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Explore Asia's unique cultural diversity in this one-of-a-kind culinary and culture tour in Vietnam. Discover Vietnamese culinary arts, go market shopping with chefs for fresh produce and share meals, recipes, and laughter, all against a backdrop of historic cities and spectacular scenery. From cruising among the rocky limestone islands in the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay to sampling some streets food in Hanoi, this tour offers you endless experiences that you will never forget!
In Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), you will be staying at Grand Silverland Hotel and Spa (premier deluxe room) or Duxton Hotel (deluxe room). In Hue you will stay at Eldora Hotel with in a deluxe city view room. While in Hoi An, you'll stay at Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa in a deluxe window room and in Hanoi, stay at Hanoi Pearl Hotel in a superior room. In Ha Long Bay, enjoy an overnight stay on a cruise boat with Glory Legend Cruise where you'll sleep in a deluxe en-suite cabin.
Upon arrival in Saigon, take a guided transfer to your hotel. You will stay three nights at the Grand Silverland Hotel and Spa.
A local chef will accompany you to the vibrant central market and guide you to select fresh vegetables, spices and other ingredients. You will then proceed to Saigon Culinary Art Centre for your private hands-on cooking class. Receive a detailed explanation of the ingredients and utensils often used in the Vietnamese kitchen. This cooking class introduces the flavors of Southern Vietnamese cuisine.
Later in the afternoon, embark on a city tour of dynamic Saigon, that was officially renamed as Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. You will visit the former Presidential Palace, the War Museum, the Old Post Office, and also a walk around the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral.
You will have a full day visit to the watery world of Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. Take a boat trip to see stilt houses and fish farms and try exotic fruits in one of many orchards. Visit a local farmer on Turtle Island then board a sampan to glide along the narrow canals overhung with dense vegetation, stopping for a cup of honey tea and a folk song performance. A lunch of local delicacies will be served in My Tho.
Transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for your morning flight to Hue in central Vietnam. On arrival in Hue, take a guided transfer to your hotel. Your lunch today is bun bo hue, a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli and beef. Hue’s cooking style is associated with the former royal court and this particular dish is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors with the predominant flavor being the lemon grass.
After lunch, take a 10-minute cyclo ride to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate where you will be mesmerized with the magnificent architecture and gardens. Your guide will explain the history of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily, there are some incredibly well-preserved sections that are still intact, while others are being lovingly restored. From there, you will be driven to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, the pagoda is a sight to behold.
You will stay two nights at the Eldora Hotel.
In the morning, take a three-hour guided drive over the Passage of Mountain Clouds, the photogenic Lang Co Beach, to Hoi An. Visit Danang market, Cham Museum, and Marble Mountains en route. Lunch is mi quang, a popular noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam.
In the afternoon, take a short guided walking tour of the old town visiting former merchant’s houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the market.
You will spend two nights at the Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa.
Meet the hotel tour guide at the lobby at 09:00 for a join-in group cooking class. Travel by bicycle (easy cycling grade) to the countryside to visit Tra Que vegetable village, that is well known for its herbs and non-fertilizer farms. Walk through the gardens where local farmers work on their fields using traditional methods. You will then continue cycling to the Hoi An market. Grab the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients you will use in your cooking lesson later.
After the market visit, you will return to the hotel to start your cooking class. You will learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. The hotel chef will show you how to cook cao lau - Hoi An’s unique noodle, “tam huu” (Three friends) dish with Tra Que’s herbs, traditional sweet and sour broth soup, and your choice of the main dish. After the lesson, enjoy what you will have cooked for as a lunch. The rest of the day will be your leisure time.
Transfer to Da Nang International Airport (DAD) for your flight to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). You will be greeted by your guide upon arrival at Hanoi airport and be transferred to your hotel. Take an orientation tour of Hanoi by cyclo. A water puppet show (first class seating) is included this evening, including private guided return transfers.
Stay two nights at the Hanoi Pearl Hotel in Hanoi.
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 - rich, poor, old, young, tourist, and local alike. Start your street food tour in the morning with an overview of local ingredients by visiting a local food market with your local chef. With some background knowledge, it is time to hit the streets and start your own 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 lunching at Co Yen restaurant where you can experience more local food through interaction with the chef and watching the exceptional cuisine preparation skills. After that, it would be your free time.
A highlight of your visit to Vietnam is definitely the overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay. In the morning, take the cruise company’s group transfer (a journey up to four hours), without a guide, to Ha Long, and on arrival, board your boat for a cruise among the rocky limestone islands in the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay. Seafood lunch and dinner will be served on board.
Stay one night on the Glory Legend cruise.
In the morning, you will continue cruising around Ha Long Bay and then you will disembark at Ha Long and return to Hanoi by the cruise company’s group transfer (without a guide).
Stay one night at the Hanoi Pearl Hotel in Hanoi.
On your last day, all time are yours to spend before you transfer to the airport for departure.
This culinary tour will take place in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Mekong Delta, Hue, Hoi An, Ha Long Bay and Hanoi, Vietnam.
10 breakfasts, eight lunches, and one dinner are included in the price. During the tour, you will be able to sample popular Vietnamese foods such as bun bo hue, com hen (mussel rice), banh beo, banh nam banh loc (varieties of soft rice cakes), banh uot, and mi quang.
On your leisure time, you can visit the market, mingle with local people or just take a stroll to enjoy Vietnam's wonderful natures.
Please book your flight to arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). InterAsia will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.