Vietnam Culinary Adventure
In Vietnam, food is at the very heart of Vietnamese culture. Almost every aspect life revolves around it and over half of Vietnam’s population make a living from it. In Vietnam, food stalls are everywhere. Pho Gia Truyen, on Bat Dan Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, gets so crowded that locals slurp their soup perched on motorbikes outside.
Hue is renowned for its elaborate cuisine, developed by the skilled cooks of the royal court. The highlight is a 3-hr dinner at Hoang Vien (“royal garden”), set in a restored French-colonial house. Hoi An is a great place for fresh seafood. On nearby Cua Dai Beach, barbecue restaurants set up tables in the sand. Gourmet dinners can visit Morning Glory, in the Old Town.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is an upwardly mobile city and its dining scene is more cosmopolitan. While the city evolves relentlessly around them, Saigon’s traditional street-food stalls provide a rare sense of continuity.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 11-DAY CULINARY ADVENTURE…
And, experience Vietnam's most authentic food and cultural regions.
Vietnamese cuisine is known for its simplicity. It features one or more of the five fundamental flavours or taste elements. But it’s precisely this simplicity, the subtle variations by region and the fresh ingredients that keep pulling us towards this exotic cuisine. Take this private culinary tour for an in-depth exploration of Vietnam's most authentic food and cultural experience.
Begin in Hanoi, Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. With your guide, ride cyclos around the lake to see the city's historic French colonial architecture. Visit ancient temples, the Museum of Ethnology and the fascinating Old Quarter with its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens and more.
While touring the narrow streets, learn about the history of the Old Quarter and its traditional architecture, and see how it has transformed into a fashionable district with cafes, art galleries and boutiques featuring the finest Vietnamese design and style.
Take a private transfer to Halong Bay and check-in the luxurious, but traditional junk-style boat for an overnight cruise. Few places anywhere rival the extreme natural beauty and serenity of Vietnam's Halong Bay. Sail among beautiful limestone islands, dine on fresh seafood, enjoy on-board activities such as tai chi at sunrise, and perhaps explore local caves, hike to a scenic overlook, go sea kayaking or visit a floating village.
Today we take a spectacular overland drive to Hue, the former Imperial Capital in central Vietnam. Tour the Imperial Citadel, a large complex that includes the Forbidden Purple City, where the emperor and his family once lived. See the beautiful gardens and traditional architecture at the royal tombs along the Perfume River. Also visit colourful Dong Ba Market and, if desired, sample Hue's famed vegetarian and royal cuisine.
Continue to Hoi An, a World Heritage town that retains a distinct Chinese atmosphere with colourful historic homes, charming cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets. With your private guide tour the Cham sculpture museum, the Marble Mountains and surrounding villages to discover the daily life of the local people and enjoy the stunning countryside scenes that will simply mesmerise you. In the evening enjoy a sunset cruise on the river.
Conclude your tour in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the country’s bustling commercial centre. With your own expert guide and driver, experience the city's most interesting neighbourhoods, historic attractions, museums, art galleries and shops, markets, and excellent restaurants. View the Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office, both magnificent sights from the French colonial period. Also the former Presidential Palace, the China town and the local markets.
Vietnam Culinary Adventure Feature in-depth exploration of Vietnam's most authentic food and cultural regions.
(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon
Day 1 – Arrive
Hanoi Fast-track airport assistance.
Private transfer to hotel for 3 nights.
Afternoon private city tour.
Day 2 – Tour
Hanoi Full-day private city tour, including culinary touring.
Evening water puppet or opera performance.
Day 3 – Cooking Class
Hanoi Morning private market tour and cooking lesson.
Day 4 – Cruise
Halong Bay Private overland transfer to Halong Bay luxury cruise for 1 night.
Day 5 – Transfer
Hanoi Sunrise cruise. Private overland transfer to Hanoi hotel for 1 night.
Day 6 – Transfer
Hue Private transfer to airport for flight to Hue.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night.
Afternoon private tour.
Day 7 – Tour
Hoi An Morning private city tour, including market visit.
Lunch with monks at a pagoda.
Private overland transfer to Hoi An resort for 2 nights.
Day 8 – Explore
Hoi An Morning private excursion to farming village and lunch in local restaurant.
Afternoon private tour.
Day 9 – Transfer
Saigon Private transfer to Danang airport and flight to Saigon.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights.
Afternoon private Vespa street food tour.
Day 10 – Cooking Class
Saigon Morning private market tour and cooking lesson.
Afternoon private city tour.
Day 11 – Depart
Saigon Private airport transfer
Check In: 14:00h
Check Out: 12:00h
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
When to go The high season in Vietnam is from November to March. Prices peak over the Christmas and New Year period, and if you don’t fancy crowds then it is best to avoid this busy time. During this period it is warm and dry in the South but as you travel north of Nha Trang, it begins to get cooler.
From April or May to October, summer monsoon brings hot, humid weather except in the mountains up north. A slight break in monsoon during July and August makes it the second high season in the South but violent and unpredictable typhoons can hit central and northern Vietnam. May, June and September are usually the quietest months.
Getting There There are few direct flights from Europe to Vietnam’s three main international airports – Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, but these are steadily increasing over the years. The majority of visitors take indirect flights routed through Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong. It can be cheaper if you fly to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or regular international carriers and from there take one of the low cost carriers to Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar are the two main domestic carriers. Fares are very reasonable and the frequencies of flights to main hubs are good.
Getting Around: In the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there is a sophisticated local bus network. Taxis and bikes are the easiest way to get around the larger cities – just be sure to agree on a fare before you ride. Slow but scenic, the two-seater pedal powered cyclo, is a fun and cheap way to travel short distances. It is not uncommon to flag down a passing motorbike for a lift. Many people will be happy to give you a lift for a fee a little higher than the equivalent cyclo fare. You can also hire a car with driver at a reasonable cost.
Shopping Shopaholics will discover that of all the places in the world, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam offers the best-value shopping. This vibrant metropolis is bursting at the seams with bric-a-brac markets, local brands and international design houses. If you’re adventurous, jump on the back of a motorbike to save your dong for shopping. Explore Diamond Plaza on the Le Duan Street or explore local designer boutiques like Cindy’s Workshop that offers bright and funky printed dresses and unique belts for less than £30.
Hanoi is the artistic heart of Vietnam, so you’ll find the best range of art and handicrafts the country has to offer. It is the best place to shop for your home, with a bevvy of stores selling beautiful furniture, linen and home wares. There are galleries throughout Hanoi but if your time is limited, be sure to visit Art Vietnam on Nguyen Khac Nhu street, where you’ll find a wide range of contemporary Vietnamese art and photography.
Tipping Tipping is a personal expense and depends entirely on the quality of services provided to you and your appreciation of those services. Whilst tipping is not mandatory, it is expected at restaurants and by drivers, guides and tour escorts. The following estimated guideline may help you in determining the tip amount, should you wish to tip any service provider. Tipping in restaurants is about 5-10% of the bill, if not included.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Vietnam territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Vietnam embassy or consulate.