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Vietnam Food and Culture

Hanoi, Vietnam, South-Eastern Asia, Asia

From $1,417 for 13 nights
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“From fresh seafood to fresh organic vegetables, to mouth-watering street food, this trip offers some of the tastiest delicacies out there!”

Immerse yourself in the richness of the culture, history, and geography of Vietnam the best way you can: through its food! Cook and eat your way across the stunningly beautiful country. Begin in Hanoi, where you will learn to cook traditional dishes, shop for ingredients in the market, and try some of the best street food on offer. Enjoy gloriously fresh seafood on the deck of your boat whilst watching the sunset between the majestic limestone cliffs of Bai Tu Long Bay.

Head away from the main tourist spots and visit some gorgeous villages where the locals make the most of the richness and fecundity of the earth. You will see the care with which the crops are grown and come to understand how small scale and organic farming produces far more delicious ingredients than anything industrial!

The ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An will offer a taste of the history and architectural wonders to be discovered, as well as endless opportunities to taste more fabulous food. You will leave with your taste buds tingling, and with memories to last a lifetime!

Your tour guides take sustainability very seriously. You will see this in the way they collect trash wherever possible to create a cleaner and more beautiful environment and to set a good example. Your group size will be limited to 10 so that they can effectively guide you on how best to treat the environment and your hosts. Small numbers also allow for your food to be provided locally and sustainably. Your hosts will cook for you, giving you a taste of traditional Vietnamese fare. Your money will go to local people to support a livelihood in tourism rather than more destructive industries. In return for learning about the delicious local food and the beautiful culture, the guides will encourage conversations with locals about maintaining clean, healthy environments.

Day 1
Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! Your guides will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Settle in and unpack. The day is free for you to get some rest after travelling, or to do as you please. There is plenty to explore in this lively city so don’t hesitate to ask if you want some recommendations!

Day 2
Hanoi Cooking Class and Foodie Tour

This morning you will join a cooking class. Begin by shopping at the local market with the chef, then head back to the class to cook up some Vietnamese favourites such as caramel pork, ginger chicken, banana flower salad, prawn and omelette spring roll, classic dipping sauce, and sweet corn and coconut soup. Don’t worry; you will taste your wonderful creations at the end for lunch!

In the afternoon, walk through Hanoi to the vibrant centre. Wander through the famous markets, where dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from seafood to exotic fruits and spices.

Next, head to the Old Quarter, wandering past street stalls and along quiet residential lanes. You will have a chance to try rice pancake rolls here. On to the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, just as the night is beginning, you will be welcomed by the aromas of herbal chicken and grilled fish.

As you head back to the hotel you may want to stop for a post-dinner coffee, try the local sweet soup, or just refresh your palate with a fruit pot. You should get back to your hotel around 9 pm.

Day 3
Hanoi to Bai Tu Long Bay

Wake up fairly early today, ready to depart from the hotel at 8 AM. The drive will take you through the dramatic scenery of Vietnam, to a port at Bai Tu Long Bay. Arriving around noon, you will transfer to the small cruise boat by tender. Enjoy a welcome drink and have a safety briefing. Lunch will be served at 1.30 pm while the boat cruises to Cua Van floating village. From the village, you will take a tender to visit the Mysterious Cave. After exploring the cave, head back to the village. Explore this unique village either on small bamboo boats rowed by local people, or by self-paddled kayaks.

In the evening, your chef will do a cooking demonstration of a local dish, which you can then settle down to eat. Overnight on the boat.

Day 4
Halong to Hanoi and Flight to Hue

If you’re an early bird, we recommend you wake up to watch the sunrise from the deck of the boat. The majesty of the huge limestone cliffs is truly breathtaking. Tea, coffee, and pastries will be served from 6.30 am, followed by a Tai Chi class on the sun deck. Finish packing as the boat continues to cruise. You will need to be checked out of the cabins by 9.30 am. Breakfast will be served in the dining room, and you will have the rest of the morning to relax on deck. Disembark around 11 am and head back toward Hanoi. You will be dropped at the airport in time for a flight to Hue. Your next guide will collect you from the airport in Hue and take you to your hotel, where you can check in and settle down.

Day 5
Hue to Kim Long Village

Today, breakfast at the hotel, then head out with your guide on a bike ride. You will cycle through the countryside surrounding Hue to Thanh Toan Bridge. Along the way, you will see scenes of picturesque village life, and fill your lungs with pure, clean air. Stop for a rest and to take some photos at a beautiful banana farm. The bridge is a classic Japanese-style covered footbridge and looks a little like something out of a fairy tale. Hear the story of the bridge’s foundation and visit a small museum where traditional Vietnamese farming instruments are on display. Visit a local market to learn more about the daily life out in the countryside. Leaving the tranquil little village behind you, cycle on through more villages, among rice fields, orchards, and gardens. You will eventually reach Thuy Duong Bridge, where transport will meet you and take you to a vegetarian restaurant or pagoda for lunch. Discover some delicious dishes unique to Hue!

In the afternoon, continue on the cycle tour. You will visit Vong Canh Hill, where you will have incredible views of the Perfume River and pine trees to enjoy: a perfect photo opportunity! Go on to visit Voi Re Temple, the Temple of the Elephant. This temple was built by the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty and dedicated to a legendary royal elephant who grieved the death of its master, killed in battle.

Later, take transport to a small village outside of Hue to spend the night. Kim Long village is beautiful and tranquil. On the way, stop at a market to collect ingredients for the dishes you will prepare later. After check-in at the house, your guide will take you on a tour around the village so that you can meet some locals and learn about local life. Head back to the house to prepare dinner and overnight.

Day 6
Kim Long to Phu Mong to Hue

Enjoy the fresh morning air and the peace of the village. Visit the nearby Huyen Khong Pagoda and learn a little about the daily rituals of the locals and Buddhist Monks. Return to your accommodation for breakfast before heading back towards Hue. On the return to Hue, you will stop at Phu Mong Village to join a cooking class and visit another Pagoda. From here, you will enjoy the beautiful panoramas of the Perfume River. Visit Dong Ba Market. Your driver will drop you off at your hotel at around 5.30 pm.

Day 7
Hue to Hoi An

After breakfast this morning, you will head out on a wonderful cycle ride, returning to Dong Ba Market to see it in the morning. Following this, you will take a transfer back to Hoi An. The journey is about 4 hours but there are some stunning sights to see along the way. You may stop at Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, and the Marble Mountains, dependent on time. Arrive in Hoi An in the evening.

Day 8
Hoi An fishing and foodie tour

Begin your day with a transfer to the docks. Today, you will visit a fishing village and get to see the day-to-day life as a fisherman in Vietnam. You will help to prepare some of the fishing gear and tools, then take a short basket ride out onto the water and through the village before lunch.

Back on dry land, you will hop on a bike and cycle some gorgeous country roads, among rice paddy and cornfields, between coconut trees, and back to Hoi An.

Your afternoon will continue with some sightseeing in the town. Dinner today will be the legendary local street food, ending with evening drinks.

Day 9
Hoi An Cooking Class

Breakfast at a local cafe before you are collected by your driver and taken to the nearby Tra Que Organic Village. Wander through the market gardens and see the traditional farming methods that have been used for hundreds of years. Collect fresh mint and coriander for your cooking class later, then try a herbal drink at a local home. Head on to the village market with a shopping list to purchase a range of local ingredients including star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach, and banana flower.

Arriving at Red Bridge Cooking School, you will have a chance to freshen up before beginning the class. Work together to learn traditional means of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional Vietnamese utensils (still in use today) you will cook four famous dishes of Centre Vietnam, including the special dish ‘My Quang’.

After cooking and eating, you may well be feeling tired and replete! Rest and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Hoi An River back to the centre of town. The centre where you cooked has a pool so if you want a swim after class, remember to bring a costume!

Day 10
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy an easy morning of relaxation before you take a transfer to Danang Airport for a noon flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, you will be collected and taken to your next hotel for check-in.

The afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. Ho Chi Minh City is a busy, bustling, and exciting place. Just let us know if you are looking for recommendations of places to visit!

Day 11
Hue to Hoi An

Start the day with breakfast at your hotel, then meet your guide. You will begin your explorations today by following your chef through the vibrant Ben Thanh Market to collect ingredients. From the market, head to your cooking class, where you will prepare lunch. Use local kitchen tools to create and enjoy a fabulous four-course meal:

  • Gỏi ngó sen tôm thịt (Lotus root salad with prawn and pork)
  • Bánh Xèo
  • Canh Chua cá Bông Lau (Sour fish soup)
  • Nem Sài Gòn (Saigon Spring roll)

Head back to your hotel around 2 pm for a free afternoon. At around 5 pm, your guide will meet you and you will be whisked away to enjoy the best street food that the city has to offer whilst learning about the cultural significance of each dish. Enjoy a walk around the streets after dark as you digest your food and absorb the atmosphere and dynamism of the nightlife. There will be some favourite local snacks for you to try.

Next, your guide will introduce you to the most popular Vietnamese food tradition: The Street Barbeque. Fill yourself up with incredible food and beer but leave room for some traditional Vietnamese Sweet Soup for dessert!

You will head back to the hotel around 10 pm.

Day 12
Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta to Can Tho

Head off today at 8 am towards Cai Be. On arrival, you will head out to the floating market on the Mekong Delta. Float around and observe the bustle of products passing from hand to hand and boat to boat. Cruise over to Dong Phu Island, where you will start your cycling tour among beautiful gardens and orchards. You will have a chance to stop at a workshop and learn how to make the local coconut candy and some other coconut products.

After lunch, cruise to Vinh Long to continue the cycle ride through the stunning countryside and rural riverside villages. The evening is free for you to enjoy but we recommend you take some time to wander along the city’s quay. Overnight in Can Tho.

Day 13
Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City

Take an early morning boat trip to the vibrant and slightly chaotic Cai Rang Floating Market. Enjoy the contrast of the serene Mekong Delta surrounding you. You will return to Can Tho and have a little more time to explore before you head back to Ho Chi Minh. You will arrive around 5 pm, check in and have the evening to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 14
Depart

Breakfast at your hotel. Depending on the time of your flight, you may have some time to explore and shop in the city before you leave. Take a transfer to the airport, say some fond farewells and head off!

Rate Conditions

  • The price shown is a 'from' price per person
  • Click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator directly about this tour's availability, departure dates, and costs
  • Price is based on double occupancy. A single supplement applies
  • 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund

Included

  • Airport transfer
  • Guides
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees and activity fees
  • Some meals
  • Bike and helmet

Excluded

  • Some meals
  • International Airfare
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Drinks and snacks outside of the included meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips

Area & Location

Area/Country:
Hanoi, Vietnam
Local currencies:
VND
Time Change:
UTC+07:00
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Get in touch!
enquiry form
We will keep all your information confidential and only contact you in relation to your enquiry. We respond to all enquiries within 24 hours.