VIETNAM CULINARY JOURNEY

12 DAY(S) THEME TOURS

Hanoi - Duong Lam - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Saigon - Mekong Delta

Our culinary journey is to learn more about Vietnamese food which contains elements of the fine arts, science and the balance of the yin – yang.

Highlights

  • Experiencing the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Visiting the imperial city of Hue and relaxing on a cruise on the peaceful Perfume River
  • Strolling through riverside streets of Hoi An Ancient Town under the moonlight and lantern lights
  • Feeling the metropolitan pulse of Ho Chi Minh City and discovering its highlights
  • Savoring the Vietnamese food along our journey, a great complex of flavors and contrasting textures

Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1 - Day 4
    Discover the Northern Vietnam cruisine as we explore the charming city of Hanoi, visit to the ancient Duong Lam village and take an memorable cruise on the breathtaking Halong Bay.
  • Day 5 - Day 8
    Savor the Central Vietnam foods while we immerse in the peaceful Hue royal city and Hoian Ancient town.
  • Day 9 - Day 12
    Learning about Southern Vietnam cruisine as we experience the life in the fascinating city of Saigon, under Cu Chi tunnels and on the water of Mekong Delta.

Inclusion

  • English-speaking tour guides
  • Land transportation by air-con vehicles
  • Accommodation based on Twin-shared room with breakfast
  • Private room on shared cruise in Halong Bay
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (no drinks)
  • Boat trips and admissions as mentioned in the program
  • Drinking water during the touring day (2 bottles/person/day)
  • Cyclo tour for 1 hour around the Old Quarters of Hanoi
  • A streed food tour in Hanoi with local food blogger
  • Cooking classes as per program

Exclusion

  • Airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
  • Visa services (Visa approval letter/Visa stamp fee/ Visa fast track)
  • Early check-in/late check-out/ room upgrade surcharge
  • Other meals, Drinks, and personal expenses (phone call, laundry, tipping etc.)
  • Any services not mentioned in the program
  • Optional Tours.

Welcome to Vietnam! Our local tour guide will be welcoming you at Noi Bai airport; it takes us 35 minutes driving to the centre of Hanoi to check-in hotel. Standard check in time is 14h00, early check in upon availability. This afternoon, we 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). Late afternoon, we will enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi. 

After breakfast, we transfer to visit Duong Lam Ancient village - about 65 km 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), especiall learn about 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 then return to 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).
•    Our 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. 
Tranfer back to our hotel after the tour. Overnight in Hanoi.

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 and check out hotel, we will head to Halong Bay, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO since 1994 and 2006, and check in our 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.

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. Breakfast and lunch to be served on board. Return to the Wharf and disembark at noon time. We then transfer to Noi Bai Airport and take the flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Phu Bai airport, welcomed by the local tour guide and transfer to the hotel to check in. Overnight in Hue.

Being recognized by UNESCO as the 1st Cultural World Heritage for Vietnam, Hue is highlighted by the old royal architectural works and the most traditional Vietnamese lifestyle. After breakfast, we will discover the charm of the city from the Citadel Complex of Hue, set up by Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945, is now one amongst the relics of the Hue ancient Capital – the World Cultural Heritage. This is a huge complex covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). Also visit the Dong Ba bustling market. After lunch in a Garden-housed restaurant in “Hue” style, take a boat trip to Thien Mu pagoda and then visit the Tombs of King Minh Mang and Khai Dinh – two best-reserved monuments of the Nguyen Emperors since early 19th and early 20th centuries. This evening, we 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 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.

After brekafast, we transfer to the pier and take a boat trip to discover Tam Giang Lagoon, the most wonderful lagoon in Vietnam. Get experience 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, crabs… 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. Return to Hue after the tour then the rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Hue.

After breakfast and check-out hotel, we will depart to Hoi An, passing Lang Co Beach and enjoy the landscape of Hai Van (the “Ocean Cloudy Mountain Pass”). On arrival, check in hotel and relax. This afternoon is for Hoian ancient town – when walking over the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, visit taciturn Chinese Assembly Halls and Trading Houses, Pagodas, and stroll around the market located by Thu Bon river, you may find out the same feelings of the artists, who see the charm of Hoi An a magical old world of Oriental feel and source of inspiration. Overnight in Hoi An.

After breakfast and a short relax, we receive the bike and cycle for 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 class with ‘Tam Huu’ spring roll, ‘Banh xeo’ - a local pancake of people in Viet Nam middle region ... Lunch will be with the items that we have prepared. Bid farewell to the host family before heading straight to the airport for flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, pick up by our local tour guide at the airport and transfer to check in hotel. Overnight in Saigon.

After breakfast, begin our city tour by strolling around classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notredame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Continue to visit the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions. Afterwards visit Emperor Of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagoda. End your tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
This evening, experience Dinning in the dark at The Noir, it is more than just a meal. It is a sensory journey that will make you re-eveluate your perception of taste and smell. Be one of the first or try this one-of-a-kind dinning experience for a unique date or group outing Saigon. Lunch is at your own arrangment for flexibility. 
Overnight in Saigon.

After breakfast, we visit to Cu Chi tunnels. Located 60km from Saigon, Cu Chi is now a popular spot for both Vietnamese & foreign tourists – the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens. After a short introduction video showing how the tunnels were constructed, you will have a chance to crawl into a short section of the tunnels to feel the oppressive narrowness and heat inside. Return to Saigon after the tour then the rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.

After brekfast and check out hotel, we drive to Cai Be in the heart of Mekong Delta. On arrival, get on the boat and transfer to visit colourful floating market of Cai Be with vendors and buyers exchanging goods on the water. Continue transfer to a local village to visit a rice-paper and coconut candy factory. Take a free taste of honey tea as you watch local life going on around. Lunch at Ba Duc Ancient House, in the laden fruits orchard, and upon the splendid view terrace. Taste great healthy cuisine of Southern Vietnam prepared by dedicated people. After lunch, relax on the garden and enjoy traditional Southern Vietnamese music. Continue explore the river life of Mekong people by using their daily vehicle, hand-rowing boat for 30’ among the meandering rivers and criss-crossed canals. We then leave to Can Tho via Rach Mieu, My Thuan and Can Tho bridges. Check in upon arrival, the rest of the day will be free for relaxing and exploring the city by yourselves. A nice place to visit in the evening is the night food market which is right next to Ninh Kieu wharf. Overnight in Can Tho. 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we transfer to the wharf to board a motorboat visiting Cai Rang, the biggest and most colorful floating market in Mekong delta. From the early morning, the waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with fruits, vegetables, plants, foods, etc... Sellers hang a sample of what they have from the top of a long pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they are selling. We then take motorboat along small leafy creeks to local orchard and enjoy tropical seasonal fruits. Walking through the village to visit a rice husking mill and a rice/noodle shop, where we observe how it is made. After the visit, we transfer directly to Tan Son Nhat airport for our departure flight.

# Destination Standard Superior/First Class Deluxe
1 Can Tho - Ninh Kieu hotel
- Kim Tho Hotel
- Victoria Can Tho Resort
- Ninh Kieu Riverside Hotel
- TTC Premium Hotel
- Victoria Can Tho Resort
2 Halong Cruise - Phoenix Cruise
- Oriental Sails Cruise
- Gray Line Halong Cruise
- Pelican Cruise
- Paradise Cruises
3 Hanoi - Super Hotel
- Supper hotel
- Sunway Hotel
- Hanoi Pearl Hotel
- Melia Hotel
- Sheraton hotel
4 Ho Chi Minh City - Liberty Park View
- Royal Hotel
- Aristo Hotel
- Sofitel Plaza
- Pullman Hotel
- Rex Hotel
5 Hoian - Lotus Hoian Boutique Hotel & Spa
- Muca Hoian Boutique Resort
- Hoian Historic Hotel
- The Beach Little Boutique
- Allegro Hotel
- Palm Garden
6 Hue - Emm Hotel
- Moonlight hotel
- Eldora Hotel
- Imperial hotel
- Indochine Palace

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VIETNAM CULINARY JOURNEY

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