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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 restaurant, 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.
Upon arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, welcome by our guide and transfer to your hotel. Check-in hotel ( officially check-in time is at 14:00) . Take a rest after a long flight. Have an orientation tour to Hanoi ‘s ancient quarter by Cyclo – a tradtional pedicab vehicle. Have welcome dinner at a local restaurant and Overnight stay in Hanoi.
Breakfast at hotel then visit Vietnam Ethnology Museum The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a valuable centre for the exhibition and the preservation of cultural heritages of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam with 15,000 artefacts including clothing, jewellery, of agricultural tools, fishing instruments, weapons, household utensils and musical instruments. Then visit the Temple of Literature which is considered as Vietnam's first national university , built in 1070 . Have Vietnamese buffet lunch.
In the afternoon, an enjoyable cooking class in the morning. Go with your chef to a local market,learn about vietnamese ingredients and cuisine. While watching the cooking demonstration, you can take part in practise. After the class, have dinner in which you can taste all the different samples prepared during the demonstration.
Overnight in Hanoi.
After Breakfast , leave Hanoi for 3hr30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive Halong Bay, check-in formalities then enjoy the Welcome drink and Lunch on board. Cruise through the emerald water between the limestone outcrops and long corridors, En route, you have chances to sightsee many beauty spots of the world natural heritage including Fighting Cock islet, Incense Urn islet, Finger island, Toad islet, dog islet, Dragon, Horse Neck, Buffalo Head islet and many other strange shape islands. Later in the afternoon, visit a fishing village with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, enjoy cocktails or a cooking class in the romantic sunset on the Bay. Have dinner on board. Evening, experience some evening activities such as squid fishing, board games, or spa .Overnight on the junk.
Early morning, take a Tai Chi class and watch the sunrise over the bay (if you choose to get up early and weather permitted). Visit a beautiful limestone grotto, and then back to the junk , Brunch while cruising back to the dock. Disembarking at the Cruise Café Lounge then get on your car and drive back to the Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang.
Note: This tour may be subject to change depending on weather conditions.
In Danang, have a short transfer to your hotel located in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Where to have dinner in Hoi An:
Street food : Morning Glory resaurant
Local specialities : The Mermaid restaurant
Vietnamese : The Market restaurant
International : Cargo Club
Fusion : Mango Mango restaurant
Rice cultivation is deeply rooted in the Vietnamese psyche. Today Vietnam’s $4 billion in rice exports accounts for more than a fifth of the global total. You may have seen farmers working in Asian paddy fields. However, it seems you do not know the sequence of Vietnamese rice cultivation. It is still a secret unbeknownst to most western tourists.
This morning is your day to discover the intersting angles on the rice fields. 8:30 am Begin your journey by cycling shortly through rice paddies to the countryside (for those people who don't want cycling, a vehicle will be arranged ). Visit a farm where you will be warmly welcomed with tea by a local family host. They will explain the different steps of rice cultivation. Then start a fun part of your practise. Dress traditional farming clothes and conical hats, experience a ride 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.
Note: this tour is non private and operated on a join in basis.
Free at leisure the rest of the afternoon.
Overnight in Hoi An.
In the morning, discover Hoi An with a walking tour. Walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200 year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the 400 years old Japanese Bridge .Free for your lunch in Hoi An town.
In the afternoon, drive through Danang, stop in Cham Scuplture Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world then climb over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and drop down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive Hue, check in hotel then relax in a short time. Visit a typically garden house in Hue.Garden house architecture follows exactly the same principles as the imperial palaces of Hue. The house strucre is basically a timber, load-bearing frame that can be easily dismantled. As in Palaces, Garden houses respect the rules of geomancy ( phuong thuy) which elements of the garden being used as natural screens. Have dinner in a Garden house restaurant with Hue food. Overnight in Hue.
Hue is renowned for its elaborate cuisine, developed by the skilled cooks of the royal court. Legend has it that the Nguyen kings, who ruled a united Vietnam from Hue in the 19th century, refused to eat the same meal twice in a year, so their cooks came up with hundreds of distinct, visually arresting dishes (most using the same few dozen ingredients). This tradition endures in the local craze for dainty. This morning you will have a lovely cooking class and enjoy the taste of Hue’s local delicacies in the beautiful, traditional Garden House of Y Thao where contains an impressive collection of antiques.
Start to learn how to prepare a Hue “Royal” meal. An approximately 2-hour practise of 4 or 5 courses, ranging from traditional Vietnamese spring rolls to a delicious banana leaf salad, will be conducted. Finally, enjoy the delicious and beautiful dishes you just made and gain a deeper knowledge and feeling of Ancient Hue.
In the afternoon, visit the Hue Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Hue's citadel is the only extant citadel in Indochina. It iscertainly an impressive sight, if only for its 10km long, 7m high surrounding stone walls , which are punctuated by ten gates. Within these walls, stands the Imperial citadel with its administrative buildings and high-ranking civil servants' houses. The style of various buildings are distinctive, each being constructed according to its function such as the Throne Hall, Thai Hoa Palace, Hien Lam Pavillion... continue for Thien Mu Pagoda locates on the Perfume River bank . Built in 1601, the 21-meter tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda and represents seven reincarnations of Buddha. At the ground of Pagoda, you find the famous Austin carof a resident monk drove to Saigon in 1963 to protest against the southern regime. The photo of his self immortalization is one of the most well known images of the war.
Return to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure. You are free to explore Hue and have dinner on your own
Where to have dinner in Hue:
- International : Les Jardins de la Carambole.
- Vietnamese : Khong Gian Xua restaurant , Anh Binh restaurant
Overnight in Hue.
After breakfast transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City ( formely called Saigon) and transfer to hotel.
In the afternoon, start a tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, a historic site where the war ended in 1975. From here, stroll to the major highlights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Central Post Office The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century ( between 1886-1891 ) It was designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel in harmony with the surrounding area, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall.( your vehicle is available in case you don't want to walk ). Continue to the War Remnants Museum where display the photographs, artifacts on the evidence of the crime and the consequences of the war that the invasion force has caused to Vietnam. Thereby, the Museum of educating the public, especially the younger generation, mental struggle for independence and freedom of the country, the anti-war sense of invasion, to protect peace and solidarity friendship between the peoples of the world the visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, this is one of the most spectacularly atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh city, stuffed with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. The pungent smoke of incense (huong) fills the air, obscuring the exquisite woodcarvings.
To have more authentic Vietnamese flavour,this evening program includes some interactive to the local daily life activities. Around 6:30pm, you start the first stop in a public park where local people gathering and practise dancing exercises. When the sun goes down, people come here to socialize and dance together. It is up to you to dance with them or just watch. Then, walk in to a small alley to taste the famous " Banh xeo" , a large rice pan cake with vegetable, Shrimp and Pork. Wrap & Roll it , then deep it in the fish sauce for your ultimate experience of Vietnamese street food. Continue to the Tan Dinh Market area for more experiences . There, you have opportunities to taste the favoursit local dishes. After crossing a busy intersection, indulge yourself with a delicious dessert and a Vietnamese café in a live music coffee shop playing piano or Vietnamese songs. At the end of the tour return to your hotel (around 10:30 pm).
Note: Places are subject to change upon availability.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Today, you will come to visit a place away from the well trodden tourist path, a genuine insight into a Vietnamese kitchen. Depart from your hotel with the host to go to a local market to shop for ingredients then go to her house to start your cooking. Your host is a great cook and more than happy to go with you around their local market and tell you their favourite dishes. You are free to choose the menu to cook the savour your lunch with what you prepared. Next, return to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to explore Ho Chi Minh city on your own pace.
Treat you a special dinner in an artistic craftman style restaurant : Mandarin restaurant. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your onward flight.
TOUR DURATION: 10 Days / 9 Nights
TOUR OPERATES: Year Round / On Demand
TOUR PRICE: Available upon Request
Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.
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