a special offer “ HCMC Street Food Tasting.” Much influenced by the culinary of Chinese, Cambodia, and Thailand, southern food uses a little bit more sugar and coconut water and coconut milk. Southern cuisine also contains more saltwater and brackish water seafood than the north and the center. Just taste some famous dishes such as hu tieu Saigon, banh canh and banh xeo; and see the differences yourself followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub.

In the afternoon, you will be driven to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. 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. Meals included for the day are breakfast and street food tasting.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 3: Hue half-day tour

In the morning, you will have free time until transfer time to airport for a flight to Hue. Located in central Vietnam, the World Cultural Heritage Site, Hue used to be the Citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945. Your local guide meets you at the airport for a transfer to hotel.

In the afternoon, you will explore the Hue Citadel. At the end of the day, you visit the local Dong Ba market located on a bank of the Perfume river - a paradise for snapshots of daily activities. In the evening, meet your guide again for a Hue royal-style dinner, and taste some royal cuisines at local restaurant. Meals included for the day are breakfast and dinner.

Overnight in Hue

Day 4: Hue - Hoi An

In the morning, you will be going on a dragon boat cruise 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. You will then go back to the hotel for short break then you leave Hue for Hoi An, another World Heritage Site in Central Vietnam.

Journey to Hoi An is traveling over the Hai Van pass where you have a stop for a panoramic view over the Lang Co Beach before arriving at your hotel in Hoi An. You will have time to explore until dinner at a local restaurant. Meals included for the day are breakfast and dinner.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5: Hoi An walking tour, street food tasting

In the morning, you will be going for a walking tour to explore the Hoi An ancient town with old houses, narrow streets, moss-grown walls, lantern makers, and visit the Japanese-covered bridge, Chinese assembly halls, and handicraft workshop, and then enjoy a traditional arts performance. Then enjoy Hoi An street food tasting. Central food with all its unique characteristics reflected in distinct flavor, with more spicy and salty dishes than the food in the North and the South. Do not forget to add your favorite street food to the list and just tell your guide and taste one of the Hoi An street food - steamed rice with chicken, banh mi Hoi An, cao lau Hoi An - followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub.

In the afternoon you ride by bicycle about 3 kilometers from Hoi An town to Tra Que Vegetable village, “the loveliest village on earth.” At the village you can experience of being a farmer, take photos of rice field and vegetable village, enjoy a leisurely walk taking and a stunning sunset or take a foot massage with the ingredients from Tra Que herbs and surround yourself with stunning landscape. Ride back to hotel and enjoy your free time. Meals included for the day are breakfast and street food tasting.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6: Fly to Hanoi

Widely acknowledged as one of the loveliest cities in Asia, this one-thousand-year old city offer you its unique images that are totally different from other Asian cities. Hanoi still retains a small-town provincial charm and unique intermingle with a French legacy wide, tree-lined boulevards, parks, grand villas and an artistic, café society.

Enjoy your free time until you meet your guide for transfer to Danang Airport for your flight to Hanoi. Then be picked up and transfered to your hotel in Hanoi.

In the afternoon you visit the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison Museum then have a walk around the Sword Lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub. Enjoy water puppet show - a Vietnamese unique art performance of life of Vietnamese farmers, communal entertainment or historical legends. For dinner, you will enjoy a Hanoi special dish “Cha Ca” at one of the most unique restaurants located in the Hanoi Old Quarter.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay

In the morning, you leave Hanoi for Halong Bay via the Red River Delta. Welcome onboard upon arrival at Tuan Chau Harbor. Enjoy a welcome drink. There will be brief introduction by the cruise manager, followed by cabin check-in. Lunch is served while the cruise is sailing and passing by thousand of unknown islets. Enjoy the cruise program with kayaking around Pearl Farm village. Visit the Titop Island. You'll have free choice of activities such as sunbathing, swimming or climbing up to the peak of the Titop for the panorama view of the Halong bay.

Return to the cruise and join in the cooking demonstration by the cruise chef to prepare some Vietnamese dishes followed by the Sunset Cocktail on the sundeck. Vietnamese set menu dinner is served. Join some cruise activities including chat around the bar, watching movies of Vietnamese films, playing cards, playing chess, reading or trying your luck with squid fishing. Meals included for the day are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Overnight in traditional junk.

Day 8: Ceramic village - Hanoi

Early bird to join Tai Chi on the sundeck. Enjoy sunrise at the bay followed by a light breakfast. Transfer by tender to Sung Sot Cave. Walk up about 100 steps to the cave entrance. It takes approximately 45 minutes to explore the cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Halong bay with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Back to the cruise. Cabin check-out. Lunch is served while the cruise is sailing and passing by thousand of unknown islets. Disembarkation.

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 - 19th century in the North of Vietnam. Meals included for the day are breakfast and brunch.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 9: 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 back home. Have a nice journey! Meals included for the day is breakfast.

Included excursions

During the cultural and culinary tour, you will be visiting:

In Ho Chi Minh City

  • Reunification palace
  • Municipal theatre
  • City post office
  • Notre-Dame cathedral
  • War remnants museum
  • Ben Thanh market
  • Cu Chi tunnels

In Hue

  • Hue citadel
  • Dong Ba market
  • Dragon boat ride through Perfume river
  • Thien Mu pagoda
  • King Minh Mang’s and king Tu Duc’s tomb

In Hoi An

  • Travel through Hai Van pass
  • Lang Co beach
  • Walking tour through Hoi An ancient town
  • Visit Japanese-covered bridge and Chinese assembly halls
  • Handicraft workshops

In Hanoi

  • Water puppet show
  • Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and house-on-stilts
  • One pillar pagoda, Quan Thanh temple and Tran Quoc pagoda
  • Temple of Literature
  • Walk around the Sword Lake
  • Ngoc Son Temple
  • Phu Lang ceramic village

Around Halong Bay

  • Vung Vieng fishing village
  • Ban Chan beach
  • Thien Canh Son cave

Location

This culinary tour will take place in different parts of Vietnam. You will start your journey in southern Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, move to areas of Hue and Hoi An in central Vietnam and end in the capital city of Hanoi while also visiting Halong Bay in the northeast on the way.

Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in the South East Asia with its marvelous coastline of 3,260 kilometers, dotted with unspoiled, white sandy beaches, tranquil bays, the mountainous area with surprising Sapa, the collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Halong Bay, Hue Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, and the dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, and the Cu Chi tunnels.

Ho Chi Minh City

This is a city full of surprises. 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. The city offers plenty of reasons to visit, from its blend of historic, attractions to vibrant shopping, dining and nightlife.

Hue

Established as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802, Hué was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. The Perfume river winds its way through the Hue citadel giving this unique feudal capital a setting of great natural beauty.

Hoi An

Hoi An is one of the oldest towns in south-east Asia and characterized by a rich blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and European architecture. Formerly known as Faifo, the ancient riverside town of Hoi An was a major trading port from the 16th to the 19th century.

Halong Bay

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay boasts a magnificent scenery of over 3,000 limestone islands jutting out of emerald green waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. The best way to explore and appreciate this vast area is by organised boat tours either cruise boats or traditional junk style boats, sleeping on board for one or several nights.

Hanoi

Widely acknowledged as one of the loveliest cities in Asia, this one-thousand-year old city offers you its unique images that totally different from other Asian cities. Hanoi still retains a small-town provincial charm and unique intermingle with a French legacy wide, tree-lined boulevards, parks, grand villas, and an artistic café society.

Food

During the tour, you will be served breakfast everyday. 4 lunches and 4 dinners will also be provided. The food served would be local delicious Vietnamese cuisine. In Hue, you will be served Hue royal-style dinner, where you will taste some royal cuisines at local restaurant. In one of the lunches, you will get to enjoy a Hanoi special dish “Cha Ca”. You will also have Vietnamese coffee in a cafe in Hanoi. During the cruise, welcome drink, sunset cocktail, and special barbecue dinner will be provided.

Please note vegetarian food can be served, just let Insight Asia Travels know at the time of booking.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

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

  • Vegetarian
  • 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

  • Visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Ha Long Bay
  • Water puppet show - a unique art performance in Vietnam.
  • Hanoi street food and market tour
  • Royal-style dinner in Hue
  • Overnight stay and cruise in traditional junk (Vietnamese boat)
  • All local destinations as listed in the program
  • Private sightseeing tour with English-speaking guide
  • Private boat trip as per tour program
  • Water and tissues on coach
  • All entrance fees
  • All in-tour flights
  • 24/7 hotline support
  • Guarantee 100% money back if not satisfied
  • Complimentary Vietnam visa on arrival pre-approved letter
  • Private airport pickup and drop off
  • Meals as stated in the program
  • 8 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • International flights and tax
  • Travel insurance
  • Beverages not mentioned in itinerary
  • Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
  • Peak season or public holidays surcharge if any
  • Compulsory gala dinner on Christmas or New Year if any
  • Visa fee
  • Other services not mentioned above
  • Mekong Delta visit

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Insight Asia Travels will pick you up from the airport.

Please note that you will be returning from Hanoi, so book your return tickets from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Insight Asia Travels will drop you to the airport.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
9 days / 8 nights
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Special discount

The prices below include a special discount of 5% for travels between May and September.

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