Flavours of Vietnam
This 10-day tour takes us from North to South Vietnam while taking in a myriad of culinary delights in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City. The tour begins in Hanoi with a city tour and a cookery lesson in the heart of Hanoi's old quarter. We continue on from Hanoi to the world famous Halong Bay to enjoy an overnight cruise with Vietnamese seafood feasts. A short flight to Danang in central Vietnam takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An, one of the most charming and beautiful towns in Southeast Asia. Here we can enjoy glorious food at many of Hoi An's superb restaurants, but it is also near to Hoi An where we learn all about the cultivation of rice in a local village, as well as learning the art of pancakes at a local home. From here we head north to Hue, another beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site where we enjoy a wonderful cookery lesson but also an Exclusive Dinner Party at the lovely Tha Om Garden House. The tour ends in Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, for more excellent dining opportunities and incredible street food. Book this amazing Vietnam Holidays today!
Depart the UK for your flight to Hanoi, arriving the following day.
Arrive in Hanoi, welcome by your guide and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to recover from your long flight.
Start this day with a visit of the highly acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum. The museum is located near Hoan Kiem Lake and offers wonderful insight into the lives of Vietnamese women. In the afternoon, take part in a hands-on cooking class in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Visit a neighbourhood ‘wet’ market to learn about Vietnamese ingredients before proceeding to the home of a true Hanoian who learned her culinary skills from her grandmother, a former chef who once served the French elite, in the 1930’s. After visiting a local market to buy the day’s ingredients, learn how to prepare and cook true northern Vietnamese cuisine before sitting down to enjoy a delectable meal. (B,L,D)
Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hr30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Enjoy your fresh morning in the middle of the bay, the sun rises on Halong in the morning and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang.
Start the day with a hotel pick up at 8:30 am. Begin your journey with a short bicycle ride through rice paddies to the countryside (a vehicle can be arranged for those preferring not to cycle). Arrive at a farm where you will be warmly welcomed with tea by a local family host. You will have the chance to visit their house. Your guide will explain the different steps of rice cultivation. Don traditional farming clothes and conical hats for sun protection. Then, start the fun part of the tour. Because learning is way better with practice, you will experience rides on a water buffalo and learn the how to plough, rake, carry water into the rice field, sow, pull up the rice seedlings, transplant rice, etc. Prepare yourself for a unique experience, and try not to fall into the mud! Afterwards, return to the house and learn how to make pancakes that you will be able to enjoy. Additionally, learn how to cook rice in the traditional way. Enjoy lunch with the host family before riding back to the hotel. Free at leisure the rest of the afternoon.
In the morning, discover Hoi An with a walking tour. Discover the charming, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, former merchants’ homes, the town’s iconic 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful market where an array of fresh ingredients are on offer.
Formerly the capital of Vietnam and the Kings’ City, Hue has a strong royal heritage. Hue food is unique to Vietnam and Hue offers a variety of “Royal” restaurant cuisine. Get a hands-on experience with a cooking class and enjoy the taste of Hue’s local delicacies such as Hue pancakes. Learn how to prepare delicious Hue recipes in the beautiful, traditional Garden House of Y Thao. Set in a lush green garden near the Citadel, Y Thao is a charming ancient house filled with collectibles.
After breakfast transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, depart your hotel for a tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. Your program includes the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.(B,D)
Start from your hotel for a local suburban Ho Chi Minh City market (whilst it’s still busy) with your host, to shop for ingredients, all at a leisurely pace. You’ll then head back to the house to start your cooking, where you’ll eventually devour the results for lunch! Your host is a great cook and more than happy to show you around their local market and share some of their favourite dishes. A selection of dishes can be made from a menu, rather than having a set cooking class menu see what tickles your fancy. After your lunch return to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City.
Departure day. At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for onward flight to the UK (B)
Arrive back into the UK.