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12 Days Authentic Culinary Tour in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Amazing Vietnam Culinary Tour

The founder of modern marketing Philip Kotler once said that “kitchen of the world” is a suitable image for Vietnam, with her bounty of good dishes. Different from other parts of the world, Vietnamese food contains elements of the fine arts, science, and the balance of the yin and yang. You will discover a wide range of real authentic Hanoi food with a local food blogger, from the world-famous Pho to the less well-known egg coffee in this tour. Let’s embark on this culinary journey and learn more about its’ taste!

Highlights

  • Cooking classes
  • Dining in the dark at The Noir
  • Exploring Vietnam from North to South
  • 1 cyclo trip strolling around the Old Quarters
  • A street food tour in Hanoi with local food blogger
  • Visiting the imperial city of Hue and relaxing by the Perfume River
  • 11 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals and water

Styles


11 days with instruction
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated on a twin sharing basis in 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star hotels, according to your choice.

If you choose to stay in 3-star hotels, you will be accommodated in deluxe city view room at Skylark Hotel, in deluxe cabin at Phoenix Halong Cruiser, in a superior room at Rosaleen Boutique Hotel and Spa and Hoi An Lotus Hotel, and in a deluxe room at Saigon Liberty Parkview Hotel and Saigon Can Tho Hotel.

For you who wants to stay in 4-star hotels during the tour, you will be accommodated in a deluxe room at Flower Garden Hotel, in ROH cabin at Grayline Cruise Halong, in deluxe garden view room at Huong Giang Hotel and Spa, in little deluxe at Little Hoi An Beach Boutique Hotel, in a deluxe room at Paragon Saigon Hotel, and in a superior room at West Can Tho Hotel.

For you who choose to stay in 5-star hotels, you will be accommodated in a deluxe room at Melia Hanoi Hotel and Rex Hotel Saigon, in a deluxe cabin at Pelican Cruise Halong, in deluxe city view room at Imperial Hotel Hue, in superior garden view room at Palm Garden Resort, and in superior room at Victoria Can Tho Hotel.

Program

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi - city tour

Welcome to Vietnam! The local tour guide will be welcoming you at Noi Bai airport; it will take 35 minutes driving to the center of Hanoi to check-in hotel. It’s then your own time to relax after a long haul flight. In the afternoon, you will have an overall view of the capital by a “cyclo” visit, which will start around the Old Quarter of Hanoi, stop at Ngoc Son Temple located on the Hoan Kiem Lake (the “Sword” Lake), and at Quan Thanh Taoist Temple. In the late afternoon, you will enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. The dinner will be at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Duong Lam Village - Street food tour with food blogger

Breakfast at hotel. Today, you will take time to visit Duong Lam Ancient village - about 65 kilometers from Hanoi with about 1,200 historical years. The village is well-known for its surviving laterite brick houses, built three to four centuries ago. Visit Mia Pagoda (built in 15th century) and admire 287 statues of all sizes. Then take a walk on the village path to visit Mong Phu Temple (dedicated to national heroes) King Ngo Quyen Temple and King Phung Hung Temple.

Visit the ancient houses producing local specialties, such as soft green-lentil cake and rice cake filled with brown onion (depending on the season), especially learn about the procedure of making 'Tuong' - a salty paste made from fermented soybeans, which is popular in vegetarian meals, particularly those prepared and eaten by Vietnamese Buddhist monks. Lunch with local family in local style. Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi. Step off the beaten track and go through the maze of Hanoi to seek real authentic food with food blogger, which, just by the look, can make your mouth water.

  • Hanoi food tour will be uncompleted without slurping a bowl of Pho noodle soup, which is considered as Vietnam's unofficial national dish.
  • On the way in old quarter, you will see many hawkers who sell fresh fruits. You will have time to take picture and taste some.
  • Follow Obama President's trip to eat Bun Cha (Grilled pork on rice noodle).
  • The street food today end at a hidden café - one of Hanoi's best kept secrets and have a cup of egg coffee. Or if coffee is not your style, a cold beer await.

Back your hotel. Dinner is at your own arrangment for flexibility. Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Cooking Class

If you wish to see how the Hanoi people rise and shine in the morning, wake up early and run to a lake close by your hotel, you can join an exciting scene of hundreds of locals, passionately attentive in their morning exercises of Tai Chi quan, jogging, martial arts, classical dance and so on.

After breakfast at the hotel, you will head to Halong Bay, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO since 1994 and 2006, and check-in the overnight boat. Enjoy a trip on Halong with stops to visit caves or to swim and enjoy the sunset on the sea. This is the perfect time for you to enjoy a cocktail or two as the sun sets over the karst landscape. Foodies can partake in Vietnamese cooking demonstration before dinner, and guaranteed to whet the appetite. Dinner with fresh seafood. Overnight onboard.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Flight to Hue

Morning wake up with a taichi-quan or yoga exercises guided by the crew before having breakfast whilst your boat goes on between Halong islets. Return to the Wharf to be back to Noi Bai Airport by bus at midday. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by the local tour guide and transfer to the city center. Brunch on board. Dinner is at your own arrangment for flexibility. Overnight in Hue.

  • Meals: Breakfast and brunch
  • Suggested flight: VN1545 HANHUI at 18:00-19:10

Day 5: Hue city tour - royal dinner

Being recognized by UNESCO as the first Cultural World Heritage for Vietnam, Hue is highlighted by the old royal architectural works and the most traditional Vietnamese lifestyle. You will discover the charm of the city from the Royal Citadel, Forbidden City, Hue Royal Museum and Dong Ba bustling market. Lunch is at your own arrangement for flexibility.

In the afternoon, go on to Thien Mu pagoda and visit the Tombs of King Minh Mang - the best-reserved monuments of the Nguyen Emperors since the early 19th and early 20th centuries. Have a Royal Dinner at Ancient Hue Restaurant - a typical entertainment under the Nguyen Dynasty will be re-created vividly at Ancient Hue restaurant. With this service, guests will have the chance to experience the authentic cuisines of Hue’s royalty. Guests will come into an ancient environment with ancient costumes, Royal music and performances while enjoying the Royal dishes carefully prepared to the finest detail for a sumptuous dinner that is fit for royalty. Overnight in Hue.

  • Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 6: Hue - Tam Giang Lagoon - Hue

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the pier, take a boat to discover Tam Giang Lagoon, the most wonderful lagoon in Vietnam. Experience the daily life of local people, fishermen and enjoy spectacular view in Tam Giang Lagoon, relax and experience fresh air, peaceful atmosphere here. Visit Thai Duong Ha Village, being an accident fishing village that has hundreds of years in history. Then continue with fish market which is busy all day long. At the market, travelers will experience bustling life of fishermen and traders. From Tam Giang Lagoon, all types of fish, shrimps, and crabs.

Then, you will be brought to other markets in the whole areas around Hue province in Vietnam. Continue to visit Rú Chá- a tiny islet (rú) on the Tam Giang Lagoon. Originally, Rú Chá was a mangrove forest before local people encroached on the land for farming, leaving the emerging part of the forest a 5ha islet. Lunch at local family in the very local Vietnamese style. Dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Hue.

  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 7: Hue - Hoi An ancient town - Hoi An

Breakfast at hotel, on the way from Hue to Hoi An via the magnificent “Ocean Cloudy” Pass today, you can stop to visit the Lang Co Beach and Marble Mt., and contemplate wonderful seascape from the mountaintop halfway through the pass. Arrive at the hotel in Hoi An. In the afternoon, together with the guide in Hoian, you’ll walk over the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, visit taciturn Chinese Assembly Halls, visit ancient houses and Trading Houses, pagodas, and stroll into the market located by Thu Bon river, where you may find out the same feelings of the artists, who see the rooftops of Hoi An a magical old world of Oriental feel and source of inspiration. This is also a wonderful town to shop for lanterns, soft silk, raw silk, or get your clothes tailored within a day. Lunch and dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Hoi An.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Hoi An - Tra Que Village - Cooking class - Saigon

Breakfast at hotel. Depart from your hotel and ride the bicycle in 30 minutes to Tra Que herb village. Take a short stroll around the vegetable garden and listen to the history of the village. Then, join gardening activities in preparing the land, fertilizing with seaweed, raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetables. Enjoy foot soak before getting to preparing lunch with a local family. Join cooking with ‘Tam Huu’ spring roll, ‘Banh xeo’ - a local pancake of people in Viet Nam middle region.

After your morning excursions and lunch, you learn how to harvest and wrap the vegetables. Lunch at the local family with local style. Bid farewell to your host family before heading straight to the airport for your onwards flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, the local tour guide will be welcoming you at the airport; transfer to Saigon Centre to check-in hotel. Dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Saigon.

  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Saigon city tour - dining in the dark

Breakfast at the hotel. You will visit War Crime Museum, telling the story of the war from the Vietnamese perspective and exhibiting photographs, machinery, and weapons that depict the harsh realities of war. Continue Thien Hau Temple, one of the most important pagodas in the city, this richly decorated temple is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Goddess of the Sea and patron of sailors. She is said to travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to wherever she desires.

Then move to China town, settled in the late 18th century, this labyrinthine section of Ho Chi Minh City bustles with restaurants, temples, exotic stores, and markets and cross Binh Tay market, the main marketplace in China Town, where a great deal of wholesale trading occurs. Experience the commotion of this integral part of the city's daily business (Till Binh Tay Market finish its renovation, the alternative market will be advised on the spot). The lunch is on your own arrangement for more flexibility before starting the city tour in the afternoon. Our first stop will be the Reunification Palace, the witness of the fierce Vietnam War ended in 1975. The grand building today is a Museum and Hall of official receptions. Nearby the Palace are the colonial-styled Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 and one of the city’s major landmarks.

Dining in the dark at The Noir, it is more than just a meal. It is a sensory journey that will make you re-evaluate your perception of taste and smell. Be one of the first or try this one-of-a-kind dining experience for a unique date or group outing Saigon. Lunch is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Saigon.

  • Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10: Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnel - at leisure

After breakfast, head out of Saigon to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, 70 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200 kilometers, is one of the most famous and historical aspects of the Viet Nam War. Upon arrival, watch a short introductory documentary before following the guide into the winding, underground network to explore the war memorial park.

Discover the Cu Chi site, which includes weapon and booby-trap exhibitions, visit different underground bunkers featuring kitchens, meeting rooms, ammunition depots and hospitals. View authentic relics from the war such as camouflaged tunnel entrances and a bullet-riddled tank. Here, you have a chance to taste with salt boiled cassava beans - foods common in Cu Chi tunnels. Cassava and tapioca are boiled in Hoang Cam stove flues with underground pipes. Lunch and dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Saigon.

Optional excursion: Private Craft Beer Walk and Talk

This tour can start at the time of your choosing and includes stops at 3 craft

beer tap rooms and a craft beer bar where you will learn pretty much all there is to know about the craft beer scene in Saigon!

Price: 75 USD / person for 2-person package

Include:

  • East West Brewing Co
  • Pasteur Street Brewing
  • Malt (craft beer bar)
  • Heart of Darkness

Includes: 10+ craft beers, a light snack, the personal attention of our expert

guide.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Saigon - Mekong Delta - Can Tho

As you should reach the floating market in Cai Be as early as possible today, try your best to start in Ho Chi Minh at 07:00 and travel southwest for nearly three hours, passing the Mekong Delta, which makes Vietnam the second World Rice Exporter, and reach Vinh Long province which is famous for tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival at Cai Be, board the boat along the market to enjoy trading activities of the peasants of the Mekong Delta, who travel to the market in the boats full of fruits and farming products.

Visit family factories and orchards and taste some juicy tropical fruits. Lunch in a charming old-styled house or in a garden house on an island between visits. Continue, you will have a small cooking session with a local cake named “Bánh lá mít” - Smile of Mekong. It is a simple cake made from flour and wrapped in jackfruit leaves. Lunch and dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. Overnight in Can Tho.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Mekong Delta - Saigon - Departure

Start from Ninh Kieu boat quay, where you cruise along the small and picturesque canals and stop to see the Cai Rang floating market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats). You will stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals. Walking through the village to visit a rice husking mill and a rice/noodle shop, where we observe how it is made. Then transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for departure flight. Lunch and dinner is at your own arrangement for flexibility. End of services!

  • Meals: Breakfast

Location

Hanoi

Hanoi is a complicated city torn between old and new, and an inimitable mix of ancient culture, colonial charm and modern-day luxury. Hanoi is in a constant state of flux and defies anyone who tries to box it in.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forest rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1994, Halong Bay's scatter of islands, dotted with wind-and wave-eroded grottoes, is a vision of ethereal beauty and, unsurprisingly, northern Vietnam's number one-tourism hub.

Hue

Hue owes its charm partly to its location on the Perfume River - picturesque on a clear day, atmospheric even in less flattering weather. Today the city blends new and old as sleek modern hotels tower over crumbling 19th-century Citadel walls. Hue remains a tranquil, conservative city with just the right concentration of nightlife.

Hoi An

Graceful, historic Hoi An is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits its heritage, and the 21st-century curses of traffic and pollution are almost entirely absent.

Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is Vietnam at its most dizzying: a high-octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the country forward with its pulsating energy. A chaotic whirl, the city breathes life and vitality into all who settle here, and visitors cannot help but be hauled along for the ride.

Mekong Delta

The ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the delta is carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens. It's a water world that moves to the rhythms of the mighty Mekong, where boats, houses, and markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals, and streams that criss-cross the landscape like arteries.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks

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)

Private Craft Beer Walk and Talk -price at 75 USD / person for 2 person package

What's included

  • A street food tour in Hanoi with local food blogger
  • Cooking classes as per program
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • 11 nights' accommodation
  • Private cabin on shared overnight Junk in Halong
  • Daily breakfast at hotels
  • 1 brunch, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • Private air-con transfers
  • 1 cyclo trip strolling around the Old Quarters
  • Water during transfer
  • Entrance fee and show tickets

What's not included

  • Visa approval letter / Visa on arrival
  • International and domestic / regional air tickets and airport tax
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Hotel / room upgrade
  • Festivity surcharge and festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
  • Tip, drinks, personal expenses, and others
  • Any service not clearly mentioned in the program

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 15 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
12 days / 11 nights
from --
Availability

This holiday is not available on December 24 and 31, 2020, January 1, 2021, Februray 6 to 15, 2021.

 

Pricing information

From October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 and October 1, 2021 to December 30, 2021

  • 4 to 5 persons: 1121 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 1226 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1661 USD per person (5-star accommodation)
  • 6 to 7 persons: 971 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 1077 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1516 USD per person (5-star accommodation)​
  • 8 to 9 persons: 897 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 1002 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1443 USD per person (5-star accommodation)​
  • Single supplement: 355 USD (3-star accommodation), 455 USD (4-star accommodation), 896 USD (5-star accommodation)

From May 1 to September 30, 2021

  • 4 to 5 persons: 1076 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 1164 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1459 USD per person (5-star accommodation)
  • 6 to 7 persons: 929 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 1019 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1314 USD per person (5-star accommodation)​
  • 8 to 9 persons: 855 USD per person (3-star accommodation), 946 USD per person (4-star accommodation), 1242 USD per person (5-star accommodation)​
  • Single supplement: 328 USD (3-star accommodation), 423 USD (4-star accommodation), 725 USD (5-star accommodation)

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