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15 Day Vietnam Gourmet Trail Sightseeing and Culinary Tour

Hanoi, Ba Đình District, Vietnam

Alluring Culinary Vacation Vietnam

Vietnam is the owner of breathtaking natural wonders, including the majestic mountains, sparkling beaches, and lush fields. Not only that, but it is also a home of genuine hospitality and a culturally rich history. The Vietnam Gourmet 14 days tour takes you to an off-the-beaten trail of UNESCO world heritage wonders of Ha Long Bay - Hue Citadel - Hoi An town, bring you to discover the unseen world of Vietnam gastronomy, explore the exceptional culture and local lifestyle through markets outing, meeting and eat with friendly people, staying in boutique style hotels/resorts. Let's drive into local with Vietnam Gourmet Travel!

Highlights

  • Hanoi street food tasting
  • Enjoy a diner cruise in Saigon
  • Cooking demo in Hue & Sapa and hands-on cooking class in Hoi An
  • Sightseeing to Temple of Literature, Cu Chi Tunnel, Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Visit Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Trek to visit minority villages and interact with the locals
  • 14 nights accommodation

Styles


14 days with instruction
Group size: Minimum of 2 participants
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
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Accommodation

During this culinary vacation, you will be staying at some various accommodations provided by Vietnam Food Tour.

  • Hanoi: Spring Flower (three-star), The Q (four-star), or Sheraton hotel (five-star)
  • Halong Cruise: Swan cruise (three-star), Athena cruise (four-star), Paradise cruise (five-star)
  • Sapa: La Casa (three-star), Chau Long (four-star), Silk Path Grand Sapa (five-star)
  • Hue: Romance (three-star), Eldora (four-star), Imperior (five-star)
  • Hoi An: Like hotel (three-star), Bella Maison Hadana (four-star), Sunrise resort (five-star)
  • Ho Chi Minh: Blue Diamond (three-star), Muong Thanh Centre Saigon (four-star), Majestic (five-star)

Note: In case the hotels listed are fully booked, you will stay in another hotel of similar qualities.

Program

Highlights of the tour:

Hanoi

  • Cyclo tour in the Old Quarter
  • Impressive Ho Chi Minh Complex
  • Temple of Literature
  • Ethnology Museum
  • Local market outing

Halong Bay

  • Cruise spectacular Halong bay
  • Overnight at en-suite cabin on board
  • Kayaking/sampan rowing
  • Amazing cave

Sapa

  • Enjoy breathtaking scenery of Sapa.
  • Trek to visit minority villages and enjoy local interaction.
  • Take part and enjoy the atmosphere of the colorful local market
  • Great chance to fill your album with beautiful photos

Huế

  • Great local interaction
  • Vegetarian feast at a pagoda
  • Impressive royal tomb
  • Ancient Tiger and Elephant arena
  • Dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River
  • Visit Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Chance for photos of stunning country landscape
  • Hue Royal Citadel
  • Cloudy Pass

Hoi An

  • Fun shopping in quaint Hoi An
  • Explore UNESCO ancient Hoi An town
  • Delicious street food
  • Shopping opportunity

Ho Chi Minh City

  • Reunification Palace
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • The General Post office
  • Cu Chi Tunnel

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi, welcome dinner

You will be warmly welcomed at the airport and transport you to a hotel in the heart of Hanoi. The guide will offer advice and assistance on a local cycle tour if you wish – otherwise, take it easy.

You will celebrate your time life holiday at a charming and ornate restaurant. The setting is truly splendid, enhanced by exquisite traditional music that surely offers a magical evening ambiance and a wonderful memory of Hanoi to start an exceptional holiday.

Day 2: Hanoi exploration

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel then the guide will help you to discover can’t-missed sights in Hanoi like the Literature of Temple then walking around the colorful local market to learn about the typical ingredients in North Vietnam. Take a quick glimpse at the memorial complex for the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, then visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam.

For your lunch today, you have two options: Feast wide-selection of Vietnam street food at Quan Ngon restaurant or enjoy one of the best Hanoi street food – Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodle, fried spring roll).

You will then enjoy a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter also known as the ‘Hanoi’s 36 streets’. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities around you.

Stroll around legendary Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) to enjoy the sunset while sipping some coffee. Trip ends at your hotel around 5 p.m. and alleys are home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities around you.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

After breakfast, depart to Ha Long Bay through the lush country scenery of the Red River delta. Dubbed one of the most beautiful places on earth, Halong Bay is home to thousands of dramatic limestone islands jutting off from the emerald water surface. Through millions of years, waves and winds have brought this place into an amazing natural painting that overwhelms even the toughest heart with its breathtaking beauty.

Check-in on board traditional styled junk, then enjoy your cruise between the towering islands whilst savor a sumptuous seafood lunch. Visit a limestone cave in the afternoon and do some kayaking and swimming (depending on the weather). Dinner and overnight in an en-suite cabin on board, under star, live sky.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Halong Cruise - Hanoi

Wake up early in the morning to catch the sunrise over the Bay’s spectacular landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air and then enjoy a rowing boat tour around to visit a floating village. Later, you will cruise to visit another part of the bay, including a beautiful cave. Lunch will be served on your way back to the harbor. Disembark at noontime and get a transfer back to Hanoi.

Check-in at a hotel and experience the hidden Hanoi with night foodie adventure. At 6 p.m., your guide will meet you at the hotel for tour brief then starting Hanoi night gourmet adventure. The tour is a chance to indulge your appetite with amazing food, town landmarks, and deeply immerge into the local atmosphere.

Tonight, activities include viewing Hanoi from the motorbike, hunting pictures, you cruise through the hidden parts of Hanoi that tourists never know to go if not sitting on the back of your guides on his motorbike, tasting local food, and drinking local beer and coffee, no others.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 5: Hanoi - Sapa

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel then check out, heading to Sapa by a superior shuttle bus. You will be picked up at 7 a.m. for a five hours' drive from Hanoi to Sapa following the highway. Stop in Lao Cai Town for lunch then take one hour drive up hill through the cloud and pristine, spectacular landscape to get to Sa Pa. Check-in at a hotel and take a short rest.

Afternoon: Take easy light trek down-hill to visit Cat Cat and Sin Chai, villages of Black H’mong people located in a beautiful valley against the wall of Fansipan Mountain. The trek provides a great chance to see, meet, and talk with locals and to drop in to learn about their life and traditions. It is the chance for interesting local interaction and to fill up your album with beautiful photos.

Dinner today at a family-run restaurant, operated by Chef Son. He is one of the best chefs in Sapa. It is time to experience Sapa specialties – mountainous food with demonstration cooking with Chef Son.

  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 6: Sapa rice terraces

Have breakfast at the hotel then take a light trek downhill along Muong Hoa River. This trek provides great scenery of nature with mountain, forest, and terrace fields that carpet along hill slopes. On the trek you will see minority people from some hill tribes with their typical appearance and colorful dress walking, working, and playing. It is the chance for interesting local interaction and to fill up your album with beautiful photos. Have a picnic lunch.

After lunch, transfer back to Sapa town, free to stroll in the Sapa market for shopping, and admire beautiful French-architecture buildings, church, or take a short climb to Ham Rong Mountain – a paradise of flowers, emerge among the white mist.

Free at leisure in the evening. Overnight in hotel in Sa Pa.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 7: Sapa - Hanoi Airport - Fly to Hoi An

Have breakfast at the hotel and check out at 8 a.m. The superior limousine will pick you up from the hotel in Sapa to Hanoi. Arrive at Hanoi Airport at about 1:30 p.m., take a flight to Danang.

Landing at Danang Airport, your private driver will welcome you. Transfer to a hotel in Hoi An for check-in and free as your leisure. %Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.

  • Meal: Breakfast

Day 8: Hoi An cooking class and city tour

You start the cooking class with a visit to Tra Que Organic Village and walk through the market gardens to learn and talk with the local farmers who are still doing the farm work following traditional methods of hundreds of years ago - no electrical machinery here! You purchase a range of local ingredients; star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach, and banana flower for your cooking session later.

Hands-on cooking class at the cooking center together with a chef, you learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. You learn how to use the freshest ingredients and traditional Vietnamese utensils, how to cook four Vietnamese traditional dishes. Later you can sit down and talk with the chef while savoring the dishes you have prepared.

Afternoon: Explore the Ancient Hoi An Town - one of Vietnam’s most beautiful coastal spots. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an exceptionally well-preserved example of an Asian trading port dating from the 15th - 19th centuries.

Have dinner with world-famous bread, Bánh mì Phượng before free to stroll around fairy town.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 9: Hoi An countryside - herb village

Have breakfast at the hotel. At 10 a.m., depart by car from the hotel to Tra Que village. At 10:15, arrive at the village, enjoying special welcome drinks, then start the farming experience with the local farmer by visiting the vegetable village. The guide will introduce the history of the village. Then Visit the Tra Que Herb Village and riparian ecosystem of the local people such as pick up seaweed to fertilize vegetables, visit the ponds, fish, drop buffalo, chicken, duck, etc.

You can also plant vegetables with local farmers. Use seaweed for fertilizer. Try digging, landboarding, making beds, transplanting vegetables, watering. Other activities may include buffalo ride, row the bamboo basket boat, and then relax with head-shoulder-foot massage before having lunch.

At 1 p.m., transfer back your hotel. You are free for your own activities, relax, or go shopping. Enjoy the rest of the late afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Hoi An - Hue Imperial City

After breakfast, leave Hoi An for Hue Imperial City which is about 130 kilometers away. On your way to Hue, take a break from the top of the cloudy Hai Van Pass to grab your own Vietnam central coast panoramic view and have lunch with local specialties – Bún Thịt Nướng (grilled park with fresh noddle).

On arrival in Hue, enjoy a stop to visit King Minh Mang Tomb located on the left bank of the Huong River, which represents the perfect harmony between nature and architecture. Minh Mang King (1821–1840) boasted to have 64 princesses and 78 princes.

Boarding a cruise upstream Perfume River for visiting Thien Mu Pagoda which is also home to many young people who want to try out and learn from life as a monk. History of Thien Mu Pagoda, dating back from the year 1601.

After that, go to your hotel to check-in. Overnight in Hue.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 11: Discover the historical Hue and hands-on cooking class

After breakfast, follow your guide visit the Imperial Citadel where the kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City.

Continue the trip to Princess Ngoc Son garden house. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the current resident of the rustic Vietnamese residence Mr. Phan Thuan An - a very refined gentleman, owner of the house.

This garden house actually belonged to his wife's great grandmother who was a daughter of Emperor Dong Khanh tht has been in his wife's family for 7 generations. With his introduction, history relative to his family and previous occupants of this residence will be recalled. The garden is oriented according to feng shui principles and serene setting. You will enjoy tea and cakes while learning about the royal era gone by.

You will then spend time at the well-known Dong Ba Market. All of the most special cultural gifts and souvenirs of Hue that remain until today can be found in Dong Ba Market. They include “non la bai tho” (conical hats having poems woven into their design) from Phu Cam Village, royal tea, lotus seed of Tinh Tam Lake, and other local specialties.

Dong Ba Market is also the place where you can try most of Hue’s delicious dishes within a place at a high-quality standard. On the ground of the market, you will try many local specialties such as Banh beo, Banh nam, Banh loc, Nem Lui, Banh Khoai, Bun Thit Nuong (Rice noddle with grilled pork and veggie) and Che (sweet soup with many flavors). Have Hue specialties at the bustling market for lunch. You are free after that to relax.

Late afternoon: You will be picked up to a beautiful restaurant, enjoy demonstration cooking in an ancient tranquility atmosphere. You cook and feast great Hue’s Royal duck and specialties. Transfer back to your hotel afterward. Overnight in Hue.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City

You will be free for shopping and relaxing. at noon, transfer to Hue airport to catch your flight, estimate departure in early afternoon to Ho Chi Minh City. Your guide will welcome you on arrival at the airport to escort you to the hotel.

At 6 p.m., your private driver is ready to take you to Saigon harbor. Enjoy views of Ho Chi Minh skyline from the peace and calm of Saigon River on charming former rice barge while enjoying a buffet of classic Vietnamese and International dishes and a delicious menu. See the bright lights of the city before cruising up the river and experience Saigon from a different perspective.

At 9 p.m., disembark the cruise, your driver will wait to take you back to the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 13: Chu Chi Tunnel tour

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel then ready to meet your tour-guide at 8:30 a.m. Enjoy a drive to visit the incredible Cu Chi Tunnel, located approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

The tunnel is like a spider net in the soil of Cu Chi District. It consists of more than 200 kilometers of narrow underground tunnels that connecting half or total covered hideouts, shelters, fighting bunkers, hospital, school, living rooms, and so on. All was built and used by resistant fighters during the French and American War in Vietnam.

Have lunch at one of the cooking centers. You may have a nice chat with a professional chef and visit his farm (vegetable garden).

After the lunch, transfer back the city center, explore the city highlights, including Gothic style of century-old Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the Independence Palace (former Presidential Palace of the South of Vietnam) and troll through the Ben Thanh Market.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 14: Mekong Delta tour

Start from your hotel at around 8 a.m. for two hours’ drive escaping the crowded and chaotic Saigon for My Tho and Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. This upper part of the Mekong Delta with fertile soil and abundant water supply is home to evergreen vegetation and the kingdom of beautiful tropical fruits.

Upon arrival in My Tho city, you will take a boat cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Your guide will take you to visit an island with lush tropical gardens where you have a chance to sample tropical fruit freshly picked from trees.

Continue with another visit to some local cottage industries where you will observe the process of manual work to make up beautiful handicrafts and sweets from coconut and rice before taking a motor cart for a ride around islands of Ben Tre province. During the ride, you will have some stops to visit farms and local homes for local interaction and to learn about the traditional lifestyles of the people here.

Lunch is served with local specialties in a fresh garden before you take a sit on a sampan for a fascinating rowing trip to explore the mangroves of the Mekong Delta along meandering canals. You then board the big boat to get back to the My Tho harbor for the bus drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Trip ends in Ho Chi Minh City at around 4.30 p.m.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 15: Ho Chi Minh departure

This day is free at your leisure or shopping and discovering until transfer to the airport to catch your flight back home. Safety travel!

  • Meal: Breakfast

Location

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is located in the delta area of the Saigon and Dong Nai rivers. It is Vietnam’s largest city and an important economic, trade, cultural and research center, both within the country, and in South-East Asia. Ho Chi Minh city has a diversified topography, ranging from mainly agricultural and rural areas in the north to a widespread system of rivers, canals, and dense mangrove forest to the south. It is contrasted with the ancient traditions still carried out on the streets.

Halong Bay

Over 2000 island rise from the bay, studded with caves and grottoes, soaring jungle-clad cliffs. Cruise on a traditional junk amongst the endless karsts to discover the beauty and serenity of this world heritage.

Sapa

Discover Sapa as you learn about the fascinating lives of the ethnic minorities living in the hill country. Inhabited by colorfully dressed hill tribes such as the Red Dzao and the H’mong. The area’s rural charm and cool clean air provide a welcome contrast with Vietnam’s bustling cities.

Hanoi

A thousand years of history makes the Vietnamese capital a delight to explore on foot. It is known by the locals as the city of Lake’s, Hanoi has many treasures from its distinctive cuisine to fascinating ancient landmarks such as the Confucian Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and Hanoi Citadel.

Hue

Discover Vietnam’s past in the ancient monument of Hue, the former imperial capital which lies on the evocatively - named Perfume River. Visit the Tombs of Nguyen emperors, explore the Royal Citadel. As Vietnam is the cradle of Buddhism, you can look forward to visiting some of the city’s beautiful pagodas such as Thien Mu pagoda.

Hoi An

Smart restaurant, shops, and galleries are the distinctive of Hoi An ancient town - one of the World Heritage of Vietnam. While walking on the narrow streets here, you just need to rest your feet and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

Food

Included in the package are 13 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 5 dinners, including:

  • Hanoi Street food taste
  • Demonstration cooking in Sapa
  • Dining diner cruise in Saigon
  • Demonstration cooking in Hue
  • Hands-on cooking class in Hoi An
  • Various local food from North to south

Please advise Vietnam Food Tour of any special requirements such as special meals, medical requirements, etc., as soon as possible.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

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

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Private air-conditioned transfer through the trip
  • En-suite cabin on the cruise in Ha Long Bay
  • Regional English speaking local guides except on free days & airport transfers
  • 14 nights accommodation as mentioned above
  • Cooking classes and demos
  • Dining cruise
  • Boat trip in Perfume river & Mekong Delta
  • Street food taste & local drinking
  • Meals specified in the program
  • All entrance permission and visiting fees
  • Bikes (if any)
  • Visa authorization letter to get Vietnam visa on arrival (if any)
  • Mineral water and tissue
  • Tax and service charge

What's not included

  • Insurance
  • All domestic air tickets
  • Surcharge in the peak season (24th Dec to 5th Jan 2020)
  • Requested beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Any services not mentioned in the included portion

How to get there

Recommended Airports

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 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.
15 days / 14 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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