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Cuisine and Culture of Vietnam

  • Hanoi
  • Halong Bay
  • Hoi An
  • Mekong Delta
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • 11 nights from
  • £2,225 per person
  • Trip Code: MC-1165

Holiday Overview

Cuisine and Culture of Vietnam Holiday

 

Vietnam is a paradise for foodies. Sample some local delicacies and learn about the difference between North and Southern cuisine on this foodie-based tour. There's also plenty of opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta 

12 Days / 11 Nights

Start Hanoi / End Ho Chi Minh

Highlights Include:

Cyclo Tour of Hanoi 

Cooking Classes

Halong Cruise

Hoi An sightseeing with local farm visit

Mekong Delta

Old Saigon walking tour

Cuisine and Culture of Vietnam includes:

  • Transfers and sightseeing and cookery classes as listed
  • 2 Nights accommodation Hanoi
  • 1 night accommodation Halong Bay Cruise
  • Domestic Flights
  • 3 nights accommodation Hoi An
  • 1 night Mekong Delta accommodation
  • 4 nights accommodation Ho Chi Minh
1

Day 1 - Hanoi

Arrival transfer in Hanoi by air conditioned vehicle Sightseeing around West Lake (Ho Tay) with electric cart. This is a great way to see the sights around Hanoi's largest lake. We'll stop to take photos of ancient temples and the views across the water. 

Foodies afoot in Hanoi Enjoy a taste of local Hanoian life as you explore a local market and some of the city's best street food stalls. Meet your guide at the bustling Hom market, one of the biggest and most popular markets in Hanoi. Wander through the narrow alleyways passing colourful stalls piled high with a vast array of fruit, vegetables, sweets and elaborate temple offerings. Take photos of the vibrant colours and breathe in the aromas of the tropical fruits. If you're feeling brave, venture to the exotic section to see kicking frogs, silkworms and wriggling eels. The entire market is alive with the buzz and excitement of the locals bartering and haggling for the freshest ingredients at the best prices. Your guide will take you to popular street food stalls where you can sample some of the city's signature dishes. Stop at a local coffee shop to taste this rich and flavourful drink then continue your culinary exploration with a stroll through the maze of bustling streets that make up the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Join the locals and pull up a plastic stool at a pavement stall to try Vietnamese snacks and a cup of iced tea, followed by a sweet dessert of fresh fruit and condensed milk. End the tour with a cold draught beer at a sidewalk stall popular with locals. 

Meals Included - Lunch & Dinner

Featured accommodation

May de Ville 2

2

Day 2 - Hanoi sightseeing and cooking class

Sightseeing in Hanoi

Start the exploration of the vast Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex with a stroll past the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh (closed Mondays, Fridays, and from 15 June to 15 August). View the outside of the Presidential Palace and then walk through the park to the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Continue to the miniature 11th century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Visit the Temple of Literature The Temple of Literature has a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stele on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars. Enjoy an ordinary Vietnamese meal at local eatery Nestled down in a busy street of the Old Quarter, New Day restaurant is a great stop for a wide range of dishes, particularly traditional foods of Hanoians, such as stir-fried pig ribs, roast pork, spring rolls. Many dishes are served along with rice, just like an ordinary Vietnamese meal. This great little local eatery may not look attractive at the first glance since it is only a small restaurant with shabby exterior. However the food and service quality of New Day is  recommended by many reviewers on renowned travel websites. Visit the Old Quarter by cyclo Discover the Old Quarter of Hanoi by cyclo. This fascinating network of narrow alleys and shop houses is also known as The 36 Streets, each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics to crafts to medicines to tombstones. Drop off to visit Ngoc Son temple & Hoan Kiem lake.

Enjoy Vietnamese cooking class and market visit with local chef  On arrival at the cooking center, you will be welcome and invite a cup of La Han tea. The chef will then brief about Vietnamese cuisine, highlight the contents of the traditional meal. You will discuss with the chef and choose to cook either street foods, Vietnamese foods or international foods. Take a short walk to Chau Long Market - enjoy a tour of the 'wet' market highlighting unusual items such as durian, live seafood, silk worms and an assortment of fresh herbs and vegetables. Choose the suitable herbs and ingredients and return to the Hanoi Cooking Centre and commence the cooking class. You will prepare dishes under the guidance of experienced chefs at your own work station and each workshop will conclude with tasting the food you have prepared, accompanied by local beer or wine, in a comfortable dining area. At the end of the class receive detailed recipe cards to take home.

Meals Included - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Featured accommodation

May de Ville 2

3

Day 3 - Hanoi - Halong Bay

Transfer by car to Tuan Chau Marina Port. Transfer to cruise ship. Welcome drink - cruise briefing, safety instructions, check-in cabins. Depart to Halong Bay. Enjoy lunch while the cruise sails passing by magnificent sceneries of the World Heritage site. In the afternoon, explore Sung Sot cave, hiking up and down 600 steps to the magnificent limestone formations of the biggest and most marvelous cave in Halong bay or enjoy kayaking (with supplement) around the islets. Back to the vessel and participate in cooking demonstration with cruise's chef.

Accommodation – Paradise Sails

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Featured accommodation

Paradise Cruise

4

Day 4 - Halong Bay - Hoi An

Cruise aboard the Paradise Sails through Halong Bay Join an early morning Tai Chi session on the sundeck while tea, coffee and assorted pastries are being served. Relax on board or go visit Titov island. Back on board enjoy breakfast, check out and return to Tuan Chau Island. Transfer by vehicle from Halong to Noi Bai Airport Take the short light from Hanoi to Danang On arrival in Danang, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An This evening enjoy Dinner at Mango Mango restaurant.

Meals Included - Breakfast and Dinner

Featured accommodation

Indochine Hoian Riverside Hotel & Spa

5

Day 5 - Hoi An

You will be collected at your hotel lobby. Ride bicycle along the peaceful paths along Thu Bon river to the southeast of town to the peaceful Cam Kim village. Start cycling 10km through the winding village roads and you can enjoy fresh air with poetic scenery to Tra Nhieu village which has a wide range of lifestyles such as farming, fishing, livestock breeding and mattress making. Meet the local people and visit their home. After that, you will be taken in a small sampan with local fisherman to learn how to cast a net, catch fish, shrimp, crab. Have lunch with special dishes at the local house. Bid farewell to the local fishermen. Take a larger boat back to Hoi An ancient town and hop on your bikes again to cycle back to your hotel 

Meaals Included - Breakfast & Lunch

Featured accommodation

Indochine Hoian Riverside Hotel & Spa

6

Day 6 - Hoi An

Local guide will meet you at the hotel's lobby and transferred to Vong Nhi village. Take a bicycle trip to Thanh Dong Organic farm. Take a short stroll around the vegetable garden while listening to the life-changing story of the villagers, since they have been introduced with organic farming method. Afterwards we join the farmers and do some gardening activities like preparing and applying organic manure to the land, raking the ground, sowing, watering and picking vegetables. You will then take the basket boat ride along the Do River to The Field Restaurant. You will then take the basket boat through the wonderful water coconut forest to The Field restaurant. Before getting back to the hotel, we will enjoy demo cooking class and have Vietnamese family style lunch.

Meals Included - Breakfast & Lunch

Featured accommodation

Indochine Hoian Riverside Hotel & Spa

7

Day 7 - Hoi An - Mekong Delta

Transfer by road to Danang Airport, catch the flight to Ho Chi , transfer onto the Mekong Delta.On arrival at Cai Be, we'll check in to the Mekong Lodge and have lunch. On two wheels we'll cycle to Tan Phong Island, using local wooden ferries to cross the waterways. We'll watch farmers at work and visit one of the tropical fruit orchards. In the evening the chef will demonstrate how to cook Mekong Lodge signature dishes.

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Featured accommodation

Mekong Lodge

8

Day 8 - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh

After breakfast we'll drift by boat through the river and the numerous arroyos of the Mekong Delta. We'll visit the local market at Cai Be and some of the villages to see how local handicrafts are made using techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation. Back at Mekong Lodge, it's time to check out and take the boat to Cai Be Harbour, before the road transfer to Ho Chi Minh

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

9

Day 9 - Ho Chi Minh

Old Saigon Walking Tour This walking tour will show us where the action's at - right here on the ground! We don't have to walk far to discover colourful back alleyways lined with flower shops, another selling locally-made guitars, and even one that specialises in restoring vintage Vespa scooters. A stroll through lively apartment blocks will reveal scenes of the urban working class. There's a market to explore and an unusual museum that showcases the history of Vietnamese traditional medicine. We'll stop for an iced coffee in a hidden cafe frequented by locals. The oldest coffee shop in Saigon, this retro establishment has a colourful history stretching back over seven decades. 

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

10

Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh

Excursion by speedboat to Cu Chi Tunnels We're going underground - deep into the Cu Chi Tunnels! These hand-dug tunnels changed the course of the Vietnam War. The well-camouflaged entrance holes lead into a network of incredibly narrow tunnels that stretch for over 200 kilometres connecting command posts, hospitals and shelters. We'll zoom along the river by speedboat to the tunnels, where we'll learn about the life of the Vietcong and venture undergound. The deadly, bamboo-spiked booby traps are another must-see.

Meals Included – Breakfast

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

11

Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh

Cooking Class with visit market at Hoa Tuc Restaurant  This Morning learn how to prepare food with the professional chef. Starting the class by visiting the famous and vibrant Ben Thanh market where a local culture is expressed. You can easily find the fresh ingredients including  vegetable, herbs, fish or pork. You will select some for your next cooking class. Back the restaurant learn how to cook the scrumptious dishes. With the chef's detailed guidance, you will know more about the ingredients, learn the tips from chef to eat healthly as well as nice presentation. Class will be ended by tasting your own cooked food and talking to the chef. Afternoon at leisure Saigon After Dark by Vespa  Saigon really comes alive after dark, and what better way to explore this dynamic city than riding pillion on a vintage Vespa. Start the evening with drinks at the popular Zoom Cafe and get to know the drivers of your stylish scooters. Then hop on the comfortable backseats and set off through the busy streets and alleys of old Saigon to see the city by street lamp. Smell the aromas wafting out from street side restaurants and pass by important sites such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and the City Hall. Stop in local eateries for seafood appetisers and drinks followed by a delicious barbeque dinner with Southern rice pancakes and fresh spring rolls. Finish the evening in several hidden cafes and bars that are popular hangouts for the Vietnamese. Listen to the sounds of live unplugged music while you immerse yourself in the local nightlife scene 

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

12

Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh

Today your tour conludes with a transfer to the airport.

Meals Included - Breakfast

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