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Culinary and Culture Holidays in Vietnam

On this 10 days culinary vacation, you will learn much about the charming capital of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hue, Halong Bay and more. Not only that, but after sampling the countrys finest cuisine, you will become your own chef as you take part in cooking classes. You will get to know all about the local cuisine by sampling and creating a variety of local dishes. And, hopefully, be enticed to come back for more!


  • Enjoy a chef's cooking demonstration
  • 2 hands-on, Vietnamese cooking classes
  • Buy ingredients from Dong Ba central market in Hue
  • Full-day trip to the watery world of My Tho in the Mekong Delta
  • Full day to explore Hanoi and to taste unique, local food
  • Halong Bay cruise with seafood lunch onboard
  • All private transfer and transportation
  • Take a flight from Hanoi to Hue
  • 9 nights accommodation


8 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
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Based on the class of accommodation you choose, listed below is the list of hotels where you will stay during this 10-day cooking holiday.

Superior category - 3-star hotels

  • Hanoi: Peridot Hotel (deluxe room)
  • Halong: Oriental Sail cruise (deluxe room)
  • Hue: Emm Hotel (deluxe room)
  • Hoi An: Ancient House River Resort (Garden view room)
  • Ho Chi Minh: Signature Saigon Hotel (deluxe room) or Le Duy Grand Hotel (Grand Deluxe room)

First class category - 4-star hotels

  • Hanoi: La Siesta Hotel (deluxe room)
  • Halong: Sealife Cruise (suite room)
  • Hue: Eldora Hue Hotel (deluxe room)
  • Hoi An: Hoi An Silk Marina Resort (deluxe window room)
  • Ho Chi Minh: Liberty Central Hotel (deluxe room)

Deluxe category - 5-star hotels

  • Hanoi:Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi (deluxe room)
  • Halong: Heritage Cruise (Delta Suite Balcony room)
  • Hue: Pilgrimage Village & Resort (deluxe room)
  • Hoi An: Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa (deluxe ocean view room)
  • Ho Chi Minh: Hotel Des Arts Saigon (deluxe room)

Luxury category - Luxury 5-star hotels

  • Hanoi: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (grand luxury room)
  • Halong: Emperor Cruise (Signature Suite room)
  • Hue: La Residence Hue (deluxe river view room)
  • Hoi An: The Nam Hai Resort (one-bedroom villa)
  • Ho Chi Minh: Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel (park room)


Day 1: Arrival Hanoi, street food tour

Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city’s unique culture. Depart from your hotel at 15:30 for a leisurely walk with your tour guide to the Old Quarter. Make your first stop to taste the national dish of Vietnamese - Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup). Then wander around a local market to enjoy the sights, the sounds and the aroma from hundreds of kinds of food on offer.

Sit down at a tiny Banh Duc shop to try a bit of Banh Duc - cooked rice powder with Vietnamese spices. Banh Duc will be served hot or cool, depends on weather. Your next stop is a little shop selling many different types of traditional Northern cakes such as Com cake (young rice) which is considered to be a part of every Hanoians’ childhood.

Follow your guide to a small alley to get an idea of a typical “tube houses” of Hanoi. You will stop at Banh My Lan Ong and try their famous bread with Pâté. After the banh mi, you can enjoy some Vietnamese desserts - sweet soups called Che. Then cap off your trip by tasting a cup of Vietnamese coffee at Hidden Gem Coffee, located on a small alley off Hàng Tre Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. 95% of the items at the Hidden Gem Coffee are recycled. Then, return back to your hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Meal plan: dinner.

Day 2: Hanoi's specialties

Hanoi, the present day capital of Vietnam, is a city of tree-lined boulevards and lakes. It boasts a unique blend of French colonial buildings and Chinese inspired architecture. At 08:30, you will have a full day to explore this fascinating city and visit the one pillar pagoda, the fine arts museum, the temple of literature, the lake of the restored sword and the bustling old quarter with its 36 ancient streets. You'll have lunch at Cha Ca La Vong and enjoy seasoned fish.

In the evening, you can take in a performance of the famous water puppets, followed by dinner at the Le Tonkin restaurant, which specializes in superbly prepared northern Vietnamese cuisine. Northern Vietnamese food has a strong Chinese influence with stir-fried dishes and less spicy food being among the most popular. Specialties of Hanoi include "cha ca" Hanoi and the ubiquitous noodle and meat soup known as "pho", which is usually eaten at pavement food stalls for breakfast. You will spend another night in Hanoi.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

After pick-up from your hotel, you will leave Hanoi by private car/van at 07:30, arriving at the jetty around 12:30. You will be welcomed aboard and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. You will pass through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth.

After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, and then go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck.

Later in the afternoon, you will 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, you can enjoy cocktails while watching the sunset. Later, you will unwind at a lavish dinner before an overnight stay on the deluxe junk.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 4: Halong - Hanoi - Hue

Greet the day with a morning tai chi session, with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, you will visit a beautiful limestone grotto and then go back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Checkout is at 11:45 and the boat arrives at the harbor by noon for the drive back to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue.

Upon arrival in Hue, you will transfer to the hotel and settle in. In the evening, you will go to Ancient Hue restaurant for dinner. Food in Hue is spicy with considerable use of chili, reflecting its imperial roots. It is often presented in carefully displayed small servings, a kind of Oriental nouvelle cuisine. You will then spend a restful evening in Hue.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 5: Cooking class, boat trip, royal banquet

In the morning, you will meet Mrs. Cuc, the owner of Y Thao Garden House, who will take you to Dong Ba central market. She will provide instruction on how to choose food for your cooking lesson at 09:30 at Y Thao Garden House. You must pay careful attention because you will be preparing your own lunch!

In the afternoon, you will travel by dragon boat on the romantically named perfume river which leads to the Thien Mu pagoda, standing on the riverbank with its seven-story tower. You will then transfer by car to the imperial citadel, from which the Nguyen emperors once ruled Vietnam. Then you'll take a cyclo ride for a royal banquet in Ancient Hue before an overnight stay.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 6: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An

At 08:30, you will drive to visit Tu Duc mausoleum with its traditional Vietnamese architecture. Leaving Hue mid-morning, you will enjoy a scenic journey on highway one. The road passes by vivid green fields of rice and the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co with its blue lagoon and deserted sandy beaches. Then, you will experience climbing over the dramatic pass of mountain clouds.

Once over the mountain pass, the road drops down to Da Nang. You will stop at Danang to visit the famous Non Nuoc beach, once a rest and recreation resort for American servicemen. You'll also and pass by the sacred marble mountains whose caves contain dozens of Buddhist shrines.

Upon arrival at the former trading port of Hoi An at around 17:00, you'll go to your hotel and stroll down to the picturesque riverfront for a refreshing drink before dinner. Today's lunch will be at Apsara restaurant in Da Nang and dinner at Fullmoon restaurant.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 7: Hoi An fusion cuisine, cooking class

In the morning, you will join cooking class at Red Bridge restaurant. Then, you will visit Hoi Ans colorful market and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. You board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise for 25 minutes along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. On arrival, you will explore the cooking schools herb and vegetable garden before learning about some of Hoi An's and Vietnam's well-known dishes.

The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours. Each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chefs, before you prepare the same dish yourself. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, you will sit down and eat exactly what you have cooked for your lunch.

Afternoon is a walking tour of the ancient town center will take you to former merchants' houses, the 400 year-old Japanese covered bridge and the colorful market. For dinner at Brother restaurant, you can try the local specialty "cao lau", a delicious soup made with noodles, pork and greens. This is an original dish found only in Hoi An and made using the water from the town's ancient well (duly boiled).

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 8: Hoi an - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City

At 07:35, you will transfer to Danang airport after breakfast for an early flight to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, as it is now officially known. After checking in to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh, you will have a lunch of "pho" at Pho 24 restaurant. Next, it's a half day city tour which includes the unification palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Saigon post office. You will then have dinner at one of Ho Chi Minh City's best-known restaurants, the Vietnam House restaurant.

The cuisine of the south uses many herbs and spices and has been influenced by Cambodia, Thailand and India, among others. Curries using coconut milk are an example of this influence. The south also has a wide selection of tropical fruits and vegetables that are not readily available in the cooler north. You will experience all of this before retiring for a restful overnight stay.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 9: Mekong Delta exotic food

At 08:00, you will start a whole day trip to the watery world of My Tho in the Mekong Delta, which is just a couple of hours by road from the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. You will take a boat trip along the narrow waterways, overhung with dense vegetation, and try exotic fruits in one of the many orchards. You can try the local specialty of elephant's ear fish at a riverside Tan Phu restaurant.

This boat trip will give you a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who work, rest and play on the mighty Mekong and its numerous tributaries. Finally, you will dine at Cuc Gach Quan restaurant - set in an old French colonial house, which they have restored using only recycled woods. It comes as little surprise to learn that the owner is an architect when you step into this cleverly renovated old villa. The decor is rustic and elegant at the same time, which is also true of the food.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 10: Departure

The morning is free until time for transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) for departure flight. Cam on va chao tam biet!

Meal plan: breakfast.

Included excursions

  • Boat trip along Perfume River
  • Cyclo ride
  • Cruise along Halong Bay
  • Drive along highway one
  • Hanoi city tour
  • Ho Chi Minh City tour
  • Mekong Delta tour
  • Visit Hoi An's markets
  • Visit Non Nuoc Beach
  • Visit Thien Mu pagoda, imperial citadel and Tu Duc Mausoleum
  • Watch water puppets performance


Explore Vietnam through its colorful cities of Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh and the UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay.

What's included

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 24/7 hotline support guaranteed
  • All private transfers and transportation
  • All sightseeing tickets
  • Complimentary Vietnam visa on arrival with pre-approved letter if needed
  • Daily breakfast
  • Exclusive and personalized single agent / single customer service
  • English-speaking guide
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Service charges and government tax
  • Tissues and water on coach

What's not included

  • Beverages
  • Compulsory gala dinner on Christmas or New Year, if any
  • International flights and departures 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 of USD 45 and 1 passport photo per person

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to the location is Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Luxury Travel Vietnam will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Airport: Noi Bai International Airport Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
10 days / 9 nights
from --

This vacation is available all year round, please select an arrival date below.


Low season
  • May 1 - September 30


High season
  • October 1 - April 30

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