Cuisine & Culture of Vietnam

12 Days

HANOI - CABIN / ONBOARD (VIETNAM) - HOI AN - CAI BE - SAIGON

Day 1     Hanoi

(Lunch: Koto Restaurant Dinner: Anh Tuyet Restaurant )

Arrival in Hanoi

Transfer

Sightseeing in Hanoi

Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Narrow lanes and traditional shop houses invite an exciting exploration by walking, while it's many beautiful public spaces lakes, parks, tree-lined boulevards and monuments give the city an air of elegance and harmony with nature unique among Asian capitals.

Sightseeing around West Lake (Ho Tay Lake) with electric car (Possible to make some stops en route/on request)

Visit the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature has a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stele on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars.

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Sightseeing around Hanoi city centre with electric car and a walk in the Old Quarter

Hanoi is a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western colonization. Tree-lined boulevards and colonial buildings give the city a touch of Western elegance, while crowded blocks of tiny old houses and narrow lanes which brim with the colorful activities of daily life bear the charm of the past centuries. Take a 35 minute ride on an electric car through the city center including Hoan Kiem Lake, Quan Su Pagoda, Silk Road, Hanoi Railway Station and Hoa Lo Prison then the Hanoi Opera House. Get off the electric car and take a 25 minute walk to get a personal feel of daily life in the Old Quarter.

Stop at coffee shop

Visit a Water Puppet Show with transfer to/from restaurant

See a Water Puppet Show, a fantastic art form originating in Northern Vietnam, best seen in Hanoi.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2     Hanoi

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam) / Dinner: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

Transfer to/from restaurant

Enjoy a traditional breakfast of pho and Vietnamese coffee

Early morning visit one of the local Pho restaurants and observe how one of Vietnam's favourite noodle dishes is prepared. Then sit down and enjoy a traditional breakfast of a steaming bowl of pho noodles accompanied by freshly brewed Vietnamese coffee.

Cooking Class at Hanoi Cooking Centre with a market visit (Private)

On arrival at Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC), try a cup of La Han, a special Vietnamese tea, followed by a brief introduction to Vietnamese cuisine and the highlights of traditional meals. Take a short walk to the Chau Long Market to see the wet goods, unusual tropical fruits, livestock and silk worms. Then head back to HCC to start the cooking class and to enjoy the delicious dishes.

Street Food Experience at Night

Short drive from the hotel to a busy back alley on Nghi Tam street near the West Lake where you will start the walking tour. Follow the guide through Tay Ho area and explore the street dining culture of the locals. Go into Yen Phu street and stop at a grill stall to try nem nuong (pork skewers herbs and salad) with special local flavor. Follow the buzzing roads around Truc Bach Lake and stop at another conner for pho cuon (pho rolls) and pho xao (fried pho). In winter pho will be replace by a steaming hot pot. Continue on foot and drop on a stool on the streetside to have a coffee or a glass of nuoc mia (sugar cane juice) with mild sweet taste and pleasant kumquat scent. Drive back to the hotel and end the tour.

Experience Bia Hoi at local restaurant

Visit an authentic Vietnamese beer garden and enjoy drinking rituals.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3     Hanoi - Halong - cabin / onboard (Vietnam)

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Paradise Luxury Cruise/ Restaurant / Dinner: Paradise Luxury Cruise/ Restaurant )

By vehicle from Hanoi (city) to Halong Bay

Transfer to/from Tuan Chau Marina Port

Cruise aboard the Paradise Luxury Cruise through Halong Bay, day 1 of 2 (English speaking guide is included)

Arrive at Tuan Chau Island. Transfer to cruise ship. Welcome Drink - cruise briefing, safety instructions, check-in cabins. Depart to Halong Bay - cruise and program commence. Serve Vietnamese lunch while cruising through HOA CUONG fishing village, SOI SIM beach, Coconut Three island. In the afternoon, explore DARK ad BRIGHT cave by rowing bamboo boats or kayaking (with supplement). Continue cruising through CUA VAN floating village, TIEN ONG cave and anchoring in Ho Dong Tien area. Enjoy swimming and kayaking (with supplement) at TITOV area. Back to Paradise Luxury to take part in cooking demonstration with Chef to discover the Vietnamese cuisine of traditional spring rolls. Pre dinner cocktail with complimentary nuts & canape. Dinner is served on board. Overnight on board.

Overnight in cabin / onboard (Vietnam).

Day 4     cabin / onboard (Vietnam) - Halong - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An

(Breakfast: Hotel / Dinner: Mango Mango Restaurant )

 Cruise aboard the Paradise Luxury Cruise through Halong Bay, day 2 of 2 (English speaking guide is included on board)

Tai Chi session on the Sundeck. Serve tea, coffee and pastry for light breakfast. Explore SUNG SOT CAVE. Back to the cruise and have breakfast buffet. Check-out of cabins and settle bills. Arrive at Tuan Chau Island.

By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi (Noi Bai Airport)

Flight from Hanoi to Danang

Transfer from Danang airport to Hoi An

Transfer to/from restaurant

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5     Hoi An

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

Cooking class at Secret Garden with market visit

Visit the local market along with the chef to see what produce is on offer and to buy the ingredients for the dishes to be cooked that day. Back at the Secret Garden Restaurant the chef will demonstrate how to cook up some delicious traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Then sit down to enjoy the freshly cooked dishes.

Afternoon at leisure

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6     Hoi An

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

 Authentic Agricultural Experience of Hoi An in Thanh Dong organic farm

Starting at 242 Cua Dai street and go to Thanh Dong organic farm by boat. From here, clients have a chance to wear on the typical uniform of farmers in Vietnam: Ba Ba. Listening to farmer's introduction about the organic farm and learn how to harvest vegetables of local people and experience daily activities with them on the farm. Enjoy a bowl of corn sweet soup and green tea before moving to The Field restaurant and bar by boat. Arrive THE FIELD RESTAURANT & BAR, clients can participate in some traditional folk games (pottery smashing, catching fish by hands, etc.). Having lunch. Back to the meeting point. End of tour.

Excursion to Tra Nhieu Fishing Village without lunch (HD)

The guide welcome guest at hotel lobby, walk to THU BON wharf on Bach Dang street, and sailing along Thu Bon River to TRA NHIEU village. Here you will have a brief introduction to the history, traditional handicraft of the village such as: farming, fishing, poultry and livestock breeding, mattress making... After that, you will be taken in a boat with local fisherman to learn how to cast a net, catch fish... Bidding farewell to the local fisherman, continue to Cam Kim village. Back to Hoi An by boat. End the tour.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7     Hoi An - Danang - Saigon - Cai Be

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Cuc Gach Quan Restaurant / Dinner: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

 Transfer to Danang airport

Flight from Danang to Saigon

By vehicle from Saigon (city) to Cai Be

Sightseeing in Cai Be with boat trip and overnight at Mekong Lodge, day 1 of 2 (late check in, incl. cooking class)

Late afternoon, check in at Mekong Lodge and join evening cooking class. Overnight at Mekong lodge.

Overnight in Cai Be.

Day 8     Local Village (Vietnam) - Cai Be – Saigon

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

 Sightseeing in Cai Be with a boat trip and overnight at Mekong Lodge, day 2 of 2 (late check-in)

After breakfast, join a 10km cycling tour to TAN PHONG ISLAND along village paths to see wooden ferries and an orchard. Also visit handicraft villages and the local land market at Cai Be. Have lunch at hotel. Boat transfer to Cai Be harbor.

By vehicle from Cai Be to Saigon (city)

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 9     Saigon

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Nha Hang Ngon )

 Sightseeing in Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown) (Full day)

A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the convergence of traditional and modern life. Begin with a tour of the historic centre, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by 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 Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building 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. Then visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagodas.

In the afternoon, head out to Cholon (Chinatown). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a walking tour from Tran Hung Dao Street through Nguyen Trai and Soai Kinh Lam market (cloth wholesale market), visit Cha Tam Church. Continue to Thien Hau Pagoda, built by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. End the tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.

Visit the Museum of Vietnamese Traditional Medicine (FITO)

Visit Fito Museum which displays more than 3,000 objects, including a collection of knives and boat-shaped grinders used to chop and grind medicines. The oldest item in this collection was fished out of the Red River and dates back to the 6th century. The museum also has collections of items used in ancient pharmacies including medicinal kettles and cups, medicinal scales, mortar and pestles, and alcohol jars. Learn how to grind medicine, watch a documentary about the history of Vietnamese traditional medicine, and taste a cup of linh chi tea before leaving the museum.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 10   Saigon

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

Excursion by speedboat to Cu Chi Tunnels (SIC) [Half day, include Lunch]

Pick up at the hotel and transfer to the pier for the boat trip. Enjoy a light snack while heading to Cu Chi tunnels. Arrive at Cu Chi and start the tour. The Cu Chi Tunnels were a very important Vietcong base during the American-Vietnam War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, take the opportunity to walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the Vietcong, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Enjoy a light lunch on board then return to Saigon by speedboat.

Afternoon at leisure

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 11   Saigon

(Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam) / Dinner: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))

Transfer to/from restaurant

Cooking Class with visit market at Hoa Tuc Restaurant (SIC)

Accompany the Chef to the Ben Thanh Market to buy the necessary ingredients and then enjoy a hands-on cooking class.

Afternoon at leisure

Excursion around Saigon by Vespa after dark (private, Half day, include Dinner. Clients who wish to book and participate in this activity will be requested to sign an VVA release form either prior to arrival or on the ground before commencing the tour)

VVA picks up guests at their hotel. The VVA tour leader greets guests at the Zoom café for drinks and shares information about life in Saigon and briefs everyone on the program. Drive to District 5 and to district 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the night life of locals. Arrive at a local restaurant in District 4 for sea food where local Vietnamese like to hang out with friends and enjoy seafood with drinks. Drive around the busy streets of District 3 via District 1 passing by the Notre Dame, Post office, and City Hall to see the downtown of Saigon by night. Arrive in Banh Xeo restaurant for a real dinner to enjoy Banh Xeo (special rice pan cake of the South), fresh spring rolls, and BBQ with drinks. Ride to a hidden café for drinks and enjoy live (unplugged) music (where locals often hang out with friend after going out for dinner) to let guests see, enjoy and feel Vietnamese live music. Ride to a Live music Bar in district 3 to enjoy up beat music (live performance) with drinks. Bring guests back to hotel.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 12   Saigon

(Breakfast: Hotel)

Transfer

Hanoi

Optional Experience Day 1:

1) Enjoy a la carte dinner at Pots'n Pans Restaurant (high-end restaurant, not incl. drink)

Pots and Pans is not only one of the best fine dining restaurants in Hanoi, it is also part of the KOTO restaurant family that trains and supports disadvantaged youth to offer them a career in hospitality.

2) Enjoy meal at musicians' home in Hanoi (Mr Bang & Ms.Huong).

Join a local musicians' family for a meal at their home. Experience a home-cooked Vietnamese meal prepared with love by the mother of the family and learn about the family's daily life.

Halong

Optional Experience Day 3:

1) Enjoy a private candle-lit dinner in one of Ha Long Bay's fantastic caves

Optional beverage:

1.1) 2 hours unlimited local beer, soft drinks, mineral water & sparking water

1.2) 2 hours unlimited house wine, beer, soft drink mineral water

Hoi An

Optional Experience Day 5:

1) Cooking class and lunch with Duc at Mango Restaurant (4 hours, morning only)

Join Chef Duc for a private hands-on cooking class. Visit the local market together and then return to the Mango Restaurant to learn how to cook up some delicious dishes followed by a wonderful meal at the end of the class. Market tour is available only morning class.

Can Tho

Optional Experience Day 8:

1) Romantic Sunset Cruise on the Hau River with cocktails and snacks.

Saigon

Optional Experience Day 9:

1) Dinner in the Sky at Eon 51 restaurant

Let us book you an unforgettable dinner at Eon 51 restaurant. Not only the best fine-dining restaurant in the whole of Indochina, but also offering a fantastic view of Saigon-by-night from the 51st floor of the Bitexco building.

Optional Experience Day 10:

1) Street Food Experience with Back of The Bike's Chef Tour

Join our expat Chef on an exploration of Saigon's best street food eateries! (on request only)

2) Experience the delicious street food in Saigon

Street Food Experience on an exploration of Saigon best local restaurants and street food discoveries! (On request only)

Note: Above Optional Tours will be charged separately. Please contact us for more information.

 

Enquire now