11 Days Authentic Culinary Tour in Vietnam

  • Ho Chi Minh City - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi

Overview

Cooking Course Vietnam

This is a culinary and culture tour unlike any other. During this trip, you will discover Vietnamese gastronomy, learn about ingredients used in local dishes, and how to prepare and cook some popular meals. Your holiday will be memorable with visits to the Halong Bay, Unicorn Island, and walking tours to various locations, which are important to Vietnam's history. Come and explore Vietnam!

Highlights

  • Watch traditional water puppet show
  • Boat rides along Halong Bay and Mekong Delta
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Once Pillar Pagoda, and Temple of Literature
  • Enjoy fresh seafood lunch in Lang Co fishing village
  • Join Vietnamese cooking demo and lesson
  • Learn food carving or plate decoration
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 9 days with instruction
  • English
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Your accommodation throughout the holiday will be charming 3-star hotels.

Day 1 - Arrival

Today, you arrive in Vietnam. There will be a pick up upon your arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City. Then, you will be transferred to the hotel and be free to spend the day at leisure.

Day 2 - Cooking course and city tour

In the morning, you will have a discussion about Vietnamese cuisine with the hotel chef, followed by hands-on cooking class. The meals you are cooking will be your lunch. Next, you will take part in an afternoon tour of Saigon’s historic landmarks, including the Old Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the former presidential palace. You will also visit Ben Thanh market to see the abundance of spices, fruits, and foods used in Vietnamese cooking. The meal included during this day is breakfast.

Day 3 - Mekong Delta, My Tho

Heading out of the town, you will travel by roads to the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s largest rice bowl. Following your arrival in My Tho, you will embark on a boat navigating around the intricate small canals in the delta region, which is a great way to offer close-up observation of the local lifestyle and catch stunning views dotted by many islands. The exciting excursion will include a trip passing lush green vegetation before arriving at the famous Unicorn Island. Here, you have opportunities to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits, and enjoy wonderful traditional music.

The next stop of this trip is Ben Tre province to visit some fascinating local industries. After feasting on a huge lunch, you will return to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping off along the way to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Cho Lon, Saigon’s Chinatown, which is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes. The meal included during this day is breakfast.

Day 4 - Hoi An

In the early morning, there will be a transfer to airport for a flight to Danang. On arrival, you are greeted and driven a short distance to Hoi An, which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200-year-old Tam Ky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda, and the vibrant market. You will visit these sights on an enchanting walking tour past many low-tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls, which reflect the town’s multi-cultural past. The meals included during this day are breakfast and lunch.

Day 5 - Hoi An cooking session

Today, you will start the day at 08:45 with a drink at Hai Scout Cafe, the meeting point. Later today, you will visit Hoi An’s colorful market and experience the amazing sights, sounds, and aromas of this busy market. You will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.

Next, board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise, which takes about 25 minutes, along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.

On arrival, you will have a chance to explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking class is an interesting and fun way to learn about the local cuisine.

The class runs about an hour and 15 minutes, and includes demonstrations from the school’s chefs as well as the chance for us to help prepare some dishes. Included in the demonstration is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving or plate decoration.

After the cooking class, you will have some free time at leisure. Tonight, you will stay in Hoi An. The meals included during this day are breakfast and lunch.

Day 6 - Hue

In the morning, you will depart from Hoi An for Hue, the capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty of emperors from 1802 until 1945. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Mountain Clouds Hai Van Pass, where a spectacular panorama of the central coastline can be viewed at the summit.

Going down, there will be a wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co, which is located on a sand dune line. Next, you will enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at Thanh Tam restaurant in Lang Co village before you continue driving to Hue.

Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and take city tours to visit Imperial citadel, forbidden city, and royal place in the afternoon. You can also take a walk to visit Dong Ba market. Tonight, you will stay in Hue. The meal included during this day is breakfast.

Day 7 - Hue cooking course

At 07:30 in the morning, you will follow Mrs. Cuc, the owner of Y Thao Garden House, to Dong Ba central market, where she gives an instruction on how to choose food for your cooking lesson which takes place at 09:30 at Y Thao Garden House. The meals you cook will also be your lunch.

In the afternoon, you will travel by a dragon boat on the romantically named Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, standing on the riverbank with its seven-story tower. The meals included during this day are breakfast and lunch.

Day 8 - Hanoi

After breakfast, you can explore Hue on your own until the time to transfer to the airport for a short flight north. Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some Asia's most striking colonial architecture. The relaxing atmosphere is also a highlight in Hanoi.

After checking into the hotel, you will have time visiting the beautiful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple, the picturesque West Lake, and the Dong Xuan Market. A perfect way to finish the day is to enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. The meal included during this day is breakfast.

Day 9 - Cooking session and half-day city tour

In the morning, you will take part in market tours with the hotel's chef and enjoy a cooking demonstration at the Metropole Sofitel Hotel. Then, you will have lunch at Spices Garden. In the afternoon, there will be city tours to visit the city’s landmarks such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Once Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, 1-hour cyclo tours around Hanoi old quarters, and enjoy the traditional water puppetry show. Then, you will return to the hotel. The meal included during this day is breakfast.

Day 10 - Halong Bay

Today, there will be a morning drive to Halong Bay, which is 180 kilometers east of Hanoi. Following your arrival at the natural wonder, you will board on a dragon boat and have buffet lunch on board. Discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. "Dragon descending to the sea", as it is known in Vietnamese, has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. After five-hour cruise, you will come back to the boat station and transfer back to Hanoi. Tonight, you will stay in Hanoi. The meals included during this day are breakfast and lunch.

Day 11 - Departure

Your cooking holiday ends today. You will have free time to spend at leisure until it's time to transfer to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). The meal included during this day is breakfast.

  • Board on a boat along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School
  • Board on dragon boat in Halong Bay
  • Hanoi market tours with hotel chef
  • Join Hanoi city tour and 1-hour cyclo tour around old quarter
  • Join Mekong Delta boat ride
  • Stop by fishing village of Lang Co
  • Stroll around an orchard in Unicorn Island
  • Take a short cyclo excursion in Hanoi
  • Take part in a walking tour to Hoi An
  • Tour of Saigon’s historic landmarks
  • Tour to Dong Ba central market
  • Travel along Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda on a dragon boat
  • Visit Hoi An’s colorful market
  • Visit Ben Thanh market
  • Visit Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and the Dong Xuan market
  • Visit some fascinating local industries in Ben Tre province
  • Visit Ving Trang Pagoda and the Cho Lon, Saigon’s Chinatow

Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of northern Vietnam and keeps this role until now. The city is located on the right bank of the Red River and far about 1760 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi features a warm humid subtropical climate with plentiful precipitation. In addition, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centers of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint.

In 1902, Hanoi became the capital of the Indochina Federation and it was built by French. Through two wars, Hanoi is the capital of Northern Vietnam and keeps this role until now. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political center of Vietnam. The city is located on the right bank of the Red River and far about 1760 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi is located between 20053' to 21023' north latitude and 105044' to 106002' east longitude. The city has an area of 3,324.92 square kilometers. Hanoi is a city with a mount of lakes, ancient rivers. In the inner city, West Lake has large area of about 500 hectares, and plays an important role in the urban landscape. Today this lake is surrounded by many hotels and villas.

When the first state of ancient Vietnam was established in Hanoi (formerly Thang Long), the city was considered a sacred and typical part of Vietnam. Twenty three centuries ago, Co Loa in the present-day district of Dong Anh was the capital of the ancient Au Lac country reigned by Thuc An Duong Vuong (King Thuc An Duong). In the subsequent period of more than 1,000 years, Hanoi had witnessed brilliant feats of arms in a long resistance war against the northern mighty invaders. The subsequent dynasties sometimes moved their capital to other regions.

Mid 20th century, Hanoi suffers from the complex events of history. Events that Japanese attacks Indochina in 1940 make Vietnam under the administration of the French and Japanese. The Vietnamese forces held August revolution succeeded. In September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh, and created the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Hanoi capital. In 1945, the victory of Dien Bien Phu, the military regained the North of Vietnam, Hanoi continued the capital position of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centers of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents.

Hanoi is very compact, and the city is the most interesting place for tourists. You could probably explore the Old Quarter and visit all the places below in a single day. Tourists can enjoy fresh air when walking around Hoan Kiem Lake or West Lake, sight view in the Old Quarter and visit the entire trade villages around Hanoi. Moreover, they will have opportunities to enjoy traditional foods and have unforgettable time in Hanoi such as Pho, Cha ca La Vong, com, Bun thang, Banh cuon, and Bun cha. Coming and exploring Hanoi, tourist will find a strange and excited feeling about landscape and Hanoian.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam with the population nearly nine millions. The city is called diamond of the far-east', the same luxury level overriding Hong Kong or Bangkok. Ho Chi Minh city becomes very important city in Vietnam, creating a metropolitan area with Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa and surrounding towns.

In the early history, the city was a small fishing village named Prey Nokor, which was inhabited by Khmer people. Then, it was given to the Vietnamese as a dowry for the marriage of a Vietnamese princess to a Khmer prince in order to stop constant invasions and pillaging of Khmer villages. Under the French colonial, the city had a lot of influence from the western style, and there still a lot of beautiful buildings in the city which are remained with French style. After April 30, 1975, the city was under the control of North Vietnamese government and the name was changed from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City.

Recently, Ho Chi Minh City is such a large area with 24 districts, the lifestyle and the architecture is the combination between American and Chinese, but it is not losing the traits. Beside the dynamic economy and modern life, the city is really developing in tourism and attracts millions of foreign tourists every year. The most prominent sites in the city is Reunification Palace, city hall, the Municipal theater also known as the Opera House, city post office, state bank office, city people's court, and Notre Dame Cathedral. All of them are the special structures, which are influenced by French architecture.

There are also various museum and entertainment places in the city such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese history, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southeastern Armed Forces, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and Cu Chi underground Tunnels. There are also other popular places such as the Dam Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Suoi Tien amusement and culture park, the Saigon zoo, and botanical gardens.

District one is the best experience for a modern city in Vietnam. All streets and boulevard in the district are lined with evergreen trees with local people selling street drinks, some notable sights as Ben Thanh Market, city post office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. The district is a quite good ideal for shopping with several shopping streets. The nice location at central of the South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City becomes very important center of transportation lead to surrounding provinces, bringing opportunities to develop the economy and tourism of Eastern and Western area of the South.

Hue City

Hue is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Huong River, a few miles inland from Bien Dong. Hue was the capital of nine reigns of Nguyen. Hue still retains culture heritage and intangible heritage, which contains values of wisdom and spirit of Vietnam. Throughout the centuries, the quintessence of country converges here to create a fantastic natural picture with romantic river and charming mountain.

Thua Thien Hue is one province of central Vietnam, the north borders Quang Tri, on the south is Da Nang city. It has an area of 5,053.99 square kilometers, average population 1105.5 thousand people. Thua Thien Hue has eight districts and Hue city includes 150 communes and town. Hue is located on the important road north-south. The city is important center in many aspects such as culture, politics, economic, education, health, tourism, science, and technology.

For nearly 40 years (1558-1945), Hue was the capital of nine reigns of Nguyen. Hue still retains culture heritage and intangible heritage which contains values of wisdom and spirit of Vietnam. Throughout the centuries, the quintessence of country converges here to create a fantastic natural picture with romantic river and charming mountain. Therefore, Hue is a home to many palaces, temples, majestic tombs, and famous destinations.

Located in the heart of Hue, on the northern bank of the Huong River, the architecture system represents the authority of Nguyen's absolute monarchy before changes of time. It is the Hue citadel, Tu Cam Thanh. The citadel system is an example of harmony between the quintessence of Western and oriental architecture, which are located in the natural landscape with many symbols. The architecture seems to be mixed with wonderful nature, which creates the charming picture.

Hoang Thanh is limited by a wall with approximately 600 meters in length and four unique entrances. The road leads to Than dao has unique architecture such as Nghinh Luong Dinh, Phu Van Lau, Ky Dai, Ngo Mon, Thai Hoa, Can Chanh, Can Thanh, Khon Thai, and Kien Trung. On the roadside of Than dao, there are hundreds of large and small buildings.

Situated on both sides of Huong River, royal tombs of Nguyen Kings are considered as the achievements of the landscape architecture. The tombs are heaven for owners when entering the afterlife. Each tomb reflects the personality of the owner. Gia Long tomb is austere but majestic among mountains. Minh Mang tomb is majestic among mountain and lake. Tu Duc tomb formed mainly by the sophistication or human.

Hue's existed gardens are Ngu Vien, Thu Quang, Thuong Mau, Truong Ninh, and Thieu Phuong. The architecture of gardens combined with availability factors creates a specific type of garden in Hue. Each garden has the shadow of the Hue citadel, nearly a half century as the capital of a dynasty with political institutions based on Confucianism. Besides the golden palace architecture, Hue also preserves hundreds of ancient pagodas.

Associated with feudal dynasty and to comply with the principles of Confucianism philosophy, festival, and music in here had developed. The court has Te Giao ceremony, Te Xa Tac, Nguyen Dan, Doan Duong, Van Tho, Dai Trieu, Thuong Trieu, Ban Soc, Truyen Lo, and Duyet Binh. Common people have various festivals such as Hon Chen, Cau Ngu, and Sinh. Besides, there is a ritual form of folk music such as tuong Hue, or dance of Hue.

Coming here in June, tourists will have opportunity to live in vivid space associated with the cultural festival of hundred years ago. A lot of foreign tourists are curious about Hue’s ritual royal music. Originated from eight kinds of ritual music under Le dynasty, under Nguyen dynasty, it has improved into two kinds of music, Dai nhac and Nha nhac, which are really magnificent. Those are only played on formal occasions. This city is proud to be the cradle of traditional music. The Royal Refined Music was proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on December 1993. Traditional music has been preserved in the Hue city.

Today, Hue becomes the typical city of Vietnam. Every two years, people welcome Hue festival. In the opinion of citizens, Hue becomes festival city because Hue still retains typical architecture and natural construction. The combination between the architecture and landscape makes Hue becomes a city of harmony between architecture-nature and human.

Hue still retains over 1000 dishes cooked the Hue way, the dishes of Nguyen dynasty. The menu includes dozens of dishes which are prepared meticulously with attractive flavor, attractive color, and beautiful presentation. The cuisines of Hue are rich, but one of the most striking differences is the prominence of vegetarianism in the city. No one who comes to Hue could forget its ancient beauty and romance.

If you have any specific food requirements (vegetarian, vegan, food allergies), please inform Travelo Vietnam in advance so that they can provide a notice to restaurant, tour guide, and partners so that they can serve you better. If you are a food lover, Travelo Vietnam can be your culinary guide and provide you opportunity to savor tempting local food and world-famous dishes.

You will have plenty of time to explore the city you are visiting, browse the shops, try some popular dishes, and interact with local people.

  • 1 cyclo trip
  • 1 water puppet show
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Boat trips mentioned in program
  • Domestic flight (in Southeast Asia) mentioned in program
  • English or French-speaking guide
  • Entrance fee to indicated sights
  • Meals as mentioned in itinerary
  • Train ticket mentioned in program
  • Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
  • Activities during free time
  • Additional meals
  • Additional drinks
  • Airport tax
  • Any optional additional tours
  • Flight in and out of Southeast Asia
  • Local holidays and gala dinner
  • Personal expenses
  • Single room supplement
  • Surcharge for peak season
  • Tip
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa

Arrival by airplane

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

For information about the booking conditions, please send Travelo Vietnam an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by Prue Mansfield and Granton Hay

    "I want to say thank you for the fantastic trip we had with your company in Vietnam. While the actual bike riding was a bit harder than we expected, the trip was wonderful. Lam was a great guide to have lead us. His endless good humor and the fact that he did what we wanted to, meant we always had a great time. Tuyen was a very good driver, and we felt very safe on the roads with him. We have been recommending our trip to all our friends. However, perhaps a scale of difficulty on the bike trips might help, such as hard, medium, and easy. We will be coming to Vietnam again, and will be in touch for another wonderful tour."

    Travelo Vietnam website, edited

  • Review by Mohd Zawazi Hj Zakaria

    "Mr. Dung, we are happy about the trip managed by your company. There is no complain at all. Your tour guides are very good. Within short period, we have gone almost what we want to see. We will come back to you if we need your service for the next trip in Hanoi, Ho Chi Min, or in Cambodia. I prefer to take golf package as well. Thank you very much for your good service and nice to hear your voice last night."

    Travelo Vietnam website, edited

  • Review by Jane Lynch

    "Hello Mr Dung, I would like to thank you very much for the excellent two weeks that we spent in Vietnam with your staff of drivers and guides. Our tour far exceeded our expectations, and it was very nice to meet you personally and share a cup of tea at your office. Our accommodations were all extremely comfortable and clean. Our three guides were very knowledgeable, polite, accommodating, and fun to spend time with. Our three drivers were amazing as well. We felt very safe and comfortable at all times. We would certainly recommend your company to anyone planning a trip to Vietnam. Your country is very beautiful Mr Dung, and it was a pleasure for us to have traveled with your company. Thank you very much for making our trip such a wonderful experience."

    Travelo Vietnam website, edited

  • Review by Margaret and Alan

    "Hi Nham! We had a great time in both Vietnam and Cambodia for which we would like to thank you very much. Your arrangements were first class. The main guides you arranged were excellent and could not be faulted in any way. They were very helpful and considerate. We would particularly like to thank David for the completely professional way he handled the itinerary changes we had to make in Da Lat (you must let me know if our changes incurred any additional expense). The local guides in Cat Tien and Cuc Phuong were extremely knowledgeable and did a fantastic job showing us their areas. The guide in Da Lat, despite being a very pleasant person, lacked experience and knowledge of wildlife and I would suggest you do not use him again in this capacity. However, it did not reduce our enjoyment. Once again thank you and your staff for a very memorable and happy time!"

    Travelo Vietnam website, edited

Hanoi, Vietnam

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