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10 Day Hanoi Culinary Experience

Hanoi, Vietnam

Culinary Tour in Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam is the most magical country when it comes to food, a mix of Thai and French food. Street food and markets that will intrigue and excite, dishes that will blow you mind, Bun Cha, Pho, Bang Mi and caramelized fish. Once you have completed this culinary experience, the country's culture and grace will live with you forever.

Highlights

  • Halong Bay cruise
  • Go on a noodles trail and taste 3 noodle dishes
  • Learn to prepare Vietnamese dishes at Song Phuong Village
  • Explore the local markets such as Hang Be and Thanh Cong Market
  • Transfers and transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • 1 laughter yoga class at Ly Thai To Park
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Arrival airport transfer

Styles


9 days with instruction
Group size: 2-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
Airport transfer included: Cat Bi International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

During this tour, you will be staying in three-star accommodations.

Program

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities and is full of culture, history, and the engaging contradictions of a rapidly developing and deeply traditional society. You are greeted by your guide and driver at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) for your transfer to the hotel.

Late in the afternoon, you will begin your culinary journey in Vietnam at a Bia Hơi Restaurant. Enjoy a few glasses of fresh cold beer, rice crackers, and peanuts while watching the sunset on the side of West Lake, the biggest lake in Hanoi city. Enjoy welcome dinner at a local restaurant afterward. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hang Be and Thanh Cong Market

Today you will skip breakfast at the hotel and rather venture out to the streets of Hanoi for breakfast. Walk to Hang Be Market, a local market that is hidden among the Old Quarter. Hang Be market is famous for its talented ladies who sell their home-cooked food as well as vendors with the freshest vegetables and high-quality meat and fish in the town.

Turning into a small alley near Hang Be market, you will arrive in a courtyard filled with various food stalls. Savor a bowl of tasty noodles for breakfast before making your way to enjoy a popular drink of Hanoi - lime iced tea or a caffeine dose near St. Joseph's Cathedral. You will have some free time to explore the city by yourself until our tour continues in the late afternoon.

At 4 p.m., you are transported to a different part of the city to visit Thanh Cong Market - a typical market of Hanoi. Once here, you will meander through the market stalls and along the trails. Stop in the middle of the market to taste Nem – a traditional Vietnamese spring roll. You will leave the market and make your way to a street food paradise. The street food paradise is hidden in a yard among apartment buildings and is full of restaurants and food stalls. Now is your chance to get adventurous as you are then free to try the variety of Vietnamese food in this yard. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Halong Bay cruise

Today, you will start early at 6 a.m. to enjoy a leisurely walk around Hoan Kiem Lake before joining in with the local laughter yoga at Ly Thai To Park - a combination of laughter exercises with yogic breathing (pranayama), so that one increases the amount of oxygen in the body which helps to make you feel more healthy, energized, and alive. Bid farewell to your friendly yogi, and continue the morning walk through the streets of the Old Quarter to buy some famous local bánh mì on the way before stopping at Giang Café to try the signature egg coffee.

At 9 a.m., you will head to Halong Bay for a majestic two-days one-night cruise trip in one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. Departing Hanoi this morning, you will be driven across the Red River delta and reach the coast a little before noon. You will then embark on a beautifully crafted junk for an overnight cruise in the legendary seascape of Ha Long Bay. Once onboard, you will be served a delicious seafood-based lunch, while the surrounding limestone outcrops make for a truly magical setting.

In the afternoon, you will reach a less-traveled area where you will devote yourself to pure relaxation. The program is not fixed and depends on the time of the year and weather, but there will be an opportunity to visit a cave as well as to explore a floating village over the course of these two days. You'll end the day on the sundeck as the sun sets on this magical seascape. This evening, you can enjoy an aperitif or attend a cooking demonstration before dinner. Overnight on board in a comfortable private cabin with an en-suite bathroom.

Note: Cruise itinerary and schedules are subject to change due to weather, tide levels, and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be canceled due to poor weather.

Day 4: Halong Bay cruise

For those early birds, start the day with a proposed Tai Chi session, while tea and coffee are served as the sun rises and illuminates the surrounding seascape. You will then continue our exploration of the bay. Upon returning to the boat, check-out of your cabin and enjoy a light brunch while cruising back to the pier. Upon disembarking, you'll be transferred back to Hanoi.

Day 5: Noodles Trail

This morning is free for you to enjoy at your own leisure until you are transferred to Van Village - a village with a long-lasting tradition of brewing rice wine, which is considered the best of its kind in the region of the Red River. Meet with Mrs. Huyen, a rice wine artisan, and enjoy a hearty lunch with her then taste some of her rice wine before learning more about the traditional rice wine distillery process in Vietnam.

Head back to the city in the late afternoon to start your noodles trail. Vietnam is definitely a noodles-country with no less than six different types of them. Trying all six in a single meal would be too much. So Side Street Explorers have selected three noodle-based dishes, leaving aside the classic bún chả, bún bò, or phở soup that one can very easily try on your own at just about every corner of the city centre, rather you will be taken on a nice urban walk to sample some other popular dishes.

You will start from the covered market of Dong Xuan, passing the “under-the-railway zone” and reaching the charming little Hong Phuc Street, where you will try some bánh đa with fish. Bánh đa is a flat brown noodle made from rice and often served with seafood. You will continue this digestive walk to Phan Dinh Phung - one of the most beautiful streets in Hanoi, then turn onto Truc Bach peninsula which is full of specialized pho food shops.

You will try the famous phở noodles, the same ones used in the iconic soup of the same name. You will discover different ways to prepare these noodles, sautéed, or rolled with beef and veggies. Last but not least, you will walk to another little street called Yen Ninh where you will have some miến with eels. Miến are glass noodles, translucent and made from starch. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6: Free day at Hanoi

Enjoy a full day exploring this amazing city at your own pace. Hanoi boasts an extensive mix of charm and atmospheres through its different districts, which are made of diverse architectures, green parks, lakes, and daily street life. The city is large and offers much to see and do - here are Side Street Explorers' top recommendations:

  • For shopping enthusiasts, head to Collective Memory (12 Nha Chung Street) for a gold mine of shopping experiences.
  • For foodies, you’ll find some of the best street-food in the entire city at lunchtime on a very narrow street called Ngo Trung Yen at the heart of the Old Quarter.
  • Sipping on a fresh beer at a bia hoi (try the one at the western edge of Bat Dan Street)
  • Having a traditional coffee on Yen Hoa Street nearby the Ho Tay Lake
  • Enjoying a sunset from the Long Bien bridge
  • Download the Grab app to your mobile phone and explore the city from the back of a motorbike, as you choose your own route through the city, stopping at your desired sites along the way.

Day 7: Song Phuong Village

There are two very important elements of Vietnamese culinary: fresh ingredients and taste balancing. Set off to the west of Hanoi city to meet the skillful farmers of Song Phuong village and spend your day learning to cook common Vietnamese dishes with the villagers.

Meet Mrs. Manh at the village market, where you will start a market tour and buy some fresh ingredients to cook later on. Follow your friendly host along the trails through the fields and farms to harvest the vegetables and herbs for lunch. Returning back to her house, you will join hands and together make your own tasty Vietnamese meal. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 8: Hanoi countryside

This morning, you will continue to pursue the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine with the most famous dishes - phở, bún chả and bánh cuốn. You will travel all the way to the countryside of Hanoi city to meet a woman who is famous in her village for her cooking skills. She will guide you step-by-step to cook three signatures dishes of Vietnam. Savor your culinary delights over lunch. You will be transferred back to the city in the late afternoon and you can enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 9: Dong Xuan Market and Hang Duong Street

This afternoon, you will start the tour from Dong Xuan market and walk through the market to the Dong Xuan alley to sweeten the journey with one of the many kinds of chè - Vietnamese sweet beverage / dessert soup. Your next stop is on Hang Duong Street at a traditional ô mai shop to buy some ô mai - Vietnamese dried fruits with a sweet and sour taste. Continue walking the small streets to a traditional dessert cake shop to buy some cakes to complete the afternoon tea party. Back in the car, you will be driven to a tea house where you can relax as you enjoy all those ô mai and cakes with some delicious Vietnamese tea. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 10: Ethnology Museum, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh complex, and departure

After breakfast at the hotel, head out to the Ethnology Museum which gives an excellent overview of the country's ethnic groups, customs, and ways of life. The highlight here is the large, beautiful outdoor area featuring genuine houses and compounds as built and used by the many different ethnic groups.

Next visit is The Temple of Literature which was dedicated to Confucius and was built in the 11th century. It was the first university in Vietnam and students still come here to burn incense. You will find a peaceful atmosphere tinged with incense smoke, and sunken lotus ponds populated by fish and turtles.

After lunch, we take you to visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, pass in front of the impressive mausoleum and take a nice stroll in the lush gardens of the Presidential Palace that includes the one-pillar pagoda and the house on stilts of Ho Chi Minh.

Back to your hotel, say goodbye to your guide, end of services for today. You will check out tomorrow at 12 p.m. and have your own arrangement onward, no airport transfer is included.

Location

This tour will take you around the markets and countryside of Hanoi, including a boat cruise in Halong Bay.

Food

Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price as indicated in the program.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

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

  • 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

Things to do (optional)

  • For shopping enthusiasts, head to Collective Memory (12 Nha Chung Street) for a gold mine of shopping experiences.
  • For foodies, you’ll find some of the best street-food in the entire city at lunchtime on a very narrow street called Ngo Trung Yen at the heart of the Old Quarter.
  • Sipping on a fresh beer at a bia hoi (try the one at the western edge of Bat Dan Street)
  • Having a traditional coffee on Yen Hoa Street nearby the Ho Tay Lake
  • Enjoying a sunset from the Long Bien bridge
  • Download the Grab app to your mobile phone and explore the city from the back of a motorbike, as you choose your own route through the city, stopping at your desired sites along the way.

What's included

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Hanoi culinary tour
  • Boat cruise in Halong Bay
  • All transfers and transportation with air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking guides
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner as indicated in the program
  • 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day (on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only)
  • All entrance fees
  • Government tax and service charge

What's not included

  • Early check-in or late check out
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Airfares (international and domestic)
  • Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
  • Drinks
  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation
  • Tips
  • Visa to Vietnam
  • Insurances
  • Mineral water beyond that supplied
  • Peak season surcharges if any
  • Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.)
  • All not mentioned above

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) or Cat Bi International Airport (HPH). Transfer from the airport is included in the price. Side Street Explorers will pick you up from the airport.

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

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 25 days before arrival.
10 days / 9 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available from April to December 2020, please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season

 

  • April to September

 

High season

 

  • October to December
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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