The beauty of this tour is that you not only get to see some of the amazing highlights of the diverse country of Vietnam, but you also get to learn how to cook in the diverse ways across the different regions of the country. You will get to spend time with chefs, in markets, selecting your food and take your recipes home to try out on your friends.
Best: November to April
DurationFrom 13 days
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Day-1 (D) Arrival in HanoiYou' ll be greeted at the airport and driven to your hotel. You may have time to relax after the journey before a ' Welcome' dinner at a family restaurant situated in a small alley in the Old Quarter of Hanoi - an authentic menu prepared by a talented Hanoi chef.
Day-2 (B, L) Hanoi cooking class with Madame Anh TuyetIn the morning, enjoy have a guided tour to the Ho Chi Minh complex that includes the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, museum and his modest stilt house. Later we stop at the Temple of Literature.
Lunch will be served at a traditional Hanoi restaurant which is famous for its unique Cha Ca La Vong dish. After lunch, we enjoy Hanoi coffee before visiting a local market to learn about Vietnamese ingredients and try your skills in bargaining and buying produce from the locals. After that, under guidelines of a skillful chef, you will learn how to cook some typical Vietnamese dishes representative of classic northern Vietnamese cuisine.
In the evening, enjoy a performance of traditional Water Puppetry
Day-3 (B, L, D) Hanoi - Ha Long Bay8.00am - Depart for a 3.5 hour drive to Ha Long City through the Red River Delta. Transfer to a traditional wooden junk, for lunch with fresh seafood (vegetarians catered for) while you embark on a 4-hour cruise into the bay to see the incredible karst formations. Cruise to the grand Bai Tu Long Bay through the limestone cliffs risen up from the emerald water with opportunities to take photo' s.
One of the two Red Dragon' s Junks is the working place of the best chef in Halong Bay, Mr. Hao.
*** Please note that there is no guide for drive Hanoi - Halong - Hanoi. However, there is local English-speaking guide on boat who will always be available for any assistance you may need.
Day-4 (B, L) Ha Long Bay - HanoiEnjoy an sunrise in Ha Long Bay before visiting the famous ' Amazing' cave. Further cruise before a brunch will be served on board as you cruise back to Halong city. Check out is after 10:30 before docking around noon and leaving for Hanoi.
Spend another night in Hanoi.
Day-5 (B, L) Hanoi street food tasting - HueToday offers you a good chance for street food tasting before leaving Hanoi. Our guide will come and take you for a walk to good local restaurant of Pho Bo (noodle soup with beef) followed by a short walk to a vivid market located in the Old Quarter with lots of herbs and ingredients
After lunch, we go to Tran Quoc pagoda, the first pagoda in Hanoi dated back to the 6th century.
Then you will be driven to Noi Bai airport to board a flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to the city centre for your accommodation.
Alternative in the evening: join a royal banquet in Ancient Hue restaurant
Day-5 (B, L, D) Hue - cooking classYour morning will begin with a guided tour to the Imperial Citadel of Hue, followed by a cruise along the Perfume River to see to the Thien Mu Pagoda. From there, drive to the Royal Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang.
After that, we return to the Dong Ba and one of city' s garden houses where you will learn how to cook some traditional Hue dishes. Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Ha, one of the Nguyen Royal descendants will help you to prepare a typical Hue meal. Enjoy your home made meal.
Day-6 (B, L) Hue - Hoi An - My SonIn the morning, your car will drive you to Danang. On the way, you will cross the Hai Van mountain pass. You will then see the Cham Museum and after lunch, the World Heritage ' My Son Sanctuary' . Your guide will show you the remains of the remarkable towers constructed by the Cham builders, many centuries ago - their origins and purpose have yet to be fully explained.
Day-7 (B, L) Hoi An - cooking classToday you will cook with Ms. Vy who runs a great selection of the very best Vietnamese restaurants and a bakery in Hoian
The afternoon will be free for strolling in the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy. You' ll spend the night in Hoi An.
Day-9 (B) Hoi An - SaigonMorning at leisure. Later drive to Danang airport for the afternoon flight to Saigon.
Day-10 (B, L) Ho Chi Minh city - Cu Chi tunnelsIn the morning, walk to a family restaurant where the owner, a skilled chef, will invite you to a cup of Vietnamese green tea. You will then spend the morning in the local markets.
In the afternoon, your guide will take you to the famous Cu Chi tunnels, a maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and traps used by both the Vietminh and the Viet Cong.
Day-11 (B, L) Ho Chi Minh city - Mekong deltaMorning depart from Saigon to Cai Be. There, you cruise on the Mekong River, see, fruit orchards, traditional family-run brick kilns, and drop in to look at some traditional cottage industries.
Late in the afternoon, you will drive further into the Mekong Delta to Can Tho where you will spend the night.
Day-12 (B,L) Mekong delta - SaigonAfter breakfast and a boat cruise, we arrive at the bustling Cai Rang floating market - the largest floating market in Mekong River . Both the journey and the market provide insights into the unique Mekong rural lifestyle.
Alternative for Day-10+11: Mekong Eyes cruise
Day-13 (B): Saigon DepartureAfter breakfast, free until your transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight.
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